Friday, May 28, 2010

Ah, Sweet Virginia...

I felt so fortunate to be returning to Hampton Art and Soul for my fourth visit. Each time I am here, I find more and more to love about this area. Friendly people, beautiful scenery and an abundance of history make this one of my favorite destinations and this trip only enhanced my deep regard for this beautiful state.

My journey began in Portland, Oregon, where I caught what was supposed to be a non-stop flight to Norfolk, Virginia, with a "short" stop at Midway in Chicago, Illinois. After an uneventful (but full to the brim flight), I watched with interest as we landed in Chicago at sunset, with the Great Lakes in the distance, I yearned for an opportunity to take a casual trip some day where i could stop and explore every nook and cranny of the country as I crossed.

As we stood up to stretch after landing, the flight attendant suddenly announced we would be changing planes after all and would need to deboard and hurry to our new gate...but "not to worry", the gate was right next door... Always remember, when you are in a strange part of the country to have you distances defined. Because right next door was a full terminal away and we ran to catch our new flight...but not before I stopped to visit with the Blues Brothers, lounging on a bench along the way.

Around midnight, we arrived in Norfolk, collected our baggage, rented a mini-van and headed for Hampton, longing for a chance to stretch our legs and get some rest. But since I am teaching in the morning, I know I have to take the time to unpack my bags and hurry off to sleep, excited to know I will be meeting my students in just a few hours and looking forward to a day spent creating art with like-minded women. It took only a moment to be fast asleep.

My first class of the day was an encaustic class. I was blessed with a classful of talented women that were there to have a good time while learnng a new skill. We hurried to create collages we could cover with wax and add a multitude of surface decoration. The time flew while we waxed, foiled, stamped, carved and embedded objects in the wax. After lunch, we covered the wax with shellac and burned off the alcohol with a lighter leaving amazing designs in the underlying wax. Everyone left with amazing art!!

Once class was over, there was food, drink and comradery at the hotel where everyone had a chance to say hello, exchange trades and make new friends. But, deep into jet lag and sleep deprivation, I head to my room for a good night's sleep.

The following day I'm off to teach watercolor to a talented group of women full of laughter and stories to tell. After basic instruction, in how to work in this challenging medium and add a bit of pizzaz with special effects, look what these women created!!

That night, I was off to teach my Faces and Figures class. Learning how to create individual faces and bodies can be a challenge, but these ladies mastered it with ease! I think this class was the most fun of all with laughter and stories abounding.

Two full days of making new friends, creating art and sharing techniques. A little bit of heaven on earth, if you ask me. I am deeply appreciative to all of my students for choosing to take one of my classes and making it possible for me to travel, teach and make art, my three favorite activities on earth. I thank you from my heart for for your generousity in sharing your stories, your laughter and your own techniques with me! I could not do it without you!
Be sure to watch for my next entries and I will take you on a trip through Williamsburg and Chincoteague Island and the Eastern Shores of Virginia!!!


Eva said...

Such lovely pieces of art and talented ladies.

Looking forward to your next post to 'experience' your 'travels' in Virginia! You always write like we (us readers) are there.

Eva :-)

Paula McNamee said...

Welcome home! Glad you had a great trip and classes. Your students created incredible pieces.

Jen Crossley said...

Glad you had a wonderful trip.Im sure your class was a huge hit,they were very lucky students to have you.

steph b said...

Jan, your getting your frquent flier miles. I didnt know you had been there 4 times. Your classes sounded fun.
See you soon.

lindacreates said...

Jan, your encaustic art class sounds wonderful. I love doing beeswax art collage and embedding items, but have never done the shellac and burning off. Sounds fantastic! Maybe at A & S in Portland........