Thursday, February 28, 2013
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. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HLDDKK5 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 differently...to take some time for themselves...to 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!