Monday, September 29, 2014

Art Retreat Fun!

Today marked the end of an AMAZING art retreat in Petaluma, CA called Art Is…YOU. This was the first time I have taught for Salianne and Ellen. In fact, this was the first time I ever heard of Art Is…YOU, but it's been going on across the US and in Australia for a number of years now. 

The event was all week long at the Sheraton Sonoma County, all the students stayed here and all the classes took place here. It was a great opportunity to meet new friends, take classes in multi disciplines, and even attend an art trunk sale. 

My class was 21 students and our room overlooked the marina

Most of the people in my class were local to the bay area, but I did have a student from the Netherlands who got the gold star for traveling the furthest. Thank you Kitty! 21 is a big group, I tried my very best to give as much individual attention as I could to each and every one. Artists of all skill levels take my class, but everyone works on the "Small Apple Exercise."

Jodi, in deep concentration

Jodi stopped me at the elevator on the day I arrived and said, "I know who you are… you are the REASON I am here!" And then she giggled "I've been stalking you on Facebook." Isn't technology amazing? Jodi did a great job with her apple collage, I was very proud of her. 

DeBi (back) has been following me on FB for years, she brought her lifelong friend Melissa to class

I had two sets of women who came to the class together, as friends. I had 21 women who made friends and left the class not only with new knowledge, but some new friends. 

Everyone was given hand-made name tags by Salianne and Ellen

Salianne and Ellen paid attention to every detail. We had morning motivators at breakfast, we had an Artist Trunk Show on Saturday night, We enjoyed lunch together. There were so many different classes here all week long, it was a lot of fun to talk to students and teachers from other classes to hear about what kind of projects they were working on. One class even made their own hats, I am sorry I could have have been a student in that one!

At the trunk show I was setup next to Stencil Girl AKA Mary Beth who was fun and friendly and even invited me to sit with her and Tonia Jenny from North Light Books at lunch today. It's always nice to be included, isn't it? :)

I had the opportunity to meet assemblage artist Michael deMeng on Saturday night who was also teaching here this week. He and his wife were both setup at the trunk show on the opposite side of my table.

Busy hands, Tammy gluing paper

In my class, we painted paper on Saturday, and glued it down on Sunday. So much paper was painted and everyone thought they had enough, but come Sunday I heard a lot of, "I don't have enough paper." Which always makes me smile, because you can NEVER have enough hand-painted paper. Tammy (above) won the door prize for saying it first. She got a signed copy of Alyson B. Stanfield's art marketing book I'd Rather Be in the Studio. 

Mateo, Annie, Tiago, and Me

I was lucky enough to have a dear friend in San Jose who picked me up from the SFO airport on Thursday and took me home and made me dinner. We visited the San Jose Art Museum and I got a tour of this town that she grew up in. Annie and I have known each other since 1990, we met in London when we were both working in the city. We have matching tattoos twice over. It was so nice to spend time with her and her family. On Friday afternoon they all drove me up to Petaluma and pointed out all the bay area highlights along the way. We got into Petaluma early evening, checked into the hotel and had dinner at Real Döner, a wonderful Turkish restaurant in town. The falafel and Baba ghanoush were to die for! Thank you Annie for your hospitality and for driving me all over... and back! 

The Small Apple Exercise in progress, by Joyce

At the end of the class, I take an hour to critique each and every apple at the front of the room so each student can learn from their classmates. Everyone tells me that the critique is extremely helpful, I think so too. 

When class was over, everyone was sad to say goodbye, but lots of folks exchanged emails and I hope they will stay in contact or even get together, since many are from right here in Northern California. 

The alcohol resist technique, the best piece of paper I made in the demo

If you are interested in a mixed media retreat that offers multiple classes and teachers, then Art Is…YOU might just be what you are after. It's not just in California either, oh no. You can find this retreat in SIX locations, Olive Branch, MS; New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, Australia; Petaluma, CA; and Stamford, CT.

Standing all day requires creative yet comfortable footwear

I certainly hope I get invited back to teach next year at this wonderful retreat, be it CA or CT or MS, and wouldn't it be amazing to be able to go to Australia to teach? 

You just never know where art will take you. 

Thank You
for being a part of
my Art Journey,



  1. Thanks for the great workshop Elizabeth! I had a lot of fun! I am back home now enjoying my collage of a juicy apple :-)

  2. Kitty, I'm so glad you came to the class! Thank you so much. Love your apple!

  3. i sure hope you teach in CT!!!! looks like class was a blast!

  4. Kathy not this year but maybe next, we sure do have a good time!


thank you for taking the time to read and comment! :)