An Artful Journey, art, art retreats, book arts, California

Day one of Albie’s class

I need to take more photos, but as usual, I became entranced with what I was doing. I kept going until I absolutely could not do it anymore. Today I have to remind myself to SIT DOWN. My hands are not too bad, but my feet and back were letting me know it last night. We are doing a lot of stenciling and stamping and tearing papers, which means it seems more natural to stand slightly bent over a table. My spirit was willing to keep going; my body said NO.

Albie is teaching us a lot of tricks and it was hard to believe how fast the time went by yesterday. I spent most of the morning on only two papers, neither of which I was particularly happy about. Realizing that I was over-analyzing, I managed to change my mindset to play and produced several more papers that I was much more satisfied with. I would like to produce a large amount of papers today and tomorrow for books for the gallery and Etsy, and take advantage of being able to use so many different stencils. However, Albie has several examples of sweet book structures that don’t require a lot of fancy stitching so I’ve decided to make one or two books here.

Cindy O’Leary is the organizer of this retreat and I have to say that we are well taken care of! There are lots of good snacks including amazing homemade chocolate chip cookies, coffee and tea 24 hours a day, good meals, and last night at the instructors’ sale she had some much appreciated wine for us. It is a beautiful, old place with some modern facilities, although the rooms in my building are what you might expect for a 100 year old convent turned college turned conference/spiritual center. I love the simplicity.

Prayer flags sent in by the Artful Journey attendees hanging in the dining hall. The Pueblo building where I am staying and taking my class is in the background.

Now I am looking out my window at 7 a.m. and I see the blessed blue sky, something I haven’t seen since I’ve been here. Yay! Listening to the rain come down through the pipes in the hallway, which apparently used to be an outside courtyard, was like listening to a waterfall, but I am tired of wet.

Time for breakfast, but I believe that I’ll just grab a piece of fruit and go on back to the classroom. We are doing some techniques with gesso today that make the paper look like embossed leather. I am so happy that I made the decision to come here. This is where I need to be right now. Albie is a wonderful teacher, and the knowledge that I take home from this will sustain my imagination for quite some time.

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