Sunday, April 13, 2014

Art Retreat at The Makerie

On Friday, I attended my first art retreat, and I am so glad that I did! It was organized by The Makerie in Boulder, CO, and held at the Colorado Chautauqua. I took Be Kid Creative with Jennifer Mercede, and Again! Again! (pattern creating) with Helen Dardik. I came home so inspired, and with lots of new knowledge to experiment with.

The Chautauqua backs up to the Flat Iron mountains in Boulder. Such a view! And the weather was perfect. (unlike today; we have gone from 70 degrees yesterday to snowing today!)

I took Be Kid Creative in the morning. My goal for this class was to help myself loosen up. I paint very tightly and tend to restrict myself. I always feel like whatever I paint should be usable for my work. This class gave me the permission to just let go.

We did a lot of gesture drawing and scribbling.

Then we started scribbling on large boards. (then I got splinters, so I sanded the board and then scribbled on it!) It didn't matter what marks we made, as we were going to paint over it.

We started out with our fingers (you can see how messy I got in the photo at the top of the page). Then we did my favorite part. We were blindfolded, and had to work with a partner. My partner loaded the brush with paint and put it in my hand. I didn't even know what color it was. All my senses were focused on just feeling the brush move around the board. I didn't know where or how it looked. My partner would reload the brush when it got dry. We both agreed that the sensation of just painting was wonderful. This is an activity I highly recommend!

I kind of stopped taking pictures at this point, because I just wanted to immerse myself in the experience. I brought the board home, with many more layers of paint on it, and now my son and I are talking about finishing it together. I would love to see how he adds to it.

After a delicious healthy lunch with some new friends and old, I took Helen Dardik's class on pattern making. Now, this was fascinating to watch her process. It was quite a switch to go from a very physical class to a cerebral one, but Helen was a charming teacher. I can't wait to get started putting my new knowledge to use!

I cam home absolutely tired, but happy and renewed. I will certainly keep my eye out for what classes the Makerie offers in the future! I have always been hesitant to spend money on myself to take these somewhat expensive classes, but it was completely worth it.