Artfest was amazing!

I had a wonderful time at Artfest and I am so glad I finally took the plunge and went. I met the most creative and welcoming people and look forward to staying in contact with my new friends.

Jaci & me  roomies  new friend 

Like most of the attendees, even though I had such a good time, I came back home totally exhausted (mentally and physically) and needed some time to catch my breath and process the whole thing before posting about it.  Here’s a quick overview.

     Jesse Reno Demo  Jesse Reno classroom 4-bw  Jesse Reno classroom 3-bw

The first two days I was in Jesse Reno‘s “Freedom to Create” class which really tested my patience (but that’s why I signed up for it in the first place!). On day one I hated everything I put on the papers and just didn’t see the point of trying to make it work.  I ached for new, blank sheets of paper!  But I chose this class because I wanted to work on  pushing through that place where I often get stuck in the art making process.  It seems like there is always an ugly phase where it just doesn’t seem like things will work out and I have always been so tempted to tear up the paper and hurl it into the trash.

Jesse Reno class exercise 1a  Jesse Reno class exercise 2a

This time I pushed myself to keep going and on day two it felt like a weight had been lifted.  I may post photos of what I have once I do some more work on them (the idea in the class was to  work on techniques knowing that two days wasn’t really long enough to complete something–although some classmates created amazing works in that time).  I may do more of these exercises of throwing down paint then looking for images and working with what I see.  It tests my desire for control and I think that’s a good thing.  I also like the idea of allowing myself the freedom to make mistakes and/or changes as I go (what might start out as an elephant could morph into a bridge or a tiger or who knows what!).  It’s sort of therapeutic.  Oh, and spending two full days in that class I now find myself referring to people as “dude” quite a lot (gee, thanks Jesse!  heh heh).  Here’s some photos showing Jesse in the demo stage teaching his technique:

   Jesse Reno Demo 4  Jesse Reno Demo 8-a  Jesse Reno Demo 1a

      Jesse Reno Demo 7  Jesse Reno Demo 2  Jesse Reno art 1

On the third day I took Brenda Shackleford‘s book binding class (titled “Get Your Sheet Together”–gotta love that!).  I was so caught up in learning the technique that I didn’t think to snap many photos.  Brenda is a wonderful teacher and now I’m thinking of all sorts of art books, sketchbooks, etc. I want to try with this technique.  I’ll post more on that later.

I need photograph the fabulous swaps and goodies I received and post those, too.  I am still a bit in awe of the generosity and talent of my fellow Artfest-ers leaves me in awe.  Ah….still so much to absorb from this experience.

Oh, and before I sign off, I have to mention how beautiful Port Townsend is!  Nice people, gorgeous natural setting, and deer roaming all over the place.  I wanted to call home and say, “honey, pack up  the kitty and head north–we’re moving to Port Townsend!”

        ArtFest 176 ArtFest 169 ArtFest 153

ArtFest 192 ArtFest 247

I’m going to ARTFEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hmm… have been feeling a little down on things (see last post) and trying to search out the positive in the everyday.  So far so good.  I’ve also been trying to focus more on making time for creative projects.  Also, so far so good.  But how about a big, amazing, fantastic, wonderful, creativity-packed extravaganza to improve the ol’ mood?!  How about me finally attending ARTFEST!!!!


I saw something on Teesha Moore‘s blog about this being the last year she hosts ARTFEST and I figured after 12 years of saying “well, some day I’ll go” I better get going already.  I can’t wait!  I am running around doing my happy dance.  I head up to Port Townsend on March 28 for the retreat.  The first two class days I’ll be learning how to “create free and expressive work” with painter Jesse Reno.  On the third day I’ll learn book binding from Brenda Beene Shackleford.  In between all of that I get to hang out with amazing creative people who love to make art.  I have been aching for this.  I am counting down the days–yay!!!