Just got back from ArtFest 2012 (an art retreat that was held in Port Townsend, Washington) and had a splendid time!

It was a week’s worth of inspiration and creativity for me – as I spent two days in Seattle before heading North.

It was a wonderful week!

I will be posting more later after I get settled…as I am a bit discombobulated right now – (I love saying that word) – which is usually the case transitioning from total immersion in art to the (sometimes harsh) transition back to the real world.

But I wanted to share some quick thoughts (highlights) from an article I read on the flight back.

Nothing fuels the creative process like a spacious mind, an observant heart and the freedom to EXPRESS YOUR SELF…  this article (from Yoga Journal’s May issue) talks about the ‘breathing space’ we need in our minds in order to unleash our creativity.  “Creativity is actually the living, breathing essence of your Self”, says Sianna Sherman, an Anusara Yoga instructor who teaches internationally.  To tap into it you simply need to make space for it.

Some of those interviewed in the article were: Ann Patchett, novelist, who attributes her yoga practice to balancing the pressures of being a high-profile storyteller, and Jason Mraz, singer-songwriter, who says, yoga gave him ‘wings’ and directly contributed to his success when he took his asana practice on the road four years ago.  He is releasing a new album this month and says he wove the yogic theme of interconnection into numerous songs and even wrote a kirtan-inspired tune called ‘Everything is Sound”.

Kirtan seems to be the new word-of-the-day – I’ve seen it more than a couple of times recently.  Kirtan, which is ‘call and response chanting’ according to Wikipedia – is  a devotional tradition in India. Kirtan practice involves chanting hymns or mantras to the accompaniment of instruments; drums and hand cymbals.

Sounds interesting and right along with the thought process of ‘getting into the moment’ – perfect timing too, to put into practice after this past week!

There was quite a bit of unleashing going on at ArtFest…the above image was the beginning of a painting that was primarily done with my fingers and paint!

And allowing ourselves the opportunity to ‘play’ (and get messy!) is a great step in that direction!

Speak your Passion Out Loud

OK, I did spend nearly the whole weekend in the studio…so YAY! on that note.

But clearly the whole color thing has me frustrated.

I’ve got issues.  Mud, to be specific.

So you can imagine how relieved I was to read in Mary Beth’s book that she, too, had ‘mud issues’ early on.  Seeing her fantastic art (and knowing that) is a great BIG relief for me.  I am REALLY looking forward to her class (I know I’m repeating my self here but it is worth repeating!).  Thank goodness I had my head on straight when I was choosing classes for ARtfest – when I decided to focus on ‘color’ – it couldn’t be coming at a better time! 

So today I switched gears…

Fortunately I have SEVERAL books to choose from in the Art Reference section of my library (see ‘when I get a little money‘ post).  Note: I don’t have a real library – just like I don’t have a real secret garden – but you get the idea…

So TODAY I decided to focus on Kelly Rae Roberts book – ‘Taking Flight‘. Its a great book too and full of inspiration.  I chose an assignment where you cover the substrate with collage papers and I decided I’d use papers from one of those scrapbooking albums so at least the papers I selected would be complimentary to each other – to help me with my color ‘situation’.

Okay, so…I don’t hate it.  But I’m not in love either.  There are too many colors going on for my taste.  I’m more of a monochromatic kinda girl.   But I wanted to experiment and see what I’d get.  Also, in the book she painted in her subject (which would’ve toned down some of the busyness going on – but I decided not to.

But I have to say I did ‘get into’ the whole just doing it thing.  I think I was even (dare I say) in the zone for well over an hour!!

And no one says we have to create masterpieces on the first day.  It IS about the journey after all.

It was a beautiful day – the weather was perfect – the sky was my kinda blue and I even had a bird drop in to the studio for a brief, albeit, a bit frantic, visit.

So all in all – it was a great day!

Hope yours was too!

My studio is my collage and I’m ok with that. For now.

I’ve been pouring over Mary Beth Shaw’s new book for the past few days and finally decided to attempt one of the projects in it.  I bought what little supplies I needed (that I didn’t already have on hand) and organized everything so it would be easy to see all my choices; all the paints, inks and pens – everything in viewing distance.  Ready to go.

All that was left to do…make art!

And that’s where I ran into trouble.

I’d finish one step and be fairly happy with the results.  Then I’d add something and hate it. I’d add something else and like it. Add one more thing – hate it.

This went on for hours.

I finally just had to walk away from the art.

I’m hoping absence will make the heart grow fonder! 

Can’t wait for her class at ARtfest!!!  I need help!  I need instruction!  I need my dorm diva support group!!  ASAP!!

Maybe I should just stick to arranging items in my studio and photographing my collages!!