Here is my journey...
The night before leaving, I surrounded myself with journals and class samples. (oh and a glass or two of wine) I wanted to center myself for the journey ahead. Afterwards they were all packed lovingly into my car for the 8 hr trip to Seattle. As usual though, I stayed up much too late packing and didn't get out of town until almost 10am!! Yikes. I was hoping for 6am. Oh well.
Had to take many stops along the way. There are a few places that are just breathtaking and I wish I would have pulled over to get some shots. It is a long drive, but I actually don't mind it too much. I like road trips, it gives me plenty of time to think. As I mentioned before, I don't often get that luxury.
Arrived in Seattle in the early evening and spent some time with a close friend and his family, who graciously put me up for the night. I was able to take a little time to sketch and throw a first layer of color down while his family went about their busy routines.
My first full day in Seattle I spent searching for the Fremont Troll and the Gas Works Park.
The troll was a lot bigger than I expected! I had a hard time climbing up on his hand, in fact I recruited the help of some nice teenagers to get up there and back down. ;)
It was such a beautifully sunny afternoon in Seattle. I spent many, many hours over at the Water Works Park. I had heard about it from an online sketching group and was intrigued.
I could have spent a lot longer there with all the natural steampunkness but unfortunately I was exhausted. So I headed over to my hotel to check in. Once unpacked I promptly took a nap. Awoke a few hours later and walked across the street to order dinner to go at a fabulous Mexican restaurant. Promptly took it back to my room, with adjacent kitchenette and sat down to eat and journal.
I must have really been tired, slept in until 10:30. Finally, dragged myself out of bed and got ready for the day. Wasn't sure where my destination was going to be or what the day had in store for me. My only goals were to get some sketching in and to stop by Daniel Smith's Art Store. As I drove downtown I decided to stop over by Pioneer Square, it was cold out and there was a coffee shop right across the street. I bought a pumpkin-spiced latte and molasses cookie and perched myself up on the bar stool behind the big store window.
There I sat all afternoon. Time flew by and the next thing I knew it was 4:30 and I still hadn't made it over to the art store.
Here in Boise, Idaho there isn't really much of an artstore anymore. Oh, we have the big warehouse art store that carries the Happy Painters products and the token craft store, but no REAL art store. So whenever i am in Seattle I have to stop by Daniel Smith and stock up. Next time I go I'll have to find the Dick Blick store too. Anyway, I left with lots of printing inks and supplies, new watercolor sticks, and Faber Castell brush pens. I am looking forward to fully breaking in my etching press over the next few months.
I sure didn't feel like going back to my hotel room, so I went downtown again and treated myself to dinner at Ivars. It was interesting to see the looks on the waitresses faces when I said a table for one. Is it really all that odd to eat alone? Regardless, I enjoyed myself.
Afterwards, I spent a rough evening drawing/journaling/writing and such... wow, I'd had almost too much time alone to think. I was looking forward to getting over to Port Townsend, and familiar faces.
Waiting to board the ferry to Bainbridge :)
First stop in Port Townsend... Akamai art store! This store is almost better than Daniel Smith.
just a small sampling of the beautiful handmade papers
waxed binders threads... pick a color... any color.
more Golden acrylics than I have seen in one spot ever.
The moment I walked in I was greeted by an old friend and teacher, Liesel Lund. What a bright happy smile she has, made me feel right at home.
(note: this was taken the last evening of Journalfest, and I stole the image from Liesel's blog! hehe)
While there I also ran into two of my students from last year, Gina and Krista (mother and daughter). As soon as I saw them together I knew instantly who they were, for they had been on my mind all year. It is because of students like them that I love teaching and sharing so much. They both took what they learned in class and kept moving fast forward.
Gina and her daughter Krista
They made their own traveling watercolor sets out of antique eyeshadow compacts! But it didn't stop there! They went to Italy for a month and each filled a journal full of drawing in ink and watercolor. When they returned home, the fun continued and each started finding their own artistic voice.
Gina's personal deck of Bird Tarot cards. She planned out, drew with ink, and painted each in watercolor.
Krista's gorgeous spread of fall leaves. This was the woman that a year prior tried to convince me that she couldn't draw let alone paint. Yes, my heart swelled many, many sizes and they brought me close to tears.
Next stop Fort Worden Park, and Journalfest.
Three years ago was the first Journalfest. Three years ago was the first time I taught a group of adults something I am very passionate about. Three years ago was my first experience attending an Art Retreat. I was a nervous wreck. I didn't know what to expect. I left Fort Worden 4 days later on an emotional and creative high. It honestly took about a month to come down off that high.
Last year I arrived much more relaxed. I knew what to expect, gosh I've already done this once before, right? Wrong. I had an amazing time, met even more like minded souls, and left feeling renewed. However, when I returned home I began questioned everything about myself as an artist. I couldn't create anything for months. See this post here...
This year I arrived without any preconceived notions as to what I was going to experience. I was an open vessel ready to be filled.
Teesha and Tracy were there to greet everyone as they arrived. Here Tracy was show us his cool new phone credit card scanner. (Yes, I want one too!)
Two dear friends, Josie and Nancy (mother and daughter) who came to Journalfest for the first time this year. They live here in Boise with me. They are two of the sweetest woman I have ever met. So genuine and loving.
the Second year that I was greeted by a rainbow. (look close, it is on the horizon)
What a great way to start the adventure!!
My home for the next 4 nights. It wasn't quite this neat after I unpacked.
After dinner the first night we met in the theatre for a "meet your instructor" gathering. The Moore Duo had random questions for each instructor to answer. All in all it was a lot of fun.
Journalfest Instructors I
Journalfest Instrucotrs II
Myself, answering my question... oh gosh, I am not very comfortable talking into a mic. However, I must pat myself on the back, for 20 years ago I would have crawled under my chair rather than stood behind that mic. Ahhhh... yes, there has been growth in the past 20 years. ;)
After the gathering I meet up with some friends that I had met in past years Journalfest adventures. The moment I entered the room my vessel began to fill up. The discussions were heartfelt, raw, and all barriers where withdrawn. My soul yearned for this type of connection, as unexpected as it was. I left knowing that the next few days were going to be intense and fulfilling.
Day 1 of Workshops
The next morning I awoke about 5:30am and decided to get up. I have been wanting to watch the sunrise on the beach for the past few years and never did. What a wonderful place to center ones self. I wish I lived closer to the ocean, something about the sea calls to me. The sounds, the smells, the beauty...
That first day was my day to take a workshop. Daniel Essig is a wonderfully patient and organized instructor. He taught us how to work with mica and we spent the day creating multiple pages for our coptic bound mica book. I loved the process and ended up purchasing an additional kit so that I can make another book.
Daniel Essig demos one of the processes for the mica book
The group that touched me to the core. (Here they are Skyping their missing Pirate Sister)
Later that evening was the bonfire journaling party down by the beach. Had even more heartfelt conversations with many artists. Was even able to get a little journaling in as well.
Day 2 of Workshops
The next morning I awoke full of nervous energy. I was about to teach my new workshop The Savage Mirror. It was not meant to be a class to learn academic rendering of a human face, but rather a spring board to go deeper than what we see on the surface.
We began the day with a brief story about becoming fearless with our art and leaving our ogres at the door. Then we dove in. I didn't know what to expect, didn't know how many of the woman who signed up truly wanted to break through their barriers or were just taking the class because it looked interesting. By lunch time I was thrilled at the energy that was building, unbelievable energy! The portraits that were emerging in each mirror where powerful and had stories to be told. It all was more than I could ever hope for as an instructor. There were tears, there were hugs, there were wheels in motion, there were ogres being thrown out of the room, finally there was authenticity in each individual mirror. I felt a connection and bond to each person in the room. I felt privileged and humbled.
My Fearless artists, Share one of many Savage Mirror images.
This is Carrie's. She seemed a little hesitant when she realized that she drew her ear instead of her eyes (everyone was encouraged to draw the area of their face that spoke to them the most) I asked her what is it that she is supposed to be listening for? The light bulb came on...she knew instantly.
This is the finished page.
I decided that this year I would go ahead and participate in the Vendor Night. I haven't ever tried to sell any of my personal work before and wasn't sure what to expect (again) but went in with nervous excitement. Thank goodness my dear friend Josie was there to help!!! I couldn't have done it without her! What a thrilling experience. Thank you to all that purchased a little piece of art. I was so happy to have new homes for each of them. My only regret was that I didn't get a chance to run by everyone else's tables and have them set little nuggets aside for me.
Day 3 of Workshops
This was the third year in a row that I've had the privilege to teach Learning to See. It is a workshop very dear to my heart. What an unbelievable thrill it is to watch my students learn to open their eyes and begin to see the world around them with a new vision and then be able to draw with their own authenticity. These are the same individuals who just hours earlier raised their hands when I asked "who here believes that they can't draw?" Not only can they draw, but they can draw without the crutch of an eraser!!!
Here is the whole class working really hard on their morning assignment #2.
Breathtaking view of the beach area during my lunchtime stroll.
At the end of the day, I challenged them to complete a group project in less than 20 mins. The clock was ticking, and they didn't have time to think and over analyze everything. And they ROCKED the HOUSE! Here is their surprise gift to Tracy Moore. Which we presented to him at the Journal Jam Party that evening!
Carla, Susan and I just before presenting Tracy with the drawing.
I LOVE this image of Tracy with his portrait!! It looks like he may even be wearing the same shirt. He loved it too! It was awesome to see the excitement in room as all the artists that worked so hard on the drawing as able to see how thrilled Tracy was. Teesha posted this on her website, which brought a smile to my heart.
These are the portraits my students (over the past two years) drew as a group.
Yes, I am so very proud of each one of those brave individuals!
It is amazing what can be created in 20 short minutes!!
Journalfest was wrapped up with a fabulous Journaling Jam with music, dancing, journaling, bonding. And someone invited the Black Swan Brethren to the party!
Just a few of the "fearless" crew!
Carla, Nancy & Josie
Carrie Todd and I
The fabulous band Surrealized! SO much talent, we were so fortunate that they agreed to come play at our party again this year!
Yes the Black Swan Crew closed the house and loved every moment.
As I returned to my room that night I felt blessings beyond anything I could have imagined. As I mentioned the opening night during the Q/A, we teachers receive just as much from the "students" as they do from us. We are all in this together and we each have something to bring to the table. Yes, my cup was overflowing and I loved every moment.
Sunday morning quickly came. I slowly packed my bags and car, re-centered myself, and began the long trip back to Idaho. I stopped at one point just to capture the sun as it was setting on one side of the horizon and lighting up the mountains on the other side.
A breathtaking end.