Monday, May 5, 2008

Art for my Soul

It came, it went. The Art and Soul retreat in Hampton, Virginia. I registered for classes back in November. My best friend, Beth, and I decided to give ourselves a 40th birthday present while we celebrated being best friends for 28 years. We met when we were 12. We made art together all the time. We were in art classes when we were little and to this day, we still love to create art together. What better way to celebrate than going to an art retreat. This is a picture of me and Beth. A little blurry because people can't operate my camera. Having a best friend like Beth is a true gift.

From the minute we got to the hotel on Wednesday, I knew we were in for a special treat. What a fabulous room! The people were so friendly and kind. Artists are usually like that. To be surrounded by some of the most incredible artist was so inspiring. We took classes every day from 9 until 4:30 and then again from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. We were tired, but not in the "gotta go to work and deal with crap" kinda way.

For the first time in years, my mind was free from responsibility and all I had to do was let my soul be and create. The paints, the inks, the glue's, the papers! The kindest people coming up to the breakfast table and asking if they could join us. Learning about their lives and their art was so much fun. I met so many artist that I have admired in my beloved Somerset Magazines. To see them and their work in person was a totally thrilling experience. To learn more about them on a personal level was even better.

I met a lady named Jo who is an incredible bead artist. Here is a picture of her holding a gourd that she painted and the beaded. It took her 2 years to create this masterpiece. She has won numerous awards and money for this one of a kind piece. The detail was amazing. She gave Beth and me a lesson on beading and we would love to go visit her in Williamsburg, VA for some classes. She was so nice.

For years I have admired the work of mixed media artist, Beryl Taylor. To meet her in person and be able to take a class from her was the icing on the cake. I could look at her art for hours and never tire of it. She is an incredible lady who is so funny and so incredibly kind. I could also listen to her talk all day long. She is from England. She signed her book for me Mixed Media Explorations and this is a picture of her and me and some of her beautiful work. She creates fabric from paper and that is what she taught us to do. I will be making a lot of this. It's so fun!
I will never forget this trip and I would love to go on another one. Maybe next time I can go to the one in Portland, OR. Maybe one day I could even go to the one in Italy. Hmmm, better start saving for that one. Of course, Beth will have to go with me. Best Friends Forever....
I'll put pictures of my work up as I finish them. I took 6 classes and learned so much. I want to take my time finishing the projects so I can hang them on the walls in "Bunnyville" (what I have named my studio).
Have a great week. Hugs to all and I encourage you to purchase art for your soul. It's good for you. Remember, no mass produced, fall apart Walmart! Buy original, buy handmade!
This week IGF having a best friend for 28 years and being able to shed responsibilities and just play for 5 days.


Susan Tuttle said...

What a fabulous time you had! - thanks for sharing.


Cathy said...

Michelle, thank you for the lovely words on my blog.

It seems as though you and your friend had an absolutely wonderful time at the Altered Art event.

Take care, Cathy

Anonymous said...


I loved reading about the friendship you have. It's not often we find someone that special. Cherish her friendship.

It looks like you all had a great time. What a fantastic bunch of creative women.


sita said...

Wow that does sound amazing, how wonderful you could share that with your best friend sounds like something I would love to attend! Can't wait to see your projects I am sure you will be filled with inspiration.

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

What fun ! I think it is sooo necessary for us to be able to get away and focus on something we love and not have to worry about anything else.
can't wait to see some of your new creations.


Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

PS I added your blog under Pink Blogs

I am s l o w l y catching up :)

Anonymous said...

What a lovely way to treat yourselves for your 40th! Thank you for sharing. :)

Janet L Christian said...

I just moved from newport news virginia which is right next to hampton. I lived around there for more than 20 years. I have been to the bead store in williamsburg and love it.

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