I went to “The Joy of Collage” this weekend co-taught by e’Layne Koenigsberg and Lynn Whipple and boy was it fun!! I don’t even know where to start with this post because I had such a dynamic weekend. I rediscovered my joy of collage for sure and then some! I’m on such a high right now that I hope never goes away because I nourished my soul and mind with the joy of art, new friends and the ocean but more about that later. Let’s start with a few things like, I just turned the BIG 4-0 OMG! How and when did that happen? I’m too young to be 40!! I drove to St. Petersburg on my actual birthday to help get things prepped with my friend e’Layne Koenigsberg for the retreat, she was gracious enough to let me stay with her and Lora for the week. That night they took me to Bongos which was right on the beach for dinner. We had an awesome dinner and conversations all with the sound of the ocean in our ears. It was an awesome birthday dinner, one I won’t forget. The next day we finished up our shopping for the food and I spent hours in their kitchen cooking for all the ladies that were coming over that night to meet and greet. It was great, I don’t think I’ve ever cooked for that many people or multitasked like I did that night, I had about 10 minutes to get ready and chill before everyone showed up. The anticipation was building as we were all SUPER excited about the weekend! What I didn’t anticipate was how much we all got along and really wanted to be with each other. After dinner was over the first night I felt really close to a lot of these women. We all opened up and shared bits and pieces of our lives and where we were at. We did a fun exercise that got us to talk more and have a word for each other. The question that was asked was “When do you feel most creative” or something along that line and we would expand on that and give a memory or situation that illustrated it, then our partner would give us one word to describe it. The one for me was “energy”. The one for my partner was “vibrant”. Then a few of us shared our words and ended the night on a fun note with some photos.
The next morning we started the day with getting rid of stuff we don’t like, need or want in our lives by carving it into some clay and smooshing it all up into a ball. My words were “negative thinking” & “being unsettled”. After we smooshed the ball we walked down to the beach and threw them into the ocean. That was sooooo freeing and was a great start to feeling creative! Get rid of the JUNK!
Then we all migrated back inside the Suntan Art Center to start working on some basic collage taught by Lynn. She showed us her easy, fun, quirky style that we all know and love. Basic gluing techniques and more. I was surprised at how much I already knew but definitely learned some new things as well. Always good to add to your knowledge base. e’Layne showed us some stamping techniques into wood with metal dies and rubber stamps as well to add texture and dimension. So blessed to have these ladies as friends, still blown away! LOL
Our fearless leaders with a wealth of knowledge!
We started out collaging on papers before we got brave enough to move on to our memory keepers. I had forgotten how much I loved to collage. I got lost in the process and came up with this goofy piece I call “Nervous Jervis”. His story is that he over thinks everything and only feels at peace in the garden! This one is a bit personal to me but it’s so funny how it came about!
After practicing our collaging skills we got the courage to start working on our very personal memory keepers. We all started collaborating with each other, sharing elements and ideas and what came out of all of that was incredible!! I fell in love with e’Layne’s memory keeper at her home which was the example for the class! I was intimidated to get started because hers was so awesome.
We would get started after we ate lunch.
The days flew by!! Before we knew it it was time to quit for the day. I was washing my brushes and turned around and had a pink blinky put on my head and people singing happy birthday to me! It was a nice surprise. See the birthday continues! Follow the blinky link for more info. My friend Kiarlinda sells them to benefit Safety Harbor Art & Music Center. After that followed drinks, apps and dinner poolside at the Don Cesar right next door!
From there we walked back to the beach for an amazing sunset and of course blinkies! Amazing end to an amazing day!
Day 2 was lots more work. This post is getting long! How do you condense such an awesome experience into a blog post? LOL
We finished the day and decided to go to Duncan McClellan‘s glass studio and OMG! I forgot my phone on the wrong night. I stole these images from some of the other ladies. We had an awesome night out together that ended at the Taco Bus then back to the hotels for some sleep.
Day 3 was finishing up our Memory Keepers so Lora came in with all the tools to help us finish like a drill press, wire cutters and more. Thankful she was there to help us go home with finished pieces that we could hang right on our walls!
After our pieces were complete we did our version of show and tell and spoke about our pieces and why they were meaningful to us. I was surprised at how personal each one was and unique to the person who created each piece. There were a lot of tears and I could tell how meaningful this class/project was to everyone, it was very healing. I so needed this class!
Here are some snippets of my piece as I was assembling it. I used some special elements in it, probably the most special was the paper my Mom had made me years ago. She created paper from recycled elements and gave me a sheet. I had always hung onto it not quite sure what to do with it but this piece was what it was saved for. I used it to create the hearts in the middle as well as part of the wings. Thank you Mom. I miss you!
One of the best things that came out of this trip is the desire to teach Lorelei collage. We used to do art together years ago then the Bean came along and that became hard. I’m so excited to create with my daughter again. I can only hope and pray it is a bonding experience for us because we both need it, in fact after school today we start!! Wish us luck!
PHEW that was long! If you finished this post kudos to you! Too much to condense and I’m sure I’m missing things. It was a wonderful weekend and birthday and I’m honored to call these ladies my friends. We are the first Tribe Wild Women class and we are calling ourselves the Dirty Dozen! We are the first and hope to keep this bond for a long time. There is even talk of a reunion next year! On the way home I FINALLY made it to my pal Kiaralinda’s home! Check out her website for photos and info, total eye candy! Her home will be on an episode of HGTV’s Extreme Homes soon!! Watch for it! Check out e’Laynes upcoming classes through FB or her website! She will be doing 1 day classes soon! If you’re in the Winter Park area you can see Lynn in action at Mcrae Art Studios. Thank you to you and Lynn for teaching such an awesome class, hanging out with us and just being you! ❤ you all! If you didn’t get enough of the photos from the trip you can see all 193 of them in my FB album here.