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!)