Monday, November 20, 2006

With a Full Heart

If you are an artist or just love to play with paint I advise you to get on the mailing list for the all day art retreats held at Diane Havnen-Smith's studio. Diane is a new best friend (no kidding) that I met only 2 months ago and with whom I have formed a close bond. When she asked me to teach at her studio I had certain reservations; first being that I dont teach (period) and second that I didn't know if I could commit to something so far out of my comfort zone. I love the way life dangles these opportunities in front of us as though testing our trust and faith in our fellow sister. I am so grateful that I took the chance. Diane has given me one of the happiest weekends I can remember and she is an amazing human facilitator of joy. We in Portland are so lucky to have this resource. One of these workshops may just be the thing that will spark a fire within you that will change your life. It happened to me.

One of Diane's many many skills is culinary; this is the delicious lunch she served. You are looking at Green Chili Sour Cream Enchiladas with cruditie vegetable salad and chipotle sauce. It tasted even better than it looks if that is possible. Really wonderful after several hours of all out art creation.

And here are the Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese icing that she served for dessert. Oh, and yes, we had chocolate too.

I wish I had more pictures of the participants and of the art they created. Diane took such terrific photographs of everyone that I sort of fell down on the job and I want to post this right now. So these photographs that follow are the few I came away with. If I get emails of additional art I will post them later. Many of my photos were too blurry to use; I was so excited that I made them out of focus.

This first one is of a reverse painting that has as its basis an image stamped from a rubber stamp. The painting was done by Katie Kendrick and I love the colors she has chosen. The painting will be viewed from the other side of the transparent substrate but I think you can already tell it is going to be beautiful.

"Olivia" was painted by Darci Roloff Keefer. She painted it on clear acrylic sheet (mylar) and then backed it with black matboard. This was originally going to be a class about painting faces but in the end each person painted what they wanted to. I think it's always more important to follow your own heart than to follow the rules.

The persimmons were painted by Laura Roloff and you are looking at the back side of the mylar. I just look at her creamy, yummy brush strokes and want to get in the studio myself. I really like the way she followed the form of the fruit with her brush.

This painting was done by Jayne Stamm. She experimented with layers of paint and pulled off this wonderful abstract. Love the color palette and all the inventive shapes.

Cynthia Mooney painted a self-portrait that I think looks just like her. She is an experienced artist and knew exactly what to do with the assignment. I think the likeness is wonderful.

This is the last of my presentable photographs of the paintings that were produced. I think Diane will post more at the innerstandings website. This face was also painted by the talented Laura Roloff. She handled the values of flesh tones better than I can; she could have taught the class!

For 2 nights I slept in the Queen's bedroom at Diane's house and along with the fabulous Katie Kendrick we had a 3 day girlie slumber party and talk-fest that was out-of-this-world fun. When we woke up on Sunday morning there was fluffy pumpkin pancakes to enjoy; Diane whips the eggs whites separately to get the light texture. Oh, I hate to brag but I have seldom been pampered like this. Maybe if you are a teacher reading this you will want to teach at Diane's venue.

The last picture is one of Katie and I clowning around with our cameras. For some reason we decided to take self portraits by holding our cameras out at arms length and shooting our own faces. Katie is teaching at Diane's 0n January 27th; a class in mixed media titled, "Feminine Icon" that you can read about here. Katie is going to have a table at Artfest in March and I am too; we are both excited to think about teaching at various venues around the country in the coming year. The travel is fun, the women are wonderful and full of life and it is just the most precious way to spend the valuable time we have on this planet.

I am still absorbing all the lessons I have learned this weekend from the women I met. My only regret was that we didn't have more time to share portfolios, dreams, wishes and backgrounds. I believe every single woman who creates can support and further the progress of the rest of us; all we have to do is figure out a way to connect and share our enthusiasm. If only we could spread our virus of love and inclusion to the politicians; what a wonderful world we could create. Well, until that happens, hold those dreams closely and reach out to your support group. Thank you sincerely to the group (10 of us!) who came together at Diane's and who dared to share the adventure. It was a dream of heaven and I hope to meet each of you again down the road.


kelly rae said...

oh how cool! diane wrote to me recently. we're both social workers with some other commonalities. i would love to attend one of her weekends one day. she sounds really great. congratulations on such a successful and inspired weekend. you seem like a natural teacher, lover of life, and inspirer!

Alex S said...

This sounds incredible!!! I love how you share photos and all the juicy details too! I have just started painting, for the process really and an outlet rather than for the purpose of creating art. My faces still look like smush so I would have loved to take a class like this! I'm going to check out her site now!

Deb said...

Boy, what fantastic art these gals created! The art is just as yummy as the treats (hey, way to make my mouth and my soul water!) WAAA! I wish I lived closer, and I'd be there! Thanks for sharing, Judy.