Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Creative rewards of another fabulous art retreat

Just back from another wonderful artist retreat ... four days of nothing to do but Make Art (and share and laugh and eat, too, of course). Imagine nine creative women with WAAAAY too many art supplies in a idyllic saltbox farmhouse on a sunny island. It's always amazing to me how relaxed and casual it all is - and yet how productive we wind up being. I find I create things that weren't even in my imagination when I arrived.

Ever since we started these retreats, I've been inspired by Celeste's handmade journal - which is this amazing ongoing collection of quotes, labels, lists and other interesting stuff from her everyday. There's something so rich about putting your real life on the page - including the things that touch you, not editing out what is usually deemed to be trivial, letting yourself play intuitively as the page and the moment decree.

I love the structure of her journal - the "looseness" of it - the fluidity of the stitches, the non-preciousness of the page material, the seeming randomness of its content, and I decided this was the retreat to make one for myself. Since we had an ample supply of red rosin paper (thanks, Michelle!), and magazines to collage from, (and did I mention the WAAAY too many art supplies?) so I started folding and slicing and reinforcing folded page edges and stitching .. and then a few little twists and turns later, it turned into something similar-ish, but not much like her journal. I realized that if you change the size, the page materials, the stitch construction and a few other things - you get something entirely different - in my case "La Musee d'une Vie Inventee" (that's Museum of an Invented Life, by the way).

But the next day Celeste (and Paula!) decided they liked my new journal size, and created their own versions. Celeste's version used maps for the page-edge reinforcement and was stitched with oh-so-appropriate red thread, so now I may have to make one of those, too. I love this group!


okanagan_spirit said...

What a beautiful journal Penelope, whish I could see inside. Maybe you'll do a class for the ATC group?

lilylovekin said...

I came by your blog by way of Paula. It sounds like you had a great week-end. What a wonderful treat spending time with creative women, I just love to do that.