They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Artists, however, continue learning and growing until the cows come home. If your ducks are always in row, well, life gets a bit stale. Goofy metaphors aside, I do believe in ditching my creative comfort zone often enough to keep things exciting. And I certainly did just that last weekend!
The ever-fabulous Jane Powell hosted the Drawn to Paint workshop at Random Arts. You may not think Misty Mawn was the instructor based on my favorite piece (one of the exercises was collage painting - my fave - and I did get a bit carried away), but I do like this guy.
Is there any experience more fulfilling than being in the company of talented, funny women who, being fellow creatives, just get it - very few explanations needed?! Not for me. I do wish I could travel more often but given the chronic illness that wipes me out, and my family, it's just not a reality.
If you haven't been in the company of Misty Mawn, I'd highly recommend it! (even if, like me, you don't draw, or didn't before the workshop!) She does make it look annoyingly easy, which she more than makes up for with her insight, encouragement and all-round fabulous personality!
I try to do a workshop once a year (one that involves traveling:), and though I haven't been to many I find that they're life changing in many ways. Renewal of the spirit, truly. Especially in this case, when a turned a 2-day workshop into a six-day adventure! I stayed at the lovely Carolina Cottage, a gorgeous retreat tucked away in the woods, far from traffic, noise and reliable cell phone service.
Karen joined me on Saturday, making the trip even more fabulous! We have been best friends for more than forty years, most of those spent living in different states. But, since she now lives in the eastern part of North Carolina, Saluda was conveniently halfway for us both!
So, why am I sharing the work I did? You know how you say, "oh, I can't do that!" Really, stop and think - you know you say that. How often do we give ourselves credit for the vast stores of wisdom and experience we have? So, along with always telling that we got it for such a great price when complimented, the bashful, timid golly gosh is one of those things we just do.
Thing is, when I said that (more than once), I was really serious. I have drawn no more than a dozen doodle faces in my life. Can you say intimidated? So, when she started mushing paint around on the page, highlighting, accenting, saying "just follow the lines, the curves" and producing an angel, I did this gal!
OK, so she's a little wonky. Point is, I stretched in previously unimaginably ways. Along with being able to reproduce what resembles an actual human, I really enjoyed mixing colors, dabbing, blotting, working fast and with no abandon! Bizarre thing is, when I got home and rested for a day, I found myself in the studio... painting faces, which I really did not think would happen!
And if I had a day job I wouldn't quit, but I really am having too much fun!! And I'm sharing because, well, I have gotten such inconceivably positive feedback and I am proud of myself. Really. For taking a risk and being blessed by the incredible atmosphere and energy I brought away from Saluda. Sigh... my home away from home!
I already know that realism isn't going to be my thing, but that's OK. And I'll never be a Misty Mawn, and that's OK too, but I'm having a darned good time being me right now!