Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An Artful Journey

I just returned from An Artful Journey retreat at the Presentation Center in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains.
Reentry to planet Earth was harsh. I realized as I rode through the city streets that I was tightly clutching the fabric of my jacket lying on the seat beside me. Not a good sign.
At the retreat I took Nina (as in Carolina...) Bagley's class. I've read her blog for 4 years and thought I had an idea of who she was, but it turns out I did not really. She is the warm, poetic, sensitive, emotional person who comes across in her writing, and an excellent teacher, of course, but she is also very down to earth and very real. Someone with whom I feel I can be my quirky, not always sweet self. The words engraved into the silver portion of the bracelet of hers that I bought, "I have waited until now to walk with you amongst these towering trees", may prove to be prophetic for me, as I have come to the realization that without a doubt I am not "a city girl". I must go find some trees amongst which to live, the sooner the better. Whidbey Island comes to mind, or somewhere else around Seattle.

In addition to the Presentation Center itself and to Nina's teaching and personal skills, the experience of being in community with more than one hundred women of all ages, from all parts of the United States, as well as from other countries, and with whom I have in common a desire to create, proved to be a very healing one, something I am looking forward to repeating. I do not know about other art retreats, since this is my first, but  if you have a desire to attend one, I can highly recommend An Artful Journey. There's another one coming up in July... just so you know....
We had a lot of "lightbulb moments" during class, and that is why Nina is holding up a drawing of one.


A few more photos of the Presentation Center, where even the trees were adorned with jewels.






My unfinished pieces made with items (the butterfly and the blue heart) from my father's "stash" from the seventies, when he made jewelry as a hobby, a pendant I made years ago, and the word "ricordi" scanned from a page in my mother's handwriting and embedded in resin. I really enjoyed making those resin charms and intend to make more. And now, back to earth... 

14 comments:

peggy gatto said...

thanks for the lovely pictures!!

anna maria said...

You're welcome! I have more and will be emailing them out soon. Thanks again for your lovely button.

Leslie said...

Nina is a great teacher. I've taken two workshops from her - the most recent in September in Squam, New Hampshire. And I know that Nina is picky about where she teaches, so I'm sure that An Artful Journey was a terrific venue!

anna maria said...

Hi Leslie,
I'm already looking forward to my next art retreat and my next class with Nina, but don't know when either will be.

lilylovekin said...

I was with you these past three days and am having trouble coming back to earth. It was a wonderful experience and you described it so well. It was nice to meet you and thank you for sending the photos. Lorrie

anna maria said...

Hi Lorrie,
I did not know lilylovekin was you! It was great to meet you and who knows, maybe I will just have to got to Artfest or another Artful Journey in July.

Diana said...

Wasn't it a wonderful three-day gift we all gave to ourselves?! What a lovely group of creative and giving women we had in that room! I'm definitely in favor of a reunion next year.

Kelly said...

Lovely post. Nina sounds like she was so much fun. I was in DJ's class. I'm having a ball blog hopping around all the attendees blog's tonight. :-)

anna maria said...

Diana, I'm in favor of an even earlier reunion!!
Kelly, I think I will follow your example tonight, here i go...

robin dudley-howes said...

Pretty pictures Anna Maria, especially with the fog. Thanks for coming over to my blog. We'll keep in touch. I see from reading your blog we have a mutual interest in spiritual things....robin

Gwynnie B said...

Wasn't it the best?? I enjoyed meeting you and talking about trees...and to be surrounded by such magical trees at the retreat was truly wonderful! For our first retreat we did well, Anna Maria ;)
xo
Gwynnie

chrissy said...

anna maria...
isn.t it funny how we were in the same place at the same time and didn.t realize that we were who we are? does that make any sense? thanks so much for the kind remarks on my clothes. how sweet are you! robin dudley-howes was my roommate. she took nina.s class with you too. it looked WONDERFUL! you girls were soooo stinkin talented in there.
i am in total favor of a reunion.
have the most wonderful weekend.
c

Laura King said...

Hi Anna Maria, I am so happy to find your blog! I just wanted to thank you so much for being such a great person to share a workspace with. I really enjoyed your company. You were so fun and so kind :-)

Seeing your interests as shown in your blog list, books you are reading, and the Episcopal church where you attend, I find we have many interests in common. And how I would love to go to Nina's class in Italy and have you as a classmate. I don't see that happening for me this year, but how wonderful for you if you are able to go!

I love your photos of the Presentation Center and I love your butterfly necklace. It's going to be a treat to explore your blog more fully.

Didn't we have a great class? Nina was wonderful, and what a great group of women in the class! I very much hope there will be a chance for us all to have a reunion in the future.

For me it has also been hard to come back to the outside world after being at the Presentation Center. Spring is arriving early here, and so later today Matt and I may go for a walk in some nearby woods and take some pictures while we are at it.

anna maria said...

Dear Laura,
thank you for your wonderful comment, I will look for your email to to send you a "hello". I'm still thinking about the Artfest experience, it really had a positive effect one me, and I really enjoyed sharing the table with you, and the beautiful bead you gave me, which adorns my butterfly necklace and will always remind me of you.
I don't think I'll be able to make it to Italy for Nina's class either - oh well, maybe next time.
Hope all is well for you,
a hug,
Anna Maria