This wonderful retreat came and went so quickly - not least because the first few days were cloudy for me due to ridiculous jet lag! I had the most wonderful time though - so many incredible, talented women in one place!
My first day was a half day (I slept through the morning unfortunately) and it was with the beautiful Madelyn Mulvaney making Cynotypes. Although I have seen these before I had never made them. I am now officially obsessed!
We made this mandala too - beautiful:
Madelyn is clearly a kind, warm woman of substance and style. A true Canadian! I really enjoyed her energy and spirit.
Day two was a class with Alena Hennessy. Alena is a sweet soul who encouraged us to paint intuitively. I have tried this before (in Flora Bowley's class) and although I love how they look, it's a technique/approach I struggle with a bit. This is reflected in the work in progress photos here - I changed tack after several hours because, although others liked it, the painting was just not speaking to me at all. So it is still a work in progress, post retreat - and I will let you see the finished product when that happens!
which then became....
which then became....
and guess what? I've added a little since this photo too!
Day three? Well let's not pretend. This is the class I flew half way around the world to attend and it did not disappoint. Teesha Moore - the universal queen of the art journal. You hear the stories, you see the blog. But until you've experienced Teesha in person, you are missing out. She is not just a brilliant journaller - she's ridiculously funny and I don't know how many times I cracked up laughing at her chatter. It was brilliant.
I think I was the slowest worker in the class (which is unlike me) and I worked through lunch and all - and these pages are not even close to being finished but here they are all the same....
I was also lucky to spend some time with Jess Greene from Seek Your Course. The idea was a mentoring session but I think Jess was a little perplexed by my inability to really nail down what it was I wanted her help with!! Poor Jess! It was nice though to sit and talk about where my art has been, where I'd like it to maybe go and get her perspective on that. With the benefit of some days to think, it has been very worthwhile in hindsight - I'm starting to write down ideas and concepts and some things I know I need to do. So thanks, Jess - although you might have felt I was a bit of a lost cause but you actually did get me thinking in some strategic directions!
There were so many amazing women at this retreat. One though who I do want to mention is former Marine Corp officer and artist Kateriina Fagering. She showed us her photographs from her time serving in Iraq several years ago and as someone who always loved the idea of foreign correspondence as a career, this intrigued me and really got into my head. Kateriina is an incredible person - I feel like there are so many layers to her I am yet to discover but she is someone I felt very priviledged to have met. Thankyou for sharing yourself Kateriina - it was truly an honour (and for Veterans Day too!).
I have to show you, too, my new ring bought from my new friend Catherine Witherell. The moment I saw it, I knew it had to be mine!
Thankyou also to Erin and Simon (and Poppy!) for their incredible hard work on this weekend, as well as Ashley! It was well worth every mile travelled.
I'll update about San Francisco in the next few days!