Just two more days until I arrive in Saluda, a tiny town in the mountains of North Carolina. But those who really know me understand that Saluda, Random Arts in particular - is my escape, my sanctuary, my art haven. I cannot wait to see Jane in her freshly stocked store, with morning coffee, setting up in a warmly familiar room full of fellow creatives (no explanations needed about paint on clothing or body parts, weird hair, jewelry or humor or passion for our work). What community could be better than like-minded artists talking, laughing, messy hands and learning new techniques? The addition of our instructor and friend, Seth Apter - for this amazing three-day workshop; well, a one-day and two-day (who could pass that up??).
This break could not come at a better time, which is probably what I always say. However, while many people enjoy traveling on a regular basis, I do not. Partly by choice but mostly due to the chronic illness that keeps me closer to home (in the studio as often as possible). In fact, the last time I was out of town was... last September when I took Misty Mawn's workshop in Saluda. I've painted hundreds of faces since then, which I might never have even tried if not for that experience.
As I've often expressed, finding and evolving my style of painting faces is sanity-saving and deeply gratifying. And while realism in painting offers a truth much like photography, there is no structure, rules or absolutes in my crazy process, which means endless possibilities. Making books will be a refreshing shift and fun opportunity to play with art supplies that have been patiently waiting.
Once or twice a year, I believe it's vital for us as women, artists, mothers, etc. etc., to disappear for several days (yes, I can turn a three-day workshop into a six-day event), to widen our range of projects while feeding the soul. This trip will be especially delightful since I'll be with Rachel, my art sponsor and close pal! Now off to pack...