Because Art Should be Play and Not Work

Friday, August 28, 2015

North Carolina retreat--the final post

We'll start out with cooking! That's Robin trying to keep her delicious chocolate layer cake layered! After driving up the long dirt road, it began dangerously slipping--she also brought us chocolate chip cookies--much appreciated!. Pam was our queen of the kitchen with lots of good recipes and she knows how to cook for a crowd, as well as Monica and Anna.
And Lorena made us this spectacular layered jello desert--it was almost too pretty to eat! We also had plenty of wine to get us through the retreat!

Now moving on to the myriad of art projects that we could do. Anna filled her SUV to the brim with all of her art supplies--I think she must have cleaned out her studio. This is just a portion of what she brought.
That paper feather is from a little workshop that Teri taught us.

The first major art project we did was to make boiled books. Lorena taught us this one. First all the plant material has to be gathered. So some people went searching in the surrounding woods for just the right things (unfortunately some people found poison ivy!). Then you have to make the paper book from watercolor paper, add the plant material between the pages and then boil the book.

My little book fits in this pocket in my travel journal, but a friend borrowed it... Following is a photo of one side of the imprints in the book. Pretty, yes?
More projects included: intuitive paintings, friendship bracelets, stamp carving, painted canvas, tiny books, silk painting and working in travel journals.

One day Anna and Xio and I took off for a drive on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. Beautiful views and clouds that day and a big rattlesnake crossing the road!

And finally just a few more hanging out group photos. One of our members Lori slept out on the deck all week on an air mattress. That's her bed on the right.

You can see that we spent lots of time on the deck!

I think that photo on the upper left must have been taken one of those hot days!

We had such a good time!! It was so great to meet all these wonderful women who have shared their ups and downs and joys and sorrows over the years!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Greetings from North Carolina from Hillbilly Sam!

First of all, let me say that I in no way condone the use of the confederate flag unless it is in a museum somewhere--but there it is, right next to Hillbilly Sam who lives in a little old cabin right down the road from our lodge. You can even google Hillbilly Sam and you will find photos and stories about him. I wasn't the first one to see him--some of the other women in our group went out one day in the car and as they passed his cabin he waved at them. When I heard the story I really wanted to see Hillbilly Sam and he became kind of a running joke with us. (This photo is one I downloaded from google). He was fascinating but kind of creepy all at the same time if you know what I mean. Several times when I was out with some of the other women we drove by the cabin but he was no where to be seen...then one day there he was sitting on his front porch so of course we waved and shouted hello to him. So..I decided that Hillbilly (or as he spelled it on his big sign HILBILLY) Sam needed special pages in my travel journal and here they are.

 This is a photo of the very large sign "advertising" him. As far as we could tell and from what I read about him later, he really does live in this cabin and makes walking sticks to sell and charges money to people who want to take his picture (I have to admit, I toyed with the idea of having my photo taken with him, but the place smelled and I wasn't sure what might be living in that beard--so I just settled for a wave as we drove by.

I decided it would be fun to make  everyone their very own Hillbilly Earl (the better looking brother of Hillbilly Sam). This is the open page--when the door is shut, Hillbilly Earl is safely enclosed in his very own outhouse). You can move his arms and legs and if you gently pull his beard you can see his partly tootlhless grin...wouldn't you pay 10 cents for a kiss????

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Part two North Carolina--and this is a good one--blind contour drawings!! plus more...

I decided that it would be fun to make blind contour drawings of everyone at the retreat. For those of you who don't know--when you make a blind contour drawing, you are not allowed to look at your paper--only the person or thing you are drawing and your pencil or pen in this case must not lift off the page until you are finished. Above--yours truly. I asked each person to pose for me and then took their photo after. A couple of photos I took didn't turn out, so I had to substitute, but for the most part thy were taken right after. We had a lot of laughs over the contour drawings.
So--following are the pages I did for my travel journal--each page includes the contour drawing I did at the retreat plus a photo of the real person and their fairy page.
WARNING:: some of these drawings may frighten you and of course the real people look way better, but they are sooo much fun to make!!












Stay tuned for Part three.....

Monday, August 24, 2015

Don't Faint!! and part one of the North Carolina Froup Retreat...

I'm back!! It's been a very looong time since I posted anything, but I have finally returned and want to tell you about the fabulous gathering of 14 artist friends this summer in North Carolina and show you my travel journal.
Now I must admit I didn't do much in it while traveling, but I had a great time when I got home putting it together.
The inside front cover--that's me as a little fairy girl--one of the projects our group did years ago was to make a chunky page of ourselves as a fairy girl--I decided to incorporate these pages into my book--you will see more of these later.
You may be wondering about the word "froup". Six years ago we started our little yahoo group. It's a small group of about 20 people at most. We've shared our lives and our art. We always said "wouldn't it be fun if we could all meet"--but it never happened. This year in December we said the same thing--but this time several of us said "let's do it" and we started planning. (oh "froup"--an innocent mistake on the keyboard that turned into a running joke). Anyway, planning a retreat with 14 different opinions is no easy task, but after a great deal of discussion, we decided on Asheville, North Carolina.
Here we all are in our official froup photo. Starting in the back from left to right: Lisa, Anna, Arlene, Celia. Then Pam, Teri, Robin, Lori, me and then Lorena, Hope, Monica, Bea, and Xio. I wish you could see the T shirts that Anna designed and had made for us--they were so cute. Celia, Lisa's daughter was our official photographer.
This is a view from the deck of the lodge we rented for the retreat. It was beautiful! We spent many hours on this deck. The lodge was way up in the mountains and we traveled many winding roads to get there as well as a one mile drive on a one lane dirt road just to get into the property.
You can't see all of the lodge here--it was called Flower Mountain Lodge and had originally been an apple barn. The postcard with the bears opens out. I chose the bear postcard to use here because in order to get to the lodge, we had to drive up Bear Wallow Road and then Bear Wallow Mountain road (but didn't see any bears wallowing)
No place is ever exactly as you expect it to be--it was a little more rustic than some of us expected. I was lucky to have a room with an outside window and a fan as there was no air conditioning--which is not usually needed in the mountains--but there was a bit of a heat wave the first few days we were there and it was quite warm!
These are photos of the deck where we spent a great deal of time and views from the deck. We did lots of art out here and Lori even slept on an air mattress on the deck for the entire week.
I had good intentions of drawing and sketching every day, but this is the only sketch I made--lol. Okay--this concludes part one of the travel journal. Stay tuned for more.