Tagged art retreats

You Gotta Hear This

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A few weeks ago, I had the tremendous privilege of joining Sabrina Ward Harrison and Trent Reynolds on their new podcast called “Room In The Trees”.  

If you haven’t listened to any of their episodes yet, you really gotta.  I highly recommend subscribing!

“Room In The Trees” is a valuable (and fun!) resource for artists – they discuss lots of topics that matter to we creative types.  I’ve enjoyed every episode (but forgive me, I may be partial to the one where I’m the guest.)  

Listen in here y’all!  

And let us know what you think!!

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Still Treasure Seeking

In my 55 years, I’ve held a few jobs and one “career”.   However, my education was in cultural and earth sciences – archaeology and geology.  It didn’t take me long to conclude those jobs wouldn’t pay my bills – not very well at least.  So one thing lead to another and I mysteriously landed in the world of television advertising.  (The “career”.)

Long story short, I eventually married my boss.  Yeah, I did.  We didn’t want to work and live together, so I retired.  My new husband, or the “Dream Maker” as I like to call him, set me free to discover what it is I really loved to do.  Oh God.

Yes, that may sound like a blessing to you (and indeed it was).  But, not until a years-long-tortuous-journey of self discovery . . . I had no idea what I loved!  I only knew working to pay the bills, ya know?

Somehow, my husband survived it all.  Several years later, after much searching and crazy making, I discovered I am an artist.  Which is really weird, since I was raised by a lifelong painter!  (But until this time of wandering about, I had never once picked up a paintbrush.)

These days I may paint, wander with camera in hand, write a bit, teach an art workshop or host an art retreat, but I’m still treasure hunting and documenting my findings.  This is exactly what I did as a young archaeologist.  Now I KNOW, Treasure Seeker is my calling, my vocation, my career!  I was born for this.

Through a commitment to my 7 year long painting practice, I have found my process.  (I tend to paint deep layers of color-filled strata.  Then I begin my real work of uncovering the treasures beneath.  I use a handful of tools I’ve tucked away in my treasure hunter’s knapsack.)

On daily walks and adventures, I focus my lens on the world’s treasures.  I’ll go to any length to capture small moments of wonder and beauty.

In my personal journal and sometimes here on my blog, I document and share my discoveries.  I can’t help myself.

ALWAYS AND FOREVER A TREASURE SEEKER.

ALWAYS AND FOREVER SEEKER OF BEAUTY AND THE EXTRAORDINARY.

ALWAYS THE DREAM DIGGER.

I want to share with you some of my discoveries.

If you’d like to take a look, my photographs can be found heremy “Project Wanderstruck”.

Some of my more recent paintings can be found here.

My only hope in sharing this with you, is that it will in some way inspire you to dig your own dreams . . . Enjoy!

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Tales From The Creative Nomad Retreat

Whew!  I’m back from hosting my first art retreat – The Creative Nomad Art Journaling Adventure!

It’s been so long since I last posted here – but now you’ll know why. I’ve been WAY busy prepping for the retreat.  All my “free time” has been devoted to it.

And what an incredible ride it’s been!

The retreat was for four days with colorful, friendly and creative people in one incredible location.  

What?  THIS is my job?  I’m one lucky girl!  Dreams do come true.

Artist (and fellow art journaler) Sabrina Ward Harrison once famously wrote “Don’t take a job, make a job.”  I took that advice to heart and I’m so so glad I did.

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Our “studio” was at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.

Nearly everyone stayed at the hotel as well.  So yeah, we kind of took over.

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So here’s the “calm before the storm” – a clean workspace laid with goodies.

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But before long, it looked like this.  Creative chaos.  Yum.

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To stretch our legs and breathe in the warm desert breezes, we had a large balcony all to ourselves.  An extra 1000 square feet overlooking the Ace’s main pool.  Magical.

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We had two guides for our “art journaling adventure”.  They each led a two day workshop.

First up was the (adorable) gifted teacher Brian Kasstle.

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And the (uber-badass) talented guide Roxanne Coble.

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These two were soooooo passionate and generous.

I loved that their workshops were so different yet played so well with one another.

(I definitely did a GREAT job recruiting them if I do say so myself!  Uh huh.)

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As for the attendees…..wow!

It was incredible to finally meet some long time “online friends” and several of my creative “she-roes”.  You may recognize a few from the art journaling world.

The crowd also included a hand full of first time art journalers.  This thing could catch on ya know!  LOL.

Just look at the beauties that gathered.

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Above is my mom (life long painter/never before art journaler) Caroline Bell, my bestie Deby Scatchell (our retreat assistant/art journaling virgin) and yeah, happy me!  

Somehow, I found time to art journal while hosting the retreat!  Ah the power of pre-planning and great assistance!

(But the works in progress below ain’t mine….)

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above art journal spread in progress by Dawn DeVries Sokol

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above art journal spread in progress is by Carrie Todd

Below is a collaborative piece in progress . . . we all put something into this one!

I won’t tell you what we did with it after!  What happens in Palm Springs stays in Palm Springs.

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So here’s the class picture from Brian’s class called “Totem”.

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And here’s Roxanne’s class pic – her class was called “Adaptations”.

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We’re one happy bunch of creatives!  I loved loved loved every minute.

And while I’m still lingering in the afterglow, my heart is already dreaming of what will come next.

I’ll be sure to let you know – the ideas are a’swirling!

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A Mixed-Media Life

There’s been so many different things happening in my world lately.  It’s a mixed-media-life dontcha know!

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a class with Misty Mawn.  I’d never met her, but had done her online classes.  Misty is so funny and a truly generous soul.  The girl over-delivers let me tell you – I have enough ideas to keep me busy for the next year!

The combination of story and painting is something I’ve been musing on lately.  Misty’s class dove deep into that process.  I will share more as it unfolds in my studio.  Meanwhile, here’s a couple of quick sketches and a small painting from the class.

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Tomorrow, I begin another workshop with Katie Kendrick!!  I went to one last year too – but couldn’t resist another opportunity. Katie is beyond talented!

Ya know, I have done many classes, both online and in-person.  But I dig the in-person workshops so much, I’m trying to do that as often as possible.  Being in the company of other artists touches my creative soul like nothing else can!

There’s also been art play in the journal too.  The writing journals I use are hand made by Jenni Bick and are a combination of writing and “artist” papers.  My latest has so many watercolor papers, I’ve been inspired to do more “art” than I usually do there.

A bit of paint or marker, some quick and clean collage and ta-da!

Purty pages!!

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There’s been work on the easel too.  I think my daily walks are leading to lots of abstracted flowers and nature-inspired paintings.  Here’s a new one.

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“Honeycomb and Fae”

Speaking of walks.  I believe today is day 141 of my self-imposed-daily-challenge.  Because I can never resist starting my day like this….

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As for who I’ve been hanging with, a stray kitty has adopted me.  Sigh. He’s the loviest-most-affectionate cat ever!

Too bad my mean dog won’t have him in the house.  I’m working hard to find him an inside home.  It’ll be safer for him (and the neighborhood birds).

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And well, these birds – they may be the funniest/coolest people I know!  They keep me young and maybe a bit hipper than I would’ve been without them in my life.

Yeah . . . I’m probably not ever been hip.

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Scenes From The Road

Over the past week,

we’ve roamed the Southwest US . . .

from Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico

to Monument Valley, Utah

through Flagstaff, Arizona and the deserts of California.

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I’ve spent a few days circling with friends, old and new,

rediscovering my sense of “play”.

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I’ve over-indulged my photographic

obsession with doorways and windows.

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And seen more stars in the night sky

than I EVER knew existed!

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Even piles of rubble are made beautiful

in the hands of local southwestern artists.

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My “well of inspiration” is running over . . . 

I may burst!

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I’ve seen such diverse beauty.

Sacred and profound and quiet and simple.

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I’ve hardly had time to “process” or capture my thoughts,

but I may not stop painting or writing for months

– okay, maybe NEVER!

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The “big sky” country is incredibly gorgeous.

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The hues – so deep and rich.

The architecture and decor – so magical.

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Even the food is color-full and spicy-delish!

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Icons are everywhere – appearing in art and on buildings.

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Around every bend, more beauty, more embellishment.

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Overhead – underfoot.

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Textures, both velvety and rough.

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A single art journal spread

is all that I’ve worked on during my trip,

as I focused on gathering inspiration and beauty.

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Here’s the same page AFTER 20 fellow retreat 

goers added their mark to the page!

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I’m aching to get back in the studio!

So that’s happening NOW!