Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Revisiting Virginia

I am just back from Art and Soul in Hampton, Virginia where I was blessed with the best students I could ask for in all three classes I taught. And as always, my students inspire me with the art they create - no matter what is being taught, the students art is their own, built on the skills I teach them, while retaining their own personal flair. I know that some artists worry that their art will be copied, but I have never seen a piece of art that turned out to look exactly like mine. That is the beauty of art - no two pieces ever really look the same. Art evolves - new ideas are built on the foundations of learned skills. I love the synergy between student and teacher in class as learning and skill merge to create new art. Each bird that was created from papier mache had its own shape and personality, including a "camel backed" bird that was a one of a kind species. These are some of the awesome student work from my evening needle-felting class:

Vendor night was a whirlwind of color and materials that made promises of a masterpiece to be and the fabulous art vended by the instructors made the pocketbooks empty, but still filled with the joy of finding that perfect treasure.

And I was lucky enough to find a spot in Stephanie Lee's class, Selective Seeing: Painting the Mind's Eye View. A great instructor and fabulous class, made even better by Sarah Garrity's kindness in bringing us a variety of old cupboard doors gleaned from local antique and salvage dealer's that were perfect to mount our paintings on.

Life moves a little slower here. The storms are full of bluff and thunder, but the rain washes the skies to a cornflower blue filled with big puffy cotton ball clouds. The weather was warm all but one day and the wind brought the scent of the nearby ocean to curl through the air and beckon me to visit. There is a small wooded patch of lush green trees behind the hotel that I wander, filled with the songs of robins, sparrows and finches, all drawn together by the melodious call of the mockingbird, who sings the songs of other birds and takes them as its own. And as I looked up, I saw a grumpy owl who was clearly bothered by my presence under his tree. He flew into the trees, looking much like a flying boxcar with his chunky body and huge wingspan. Just as it is here, there were the always present seagulls and crows, looking for a careless human to drop a bit of food for them to scavenge.

I rented a car to explore the surrounding area and will save those adventures for my next post! While it is good to be home, I left a bit of my heart in Virginia.


Paula McNamee said...

Jan, I'll want to hear more about your trip. Your photo of the sky and backlit cloud is fabulous.

Suzanne Reynolds said...

Welcome home, Jan. Looks and sounds like you had a wonderful experience, both in and outside of the classroom.

purple bird art said...

Thanks, Paula and Suzanne!! The photos on this posting were taken with my I Phone - I was pleasantly surprised that the quality of the photos certainly equals that of my point and click I carry while I am hiking.