This retreat has become my annual HAVEN for making schtuff, connecting with old friends and new – and just feeling like ME for a few days. It is wonderful to have it in Connecticut – although I did treat myself to the hotel stay so I could really immerse into the experience.
This year was the BEST yet in so many ways.
Upon arrival, we received personalized canvas stitched tags. Since I didn't have anything to do for a few hours, I went up to my hotel room and gave her some coloring.
Then I headed down to the bar area to see who else might have arrived, and was actually feeling a little blue (because I didn't come WITH anyone); when I happened upon this Abandoned Art piece. It turned my moment of feeling alone in a crowd – around. Have you ever felt that way?
Later, I learned that it had been made by the talented Colleen Peck. Thanks, Colleen. It lifted my spirits.
And then I ran into a few ladies I knew and we shared a couple of appetizers before class. So now I was ready to have some fun.
I took three varied workshops. I like to mix it up and try new things.
Friday night was a plaster workshop with Sue Pelletier, where we made a canvas with these teeny sweaters, dipped in plaster and then collaged and decorated to our hearts desire. This is almost there – just needs a title. But I was really happy to have a project pretty much finished at the end of class. My 9×12 canvas…
Sue is FUNNY. She is so REAL and a great instructor. I truly enjoyed experimenting with this new medium and getting to know my table mate in class better, Nancy Lefko; whom I'd met up with at dinner.
Saturday was spent in a workshop about Liquid Pencil by Pam Carriker. We had gotten together the night before for dinner – and can I tell you I am in awe of this lady? Pam is an amazingly talented artist. I first spotted her work in an article in Cloth Paper Scissors, featuring Yellow Ochre and Teal Blue. I was struck by this color combination immediately and went straight away to the art store to buy them. The liquid pencil is a new formulation of the product called Pam Carriker's Sketching Ink. It's much more fluid than the originals and comes in Permanent and Rewettable formulas.
It takes a little getting used to – but such a treat to be able to use the graphite like this. Especially to be able to paint around a graphite area without it running (Permanent), or apply the graphite evenly around an object and then be able to blend it out once dry, and modify as needed. We made a couple of small projects (my first was not so great); then a small portrait:
And finally a collage around the central stencilled egg shapes, using a spotted egg stencil from www.stencilgirl.com.
On Saturday night, after the workshop, I found a text from my friend, Joanne Sharpe asking if she could take me up on my offer to help out during the 'Art Trunk' at her booth that night. Of course! We made quite a team!
After the Art Trunk was over, I went around to several people and put together a little late night dinner and drinks upstairs in the lounge. I placed the orders while their booths were packed up and we settled in for a lovely end to the evening. Happily, Nancy Lefko sent me this picture as well as took some others. I will cherish them – such a fun night with really wonderful people.
Mary Beth was a table mate during Pam's workshop. I loved meeting her and using her stencils during the workshop. Might be something brewing here in the future?! She apparently likes my hair – and I was happy to share. 🙂
Well I was up a bit late that night – and the morning's worshop would require all my faculties. So Sunday's workshop with Michael DeMeng and the 'Talking Heads' it was.
I have taken so many workshops with Michael that I think I've lost count! I love how it stretches my creativity and really, really makes me work outside my box.
This lovely, I've titled 'Eye Candy' started off with a discarded doll head. Michael was only too happy to help me decapitate dolly.
Then I used the head as a base for building my creature with Apoxie Clay.
It has adhesive properties in the intial stages, so I used a Canvas Corp. hardware kit in unexpected ways — making textures on the clay, creating armatures for the three protrusions on the head and setting the copper-colored nails into the face. I even took dolly's eyelashes off and put them together along the top of the new EYE.
And then set about painting the background, frame and monster with lovely acrylic washes to create this DeMeng-style piece I call 'Eye Candy'.
Its tongue actually moves, with a little pull on the bead atop her head. I'm going to put candy corn into the basin and see who has the nerve to take some… she's hanging on my front door now, just in time for Halloween!
So now I'm home, pretty much unpacked and looking forward to the next time I get to meet up with my artsy friends again.
I hear this retreat is expanding to Nashville, TN in the Spring. You should really go if you want top-notch mixed-media instruction.
Thanks for reading!