Wild Joy Blooms Retreat in Portland Oregon

First off, I want to warn you that this is a long post because I have so much to tell. Trust me, it will be worth it. There are not many artists that I would fly 2000 miles to go see, since I had not flown since 2002, but Carrie Schmitt is one of them. I have been following her for many years and love her intuitive paintings. When she sent out the email that she was having this workshop I thought for maybe a minute before making the decision and grabbed the opportunity. This is what we were greeted with and I knew it was going to be a fantastic experience. I was so excited to meet everyone, or as I say, the other artistic souls. Now they are soul sisters.

The workshop was held in Flora Bowley’s large studio which was awesome with all her originals hanging around on the walls. She rents this out and so it was all set up for workshops like this.

Flora’s paintings are the top ones and then there are stations for the artists with ways to hang canvases on the walls. This picture is kinda dark which the room was not, with big windows at one end. The decorative lights were fun.

Carrie is talking about her painting and how she is doing it. See the large windows at the end. This is an old building that was redone with artists studios. We all had tables and carts, everything an artist needs. We had women that came from all over the United States!

A better picture of Carrie painting.

This area is where we started our day in a round with various activities and much of sharing our stories. From the first day we all felt comfortable with each other and had a lot in common, it was all so interesting. The beauty shown is Melissa who was Carries’ friend and she was always there to help with everything!

There were maybe 20 of these carts to use in the studio, just like my one at home. There is my painting apron, my goddess crown, a painting that Carrie made for all of us, of a rose. I love the drippy wall behind it.

Many artists contributed to these drips.

A favorite picture of Carrie and myself.

These are wings that were drawn on fabric and were to be painted by everyone. It became a late night endeavor and I had gone back to my hotel and what a surprise it was the next day. They were beautiful!

We all had many pictures taken in front of the wings. Here is one of me talking saying what should I do?

This is Lauren, she came as a photographer and had not painted before. Behind her is a bit of her painting and she definitely developed her own style. She was a gentle and sweet soul sister and was my painting buddy on the right.

This was a mural on the side of a building I saw coming from lunch one day. Tara and I had to go take each others pictures in front of it, since we were making history in Portland also.

This is an early stage of someones painting. Not sure who was painting it though.

The early stage of one of my paintings. We had two canvases we were working on.

Another stage and it was crazy and screaming at me. It will not end up looking like this.

Here is the final result that I had shipped home from Portland. It has found a permanent home here on my picture shelf.

This I saw at a shoe store at the Portland Airport while waiting for my flight to leave.

The Rocky Mountains outside of the airplane window.

Our first lunch delivered. A salad, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, pitas, chicken kebobs, rice. It was all good!

I saw these in several places, you must be able to rent them.

This is Jen and she was my painting buddy on my left. She lives in Washington State and we found we had many of the same interests. She is a beautiful and sweet lady.

Another set of early paintings.

Maria from Florida came over to talk and we noticed her hands and had to snap a few photos of them.

This tall beautiful woman is Sophie from Georgia. She is our Goddess Crown leader. One of the evenings was set aside for us to make these crowns and it was great fun. I tell her she is a breath of fresh air.

She had brought many of her crowns and she had one on here. Her face was painted and her tassel earrings are just perfect. She sat at the edge of the angel wing and this picture turned out just gorgeous! One of a kind.

This is Zippy Lomax who is a professional photographer and she came to take pictures one whole day and to take pictures of all of us professionally. I look forward to seeing all of them. She is a very fun person.

This was an activity one evening, a rose ceremony and Qoya hence the yoga mats. I participated in the Qoya but did not get down on the floor because I did not want to have to get up off the floor.

Here I am showing off my Goddess Crown that I made with the help of Sophie. I love the feathers.

Angel Wings that I started and had shipped home. When they are done I am going to hang them on the wall.

This is Tara who came all the way from New York City. She was my painting buddy behind me.. We did a lot of talking and I had many questions for her since she lives right in NYC and I had visited there this last summer. She is also our Qoya leader and she is an artist and she and I took our pictures in front of the mural. She is doing many things and take a look at her on her website. So as you can tell I had the time of my life. It was well worth the trip and I am so glad I got to do it and met all the fabulous women! One person that I do not have an individual picture of is Dvora Troshane who was the coordinatior of this retreat.  She runs the Soulshine Studio and just worked tirelessly on this.  Please look at her website because she is always doing something interesting.

 

Art Show Review

So much has happened in the last two weeks that I need to catch you up. On March 3rd and 4th my sister Linda and I drove to South Bend and set up the mini gallery to participate in the For the Love of Art Fair.

It was a very nice venue with many large rolling carts for the artists to use. It was an easy set up and tear down. I am not one that just has to rush to get out of there as fast as I can. We can usually count on 1 1/2 hours for everything up to shutting the door of the Transit Connect.
Shireen Kline is the promoter of this show and that woman works her rear end off. She keeps in touch via emails and personal phone calls. She also promotes the heck out of this show, with billboards, television commercials, social media, promotional cards that she will send to the artists to give to their customers. Television stations came out for some live shots. She was there the whole time for set up and when it was time for tear down she she was right in there helping everyone. It seemed as if she was tireless.

We stayed at the Doubletree hotel which was attached to the Century Center via a walkway, very convenient for the tired artist. We could also keep our vehicle parked in the garage all day long. It was a great hotel, the beds were comfy, we received the usual choc chip walnut check in cookie that Doubletree is known for. We were a bit concerned about the other residents on our floor, they were young hockey players with a lot of energy. Lots of running and congregating outside of our door and someone also threw up. The hotel was right there cleaning up the mess and when the time came to go to sleep all was quiet on the floor, they did really well. Shireen had worked it out with the hotel at having artist pricing for our room which was very much appreciated.

Our room was on the St. Joseph river side and the city really utilizes the river. That is a walkway with a stage area which could accommodate many activities. It was impressive. Being a chilly day in the 30’s we did not venture down there though.

This is what that same area looks like at night. The rapids are lit up and changing colors all the time. The bridge down the river also has color changing lights and there are two sculptures on each side of the river that change colors. It was enjoyable to watch.

A shot of my booth head on. The pipe and drapes were already set up for the other booths behind and beside. The area was exactly 10 X 10 with no extra room so I was not able to put my drapes up with no extra room but it worked out fine. I would have preferred a little more room so that storage behind the tent could be used but Shireen had curtained off a corner of the expo hall so that the artists could store their items, which was pretty convenient also. 

Right side of my booth. Another new option I have added to my booth this year are the lights though the lighting in the expo center was very good. I did like having the lights shine on the paintings and they were very easy to hook up. Shireen moved the art show to the South Bend area this year because the venue was nicer and the Elkhart area did not embrace the show. Though there were attendees never did I see large crowds in the aisles which I would have been exciting. My view is that this area was hit hard in the economic turn down of 2008 and they are being very cautious about spending their hard earned dollars and understandably so. I loved talking to the wonderful people that made their way into my gallery, that is always the fun part.

My next indoor art fair will be April 7,8 and 9th in Novi, Michigan. They have already sent me 50 of these cards to give away. I have not been to this venue before and it will be a new adventure. If you are in the area, stop on by and say hi and possibly pick up some happy art for your home.