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!

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