We said our goodbyes to Marissa this morning after a beautiful few days visit. She came home specifically to go to a concert with her sister, but we got time to ourselves with her too which has been rare the past few visits. As hard as I tried not to cry when we hugged, I couldn't manage it, and I have felt choked up and teary ever since. I do not like goodbyes...
This morning she was going through boxes and closets, trying to locate her old prom and homecoming dresses (she has the idea to throw a party for her friends where they all wear their homecoming/prom clothes). We found two of the multitude of dresses she had over those four years, I've put the others away in too good a spot (the truth is, I hope I still have them, I've done some radical cleaning and purging over the years since the girls left home and I honestly don't know). In one of the cedar chests we came across the gorgeous velvet gown that belonged to my mother, that she wore in the thirties when she was singing, dark chocolate brown in a size so small that I had never seen it worn. For as long as I can remember, while my mother was still alive, she had hopes and aspirations to lose enough weight to fit into that dress once again. I think there are many of us that can relate to that.
Marissa tried it on and it fit her perfectly, she looked so beautiful. Knowing that my mother wore this same dress and that she would be smiling such a big smile to see it on her granddaughter - well, it was just a very emotional morning, sweet, bitter-sweet, and I savor every moment.
where smiles somersault into gentle hugs, paint flies, and baby dancers wear headlights. Artfest, a magical place to make art, walk along the sandy shore, renew old friendships, and always, always, make new ones. Once again, now that I'm home I wish I'd taken those many photos I didn't take, but it's difficult for me to be present in the moment and wear the photographer hat at the same time, so I can share these few and the rest will remain as sweet memories in my heart.
I taught the class Symbols Shaping Space on Thursday to a fresh and eager group of Artfesters, brimming with ideas and creating artwork that reflected their own unique selves. It was a many-stepped project, and I knew the chances of anyone actually completing the whole thing in class with slim, but everyone left with the painting part all or nearly completed and ready to begin the fun process arranging and stringing all of the elements together.
To any of my Artfest students - I would LOVE to post photos of your completed projects if you'll email me a jpg. One of my students, Jill Berry, also a fellow teacher at ArtUnraveled, Valley Ridge, and Raeven's Nest whom I was anxious to finally meet, did complete her gorgeous wallhanging, and has posted photos on her blog - I hope you'll go check it out here.
In case you haven't noticed, I'm not great about keeping up with blog posting or anything internet for that matter. Truthfully, I'm not always easy to reach by phone either, but rest assured, I LOVE one-on-one and group interactions, and teaching and sharing what I know is truly a joy for me. Like many teaching artists, I just tend to be an introvert when I'm not teaching.
That said, Artfest marks the beginning of my 2009
teaching schedule and I want to let my readers know about some of these wonderful and
fast approaching events. Coming right up, April 30-May 4 is Art and Soul Virginia, where I'll be teaching two classes - Picture A Window, and Poetry in Motion. Both projects are coated with wax to impart that soft, rich, look and feel specific to encaustic medium. Here is a new sample self portrait for the Picture a Window class I finished up last night:
A week after I get back home from North Carolina, I'll be flying to Wisconsin to teach for my second year at Valley Ridge where Kathy and Bill have created an exquisite little art paradise in the bucolic hills of Wisconsin. I'll be teaching a 2 day workshop on the mixed media cardboard journal (see sample photos above) followed by a 3 day workshop called Pocket Book Softie where we will combine combine recycled felted wool sweaters and mixed media to create a unique and strange sweater creature complete with her own pocket journal. Follow the highlighted links for more photos and registration information.
And then on July 11, I'm excited to be teaching a class in Los Gatos, CA with An Artful Journey called Paste it Down, Paint it Up! In this class I will share the techniques and intuitive processes to help you move more deeply into your unique artist voice. And the talented Judy Wise will be teaching a sure-to-be-fabulous painting on plaster class that same weekend. Follow the above links for further description and registration information.
***************************************************************** And on a personal note, one of my favorite things to do in the world, is to sit down by the river's edge at dusk, camoflagued in my dark clothing, perching amongst the tall grass, trying to be invisible. Because when I'm invisible, the beavers appear in the water, swimming up and down stream, occasionally climbing out to pull down branches for their never-ending construction projects. This is what I did last evening, and it was sheer delight. I brought my paper and pen, and wrote lots of little poems as i sipped on my glass of red wine, my camera at the ready. I watched turned up noses swimming above bright eyes in the waning light while a concert of birds and frogs filled the cool shadowy air with my favorite songs, i especially loved a sweet black phoebe singing it's haunting melody only feet above me in a budding willow. I wish you could have been there with me...