Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nurture Your Creative Seed Art Retreat

Seattle skyline
It has been almost two weeks since Nurture your creative seed, the art retreat which I will forever think of as one of the defining moments in my life.  The decision to fly across the country for a few days to attend a retreat without knowing a single person, seemed ridiculously indulgent and harebrained. Indeed, there were whispers and sometimes roars of doubt that I battled once sensibility was discarded and the determination to go, just go, was the chosen path.  

house
Here is where I checked my life’s map to determine if I was even on the right path.  Here in this house, with other women.  They were checking their maps too.
Nuture your creative seed attendants
All these little pictures taken by Serena, are of women that I now adore.  They too were fearful and doubtful about the trip. Will I be understood, accepted, and seen?  Am I even good enough, do I belong here? Will my story and my personality fit in?
Serena stamped
This beautiful lady, Serena took those fears and gently replaced them with relief. I felt no tension once I was in her presence.  You see her smile, and you know that hospitality is one of her many gifts. Had I taken a picture of each lovingly planned, nutritious meal or snack that Serena prepared for us, it would be evidence further of her spirit of generosity. Under Serena’s guardianship, having shared our history, our journey, our migration to this spot in Washington State, by the end of the first night, we became friends.
Jeanne Oliver teaching stamped
The retreat included two days of art instruction with Jeanne Griffin Oliver and Mindy Lacefield.  Jeanne began our first day of instruction with Art Journaling pages employing a Mixed Media style of art.  She encouraged each of us to try products that were new to us.  Pan pastels were familiar to me, but I had never had the opportunity to try them.  Their vibrancy and smoothness were irresistible, and I will be using them again, most definitely. Jeanne, in the afternoon, educated us on a technique for mixing skin tones using acrylic paints.  Beginning with a photo copy of a female face, we used a combination of book paper remnants to layer in the values of our chosen model’s face.  Then, using Jeanne’s color formula, we applied the paint.  Certainly much practice is required to master the human face, but I also recognized the opportunity to use the same layering of values in other areas and art subjects. The other lesson was not to be intimidated.  My urge to say “I can’t do this, I can’t do faces”, was hard to overcome.  I learned to overcome a lot by being in the presence of Jeanne Oliver.  As I was leaving the retreat, I shared with her that when I was in New Jersey facing a day of loneliness, she was there.  She and her videos were a crucial lifeline. 
Nuture your creative seed attendants classroom
Mindy brightened our palette and inspired us with the use of neon colors.  She is a fellow southern gal, and taught us to embrace our childlike enthusiasm in our pieces.  To rediscover and expose the desires and fears of your little girl heart is delightful and freeing, but also produced some hesitancy and emotions.  The prompts that she used were tools that I plan to adapt and use for inspiration as I continue developing my own style…since I can’t steal Mindy’s…which I would like to do. I think she is brilliant!  One of her favorite quotes and a rebuttal she used on a so-called art critic is by Pablo Picasso.  It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”  Picasso also said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal. “ I don’t propose to ever be a great artist, but I do plan to steal inspiration from Mindy Lacefield.
pan pastels art supplies nuture your creative seed
The three year old me was obsessed with crayons to the point that my sister is scarred under her eye because I scratched her.  Her crime and cause of the attack, was breaking my crayon.  Seeing all the supplies and colors immediately awakened my inner child.  I don’t know if this is something to be all braggy about, because I was apparently a disturbed, violent child.
christy tomlinson and alissa nuture your creative seed
Two authentically creative artists that I met and cherish are Alissa Milsap and Christy Tomlinson.  Here they are doing what artists do, they look at the world.  Artists have an appetite for the textures, colors, rhythms, and balance of God’s creation. They then translate what they see into art including music, design, painting, photography, and writing.  It is an undeniable, irrepressible outpouring of who they are.  It is why I was in Seattle, to confirm that it is who I am.
color palette
In my hands are rocks that I gathered on the shore near our house.  These rocks would become my inspiration color palette for the art I began during the retreat.  I am showing my pieces in the next few photos, even though I grievously admit the absence of skill, talent, or creative direction.  But with the highest of hopes, I also see the hazy dawn of a tomorrow which will slowly reveal my path immersed in color,  images, and words.
Art Journal Page
Three pages of my Art Journal using mixed media as taught by Jeanne Oliver.
Art Journal Page 2
Art Journal Page 3
girl portrait in the style of Jeanne Griffin Oliver
Mixing skin tones and defining values as taught by Jeanne Oliver. I look forward to putting some time into practicing her techniques.
girl in the style of Mindy Lacefield
Girl in the style of Mindy Lacefield with a toned down population of space.
rabbit in the style of Mindy Lacefield
Rabbit in the style of Mindy Lacefield with a high population of space.
stones
I saw patterns in the rocks…
chains
I saw texture in the chain…
driftwood
I saw shape in the driftwood…
driftwood 2
I saw color in the domain.  The women that shared this time at the retreat, they saw it too.  I felt a kinship with them, a clan of kindred spirits. 
room mates stamped
Leaving the retreat, I knew I had discovered so much about what it means to nurture your creative seed.  I will never regret being bold in my search for clarity and direction.  I challenge myself to be satisfied, but ever elevating and broadening, with the creativity that was entrusted to me by God.
The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves, they find their own order…the continuous thread of revelation.  Eudora Welty

14 comments:

  1. oh teresa...i loved this! your words are beautiful along with your soul. i miss you, sweet friend! but oh what a wonderful time we had together!

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    1. Thank you Alissa, I miss you too! I am so glad I met you and shared this time with you.

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  2. Amazing. . .inspiring. . .thanks for sharing your journey :)

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    1. Thank you my friend. You inspire me!

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  3. Loved every little detail...you are a gift to us all! xo

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  4. Junelle, this comment from you, loved every little detail...is a gift to me! Thank you so much!

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  5. ah shucks Teresa! your words fill my heart with gladness. Thank you for sharing yourself and these words with us all.

    Keep in touch and SHINE ON!

    xo,
    Serena

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    1. Thank you Serena, I will keep in touch, you can count on that! Wish I could hug you right now! Teresa

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  6. I so badly wanted to be there and hope one day I can. So fun to see it through your eyes and lovely words. What a special time!

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    1. Thank you for your comment Kristi. The retreat, it was perfect! You must be there the next time, if you can. Teresa

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  7. you are a gift!! thank you for showing up. thank you for being YOU. love you dear girl. and ps.....nice populating! xo!!

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    1. I love you and your art so much Mindy! I will always think of you as I populate! Thank you for your comment...virtually hugging you right now...I always pat on the back when I hug, do you do that? Teresa

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