Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ping pong, anyone?

I've been feeling a bit like a ping pong ball in a clothes dryer lately (with bouts of stillness in-between), so bear with me if this post jumps a bit too! There are so many things that I'm excited about doing, that I find myself bouncing around between them all. Good thing I can still bounce pretty well, even if my bones do creak a little.

One of the highlights was a trip down to Santa Barbara a couple of weeks ago to visit my oldest son, Ryan—what a treat that was. I don't get to spend nearly enough time with him.

Ryan and the dog he wishes he had

Because I'm always looking for inspiration and cool artsy stuff for the retreats, we headed south to Summerland and Carpinteria, poking our heads into various galleries and antiques shops. A friend said that Just Folk is a must-see, and wow, was she right! A great selection of folk art and outsider art. One of their recent acquisitions is a collection of works by Bill Traylor—small pieces painted on bits of cardboard. They start at $85,000, so they were a bit out of my price range (!), but I did pick up a poster that the gallery had put together. Now I won't worry if the grandkids run into it and knock it off the wall! It's a really wonderful gallery, and the owners are very personable and interesting. Highly recommended!

On Sunday, we went down to the Arts and Crafts show down on the beach in Santa Barbara—beautiful weather, great company and lots to see. The one artist that really caught my eye was Neal Crosbie—I love his work! The photo doesn't do it justice at all, so check out his website. Best of all, he's the nicest guy; so genuine and humble. We spent quite a bit of time chatting with him, and getting to know him a bit. That's always the best part. I'm looking forward to purchasing a piece of his work, along with his book, Everything Be OK. I'll buy that.

Now, I've heard of people who look like their dogs, but never one who looked like their!

In stark contrast to the colorful art show was the Arlington West War Memorial display—it was on the other side of the pier, so I would have missed it if my son hadn't told me about it. Very powerful. No words needed.

I wish I could have stayed longer, as there's so much to do in the area, and a few people that I would have liked to have gotten to know, like these folks. They seem like they'd be very interesting, don't you think?

I've also been attempting an online class here and there. I say attempting because I have an irritating habit of signing up when I don't really have the time to fully participate—it's on my 'do better' list. (I don't like making resolutions, but a 'do better' list sounds reasonable to me.) Even though the classes have ended, I'm doing the exercises and playing every chance I get, bouncing from photoshop to stitching cloth, and then to my new-found obsession with zentangles (how did I miss this?), along with a sudden compulsion to carve rubber stamps. These last two are very meditative (the stillness part), especially when I'm sitting in the backyard with the sound of the water fountain in the background.

On the business side of things, registrations for the 3rd AAJ retreat next February are going great! It feels like a very special group of attendees (as are all of them), with a lot of repeat customers—always a good sign! There are still openings in all the workshops, but only a couple of spots in two of the classes. I'll be highlighting each class/instructor in future posts, but you can check out their blogs/websites by going to the Instructors page. A seriously talented, awesome, generous group (did I say talented?)—I'm so fortunate that they want to teach here!

We're having a bit of summer here (finally), so are doing our best to keep cool. Hope you're enjoying your weekend!


peggy gatto said...

I enjoyed my "side trip" this morning!

Mary Stanley said...

Loved your Santa Barbara adventure!
Love Neal's work too! Next trip let's get together!