Hey sweet lovely friends! Yes I know.. another week gone by without a blog post. BUT i have really good reason! Last week, (as I mentioned the week before).. I was hosting my first ever Art Retreat at my studio! A few months back, long time friend of mine, emailed me and asked me what the possibilities would be of me doing a "mini" retreat for her, her sisters and her mom! Of course I had already planned my two big retreats at my house/Studio for the year and didn't have any intention of adding anymore, but I also knew her and knew her family and thought, well.. this actually could be fun and a good time to get my "feet wet" so to speak as it would be the first retreat here at my new/old house and my art studio! So I said yes and as it got closer and closer, I can't tell you how NERVOUS i got! Seriously nervous and sick to my stomach! lol. I mean I was okay with the "art" side of things, but I also wanted this to be a magical experience for them as well, as they were spending their time, money and being away from their families and jobs to come have an experience that I HOPED would change their life. Most of them did not currently create Art or do any type of mixed media at all. However all of them are so talented creativity in some way.. I knew they would pick it up right away!
Day one: I headed South, to my meet them in a town about 45 mins away from my studio.. for a little shopping excursion to one of my FAVORITE vintage stores, Vain & Vintage. I was nervous but SUPER excited and ready for this adventure to begin!
When they first got out of the car, I got even MORE nervous and overwhelmed,
and when they introduced each other, I couldn't even remember their names and right off the bat, called one of them by the wrong name. AND not even the name of any of their sisters! lol. Just completely off based wrong! lol. Which is normal for me, but I think the nerves were also making it worse! So we shopped and had lunch at this amazing little place next door, and then headed north to my new/old House and studio to get started creating for the day!
When we first arrived, Ben gave them a tour of the new/old house, as well as the 6 acres.. and the warehouse (where we ship all of our mixed media products from Scarlet Lime). That was actually pretty fun and casual and helped set my nerves a little bit.
Then we headed into the studio where I had little gifts and goodies waiting for them.. (fun little treasures they could use during the week, but also take home at the end).
It was fun to do little things here and there, that hopefully made them feel special. I wanted this retreat to be all about them!
So we jumped right into backgrounds and paintnig faceless girls! We spent the entire day painting, getting messy, eating tons of delicious snacks that Ben had put out for us.
He was awesome by the way. He seriously made everything go so much smoother for me, always popping into to see what we needed, kept the food bar stocked with new goodies all the time. Would put out the blankets and pillows everyday for the outdoor creating area.. and light the candles that were in the mason jars, each night, that lined the walkway to the studio.
We finally decided it was time to get dinner around 7:00 pm, and they headed to check into their hotel, while I ran home to put on Pj's and see how kids were doing lol. Then we met back up at the studio for just a fun "creative" night of painting and working on what they had learned during the day. We stayed and played until around 11:30! Just a magical day!
Day two we started out finishing our faceless girls from day one, then had a delicious lunch outside on the blankets, under the lights, ben had provided for us. One of the requests Liz wanted, was to not only do a She Art girl, but to also do something a little more abstract. So I decided to take this project outside and we worked in the beautiful yard, surrounded by the trees and views of the mountains!
Ben even made us a couple of impromptu "easels" out of Old doors we had left over form our "new/old" Old. It was awesome.
Seriously he made them in less than 5 mins. He just rocks. We painted all day
and then again that evening we met up and created and painted and worked on more backgrounds and girls until 11:30 again! I was shocked at how well my body was holding up, being up so early and staying up so late.. Plus just being on my feet all day long! I really was having an amazing time. I also think that finally having this DREAM of mine.. to teach at my own studio and be surrounded by the quietness of where we live and the beautiful outdoors and the fun bright colorfulness of my art studio.. I think it just pushed my body into hyper drive and gave me amazing stamina despite my fibro.. for the entire week! It was crazy and awesome!
The last day, they took a chance with me and decided to be bold.. and let me teach them how to do a girl with a face!
Its a lot more intimading than a faceless girl, but I really wanted to show them the techniques and give them the confidence to go home and really try something new! To really feel like they walked away with creating something they didn't think they could do. AND guess what? They did freaking AMAZING!!
i was blown away by their creative talent! Most of them had never painted before but like I said,, creative women. And they just hands down, created the most beautiful inspiring women on canvas. I was so impressed and happy they decided to take that leap!
For lunch I took them to my favorite "hometown" burger place, to have just good old fashioned burgers, homemade fries and the best shakes you'll ever have. THen headed back the studio for an impromptu yoga session on the lawn (led by the awesome cutie, Rochelle).
( loved that most of them were in long jeans and long sleeves and sweatshirts. For me, it was SUMMER weather, and I was in short sleeve shirt and carpi's! lol.. but they are from Arizona and our weather in the 70"s was more their "fall" or spring weather.. but it was PERFECT weather for being outside!)
It was awesome and MUCH needed, because we spent the new 5 hours finishing our abstract paintings outside.. going from this..
They had planned on leaving earlier in the day, but I talked them into staying as late as possible on Friday, so we could get as much painting in as possible. I really wanted them to walk away with finished pieces and feeling like they had accomplished something wonderful! I just didn't want them to leave. I had made new friends for life and honestly told them, they were welcome back ANYTIME to just come and hang out and paint with me! (i hope they will too!)
I loved having Ben and my kids there to help and to bring in little doses of love throughout the week. I loved being able to share with them my favorite shopping places and my favorite places to eat. I loved being able to share my home with them and where I live. It was just as I had envisioned it. and I can not WAIT to do it again! I already have plans to open up a few more "mini" retreats this year.. mainly geared towards "families or Girlfriend groups", meaning that the group that comes in, all know each other and come as a group of friends, or family. I think that also helped create a safe, inviting and neat experience for them. They were able to bond in a way they hadn't before and also were very supportive in helping each other through the creative "jitters".. I loved that about the experience. My larger, week long retreats will still be geared towards, just women from everywhere coming together to bond and create, and some of the mini ones too, but REALLY i would love for the mini ones to be geared towards small groups of friends or family who want to come, have a creative experience together. I have already have several emails with groups of sisters or friends who want to host one this year.. and my mind is already racing on how to make the retreats even MORE magical for each one! I can't wait..
BUT i have to wait.. lol.. because guess what? Our HUGE family reunion.. where we will be hosting over 100 people at hour new/old house?? Its NEXT WEEK!! and we still haven't painted trim, walls, don't have carpet, don't have any of the bathrooms done or the kitchen in working order. lol. Poor ben, had big plans and schedule last week, to get all the trim and walls painted, because carpet is comes TOMORROW (and we need carpet to put beds down).. and I think I may have sidetracked him just one too many times needing his help.. so we are a bit behind. lol. So today, and the rest of the week, we will be working our usual, all day, and ALL night schedule to get the house ready for guest. Most of them will be sleeping in tents on the lawn, but we wanted a nice, clean, warm place for the young moms with newborn babies to sleep at night. Plus have more than one bathroom (we have a bathroom in my art studio and one in the pool house).. but with 100 people.. I think we need a few more to accommodate potty breaks and showers lol.
So.. with that being said.. sounds like I better get my but in gear and head over to the warehouse to help ben. Poor guy was up until 3:00 am this morning working, then woke up at 8:00 and got up to head over there to work again! He seriously rocks, SERIOUSLY rocks!
Anyhow.. I just had to come on here and share this awesome experience from last week with you all! Not only was it a magical week for me, but it also lit the creative bug back in me again! Now all I can do is think about painting! lol.. but It will have to wait until the next few weeks is over.. because after the reunion.. then we still need to move into our house! BUt don't worry, I know I will find time to sneak in a few painting sessions here and there. I just have to.. ive realized its SOO important for me to paint just for myself! Not for a class, not for someone else.. but for myself. you know? You do know :) right.. you know exactly what I am talking about.
So.. I better get! I would love to say I will be back later this week to do another blog post.. but seeing as how my past record for the last month has gone.. I probably will be back next week lol. Wish us luck!! And thanks for letting me share this awesome journey and experience with you here on my blog!