I am tired of women not standing up for each other… or for themselves. That is why I only surround myself with strong women. And it is easy to spot them because strong women support each other vs tear each other down. Thankful for all the strong women in my life.
Last week, I was at Squam Art retreat in New Hampshire. My 5th year. This art retreat means a lot to me. It changed my life. It got me through one of my most difficult times in my life and made me realize that I am so much more than my professional title, what I own ( or not own), where I come from, etc.
The 4 days at Squam is a time of quiet contemplation, a time of creative exploration, a time of connecting with old friends and making new ones and a time to connect with yourself.
The first year I went to Squam, I went alone and knew no one. Being an introvert, I was surprised I had the courage to do that. I probably did not think too much about it. I just took the plunge. The beauty of squam is that most people there are creatives and are introverts. It is super easy to talk to anyone because of our shared interests and it is equally acceptable if you choose to have a quiet moment. It is also perfectly normal to be knitting or making something with your hands while you are sitting around with people. I love that. Nobody would think you are weird or feels the need to ask you why do you need to be doing something at all times…
I have truly found my tribe at Squam. Some of the friendships I have formed here have blossomed outside of squam and I am thankful for these beautiful beings.
This year, I was able to take Colleen Attara’s stories and treasures class. I have long admired Colleen’s work and was super excited to take her class. She is such a beautiful, authentic and generous human being. She gave all of us so much.. from materials to advice to inspiration. You can’t help falling in love with her. She encouraged us to tell our stories. To be authentic. Check out her website to find out more. Her cards are amazing… https://www.colleenattara.com/ this is an altered book I made in her class. I look forward to filling it with my stories and thoughts…
The other class I took was Layers of Landscape by Karin Olah. This is about using fabric to add dimension to your painting. Karin’s work is amazing. She makes me want to learn how to paint landscapes. Check out her work here https://www.karinolah.com/
While I wished I could paint landscapes, I knew my heart just wasn’t in it. So I listened to my heart and decided to paint what I love most instead. A face. This is what I painted and I love her. I think she was inspired by all the beautiful creative goddesses I have met at Squam. The fabric really added something interesting to the painting. I approached it like mixed media, using fabric as another media. I love this new technique and will be using it more.
Here are some other pics to share.
Here is me on top of rattlesnake mountain. One of the most gorgeous views I have ever seen..
Here is a view of the dock outside our cabin. Every cabin has a dock. This is where we hang out, swim, dip our feet in the lake, look out for loons, knit, draw, drink wine, etc.
Lastly, to bring a little piece of squam back with me…
This past 2 weeks have been hellish with my first poison ivy encounter. I had to see the doctor 3 times, going from low dosage of steroids to a full injection of steroids. And during this time, I realized just how difficult it is to do any art or anything really, while my body is itching. Especially drawing or painting faces. My brain just can’t hold any other thought besides “I want to scratch so bad!!!”.
Thankfully mixed media was the exception. I could randomly throw down colors, collage pics and do random doodles on the page. Here are some progress pics of a homemade watercolor journal cover I made with mixed media.
First find and glue images on my page. No rhyme or reason why I picked them. Just like how they look together. Then gesso over to prime the page.
Time to add some colors using acrylic paint and distress ink pad. I also love to add gesso to tie the page together.
Gesso using a brayed. My favorite technique to pull the page together.
Then added stamps with words, doodle..
And viola. Done. Maybe I will keep doodling on it…