Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Art Fest

I spent a day in Anacortes prior to the event enjoying the scenery (I hiked up to the top of the hill to the left of the photo, the wind was fierce!).

I decided I had better write this blog before I read any others that are posted about Artfest as I don't want them to influence my post. This was my first and last Artfest. Not because I didn't like it but because this WAS the last one. I think it has been going on for something like thirteen years. I had heard about it and always thought well one day I will go. Then when I read Destination Creativity The Life Altering Journey of the Art Retreat written by Ricë Freeman -Zachery and she says "Artfest is the granddaddy of the art retreats, the first and the biggest, an experience you really don't want to miss. If you can go to only one art retreat, you really owe it to yourself to experience Artfest." THEN I read that this was to be the last one and I said to myself, "well it's now or never" so I made my reservations and went! (By the way, if you get the book, my first published piece of art is on page 69!)
Bought a few second hand treasures while Shopping in Anacortes. The woman at the store said, "isn't she such a cute doll? and I thought, oh boy you don't want to know what I'll be doing to her in Michael DeMeng's class.

My friend Denise picked me up in Anacortes and we got the last ferry out before they shut down service due to the high winds!

We arrived late and dinner was just ending but they were so nice to open the door for us and let us grab a bite to eat. I had heard there was a new chef this year and the food was fabulous! Homemade desserts at lunch and dinner, a wonderful salad bar, vegetarian options for meals. All seemed fresh and healthy and local. We then ran over to hear the speaker for the evening- Jesse Reno. After hearing his talk I wished I had signed up for his class but his was over 2 days and I wanted do 3 different classes. There is always another time. :)

First day class- Stephanie Rubiano -Encaustic Homebodies
Stephanie had a stressful start to class as the heat guns and warming trays kept blowing the fuses in the old fort, but she called for help and found were the breaker box was and kept us in business.

 A few samples from class.

 We had to sew the little houses. I said, "What! I didn't know there was sewing involved in this class or I would not have signed up." but it went well. I made friends with Betty from Canada who was camping at the fort with her husband in their trailer.  Stephanie is a great teacher and we had a fun day.

Evening entertainment included Belly Dancing by Jesse Reno's wife.

Day 2 Class was Zoo-Illogicals by Michael Demeng
 I took a workshop from Michael a couple years ago at Art and Soul in Portland and knew I wanted to take another class with him and this one didn't disappoint.

Quite the fun dismembering dolls and animals and reattaching parts with Apoxie Clay. I met a wonderful woman from England whom sat next to me.

Michael showing us how to add that "baby-doll glow"

At the end of class we had a wonderful critique and discussed each persons piece or pieces.

Lynn Perrella's class sample
 Day 3 was Lynn Perrella's class "Shine On" The finished project was to be a large banner where we use lots of different layering collage techniques. I signed up for this class not so much for the project but that I wanted to take one of her classes as I read her book Art Making, Collections, and Obsessions: An Intimate Exploration of the Mixed-Media Work and Collections of 35 Artists
 quite by chance and it had an influence on the path of my art making. 

Making texture using a doily and gesso.

My finished banner was created as an inspirational piece for training for my first mountain bike race that is coming up the end of this month.
A fun part of the art retreat was the "trades." The coolest things I got was an original piece of parchment with writing on it that was supposedly from 1775 from England.  An newspaper clipping from 1945 and a feather with a cyrstal tied to it.
I was very impressed by how well everything ran and how Teesha and her husband Tracy recruited friends and family to make sure all went smoothly. They had continuous free shuttles circling around to help drive you to a class in the rain and stationed helpers at the classroom buildings to help some of the women with their huge suitcases of art supplies up the stairs.

It's now back to real life for me, but real life is living and breathing I'm not sad. Monday morning was docent training at the art museum followed by a mountain bike ride then an artist alliance board meeting. Tuesday I packed up for a show I'm doing tomorrow and then last night was my regular studio night with some friends and I did an artfest show and tell. That was quite fun. Today I'm working on this blog and making some new art for the museum gift shop.

Stay tuned for pics of my assemblages from Micheal's class.


emily said...

Looks like a lovely time!

Rebeca Trevino said...

glad to read you had an amazing time. sounds like it was quite a gathering of kindered souls.
can't wait to see your de meng inspired pieces!