My friend Dawn said that Artfest is 100% about the people and 100% about the art. This is true. You will hear that Artfest changes people's lives. It has changed mine. What follows is a short tour of what went on this past weekend. I will be posting more pictures in the days to come.
This is what my little private dorm room looked like. It is the second time I have stayed in this dorm and it is one of my favorite things about Artfest. You schmooze all day with hundreds of artists and then you retreat to your lair where you can journal and reflect in privacy. I love this.
Breakfast with the nicest people you'll ever meet from all over the world. Liz, Tonia and kellyrae. Every kind of talent sitting at this table; writer, editor, artist. And so much more. Everyone has multiple talents and skills. This is where we all come to share, enthuse, create and inspire. By the end of the first day your brain is reeling with new ideas, friends and projects. It is for joy.
In Susan Lenart Kazmer's class I learned how to make projects out of resined paper. In the picture above we are measuring the two-part resin. We made charms for rings, earrings and bracelets as well as book pages. The finished paper is so beautiful and we can make so many things from it. Susan is a dynamic individual and an excellent teacher. Her fashion sense is a wonder. Yikes, does she rock!
The buzz of Artfest this year centered around a brand new teacher; Misty Mawn. Here she is demonstrating different steps in painting on wood panels. The amazing thing is how each of us produced wonderfully lovely paintings, even artists who did not consider themselves painters or draftsmen. At Show and Tell, that comes at the end of the 3 day retreat, it was obvious that Misty had the ability to enable us to produce astonishing paintings. It filled us with such a feeling of confidence!
The woman of the hour. Thank you, Misty, for sharing your amazing talents with all of us. You are a great teacher. (Misty is teaching at Art & Soul in Portland this October too.)
A photo of Misty's fortunate students. This is at the end of the day. Don't we all look happy and successful? That's how we felt.
The uber-talented Holly Stinnett making some masterpieces in Misty's class.
That evening we strolled down to the beach where Tracy, Teesha and the crew had built a bonfire and where there is a rustic wood cabin where we sat at picnic tables and shared our journals. We wrote, doodled and visited around the toasty wood stove and there was a long bar of libations and snacks for us to enjoy. (beer, wine, s'mores, hot dogs, chips and crackers and more) This was my third year at Artfest but the first time I'd participated in this party and I will never miss it again. I love to share my journals and to admire the journals of others; in the following days I plan to share some of the journal pages I photographed that night. Oh, to die for! So much creativity in one place. (over 500 of us!)
My table at the journaling event.
Diane Trout, diligently doodling away. Susan Cohen to my right. Two wonderful artists.
My third day was encaustic with Patricia Seggenbruch. Above is one of her beautiful pieces. She had 4 wax stations set up for us to play with. She showed us how to transfer images to the wax, to add color, inclusions, to inscribe and much more. I've been doing encaustic for awhile now but she had some new tricks for me. Mmmmmm, love the beeswax that smells like honey as you work.
I'm sure Heather won't mind if I show you her mermaid tatoo. It is on her hip in case you were wondering (not her butt, ha ha) ... I had not met Heather in person until I came here but she is a great person, artist and now friend and I look forward to buying everything from her that I can. She has a great zine at her site that everyone should subscribe to and she generously gave us each a copy of "Eye Candy", a special publication that she produced just for Artfest. What a wonderful talent.
At vendor night Teesha's mother gave me a gift that has inspired my new mission statement. It is so good and so transformative that I will share it with all of you. She said, "the greatest blessing you can give (to yourself) is to bless another life". That is how Tracy and Teesha (the spirits behind Artfest) live their lives and that is what makes Artfest the miracle it is.
If you were there, I don't have to tell you. If you've ever thought of going, make the effort. I hope to be clanking down the sidewalk with my walker when I'm 100 years old, still coming each year for the love and inspiration.