Thursday, August 22, 2013

AAJ Instructors (part two)

In my last post, I highlighted two of the AAJ Retreat instructors who will be teaching at the February 2014 gatheringAlbie Smith and Katie Kendrick.  Completing the lineup of 2014 instructors are Stephanie Lee, DJ Pettitt and co-instructors Danielle Daniel and Mindy Lacefield.

Stephanie is returning to AAJ for the third time and I couldn't be more pleased.  I've been trying like mad to recall where/when we first met, but all I know is that it seems like I've known her for a very long time.  She's an old soul, so maybe we've passed this way before!  She's honest, fun, insanely artistic, and forthright; all traits that I deeply admire.  We worked together as instructor/organizer for years, but I really got to know her better when we spent time at a small retreat in Salt Lake City five years ago.  Chatting and riding (around and around and around) through town on the free shuttle; making bezels for the first time in her class; and roaring with laughter over stories told at night upstairs at the big art table are memories forever etched in my mind.  For AAJ, she's developed a special class that fits in beautifully with the sacred nature of the venue.  The class description here is so beautifully written; I just know it's going to be a very memorable workshop.

Vision Quest:  Symbols of Passage

Vision Quest:  Symbols of Passage

I'm super excited to welcome new instructors to the Journey, co-teachers Danielle Daniel and Mindy Lacefield.  They were inaugural attendees of the first AAJ retreat in 2009 and I clearly recall when I first met them, standing there in the Assembly room.  I told them then that there was something very special about them, as anyone who has met them can attest to.  Danielle had stories to tell that were just clamoring to get out, and Mindy's artwork was so unique and had such a personal style to it.  They've both created amazing art careers and I'm absolutely thrilled that they'll be returning, this time as seasoned instructors.  I know their class will be very popular, as it combines both of their unique talents and personalities as well.  This class is going to be fun, fun, fun—check it out here!

And then there's DJ, whom I've known for about 10 years, and who has become a very dear friend and co-conspirator in all things creative.  We first 'met' when I emailed her after having seen her work online at her local stamp store, and the rest is history.  We are convinced that we are sisters separated at birth, as there is just no other explanation for the shenanigans that ensue when we're together.
She has become an integral part of the Journey, and her influence and creative contributions are invaluable.  I'm heading up to her WA home in early September for our annual brainstorming/arting session where I snatch ideas and hope some tiny bit of her creativity rubs off on me we plan for the upcoming retreat.  We spend a LOT of time laughing and bouncing ideas all over the place; it's really the best form of therapy!  Her class will undoubtedly fill quickly, as it does every year, so I encourage you to take a look here, and then be ready for registration opening next Monday at 7pm Pacific time!

So there you have it—six extraordinary instructors, and five of the best workshops around!  AAJ has become an annual tradition for many, and I look forward to seeing old friends, and to welcoming those who are joining us for the first time.  See you on Monday!
A Bird in the Hand

A Bird in the Hand

Thursday, August 15, 2013

AAJ Instructors (part one)

Registration is fast approaching for the 2014 Winter Retreat, so I hope you have the date (August 26!) circled on your calendar; you can find all the details and info right here.  Our venue is the lovely Presentation Center, nestled in the redwoods just above Los Gatos, in northern California.  All five workshop offerings are amazing, each one very unique, so I hope you've had a chance to look through them and see which one 'speaks' to you.  In this post, I'm highlighting Katie Kendrick's class and Albie Smith's, just to give you a little insight on why I love having them teach for AAJ.  I'll introduce you to the others next time around!

I don't recall the exact moment that I first met Katie (over 10 years ago!) but I can tell you that once you meet her, you never forget her.  She has a certain spirit about her that just lifts you up, that makes you feel better by just being near her.  You want to just hang out with her, hoping that some of her goodness will rub off on you.  She's funny, generous, accepting, and the talent and creativity just drip from her fingertips.  In all the years I've organized workshops, I've had only glowing reviews of her as an instructor, which is really something!

She'll be teaching at AAJ for the 4th time, including the workshop she did when she and Judy Wise came for a Day Journey weekend years ago.  We have some great memories of that trip, involving "snakes" in the pool, sloppy doggy wake-up kisses, and crashing into screen doors.  And there was even more fun in the!

There is no doubt that you will have a fun and memorable experience in her class as well.  Her painting techniques and methods come from many years of exploration and self-discovery.  I promise that you'll be better for knowing her, both as an artist, and as a human being.  (I can honestly say that about all of the instructors lined up for the 2014 retreat, so I don't know how you'll choose among them!) 

You can check out all the details of her workshop right here; be sure and contact her directly if you have any questions about the class.  She'd love to hear from you!

I was first introduced to Albie when I signed up for a book workshop with her at Artfest many years ago.  She was such an excellent instructor that I actually finished the project (which is a huge deal, as those who know me can attest to).  Since then we have worked together many, many times and we have become very dear friends. 

She's taught at An Artful Journey a few times and each time, her students turn out the most amazing work.  She's a great teacher, she's playful, she gives it her all (and then some), and she's an absolute hoot!  

It's hard to imagine the retreat without her, and I'm just so blessed that she keeps wanting to come back for more.  She likes to limit her class size to 14 so that she can give every person the attention they deserve.  She's been playing with the Gelli plate and is so excited to be incorporating this tool into her surface design workshop!  You can check out all the details of her workshop right here.

So there you go—just two of the five offerings that we have in store for you.  Next up I'll be highlighting DJ Pettitt, Stephanie Lee, and the awesome duo, Mindy Lacefield and Danielle Daniel.  Hope you're considering spending a few days with us next year!  Check out all the retreat details right here.  I also want to remind everyone that there are two partial scholarships being offered, and the deadline for applying is August 21; details can be found here on the retreat page--just scroll down to find the document.  I'm so excited to be able to help a couple of well deserving people attend the retreat!  See you again soon!

Friday, May 24, 2013

2014 Retreat News

I don't have any earth-shattering excuses for being absent so long, just the run-of-the-mill life stuff that we all face.  Problem is that the longer I go without posting, the harder it is to actually do it because I somehow convince myself that I have ALL that explaining to do.  And the days run into weeks, and the weeks fly by, and then it gets just utterly ridiculous.  And that's where things stand today.  So I'm just going to start with where I am, and we'll go from there.

The February retreat was beyond fantastic, far exceeding my expectations (even though I try not to have any); great instructors, fabulous attendees, perfect weather.  Really, it was magic.  DJ took this pic of some of the attendees one fine day, in-between lunch and class (like herding a bunch of long-tailed cats in a roomful of rocking chairs!)  Maybe next year, I won't let them in for lunch unless they get in the group shot first!  Better yet, I'll bribe the all with my famous Journey cookies...yeh, that's it.

I'll dig up some more photos and include them in another post, but I mainly want to draw your attention to the Winter 2014 Retreat.

I'm thrilled that the Presentation Center is welcoming us back on Feb. 27-March 3, 2014.  They even said they'd arrange the same mild weather for us!  And I'm beyond excited to have some of my favorite instructors back, as well as a couple of 'newbies' (but not new to AAJ, as they were attendees at the inaugural retreat).  Returning are DJ Pettitt, Katie Kendrick, Albie Smith, Stephanie Lee, and then Mindy Lacefield and Danielle Daniel are co-teaching a class. (Check the links on the left to go to their website/blogs)

We're still finalizing the workshops, but they're sounding really, really good!  I would NOT want to have to decide which one to take!  (I know I'm a tease, but I can't help myself)  The classes will be on the website toward the latter part of July, with registration opening on August 26 at 7pm Pacific time.  I hope you'll mark your calendars and sign up early; we had a full house last February and I expect it to be the same this time around.  I promise to post more class info here as things get firmed up, so stay tuned...the website is slowly being updated as well.

In other news, grandgirlies are growing and are as delicious as ever; Max is managing to stay out of trouble in the new neighborhood; new fence is up and hardscape and arbors are next, along with landscaping.  Once that's done and I can look out and see green (yay!), I'll focus on the inside.  This house has turned out to be more of a fixer-upper than I had anticipated, but it's all good.  All this hard work keeps me out of trouble...mostly.

I look forward to getting 'my voice back' and hanging out here more often!  Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend, if you're stateside!