Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Random thoughts Tuesday: An Artful Journey




The paintings above are the result of spending time in the foothills of the Santa Clara Mountains just outside of Los Gatos, California from Thursday Feb. 27th to Monday Morning March 3rd.  An Artful Journey 2014 was just that a journey,  


I spent a few weeks preparing my supplies for this retreat.  I looked at the supply list and had most of the items (no surprise since my house looks like a wonderful art supply store).  There were a few items I had to buy, absorbent ground, 3 18x24 gessoed canvasses, filbert paint brushes, a few more sponge paint brushes; and one more bottle of gesso.  That is it.  I packed up two priority boxes and mailed a lot of the supplies to make room in my suitcase for the canvasses and my clothes.  As the day drew near I really got scared.  How was I going to paint on such large canvasses.  I really wanted to take Katie Kendrick's class.  I had her book and wanted to really stretch myself and find the poetry in my art; but, 18x24?  I could barely paint in an art journal and all of my other work has been based on class assignments not thinking about something on my own.  Oh the horror of it all.  Well Feb. 27th came and I focussed on the fact that I would see my good friends Jenny Messerle, Michelle Unger, Gail Pfrommer, and Monica Moran.  It was a comfort to know that I would be among kindred spirits, so I got up at 4 am to make sure everything was packed (it was), house was clean (it was), garbage out (took it out), travel backpack ready with ticket where I could find it (it was)…..Larry my cab driver and friend arriving at 8 am (he did) and I was on my way.  

The flight was good, Gail and I met up at the airport and flew in together.  Shuttle service was there in San Jose waiting for us.  There were two cars because 6 of us needed rides (Gail coordinated the entire process and did a great job).  Met up with Annie Hooten (doesn't she have the best name) and all was well with the world.


An Artful Journey is held at the Presentation Center which is a wonderful haven in the mountains.  It is run by an order of Sisters and I can never remember it's name but trust me they are really sweet.  They ate dinner with us each night.  Anyhoo, this locale is magical.  There are walking trails, a labyrinth, and we even found the swimming pool (who knew).  There is a sense of peace that I wish I could bottle up and bring home.  We arrived around 2:30 and Cindy Woods, our director, and friends were ready to greet us with fruit, cake, smiles and the most wonderful books made by DJ Pettit.  Jenny, Michele and I roomed together in the Lower St. Anthony cabin.  This irony was not lost on me because last year I went to a silent retreat in Alhambra, California and was assigned to the St. Anthony room (need to read about St, Anthony during lent).

We took our supplies to our classrooms and prepared for dinner.  After dinner we had orientation and met our instructor/friends.  


On Friday classes began.  Katie greeted us with open arms.  Some of the students had taken her classes several times before.  This was my first.  Before we started painting each day Katie read to us about the wonders of the creative process and then we meditated and created a sacred space for our process.  It was a priceless experience.  Over the next few weeks I am going to talk more about each painting individually because it is important that I write about the process for each one.  However, working on the three paintings above was very emotional for me.  It was as if flood gates opened and the me that wanted to be released burst forth wide eyed and full of wonder.  It was very emotional and tears flowed.  Tears of happiness, tears of surprise, tears of humility and tears of joy.


I took my paintings to Small Church Community session last night because some friends wanted to see them.  They suggested that I should name them and it seemed right.  I am not going to explain now because the name may change; for today though, they all have a "working" title.

Well, this is getting long so I am going to end this post.  I hope you enjoyed reading about my journey…..TO BE CONTINUED……

Blessings and Love, pilgrim


Michele said...

I am delighted that you are naming you beautiful paintings! Great idea! We had such fun. I am missing you, my friend.

carlanda brown williamson said...


carlanda brown williamson said...

wonderful! I hope we can do an art retreat together someday! xo

Glenda Hoagland said...

I miss you too and promise to do a better job of staying in touch.

Send me your address via email

Christine said...

I am anxiously awaiting your next post! This sounds so wonderful and what you said about the emotional floodgates opening really resonated and touched me. I think I'm still hiding behind my bravo to you for throwing them wide open!!

The Creative Beast said...

Love this post! I can't wait to read more about Katie creating such a sacred space and your process unfolding...Also love that Saint Anthony is 'following' you - he is the patron saint of 'lost things', so maybe he is helping you 'find' your creative strength =-)