Well I am home safe and sound from my travels (4600 kilometres of flying) and I had a wonderful time. Exhausting, stimulating, eye-opening and wonderful all at the same time. Quite apart from the pure bliss of time spent with one of my sisters and my son, the whole art retreat experience was a terrific experience - I learnt so much - about people, about myself and of course about art! Misty Mawn, Traci Bautista and Nina Bagley were all just fantastic and I can't really express how much I enjoyed my workshops with each of them. They were all so different and I can feel myself getting ready to go down different paths as a result.
Keron Lee very generously hosted four of us interstaters for several days and my thanks again Keron for providing us all with such a wonderful opportunity (and also for taking us on such an incredible shopping spree!!) May the blue bird of happiness sit on your shoulder evermore. It was terrific to finally meet Keron after a year's planning, to meet Jo Wholohan after years of art exchanges and to catch up again with Gaye Todd and Kasha Rolley, both of whom I had met on previous art related trips to Queensland a few years back. We all had a lot of fun together! As I live in a fairly remote location the vast majority of my contact with other Australians artists comes from these at-best annual excursions around Australia so I really try and make the most of them! I caught up (all too briefly) with other friends too - Jen Crossley, Coralee Barker; Ruth Kelly; Karin Hutchinson (don't forget to email me your blog address!!), Danielle D'Onofrio, Stephanie Grant plus lots more and met lots of other wonderful people - Abby, Nadine, Jacky, Dot, Shirley, Kirsty, Mandy x 2 plus lots more.
Thanks to Jo & Jacky from Artistic Journey for their second ever Art Retreat! I know you guys learnt heaps from this one and I am sure there must have been some awful "organisational" moments for you - not an easy task to organise so far from home and on such a scale! It was a fabulous three days and I am so grateful that you took the gamble a second year running and bought us such wonderful overseas artists as tutors. I'm looking forward to 2009 already!!
At the moment I have stuff everywhere - there are art supplies that I decided at the last minute not to pack (space considerations more than anything!), stuff I took, stuff I bought, etc etc and I really want to get to my desk and do some creating but I really need to get everything into some sort of order (or at least off the family room floor and dining room table!) So that is what I am trying to do but I think I'm still coming down from the "high" and I just can't settle at anything!!
I tend to be an "in the moment" sort of person so I took very few photos but there are heaps on other people's blogs so I don't feel too bad about that aspect. The picture just above is of Jen Crossley (we could be sisters hey?) and myself in Nina's Sunday class - thanks for sending me the photo Jen.
The picture at the top of this post is my main piece from Friday's workshop with the incredible Misty Mawn. There is an unfinished snap of it on Jo's blog and as you can see from my scan below, the finished piece now needs some retouching as a result of damage on the way home (nothing quite like a bit of dampness to make things stick where they shouldn't - she really isn't meant to have white and blue specks on her face and in her hair!!) This workshop was a real stretch for me (and I think a lot of others as we don't tend to paint faces even though we all love using paint) but I really enjoyed it and learnt so much. I need to practice while I remember some of it!