So I love how FAT my daily journal got in 2015...but I think I am going to just do straight journal and collage and not add a lot of the art and stuff in it this year....You can see the Pink 2016 journal...and can tell just how much I expanded...still not as fat as 2014 was!
It is a lesson in gratitude. When my life is getting me really down, and I am weighted with the problems of the world and life is getting tough, I look forward to every six months, MARS. Mountain Artists Retreat Sleepover. The first time I went, I felt a bit like a stranger that didn't belong...but that quickly faded with kindred spirits.
It is an experience of 20-25 women who are artists. We come together and take the pressure of the world off of our shoulders for a weekend. And the weekend blurs by! This Spring MARS I drove up by myself to Grass Valley area, with my iPod with all my favorite music playing, and enjoying some time by myself to think. My body has been randomly swelling again, and I am just not feeling good, but I did not let that stop me from BEING in the moment - enjoying these women!
I realize we won't always be all together, that in an instant life can change, so this weekend is one of renewal and gratitude to be able to enjoy and love eachother and laugh until we need depends! Share our dreams.
One thing I have figured out this time, is that the twice a year art retreat I go on with my art sisters, has the power to transform my crankiness from life kicking my butt into joy and happiness again. MARS Mountain Artist Retreat Sleepover...occurs in Spring and Fall...6 months apart. There is usually 20 of us and ALL personalities!
The most important part of being a part of this extradinary group of women artists is that our unique voices in our art, are shared, appreciated, and taught. We are handing eachother our talents, our love, our acceptance, our willingness to be vulnerable and real. To talk about our lives with eyes that are not judgemental or seeringly uncomfortable. Even if all of us don't always get along and there are bumps and mini bruises of ego...it is a true experience of love and acceptance.
This time many of us had heavy things happening in our lives...but the time together was that of laughter and love. A coming together over meals...laughs...stories...sharing...and being ourselves.
We ARE a tribe. We are all different but ALL alike. We are strong women, with voices in our art. Various political views. Various life experiences. Various places in life. ALL healing time for wounded souls beat up out there in the real world where some times we are all misunderstood.
Today I received my trade for the Altered Cabinet Card! Hysterical that I got Miss Luna's card! Lisa said ours were Wonder Twins! LOL
Here is his back story: Virtuoso: REAL IDENTITY: Victor Virtue, mild mannered music teacher in a small Midwestern town middle school where he struggles to make music available to all children in spite of apathy and government cuts to funding of the arts in schools. On school breaks and holidays he travels the world over hobnobbing with writers, artists, musicians and has been credited with numerous muse like inspiration of those individuals.
I was in a Swap in FreakWerks SO nervous! These are major artists! But I am finally after several mock ups happy with my unconventional Super Hero!
Here were the instructions: Based on this idea by Alex Gross: http://www.alexgross.com/mixed-media/index.html Find a vintage cabinet card. These can be found at antique stores, or on eBay. Make sure it's a cabinet card, and not the smaller carte de visite, trading card size. Cabinet cards usually measure about 4¼ by 6½ inches. Please use a REAL cabinet card, and not something printed from the internetz. Alter your card to turn the figure into a super hero. These can be modelled after comic or graphic novel super heroes, or made up. Please be sure to include somewhere on the card, front or back, your name, and the name of your super hero.
I was lucky enough to attend the first Artzy Gurls Retreat in Idaho...what a great time! It took two days of driving where I saw the most beautiful sights of our vast country...and which made me wonder HOW some people eeek out a living on our land...some places were very remote.
It was a whirlwind retreat! If I had to say anything bad about the retreat, could you believe too much art! We started at 9 am and went to 9 pm...so that left no time for playing on the beautiful lake or venturing out to any boardering cities...I think we would have done better at 2 classes a day verses the 3, just for sanity.
BUT saying that I have to tell you I loved every minute of the art! AND trying new things as well, like working with Gourds! Gourds! Me! Can you believe I even tried using the wood burner for the first time and didn't hurt myself with it!? It was awesome with all the things we did.
I wasn't too thrilled with making art for some one else, although I totally understand why we had the exercise. My personality is such that I get high anxiety for making things for others....and when you don't know some one the pressure is on! I had a mini melt down and cried in my room for a bit and then got back to work. I enjoyed learning about my awesome person, but I didn't like the anxiety of the exercise!
I will upload photos to the photo album titled Artzy Gurls Retreat and you can see the photos there!
It took us two days to drive home, but we went the quickest route through NV, which during the day is a rather boring trip, however, I enjoyed seeing all the colors come out at dusk, the purples and pinks, the blues of the dessert! It has its own beauty...that day was hard on the body we didn't stop much...so I was a bit dehydrated from not drinking anything for fear of NO BATHROOMS in NV! So by the time we got to Winnemucca at 830ish my body was swollen and I tired and hungry and THIRSTY! woooosh we made good time! From Worley Idaho at 8ish am to Winnemucca at 830ish pm.
The next day was a mere 4 hrs to get to Chris's house! Then we mostly relaxed after splitting our new paints...and having a treat at the local yogert shop! YUMMO! Chris made an awesome dinner and I fell into bed early to get home by 11ish today! Whirl wind fun!
I love spending that much time on art with like minded people, meeting new life long friends and sharing my life with Chris! I really do enjoy her!
On the way home my son texted me that my daughter has had a stroke or an aneurysm in Texas where she moved...that is not an easy thing to learn while on the road...especially when there is nothing you can do about it...
Although I have not been very ehem, motivated with my art lately, I seem to be at a stand still. No fresh idea's happening which is However, I am sitting in the chair and doing the work! I think the issue really is that I get intimidated by the other artists I am doing the art for!
Lindsay for instance, is brilliant, and I love her art so much, I seem to put a lot of pressure on myself to actually finishing anything for her! I have THREE UGRA projects waiting in line and they are ALL for Lindsay! LOL
The good thing...I pushed through and made an amazing piece of art if I do say so myself! Its bright...its Lindsay! I think she will love it! Off to the next person that is playing in it!
On to the next...I did the finishing touches on the Birdhouse for Lindsay and that is going in the mail...I actually like it!
I have been putting together the final touches on the last Lindsay project I have...and although its not finished I am starting to go with the flow and seeing that it will be passable! LOL
I started the process on the next UGRA project, The Kinship of Women! Fascinating little book to alter...however, my friend Loretta used the PHOTOS from MY birthday darn it! So I have to come up with some thing totally different! LOL Well she got the book before I did... SIGH So I am still in the what the heck am I going to do on this page stage!
No photos because I am not sure who reads this so no spoilers! Working on these projects really made my day go by way too fast! Where did my weekend go?
Note: UGRA is the Under Ground Rail Art group I belong to...all done by mail...so the projects are ALL collaborative!
Today I had to finish the Members book for my UGRA group, the ones that didn't go to MARS have to gotten theirs yet, and I had to fix the boo-boo's. Glue in new pages to cover up the problem children! It was an all day event! I sat at my art desk...enjoying the garden and the heavy rain storm! It was a blissful day!
A co-worker left her personal desk and didn't want to take it, we used it for some time as our work space near the copy machine, but then they wanted to get rid of it! I took it! YEAH me! A new clean great space to create my altered books and collage work! One I won't pile crap on!
I cleaned all day yesterday (not that it helped) but enough to fit it in, and where it is I can look out into my garden...I like the space a lot...And I am already creating on it! Its been fun to work again! I just am squeeze a little by my cats cage and the desk but it works for me...until the rest of the room is finished! For now, I am not cleaning any more! Small changes...large benefits! I got rid of a lot of stuff yesterday! I feel better...not GREAT but when its all done I will feel good again!
First thing WGB said...don't put a lot on top of it so you can USE it! LOL I have to agree! No piling! NO dumping! Just working!