Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Case of Curiosities!

Hi...

Happy Tuesday!

The past 2 months have been a whirl-wind of activity.  I swear it was just New Year's Day and we were celebrating the start of 2016.  So much has happened since January 1st.  I purchased a home!  Yippee!  I've owned several homes in my life-time, but they were always purchased with a significant other.  This is the first home I've purchased all for me and by me.  I am proof that miracles can happen, no matter how old you get.  ;)

Late February/Early March, I traveled to California for a work conference.  The day after I returned, I moved into my new house, then a week later, drove to Ohio to go to an Art Retreat with my sister.  This is where today's story begins.

Before I begin with the Art Retreat, let's scroll back to a week ago Sunday.  
  
Picture this....it's a rainy, dark, and cold early Sunday morning.  My sister and I are dragging luggage to the car, on our way to the airport.  After the luggage is loaded in the car, I return inside to grab my purse and backback and BAM! down I go!  Feet go flying as I slip on the wet tile floor.  I hit the ground hard and immediately knew I injured my foot. But, we can't stop.  We.must.keep.moving.


So we get to the airport, get checked in, and immediately apply ice to my fragile little toes.  I continue icing on the plane and replenish my ice once we arrive in Denver.  I continue to ice until we arrive in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  It's an 1 1/2 hour drive to Taos, NM, so we grab more ice and hope for the best.    
Once we arrive in Taos, I debate whether to seek medical help or carry on.  I chose the later.  An artist must do what an artist must do!  ;)

I continue with the icing and essential oils all week.  After I returned back to PA, I decided to go to the doctor.  This is me now - for the next 2 weeks. 


I haven't heard the final word, but hopefully no bones are broken.  Just a serious hyper-extension of tendons and ligaments.  But the injury did not deter me from having an amazing week filled with inspiration, renewal, new friendships, and exploration. Taos is truly a magical place and a piece of me will also remain there.
Our gracious hosts for the Art filled week were the beautiful women at 'Mabel Dodge Luhan House', a historic site full of history and tales.   Here are some pictures of the gorgeous grounds and beautiful adobe styled architecture.






 










Our very talented and hyper-inspired teachers for the week were Roxanne Evans Stout and Seth Apter.  Oh My Word.  Can it get any better?? These two are like a match made in heaven. 

Our retreat was titled, 'A Case of Curiosities'.  We signed up for the week without a clear idea of what we were creating, but we had faith in our teachers that whatever they planned, it would be incredible.

The first art warm-up we completed was to go on a scavenger hunt for found nature objects to create a mandela.  This was fun and I was amazed at what everyone found in a short 15 minutes of hunt. I especially love the little heart rock I found.  You will see how I incorporated it into my Curiosity box later on.


After we got our creative juices flowing, we immediately jumped into creating projects for our Curiosity box.  I can't remember specifically the order we created what (since most of the projects were being worked on simultaneously), so I will share them here in no specific order.

Our first mini book (taught by Roxanne) was created using Pan Pastels, Khadi Paper (which is amazing), and our own found objects and papers.  The binding was simple and made extraordinary by using a found stick.  Love this!

For many of my projects, I used papers and memorabilia from my parents in their younger days, and found objects from Taos.  I wanted to incorporate a bit of my history with the history of Taos.


 





I could create mini books like this ALL DAY!

The next project was a Kantha Quilt Scrap Prayer Flag. (Roxanne was the teacher) This is such a simple, but beautiful idea.  





  And it rolls up and is nestled perfectly into one of the empty compartments.


Next, we tried a new technique with Seth, using randomly painted paper, mono-printed with other randomly painted paper.  Another super creative idea that will definitely be used in the future.  

After we created our mono-print, we stamped and added texture to our paper, then cut it into 12 equal sized rectangles.  The concept was to create a memory book of the retreat.  

I wanted to celebrate the strong and empowering women who attended the retreat, so I used several Tim Holtz images as the 'face' of these women, and used words that would remind me of Taos and this very special week.






 And here is the mini memory book nestled in it's cubbie.


 Seth then inspired us to create another fabulous mini book (2" x 2" in size).  Love the tiny weeny size of this mini.  He showed us another cool (and super easy) way to bind our books that makes book making fun!  This is art begging to be touched!






What is a cannibal?
Exactly!  This quote was found in my father's Junior High School Year book.  Not sure what it means, but it sure is funny! 




Next, Roxanne showed us how to embellish little tins, complete with a mini book inside.  These make my heart sing! 




And yet another Roxanne inspired project - a collaged canvas hanging piece.

I tried not to over think my collaging and I am so happy with the result. (Note to self:  do.not.over.think.creativity)







Another simple, yet profound project was our little blessing sticks.  I choose to honor the four seasons, Spring, Summer, Fall, & Winter.



 My final project was my favorite, as it really embodies Taos and symbolizes the inspiration behind the 'Case of Curiosities'.  This is one of those ideas that makes you wonder and explore the possibilities.

We covered sticks, paintbrushes, found objects with twine, wire, string, charms, and beads.  Look at the delicious layers.




There is something so powerful in such a small, in-animate object.  Truly awe inspiring!

During our 'off' time, I gathered objects found in nature, on my table, and during our adventures in Taos, to create several additional objects for my case.

This is a gifted silk worm casing, embellished with found objects



I purchased this little doll and rusty object at a store in Taos.


Here's the little heart rock I found on my first day!




I channeled my inner Roxanne and created a fabric bundle, encasing a found bark/lichen piece with Pinon Pitch.



And a little wooden canvas, that is housed perfectly in my case drawer.





And some close-ups of the cubbies, filled with goodness!





And a peek at the crackly effect on my case.


This picture says it all!


A trip to Taos wouldn't be complete with lots of photos of the majestic mountains, blue skies, and influential history.


  



 

















And I'll leave you with one final image.  This was the sink in our room.  Huh?  All week, Tracy and I would turn it on and put our hands under the 'un-working' faucet.  I guess old habits die hard.  ;)
Still never really understood it.....



Thank you to Roxanne and Seth for sharing an memorable and inspiring week!  You made the week something I will always remember.  I can't wait until next year!
  
And a special thank you to all of the amazing women who attended the retreat!  Y'all are incredible people!  I am honored to have spent this week with you.


And lastly, thank you to my sister!  Sister time with you is always the best!  Hugs!


Till we meet again!

5 comments:

Catharina Maria said...

Thank you fot showing these beautiful pieces of art !
I love all the things
Love from the Netherlands RINI

Martha Richardson said...

Thank you for sharing Tina...visually exciting, inspiration filled. I would so love to create such little works of art.

rivergardenstudio said...

I cannot believe how much you accomplished in less than one week, Tina! And how your photos of the New Mexico scenery and the art play together in a wonderful story of our retreat in Taos. Just incredible!

Fiona Paltridge said...

OH MY! OH MY! OH MY! OH MY! OH MY! what an exhilarating experience and you're art ....... OH MY! My heart is singing so loudly. DeeDee was so right, you are such an inspirational being xxx Thank you for sharing your story.

EKS s said...

Tina -- this is a wonderful summary of our week -- it's great to see your photos!

5 comments:

Catharina Maria said...

Thank you fot showing these beautiful pieces of art !
I love all the things
Love from the Netherlands RINI

Martha Richardson said...

Thank you for sharing Tina...visually exciting, inspiration filled. I would so love to create such little works of art.

rivergardenstudio said...

I cannot believe how much you accomplished in less than one week, Tina! And how your photos of the New Mexico scenery and the art play together in a wonderful story of our retreat in Taos. Just incredible!

Fiona Paltridge said...

OH MY! OH MY! OH MY! OH MY! OH MY! what an exhilarating experience and you're art ....... OH MY! My heart is singing so loudly. DeeDee was so right, you are such an inspirational being xxx Thank you for sharing your story.

EKS s said...

Tina -- this is a wonderful summary of our week -- it's great to see your photos!