Monday, October 8, 2012

Art is You!

I am back from an amazing weekend at Art is You in Stamford, CT.  Before telling you about my classes, I want to say that one of the best things about these retreats is connecting with other artists.  It's always great to meet new friends, and connect with people you only know through the blogosphere.  Carolyn Dube and I didn't take any classes together, but we were able to hang out and share what we were doing, and "kvell" (meaning to be happy and proud) over all the amazing art being linked up at Fall Fearless and Fly, the challenge we are co-hosting at Artists in Blogland. 
Here's me with Judy Shea - my roomie at the retreat.  Judy had posted that she didn't have a roommate, and I needed a room, and so we met.  And I'm so glad we did.  She is so warm and kind, and an amazing polymer clay artist and cook.  She has such a great way of writing about her work -- check out her blog!

Judy, Carolyn and I had the best retreat dinner ever, with more new friends, Marjie Kemper, and Sheila, who's last name I can't recall!

The best thing about Art is You is how warm and supportive it felt.  From the hand stitched name tags we all received, to the community breakfasts and lunches, there was such a feeling of comaraderie and togetherness.  

Here's what I made:  I took an encaustic class with Serena Barton.  Encaustic is an ancient art form dating back to 100-300 AD, and involves painting with melted beeswax -- sometimes tinted and sometimes clear.  I had never done it.  In Serena's class, we altered a book using found objects and wax.   It was so much fun and I can see how I could become addicted to the art form, and just want to wax everything!

Here is the back of my book:
and here's the inside:  we carved out niches to imbed objects.  The teal and read polymer hearts were gifted to me by Judy!
 and because I had time left over, I embedded a frozen Charlotte doll in a tea tin!  What does the "10" mean, you may ask?  I respond, what does it mean to you?
I also took a class with Laurie Mika - a mixed media mosaic artist.  We made the most beautiful shrines out of polymer clay tiles and found objects.  Here are some of the students' beautiful works,
and a close up of mine:
Thank you for visiting! If you are so moved, please leave a comment. Hearing from you means the world to me.  Want to see more creativity?  Stop on by Art Journal Cafe, Anything but a Card, Fall Fearless and Fly, Creative Every Day, Paint Party Friday, Mandarin Orange Monday and Art Journal Every Day!


  1. wow!!! what cool experiences you had and such beautiful work! I especially love your shrine and the colors you choose!

    do you find it hard to create on the fly at a retreat, or are you able to just go with the flow? when I'm in a class, inner critic always speaks up and I get frozen...

    1. Thanks for the kind words! I try to take classes in things that feel foreign or scarey to me, so my natural instinct is to freeze up a little and feel like I won't be able to do it. But I try to just give myself over to the instructor, and just follow directions. I remind myself that whatever I create is for me -- so if it isn't exactly in my voice, or "good," that's ok. Easy to say, hard to do!

  2. Lots of awesome eYe Candy, and some class envy! :-)

  3. What a fun and creative time that must have been! I love the pieces you posted!

  4. Sounds like you had a lot of fun! I love the piece you did in Laurie Mika's class. I have her book and I love it! Must be great to do a class with her. Lucky you!

  5. What a wonderfully juicy post! Looks like you all had a great time. Your book looks awesome, and those shrines - YUM!

  6. Delightful weekend and great creations ~ (A Creative Harbor) on Tuesday ~ ^_^

  7. You obviously had a great time! Your projects are wonderful-love the little shrines and your encaustic book cover is beautiful-something I've never done. How sweet it is too when you have the opportunity to meet up in person with a cyberspace friend or two!

  8. Jessica... roomie.. I miss you already. I had such a great time and thank you for mentioning my blog. We had fun with our wax books and your shrine is so beautiful.
    I'm going to blog is today. You're the best. Thanks for all your fun and being so genuine. You made my weekend extraordinary. Judy<3

  9. LOVE LOVE the mix media projects you've made in the class. So rich in texture and colors. LOVE that you had incorporate beautiful oddities in your assemblage :). Looked like you had a great time there!.

  10. I posted earlier but on the wrong post. Duh, tired from travel. Love the pics. Turns out your roomie lives not to far from me, so we will be seeing each other too! It was great to spend time with you and Carolyn and Marjie and everyone....looking forward to seeing more and getting to know you better through the blog. xox

  11. What a treat to pop on over here and then find such a great AIY recap. Your class pics are wonderful... what a fantastic weekend we had... it was a real pleasure meeting you. Same time next year, if not in CM first!

  12. LOVE what you made! Hope you had a wonderful time! SO sorry I didn't end up in that picture with you:(

  13. I enjoyed seeing you there Jessica and I totally agree with you about the warmth of the community. You made great art and clearly had a lot of fun. I know I am already looking forward to next year!

  14. I have heard of this retreat from 2 others now and you! It must have been awesome to be together with so many creative minds and hands! Love the works you shared here!

  15. Wow, you and Judy as that is a great combo! No wonder you hit it off! Thanks for the kind words about my class....your shrine turned out beautifully! Especially for being a newbie...kudos!

  16. Jessica, you are a delight! I agree with Laurie that you and Judy are a winning combo! I loved watching the joy with which you created your waxy book shrine. It is lovely, and so are you. Hope we meet again!


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