In a few weeks I’ll open registration for my first art retreat – The Creative Nomad, An Art Journaling Adventure. I’m delighted to host two incredible art journaling teachers, Roxanne Coble and Brian Kasstle. Soon, I’ll share their stories, but today I want to write about my own creative evolution.
I grew up in a very creative household – my Dad is an entrepreneurial artist – he’s built a thriving business! My Mom is a life-long, self-taught painter. She’s also an incredibly talented interior designer and home “flipper”.
They probably renovated 10 homes before I moved out at 18 – each place more beautiful than the next. I received a true hands on DIY education! Alongside Mom, I painted many walls, planted tons of gardens, customized heaps of furniture and more! Mom allowed – no encouraged me – to decorate my own bedrooms.
Throughout my young adulthood, I most certainly had a creative soul, although I wouldn’t become a painter for many more years. I surrounded myself with artistic people. I sought out creative adventures – attending art fairs, concerts, plays – I adored film, epic books, travel and exotic clothing!
In my late twenties, I partnered with Mom in opening an art gallery and interior design firm in Palm Desert CA. We had the gallery for years. I adored working with the artists – we even hosted a weekly radio show featuring talks with our gallery’s artists . . .
All of this – I’ve left out so much for brevity’s sake – is to say that I was a classic “Shadow Artist”. I had surrounded myself with creatives and had immersed myself in a truly creative lifestyle, yet I wasn’t a capital A “Artist”.
Yes, I was creative – there were hints of it in how I hung our gallery or how I decorated my apartment. But paint – or draw – or write? Nope, that wouldn’t come until 6 years ago. I’m now 54.
My first conscious thought that I might be an Artist arose when my decades-long-journal-keeping-habit began to include imagery. I don’t remember why or when, but I began pasting in magazine photos. Soon, quick sketches were also being laid down. It kind of just happened . . . naturally . . . it evolved.
My curiosity about my new visual journaling style led to the discovery of art journaling. Books about visual journaling had begun appearing in bookstores – or maybe I’d just opened my eyes. I was moved to tears by the journals of Dan Eldon and obsessed with the diaries of Peter Beard.
Soon thereafter, I got really brave. I signed up for an in person 4 day art journaling class with the idolized Sabrina Ward Harrison! It was really expensive for me – but she was teaching in my neighborhood and it felt like a sign I tell you. I think it was . . . I HAD to go.
I really didn’t know what I was doing during most of her class, but felt I was home! I walked away learning so much about living a creative life and diving deep into the creative process. But honestly, I learned more about what I needed – and I needed more art-making time, more color, more depth, more community!
I began an extensive search for my more and I found it. My very first painting on canvas grew out of a 6-month online writing/painting mentorship with my beloved Shiloh Sophia McCloud. I rented a warehouse studio with Mom before I finished my first painting! My journey was underway and I’ve never looked back.
My love for art making and creative community has only grown deeper in these past 6 years – I’ve attended many workshops and retreats. I now know I have a true yearning to support the arts AND a real mission to champion artists – especially young or emerging women artists. Creating beautiful spaces is still a strong passion. All of my early wanderings make so much sense to me now.
I have gathered all the tools in my backpack for this new adventure – hosting truly special and memorable art retreats. I believe it’s what I was built for!
I plan for these retreats to be truly sacred – an escape from your routine, a chance to explore a beautiful destination, a valuable investment in your creative growth and an opportunity to commune with your artistic peers.
Please sign up at the bottom of any page of this website to stay informed. I promise I won’t bombard you with updates.