As spring gets closer a part of my creative self is remembering this is the time of year (in past years) I'd be getting ready for Artfest, which was hosted by Teesha and Tracy Moore and a crowd of volunteers. I'd be reading supply lists and gathering materials and thinking about how wonderful it is to gather with hundreds of like-minded artists for 5 intense days of learning and sharing. But (alas) Artfest is no more, so for this part of the process memories will have to do.
Oddly, what I miss most of all is making the trades. Given the population of Artfest (500+ artists), I took real pleasure in making small arty items to share with as many people as possible, and would often make something like 150 of whatever I'd decided to make, usually small books (quelle surprise!). I mean, how often in one's life (unless you're in manufacturing), do you get to sit down and make 150 of anything, particularly a small token of your creative self. Even now I find my fingers twitching to buy some little twiddle I've found in bulk with the idea that it would make an excellent start for trades at Artfest.
Fortunately for me, Artfest has brought some deep and wonderful friendships with other artists and I continue to meet (and retreat!) with them on a regular basis. It also introduced me to some fabulous teachers who I otherwise would only have known through their blogs. Like Roxanne Padgett for instance. It was in her class that I overcame almost all my colour fears. In fact, just looking at her artwork before I went to Artfest led me to Be Brave with Colour while making my Artfest Journal to take with me (as you can see by the front cover above).
And it was in her class more colour fears fell by the wayside as I created the portrait above. It's so completely different from anything I'd done before that I still can't believe I made it myself. I enjoyed her class immensely ~ from the warm up exercises that loosened us up, to the actual techniques of creation (this portrait was developed front to back on a sheet of plexiglass), to seeing the amazing variety of the work by all the other students. I've been eagerly awaiting her book "Acrylic Techniques in Mixed Media: Layer, Scribble, Stencil, Stamp coming out soon, and I'm *so* looking forward to it, although it won't be the same as having her right there encouraging me to *explore*, but it'll have to do.
My experience in her class, and in other Artfest classes have continued to feed and nurture my creative courage even today. So colour me bittersweet - missing Artfest, but loving where it got me.