Thursday, February 28, 2013

Art Retreat

Today I've been doing a lot of research on other art retreats around the country.  I can't find a single one in Minnesota.  Nothing.  We need one!

I've contacted a retreat center to see about touring it, I think it looks promising.  I want the retreat to be "all-inclusive" to the point where you don't even need to bring art supplies at all, just your clothes and that's it.  I've put out a little survey on Facebook and Craigslist to see if I can get some feedback on what women would want in a retreat.  If you have a few minutes and are interested, I'd love for you to help me out with your ideas and input.

Yesterday I had an amazing day at the store when I created this beautiful piece.

I posted it on Facebook, and immediately had great feedback, including someone asking to buy it.  It all came together very quickly and easily for me, and I really, really love it.  I decided to try sending it to a magazine to see if I can become a published artist!  It all just felt so very good.

Last night I laid awake for quite some time during the night, and started trying to remember as far back as I could in my early creative life.  I can remember drawing a lot when I was a kid, I distinctly remember loving to draw trees in winter with snow on the branches.  Why??  Who knows, but I remember that.

Then I thought about how I went to a vo-tech high school for commercial art.  Although I never felt good at drawing, that's where I chose to go.  And I never pursued that path after school. 

I loved photography early on too, and got my first 35mm camera in high school.  Back then film and processing was expensive, but I always loved taking "artsy" photos, and loved black-and-white photography (still do).  For a while when my children were younger I did wedding photography, which I mostly enjoyed but never felt super accomplished in.  I think I do better photographing things rather than people, and I still enjoy taking photos that I think some people don't really understand!

When I was in high school I also worked at Burger King, and remember doing some artistic work for the store.  I painted a big King on the back door that customers could see when they were placing their orders, and created some framed artwork for the lobby.  How I wish I had a photo of that now just to see it again.

When we were first married, 25 years ago, I distinctly remember telling one of my husband's friends that "within a year I'd like to be able to support myself with my crafts."  Hmm...25 years later, and that didn't happen.  But, I've never given up on being creative.  I think raising kids and then working full-time once the youngest was in school definitely put a damper on creative pursuits.

Last year was a very difficult year for me.  I was stuck in a job which I hated.  Every day I had to drag myself there, literally forcing myself to walk through the door each day.  As soon as I walked out in the afternoon I would start dreading the next day, I couldn't even enjoy my free time because I absolutely hated where I had to spend my days.  Sunday evenings were the worst and I slept horribly.  I had been there for 13 years and enough was enough.  It was killing my soul.  I had many, many days of complete boredom where, if I was lucky, someone would bring me a pile of boxtops to trim and count (I worked at a high school library).  Most days I had very little to do and it was getting harder and harder to continue being nice to the students.  I needed a change.

Change came in the form of an old friend who I had worked with at the photography studio many years ago.  She owns a store five minutes from my home and offered to have me move in and share the store with her (I had had a conversation with her over the winter about how much I disliked my job and wanted a change)!  The universe really does listen, and it couldn't have come at a better time.  I moved in last fall and I can tell you my soul has recovered!  I get to spend my time creating things and being me.  I no longer feel trapped by circumstances.

But creating art isn't enough for me.  I want to help others learn and become creative, to see things take some time for reconnect with their soul.  And that's why I have this need to create a retreat.

I've started the whole process, and will keep the ball rolling.  It's gonna be great!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dreams can come true.

I've had this idea percolating in my head for about 25 years now, and that idea is to hold a retreat for women.  Originally, way back when, I wanted to hold it specifically for moms of young children, probably because that's where I was at the time.

But life progresses and things change, and of course I'm no longer at that point in my life.  My children are grown and mostly on their own, and I've become interested in creating things/art again, after a decades-long hiatus.

And the retreat idea keeps swirling through my head, and often.  It's time to either DO IT or simply forget about it and quit hesitating.

I have the skills to bring this all together and make it amazing.  I know deep down I can do it, I just need to quit being a scaredy-cat and buckle down and hold myself accountable to the dream.  I need to take all the "you can do it" advice to heart.  Seriously to heart.

I've found a place to go and be alone one day (maybe two) each week and work on this dream.  I need the time with no interruptions so I can get the planning work that needs to be done, done.

So this is my big announcement to the world...I WILL PLAN AND HOLD AN ART RETREAT THIS YEAR!!

There.  Now that that's out into the universe, let's see what will come together. 

I think it's gonna be amazing.

Wanna come along?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

“Life just turns deliciously quirky when you stop resisting
yourself and, instead, honor the intuition that tugs at you like a puppy on a leash in the park. Follow the magic, and the magic starts to follow you.” – Tama J. Kieves

I've had the same intiution/feeling/idea for almost 25 years now, off and on.

It's time I listened to it!  But more importantly, did something about it!