Earlier this year I stumbled across a website for an upcoming art retreat entitled Call Of The Wild Soul. What caught my eye was that Teesha Moore would be teaching there, who has been a long time favorite artist of mine but hasn't been offering classes in the last few years. I decided I had to jump on this opportunity and sent in my registration right away.
The retreat consisted of 3 full day classes with the instructors of our choice. I chose Teesha, Tracy Verdugo (another one of my absolute favorite teachers and people), and Alena Hennissey, whom I had never heard of before but her class sounded interesting. It was held at an actual retreat center, and the rooms we stayed in were more like dorms than a hotel. It was on a beautiful piece of land in Petaluma, CA, and the cost of the retreat included meals which were all prepared using healthy and organic food. It was so much more than an art retreat, and the entire weekend was based on not only art, but provided exercises to strengthen self love and good health. It was amazing!
One of the classes that I didn't take required the students to build shrines around the campus using items they found in nature. I happened to come across one on my way to lunch one day, and I thought it was so beautiful in its simplicity:
I'm not sure who made this shrine, but I used it as the inspiration for my plate. Keeping with the self-care theme, I chose a motivational quote to add to it which will be a reminder to never stop trying, no matter what.
In case you're interested, here are the projects I made in my classes:
This was Teesha Moore's bookmaking/collage/painting class.
This is what I made in Alena Henissey's collage/painting class. This was my favorite class and I jam packed this piece with things that are meaningful. Each of the leaves on the tree have something I'm trying to let go on written on the back. They are attached to the tree now, but eventually the leaves will fall off and blow away. I love Alena's style of teaching because she encourages her students to make meaningful pieces, and she had us start the day off outside in a circle and talking about the reasons why we were there and what we wanted to get out of the class. We did some deep breathing exercises and went off into the wilderness and sketched for awhile. When we came in to do the actual project, we were in the perfect state of mind. I highly recommend taking a class from her if you ever get the chance!
This is what I made in Tracy Verdugo's class. It is still a work in progress, but you can see the general gist of what it will look like when I'm done. I had taken a class with Tracy before and loved it, so I didn't hesitate to sign up for another one. She had us paint symbols that represent ourselves onto the canvas first, and we included a motivational quote written underneath the many layers we painted on our pieces. So although no one else will be able to see the symbols or the quote, I know they are there. This makes the piece even more special to me and when I'm done, it is going to be hung in a very prominent location in my house.
I had such a great time at this retreat and I came back feeling happier and healthier. I vowed to keep up the momentum by eating the same kinds of meals that we were fed at the retreat. Unfortunately the holidays weren't far behind and I feel like I haven't eaten anything healthy since. Now that it's a new year, though, I'm hoping to get back on track. Wish me luck!