Monday, September 19, 2011

Squam 2011

i am back from a fabulous week away which started off in boston, and then a four day art retreat, that is Squam Art Workshops, out in the beautiful woods, and hills of new hampshire.

i knew i was in for an incredible time, but i didn't realize how incredible it would actually end up being.  for a gal who is an introvert and who's not comfortable being a social butterfly, this was a big deal for me. i knew no one, and going in, i was nervous about that.  but i kept remembering my one word and that was 'risks'.  moving through my fear to create new experiences.  and that's just what i did. it was fabulous.  like a blur of 4 four days of creative bliss.

and here i go feeling weepy and emotional again thinking about it, in a soulful, joyful way.  and full of gratitute for the art sisters that i got to meet and hang with.

the beauty of squam is that you can do as much as want and as little as you want, depending on your mood.  if you want some alone/quiet time, the woods, the trees, the mushrooms, the paths, and the lake are there to keep you silent company.

if you want to talk, and giggle, and talk art, or just laugh and chat and bond, there were plenty of opportunities to connect and stretch and bond, and just laugh...

sommers cottage was very charming in a rustic way, with a fabulous burning fireplace (that would somehow be magically lit by the time we'd get home from classes).  my cabin mates and my roomie were awesome.  so different, and from all over the world: japan, the cape, san fran, boston, texas, and new hampshire..  it was cold at night and we all sported warm socks, jackets, hats, and whatever else you could layer on.  so funny, one night it was SO cold i had about three blankets on, my clothes and my two jackets, and my scarf wrapped around my head.  when cheryl, my roomie woke in the morning was pretty hysterical laughing at me all bundled up into one big mess in the bed.  memories like this to last me a long while.

my first class painted icon, with misty mawn was an utter thrill for me.  i consider her my mentor, art-guru and master of all.  i for the first time created a piece using acrylic that i actually like.  it was as if there was an electric creative current in the air, and in addition to being gently guided by misty, it felt like a dream.  come. true.

my next class was sarah ahearn bellmare.  what a sweetheart she is.  and so super, like, super talented gal (btw i'll be saying 'gal' from now on thanks to my 'gal' cheryl).  she had the most incredible collection of vintage papers and ephemera and dictionaries, and books, and photocopies of vintage pics for us to use.  i was in utter shock at the sight of it all.  i wanted to just snag everything and run off with it.  she gave us these super 2 minute prompts to create, and boy, it's changed my life.  I had an 'aha' moment in her class which i'll discuss further in another post...  total AHA moment.  if you don't have her book yet, you MUST get it.  worth. every. single. penney.

my last class was with penelope dulligan, 'hand lettering'.  she's just so talented.  she made hand lettering look so easy.  but really, it's not..   there are so many tricks, some very suble that will totally change the look of your piece.  what i took away most from this class is that hand lettering isn't about your penmanship, it's about creating hand lettering to suit a piece... do you want it to demonstrate joy, or anger, or to light or dark, and so many way to express emotion, or a message through typography.  i also had an aha moment in her class.  i'll discuss this in a later post.

and the final event of the week was the vendor night.  here's who i met and what i bought:

emily falconbridge:  tee-skirt and bum skirt, clothes she upcycles from tee-shirts and sweaters.  and a felt package... SO COOL.  emily girl, i want to be you when i grow up.  i really do.  i only wish i had more time to chat with her...  and come on, isn't it funny to see her literally kneel down to my size.  sooo so funny.

sarah ahearn bellemare:  two beautiful prints and her book 'painted pages' (run and get it now if you don't have it)

mary beth shaw: wood icing and stencils

maya donenfeld:  aka maya made.  one of her coffee sack bags...  ADORABLE

flora bowley: i wanted her ipad case but it was sold out.  actually EVERYTHING she had sold out by the time i got

caryn lynn duncan:  mixed media artist:  three prints

hillary sloss:  cards with her beautiful photography on them

and thanks to elizabeth for creating squam.  and jen gray who gives the best hugs... and sharing stories about our moms.  and to jonatha for her beautiful singing voice and entertaining us all...  you ladies are gold.  pure. shining. gold.

and look below what misty brought for me, upon my request of course...  it'll be framed and hung on my wall very VERY soon.  isn't it beautiful.  i've had a photocopy of this on my wall for the longest time.  now i have the real deal.

and oh so much more, but think i better stop here otherwise this post could go on forever.

all in all.  it was a magical time.  it sparked so much creativity and ideas, and friendships that i never thought imaginable.  pushing through your fear.  it's a good thing.

hugs to you all my friends,



carlanda brown williamson said...

oh frannie! it sounds just heavenly! i am so glad you got to go and the pictures are wonderful. can't wait to share the same experience with you in march! xo

Francesca Di Leo said...

oh carls... can't wait for march as well and meeting my stretching sisters! it's going to be the fests of all fests.. artfest 2012, watch out!! xoxx

misty said...

i just adore you! such a wonderful recap of an amazing few days... wish we could start it all over again. ;)
the path you are on is just going to get richer and richer from all this... so glad our paths crossed and i can't wait until they do again!
hope your reentry is going's hard the first week (month). but it's always good to be home, filled with such memories. hugs to you!!!

Francesca Di Leo said...

love you misty! i see my world with new eyes after this trip. and that's a good thing. thank you for being an active participant in my creative journey. xoxx

merr said...

wow. what a beautiful recap. thank you for putting into words what is so hard to describe.

Jenny Lee Wentworth said...

Amazing! I'm having fun imagining I'm there too as I go through the pictures. You look so happy! I can't believe Misty brought a painting for you, she is the most generous artist!
Sending love to you,

Petie said...

Love you for sharing all this with us. I knew it would be wonderful but your description makes me look forward to Arfest all the more..and of course to meeting Misty. I love your blog!! You did such a fantastic job with your text and your photos, I could still feel your emotion!! :D Can't wait to meet you !!

Lis said...

Beautiful recap! And how fun - I was right there when Em bent over for that picture with you :)

Yes, gentle re-entry ... and now I want to look again at your pictures and remember deep in my heart: this exists, this is real, this is me and you and all of the amazing creative souls that gathered for those magical days.

xo Lis

Francesca Di Leo said...

oh lis!! so it was real, i wasn't actually dreaming it... you saw me, i was witnessed, it was REAL. how magical it all feels indeed.