Thursday, October 21, 2010

Art Retreat Report

Where do I begin? How about some of the things I made in preparation for the art retreat?

First, I made crayon cupcakes (which I did a whole post on here), which I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years- since I got Collage Unleashed by Traci Bautista. They were easy to make and Angelo helped me by peeling off the wrappers (I had some boxes left over from his birthday party and a few broken ones I’ve collected. Really surprised there weren’t more broken ones) and breaking up some of the crayons. You can give them to your child or use yourself for some interesting coloring fun or use a craft/travel iron (one without holes) to make some really cool backgrounds. For the backgrounds, just melt some crayon cupcake onto the iron and smear around on cardstock or watercolor paper (I like the latter better). You can also melt some regular crayons without the paper onto the iron and do a print or smear around also.

I also tea dyed some silk gauze, cotton cheesecloth and cotton muslin. It helped with some great antiqued collages, including a Halloween one using an image from my collage sheets available on Etsy.

I filled my dye tub with enough water for the fabric to move around in, heated, but did not boil the water, added about 10-11 cheap tea bags, wet, rung and added the fabric and then let everything sit for a couple hours or so. I stirred once or twice, but since I was going for an aged look, was actually looking for a few dark spots.

Then I got to the retreat (I’m skipping over a lot of stuff, like how I was excited to go, but in tears because I’d be away from my babies so long and how I agonized over packing and shipping my supplies. I get separation anxiety with my family and my art supplies.) This is what my room looked like:

I was spoiled all week. I didn’t have to cook or clean, make my own coffee (which was available all day) and someone else (my husband mainly) was providing child and puppy care. And, best of all, I got to spread out my supplies and leave everything and make art as long as I wanted, only being interrupted by food and potty breaks. I didn’t even sleep that much since I was so excited about all the ideas I had. I got to make the shrine for Tara, which I’ve wanted to make for a very very long time. It was labor intensive and sweet and emotionally difficult at the same time. I don’t think I would have been able to do it at home. It took so long to make, I think I would have had to spread it out over months and I might have gotten discouraged. There, I was able to work for hours straight (except for food, potty breaks and getting some experimentation out of my system). Once it was finished, I banged out a bunch of Artist Trading Cards, some small canvases and a cardboard piece. I will post pictures of all that later, but for now, I’ll add some pics of my dyed paper towels (which I hung on the line outside to dry and thought looked like tie dyed cloth diapers). The technique for this is also in Collage Unleashed.

It was a wonderful week. I laughed, I cried and I have been trying to adjust to being back “in the real world”. I also have been refusing to clean up after anyone but myself and occasionally Angelo (and once Dana, but usually I don’t have to do that. She’s such a good girl!) I’ve noticed that after a week of having to do it all [mostly] by himself, my husband is more self motivated in taking care of Angelo and the house. This is excellent, because I definitely plan on running away, um, I mean taking another trip by myself again in the near future.

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