Monday, February 26, 2007

Time Out at the Lake House

On Thursday Katie, Diane and I packed up our cars with art supplies, warm beach clothes and food and made the journey to Diane's wonderful house on-the-lake by-the-sea. We had every kind of weather and stayed until Sunday afternoon. We visited an inspiring gallery, ate mexican food, drank wine, shopped and made art. We stayed up until after 3 am most nights sealing our friendships with stories, dreams, future plans and hot ideas. We laughed until our guts hurt and danced until one of us (ahem) might have broken a toe. It was good; a time out of time. We are home now, all of us exhausted and yet full of great ideas for new experimentation in our work. We shared all our secrets.

The water you see outside this window is the lake. We woke up to the sounds of ducks and geese on the water and in the yard. The wind blew and the rain came down. We stood on the dock and froze our butts off, then ran laughing back into the cozy house. We drank a lot of good wine and ate all the chocolate. Diane made us matzo ball soup. It kept us warm and nourished for the late night sessions.

Diane and I worked on journal pages while Katie painted her layered and intense images that she will take to Artfest. We shared our supplies (okay, I was a little touchy about my brushes) and I personally raided Katie's collage box for great stuff. Katie be so generous.

Diane has a much better scan of this layout when it was finished. This is a beginning stage but I think pretty as it shows lots of color. Diane drew the image and then we both put watercolor on it. All three of us contributed to the writing.

Here we are on the very windy and cold dock. This was during the 3 minutes of sunshine that day but the wind was bitterly cold. No skinny dipping today.

Diane says that this summer we can kayak on the quiet lake. That sounds so peaceful and good.

Somebody had a birthday and the other two somebodies brought her a stack of wonderful gifts wrapped in this pretty pink tissue with the lollipop paper flower on top. Surprise. Blushing gratitude. The singing of the birthday song. A complete loss for words to describe the love, the attention to detail, the goodness of these friends. Like a sacramental blessing. Inside: Victorian birds, flowers, candles, aromatic pumice, a tea towel, stationary, collage paper.

The recipient feels humbled. Thank you. Thank you por todo.

We also shared a project of altering a big reproduction of the Venus deMilo that was in the lake house. I estimate the size at 16x42". Here are shots of 4 stages of her transformation. By the time we were finished there was nothing left of the original image. All of us added to and covered over what the previous one had done. Lots of laughter as we made the goofy parts. I recommend this to all artists; a process called exquisite corpse. So here is our gal.

Just a few tentative dibs and dabs to get the thing started. At first you hardly know where to start but soon the process picks up steam.

Katie sent her to the manicure parlor where she got her nails done. I think she is blowing them dry in the 2nd photo.

I think Diane toned down the background here and then everything went blurry for me. It took on a life of its own as we traded spots and kept going.

This is our finished lady. We painted her a frame and hung her on the wall and agreed that each time we meet we will do another one until each of us has a big painting that we have all contributed to. This looks like none of our styles and all of our styles; it is like the joy that emerges where our 3 personalities come together. More than the sum of our parts if you know what I mean. We get along wonderfully. Halleluia!

There will be more in time I think about our weekend and more from Katie too when she gets caught up (both of us having house guests this week) but for now I'll just say that it was fun to share our gathering with you and I hope we've inspired others of you to gather with your friends and try to have a little time off to laugh and break out of your routine. Our lives are so demanding that it is a slice of heaven to have a retreat and a rest now and then.


Loretta said...

It sounds like a marvelous time was had by all. Art and friends, food and wine, ah bliss!

Rhomany said...

Sounds like a great weekend to me. I could do with one of those.

Can I ask what white pen you used on that red page? I am still desperately seeking the kind of white pen that actually writes over painted surfaces but doesn't look like white-out. They are difficult to find.

Judy Wise said...

Hi rhomany. The pen I used is a uni-ball signo UM-153 pen. It is made in Japan and if you live in Portland they sell them at Umajimaya. I think I heard Katie say that you can also order them from Dick Blick. Hope this helps you.

Janet said...

That sounds like a glorious weekend! Good friends, wine, food, and art....what more could you want! Love the Venus painting.

Rhomany said...

Thanks Judy! I'm sure I can track one of those down :)


Amy Stoner said...

Wow, sounds like you had a great time!

and Happy Birthday too!

misty said...

i can feel the vastness of love in this photo of the three of is so very wonderful!

Your weekend sounds like the perfect way to spend a birthday! A huge happy birthday to you! xo

Tracie Lyn Huskamp said...

Happy Belated Birthday.. Judy!!!!

Laini Taylor said...

That sounds so awesome!!! And those pictures of the view from the house are gorgeous -- it makes me crave a lake/beach house of my own to escape to! Glad you had such a wonderful, rejuvenating time with your gals!