Wednesday, September 27, 2017

I Was an Amuse-Bouche (aka a Weekend of Wild Creativity, Vulnerability, and Madcap Connectivity)

Mary Beth Shaw's class

So,  eleven months ago I committed on pure instinct to attending an inaugural event.  I didn't know the name, but I knew it would sell out well before I had time to ruminate on going or not.  Let me namedrop a few names to help you understand why I knew the clock was ticking:  Seth Apter, Traci Bautista, Pam Carriker, and Mary Beth Shaw. Yep, under one roof I thought, but actually it was two.  The participants took over not only our host store space, Ephemera Paducah, but also Paducah School of Art and Design for the  event.  Kristin Williams and her able staff worked with Mary Beth to create an amazing weekend.  Those EP gals must have hit the ground running because every i was dotted and t was crossed to make this a seamless weekend for all of us.  I cannot express how much that attention to detail means to a retreat participant.  Although it is a wonderful weekend full of wild creativity and human connectivity, it also can be draining as you leave your comfort zone for parts unknown.  Having the details handled is one less distraction and frustration. Kudos to all who made StencilGirl & Friends: An Art Journal Affair happen. 

To my delight I was also happy to make this a working event as I was one of four "amuse-bouche" class offerings (my term straight from my unadvertised  Food Network obsession) on Friday for those who were coming in early for the weekend.  Seth, Carolyn Dube, and Kristin also treated the participants to some early creative flow, while I taught my Citrasolv art class, Transformation.  My students quickly adapted to this unusual process and substrate and some fabulous pieces. My video compilation of student work is on Nancy Curry Art on fbk or Instagram. It's glorious.


An opening reception set the tone of abundance, commonality and camaraderie.  Introductions were made, aprons personalized, and oh.....the trades.  People put together the most beautiful packets of ephemera and/or handmade art.  Swag it was, all the way.  Add to that the swag we received from our hosts, and abundance was felt by all.  I am grateful to the companies that helped support this event.

I have only a couple of "out and about" pictures, but I'm so happy to say that the cohesion in this large group was amazing.  I loved being able to meet and socialize with  "virtual" friends.  They rocked my world and I hope we get to return and be together again and again. 


I don't have many working pictures from classes, but the media was in abundance, the demos were great, and I was in full focused art mode. Oh, and chatty mode as new "live" friends, Sherry Canino and Chris Wozniak would attest to. 

Pam Carriker's class

Traci Bautista's class

Seth Apter's class

The classes were challenging and perfect not only for art journaling but also for other destinations. The A squad brought their A game and we learned a lot of insider tips as well as how they approached pages.  That is info that is great to take back to our studios.  They were generous, patient, and so in the moment. Thank you all for choosing the perfect classes to represent who you are as an artist. 

But that's not all........ The dessert to the whole shebang were pop up demos thoughout the evening.  We were treated to demos by Sherry Canino, Glenda Miles, Mary Nasser, Debi Adams and Kiala Givehand.  All came with their unique point of view and personal "go to" techniques. If you haven't been to their sites, do that over some coffee....several cups.


I've never closed down a creative workspace before.
I've never had pepperoni chips before.
I've never botched so many one way streets before.
I never shopped for leggings in a hotel room before. (addendum: and bought)
I've never felt almost instant kinship before. 

I am ever grateful for the reminder that we don't have to give up our artistic voice while exploring new territory.  We all have our own brand of creativity and together our creative voice is so much clearer.  I celebrate all those who were able to make this trip. You left a mark on my heart and also left me wanting more. It is my hope everyone will have this opportunity at least once during his/her artistic journey. 

For more art and sometimes a spotted poodle, you can find links to all my social media here.