Art retreats rock.....they just do...I am determined to attend as many as I can in my lifetime and this one was very very wonderful, one I plan on attending every year for as long as I can! This time it was a gift from someone who knew how much I would love it...and I am SO THANKFUL for that gift...the gift of ArtFest...a gift that keeps on giving!
I got home a few days ago from this totally dreamy week-ish on the ocean in Port Townsend, Washington. ArtFest is the brainchild of artist, Teesha Moore and her husband, Tracey. It's held at THE COOLEST place, an old military base on the water...from World War II.....and when you get 550ish artists together in such a funky artsy place, it's just full-on magic.
I knew I fit in when I sat with Michelle Allen, who I had just met the day before, but who I instantly connected with...at lunch....and her hands were covered in all sorts of colors of paint from her Jesse Reno class...........and she just ate her cookie anyway!!!! I am the crazy mother who shows up to school functions with paint all over my hands because I don't have time to wash it off...and many a meal have I eaten the same way (besides.....we artists are reluctant to scrub all of that happiness off and wash it down the drain)
I met my pal, Barb, at the Seattle airport....with a few other people...including Minnie Helvey , who I had met last year at another art retreat....but didn't know very well til this trip....and her best friend Yvonne...and let me tell you...match made in heaven for all of us...those ladies were angels on earth.....I learned so much...felt so loved, connected so deeply and left feeling alive, happy and inspired........I loved every minute of being with them all.....we laughed and laughed and laughed............and made art.
I had the wonderful opportunity to stay in a house there with my friend and also my very favorite artist, for reals, Stephanie Lee....I also took BOTH of her classes...because she is SO PHENOMENAL...seriously, so gifted at so many artistic things.....and I learned SO MUCH...so so soooo much. I painted paintings that I love, and I learned how to make sculptures with plaster....and I just got totally lost in the artsy zone when time does not exist.............I also got to help her set up at vendor night....where the most incredible artists sell their original works..........
I just LOVE Stephanie...everything about her....she teaches online classes too, which I have taken....and highly recommend....
In addition to Stephanie's classes.......and the great talks we had in between all of her busy-ness (she had nonstop stuff going on!)...and the wonderful other artists that I got to meet who were staying in our house...Bee Shay, Alex Shur and a visit from Katie Kendrick......I also had the opportunity to meet Misty Mawn.......and these women are all incredible artists who I admire tremendously and can't wait to learn more from.........
AND my 3rd class........was taught by an incredible artist, woman and friend who touched me so much when I met her last year...she is SO soulful, so beautiful, so full of light and goodness and wisdom. I couldn't wait to take her class and I love that I can call her a friend. Her class did not disappoint......this is LK Ludwig....she has online classes too and I can't wait to enroll in them and learn even more from her. I admire her so very much. She brought me to tears in her class when she told her story of why she does what she does..........what a phenomenal woman!
I started doing art journals a few years ago.....I love to journal...but combining art with journaling has opened all new gateways to the soul for me.......LK adds photos in too...and I don't know why I never thought of doing that before, but it was very meaningful for me....I am going to continue this practice....I love it...I learned so many great techniques and had a blast making a TON of pages that day...
It was a feast of inspirational sights, sounds and views for me......it was renewing and restful. I needed rest SO MUCH, and I slept SO MUCH....I hid out in my room and enjoyed the solitude and the view of the ocean out and the beautiful views out my windows.......it gave me lots of time to regroup and think...and feel....to feel gratitude and wholeness and a fresh perspective...about where I have been, where I am going....and especially where I am now. Artists are a very special kind of people....open hearts, wide open minds and open listeners....it is so healing and renewing to spend time with other artists. And...guess what...we are ALL ARTISTS...we were ALL born to create in our lives.....so this was a celebration of the creative side of humanity...which ALL of us have.....embrace your inner artist!!!
I got to finally meet in person a few Facebook friends...which I always love because they are always even more wonderful in person......I love Kecia Deveney....we met at CHA and I knew from her funkiness that I would love to get to know here....then we became Facebook friends...then we finally got to hang out a bit....she is awesome. I am mad that I never got to get a photo with Jen Osborn....because we have been waiting for MONTHS to be able to finally meet in person...and we hung out A LOT.....but we never took a photo!! TAKE PHOTOS PEOPLE!!!
Something I completely loved was the OLD-ness of this place....World War II-esque......oldness that you could never recreate because of the chipping paint...the patina.....the way they used to build and do things that they just DON'T anymore. I loved the people....oh...how I loved the people...and the whole event was just incredibly well-organized and run.........so total KUDOS to Teesha and her hubby. I am so impressed and can't wait to go back.
I leave you with some of my favorite shots from the week............in the famous words of my friend, Jenny Doh, ART SAVES!
LONG LIVE ART, ART RETREATS, ARTISTS & MAKING STUFF!!!!