Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Perfect Vacation

My digital camera abilities are limited, something I need to work on for sure.  The image at left is "good enough" to give the viewer an idea of my latest piece.  The wet spots were reflecting light when I took it, and I was too lazy to try again. 

She's 18 X 18 and meant to be hung on the diagonal but I can't figure out how to move the image here.  She's a gift for a friend and I finished her on my "perfect vacation." 

I had the opportunity to spend February school break with six artists in an oceanfront mansion in Freeport.  Plenty of studio space for everyone, terrific meals in the evening, wine sipping in front of the fire, cribbage and scrabble, painting all day, no household obligations, no dog attached to my hip all day (I took him to a doggie motel for the week as my husband was away), conversation, creative energy flowing, laughter, an evening of visiting with friends invited for a Champagne Thursday, a full body massage by a great therapist, long hot showers (some enjoyed the jacuzzi tub), and the place was only 45 minutes from home.  The view was quite similar to the one I enjoy from home, I felt like I was in familiar surroundings.  No day of travel to and from, no airports, bus terminals, hailing cabs.  Winter was outside, but our space was warm and filled with energy.  I enjoyed the time, and have brought it home with me.  I elected to share my room, so the week cost me less than $200 plus the cost of one dinner for all, and my snacks and drinks.  Perfect or what?

Every artist had her own style or working, some were fast, some applied one brush stroke at a time, and everyone was working with different types of images.  I was influenced, and have even begun a still life which I look forward to finishing at some point.  Unusual for me.  Possibilities are endless.

I also attended a Touch Drawing Workshop with Debra Koff Chapin at the Rowe Conference Center in Massachusetts at the end of January.  I've since enjoyed working with my drawings, a cosmic coloring book.  I've written about Touch Drawing in previous posts ... but can't skip the opportunity to put a link here and in Maine,

I was pleased to share the process of Touch Drawing with four people during my vacation as well.  Two of the other artists in the group had already attended workshops.  The process is just that, a process.  There are times product is a result.  I've found the benefit of the process is the fall out from looking at your drawings - having a conversation with yourself and/or your soul.  I am moved forward ... the what if I? ... and then act on impulse.  The idea or thought never to be ignored.  I like to keep pushing into methods of visual expression and art.  I'm not always comfortable, and there are times a piece appears to belong in the circular file, but I keep going with it, enjoying the time, and eventually ... something great emerges or it does belong in the circular file.  The time spent is never wasted, as more "what if I?" always swirl around in my head and energize my hands.  Back to Touch Drawing ... it is done with your hands and body, there is no pencil or brush between your energy and the page. 

I've been in my normal routine for a week, but the pleasure I enjoyed is very present and lives on.  I don't post to this blog very often ... but now that I've gotten over the "I need a perfect digital image" I believe I will enjoy sharing and contemplating my own process and progress by writing. 

I've also decided to take a workshop this summer when Don Hatfield visits Maine.  We watched one of his demonstration videos which was informative and hilarious at the same time.  I am fascinated by the way he moves paint on the palette and canvas, and look forward to learning in person.  There is always a different method to add to my experience.  My desire is to have  a wealth of applicable methods to accomplish what I imagine on canvas or another surface.  I think there's no better way to learn that from someone who is willing to share their knowledge and experience. 

I have much activity planned in the future as I work in the present.