Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Return to the Sea

What is it about the sea, especially one as dark and brooding as this, that steals the darkness and melancholy from our souls and leaves us in peace with a calm heart and clear mind? The ocean has always been magic for me, so I leapt at the opportunity to spend the weekend with good friends creating new art, walking the beach and doing a bit of writing on the side.

Mother Nature, too, was busy at creating her art. This bright bit of color in an otherwise dark gray day, was laying in the sand after being washed up by the tide and yet, it appears to be a found art collage of flotsam and jetsam crafted by a careful hand.

Or the abstract reflections of clouds and sea on the sand with the small calligraphic marks left by sea pebbles. Seems to be too perfect to have been created by happenchance. Everywhere I looked there was beauty and to walk in beauty, in Navajo tradition, is to have a balanced soul. The weekend ended in rain that appeared to wash the world clean of the remaining whispers of winter to make way for Spring. The daffodils nodded in agreement as they danced to the rhythm of the wind.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Cost of ferry from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island: $8.90

Cost of gas to take a leisurely drive across the island: $12.00

Having a camera in my hands when a bald eagle flies past my nose: Priceless!!

Not to mention this shy Great Blue Heron who did not want his photo taken. Look at the wingspan - looked to be more than 3 feet and spread from bank to bank.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Artfest 2009

Creature from Carla Sonheim's Imaginary Creatures class.
I've spent the weekend at Artfest in Ft. Townsend, WA, taking classes, making friends and creating art. It was an amazing experience that began on Thursday morning with a watercolor portrait class by Tiphoni. In a room full of artists that had little experience with watercolor, every single person turned out a credible self portrait created from looking into a mirror and recording what we saw using a contour drawing (which is why the portraits look slightly askew - you aren't supposed to look while you draw) and filling in with layers of color glazes in red, blue and yellow to create the colors of the portrait.

Self Portrait from Tiffany's class

Friday, I spent the day at LK Ludwigs Artfest Journal class. This was an incredible class in that we learned so many ways to create journal pages. She creates many of her pages "outside the journal" and then attaches them to the actual journal page. We worked with metal mesh, tissue collage, layered collage, acrylic washes, surface treatments and more in just a one day class - and LK is so generous with her materials and her instruction time. This is a class I would highly recommend!!! I will be posting journal pages as I complete them.

Saturday, I attended Carla Sonheim's Imaginary Creatures class. We created creatures from random scribbles of watercolor on the paper. Everyone in the class turned out wonderful creatures from their scribbles. Carla also taught us the basics of drawing, including drawing a portrait of the person across from us with our left hand!! And although most of us were right-handed, all the portraits were recognizable and wonderful. Another great class to attend that gifts you with a sense of whimsey to add to your art!

More creatures from Carla's class

In between times there was the vendor fair and show and tell and wonderful walks on the nearby beach and fabulous shopping in town. And catching up with friends I miss so much, but only get a chance to see at these retreats. But the best part of all is the fellow artists you meet all on the road to finding their path in this artistic life!!