I can't begin until I properly acknowledge all the work that Elena did to make this happen, and her unequaled generosity. She showered us with gifts to use in our art, and is the BEST HOST EVER!! Also, many thanks to Jacquie who is another amazing woman, great friend, and good hearted human who worked with Elena to help make our experience so fabulous. And who did so much to lift my spirits. (She is also a pretty hot dancer, but that is a story for another post. :))
GIFTS (from Elena and Jacquie)
GIFTS (from my art sisters)
And the above isn't even the entire haul. I had to mail two boxes of stuff back home and one hasn't arrived yet. There are more gifts inside that one! It was like Christmas, Hanukkah, and my birthday rolled into one.
And a big shout out to our "pillow fairies," Marita and Gina, who couldn't come this year, but sent along a box of goodies to be left on our pillows each night, just as they did for the first three retreats. Everything they sent will be (or already has been) used in art projects. See the bejeweled and beribboned (is that even a word?) green key on the bottom of the above photo? It is already attached to a little journal I made, and looks like it was made for that purpose. Thanks, my northwest friends!
Art, food, and friendship aside, one of my greatest pleasures was enjoying a cup of coffee each morning, sitting outside on the waterfront, watching the day unfold in the spectacular colors of the Florida Keys sunrise. Yep, I was up that early every day. And yep, I was usually the only one. Well, the only human, anyway. I was befriended one morning by an egret.
Same view, same time of day, three different looks:
One of our gifts was Gelli plates, and we spent a fun morning, led by Sue, experimenting with our plates, a variety of papers, and many techniques. Good thing Elena and Bernie now own a restaurant, because we had all the deli wrap paper we wanted (and we used a ton of it!)
Elena showed us how to create unique collages. Using graphite paper we transfered the outline of a photo onto a canvas. Then, paying attention to the colors and tones in the original photo, we recreated it on the canvas, but not with paint. We looked through magazines and tore out bits of paper to match our photos. Great fun, and LOVE the results.
This is the photo I used:
Me, on a boat, Lady Liberty in the background, taken about 4 years ago. I love the collaged version I did, even if it looks more like Annette Benning than me. I may go back and try to fix that, but in the meantime, here it is:
I think I better save something for next time. More projects, more views, just lots more to come.