Well I am back from Art and Soul in Hampton Virginia. I waited a few days to write this because frankly the whole trip was quite over whelming. We (my Mother and I) drove up 12.5 hours from Florida and arrived on the 29th. We decided to go up a day early and just enjoy the city and we did just that. When we arrived we were greeted by a gorgeous hotel. An Embassy Suites which is owned by Hilton. I believe all the rooms were suites with a small bar area, fridge, Microwave and living room area. The hotel itself had 3 glass elevators and marble flooring, a full service spa, gift shop, pool, fitness center, business center, whirlpool, and Restaurant. Basically anything you need and more for a wonderful week stay. A free beautiful breakfast buffet with everything from your basic cereals, yogurt and grapefruit, bagels, croissants, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs and much more, to made to order Omelet's and pancakes. Needless to say I ate very well every morning. And at night there was a manager's reception with free Alcoholic drinks and snacks too. ;)
Manager's reception on the first night. These are only pictures we managed to take of each other. I guess we just got too wrapped up in all the fun. Oh did I mention you got goodies when you checked in? Art supplies (Golden paint, stamps, etc), a lunch bag and a beach ball.
Our free day (the 30th) we woke up and both had amazing 1 hour massages at the spa. Then we took the shuttle downtown and had lunch at a cute Virginia Tea room. We explored all the small shops and a local art guild store and also happened into Gerome Meminger's studio which was also downtown. I bought one of his books and it was kinda funny happenstance because the next day at the conference center we saw many more of his paintings hanging there and we got to say "I know him". When we got back to our hotel we had the best meal ever at the hotel's restaurant.
We were scheduled to take a 8 hour class every day, break for dinner, and then another 3 hour class everyday Thurs-Sun.
Our first day was Soldering for Virgins with Sally Jean Alexander and Doodles and letters with Traci Bautista. Sally Jean was one of the sweetest people I met on this trip. She was super fun and bubbly and at some point she learned that it was my Birthday so she had her husband Brad AKA MR. Sally Jean sneak out and buy Cupcakes for the whole class. They surprised me after our lunch break with a chorus of "Happy Birthday". Needless to say it was a super Birthday!
Sally passed out instructions for everything we covered in class, fun ephemera and materials, bubble gum and of course her trademark candy necklaces. Here is my yellow name tag that got me into all my classes, some of the class loot, her book and the charms I made. The "paint" charm I bought from her at vendor night and is so much better that what I did in class. Though at the end of the class she had a "trunk show" of some of her first charms that were pretty bad and that made me feel a lot better about my first attempts. She showed us how to make the bubbles on the side but I haven't tried it yet on any of mine. I'm hoping to get just the plain soldering down first
That night in Traci's class:
My Hands after Traci's class.
For me this class was just perfect! Whenever I make art lately I am so stressed about composition and rules. Knowing when and when not to break them. Wondering if people will get this or that meaning. In this class we spent the night slopping, scraping and smooshing paint around making papers and stamps and doodling. She started the night with exercises to help free us up and allow us to enter back into a childlike state where there were no rules and ALL art is good and fun.
Here is her book, kit and some of the papers I made in her class:
What she drew in my book:
This class was so therapeutic for me that I even came home and made a giant stack of papers. I have no idea yet what I will do with them all.
I even had some pretty paper towels when I was done: