Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Retreat....OR...four days of being alive!!!

Finally I have some time to show you some of the glorious things people made at the Creative Soul Retreat.Actually I tried to get this post uploaded last night but Blogger wasn't playing fair...of course that could be due to the fact the kids have used all our high speed allowance for the month, 10 days before it is due to roll over again GGGrrr.Anyway here are some images at last.

Day O.This was Wednesday the 17th.After we had our lovely lunch and been to Rickett's sanctuary we went back to the Country Place, located our rooms and unpacked.The rest of the students arrived and we had the first of many amazing meals in a communal dinning area.It was exciting to see some people that I get to mingle with few and far between...sometimes years pass before I get to see some of my friends in the flesh like Deb Baker,Karin Hutchinson,Gail Hart,Jen Crossley,Diana O'Cobhthaigh ....etc etc.We were all so excited at what the days had in store for us all.Bevlea (our chief enabler,retreat organizer and bloomin amazing person) gave us a wonderful goodies bag that had things donated from sponsors,tutors and the like and included a GREAT apron to use.We all chatted,laughed and got to know some new friends as well.I had a poor sleep that night...maybe due to the excitement but also I am not used to all the people noises around LOL.The only thing that wakes me at home are the birds or if the dogs bark.

Day 1.Waxy Layers Class with Jan Harris.The unmistakable smell of beeswax hung in the hall and danced in our nostrils as we approached the class room.I find a chair,meet yet more students on either side of me like Kyla and Kimbra(a lovely artistic lady from Broome in Western Australia).Jan introduces herself.She has taken over from Judy Wise whom fell seriously ill just weeks before the retreat and it MUST have been scary as hell for Jan to fill her shoes.She needn't have worried as she is an amazing artist,kind and generous tutor and we all adored her.
Before we know it Jan had us layering collages in 5-6 layers of melted beeswax, adding colour with encaustic wax, adding interest with foil highlights, doing toner based wax transfers, shellacking and then burning off the Shellac to create marble like effect's across the surface.As usual I didn't get mine finished LOL."The Dancer" still needs some transfers, some more white then purple encaustic wax (I have some I have never been brave to use before),then shellac and flame to go...I'm sure Tim will love the Shellac part *grin*.

My Asian one has six layers of different transparent papers and is only 1/4 done....I'll show when I get all my classes finished....yes I didn't finish any class items though others did.

Day 2 .Talisman Bracelet with Susan Lenart Kazmer.OMG the things the ladies had produced in Susan's class the day before with enamelling were amazing.Most of the students in her class had booked in for all 4 days.Kyla,Maryse and I (plus another lady I think)were all newbies in a huge way.I had never seen the tools all these ladies had like dapping and shaping blocks,Diamond drill bits,Dremmels,circle cutters and punches let alone knew how to use any of it.I'm hoping Susan comes back and I'll do more of her classes.Susan is elegant with a distinct fashion style that suits her well and patient amazing teacher.I was fascinated watching her showing us rivets,how to build height and how she molds the metal so effortlessly.

On her very first demo we all gathered around her table.I started to feel dizzy watching her,then my vision went dark at the edges,the colour drained form my face and I knew I was going to faint or throw up....how embarrassing....I remember thinking I should sit down but then I couldn't see what Susan was doing LOL so I went to take a step back to get a chair but fainted and landed in Susan's box of papers.I didn't hurt myself or any objects but boy was I embarrassed LOL..At dinner that night Gail told me the gas cylinder near were I was standing had been accidentally left on all night so I think that is why I fainted as I am not known to faint at all.

After that Jen Crossley and her firiend Chris Aitkins befriended me and let me sit at their table.Jen (whom I adore LOL) and Chris make amazing jewelery. My concentration was shot for the rest of the day though.Still the skills I learnt were amazing and I'll make trinkets on and off till I have enough to finish the bracelet.Here are three of the charm trinkets I did complete and I have another 3 partly done as well.The rivet part of the middle one is one of my Aunt Betty's old coat buttons.I really want to get a Dremmel,circle cutter and dapper now to make even more jewellery *grin*.

Day 3.was my day off as I didn't fit in any other classes.I spent the day reading, went for some walks and had a go at drawing a face in my sketch book. I'm slowly re-finding my past drawing abilities.

That evening Martina Hart gave me this beautiful soldered piece below.It was a return for an etched metal ATC I gave her.I love it.I also bought a shimmery large Dichroic necklace from Gail Hart.Gail makes glass pieces that are to die for and she sells them to Galleries.I LOVE her work.

Here are some works by other students.These were done in another class taught by Jan called expressive faces.The students had to draw the faces upside down....that is turn the face image upside down they were drawing from and then draw it so the face was upside down on their page.Jan then got them to use non traditional colours for skin tones.I think they all look amazing!!.These two were done by Martina Hart whom was a delight to meet and get to know.

Next two were done by Nic Hohn who is another mixed Media artist in her own right.Nic's work is inspiring indeed and I have admired her stuff on the web before.A very lovely artistic lady.

Next are some of the works produced by the students in Laurie Mika's classes.I know this is Nic Hohn's but I am not sure about the next few after this.

This is Kelsey O'Mullane's waxy layers pages.I loved meeting Kelsey at last and love her dark style in producing art.

Day 4.Big Girl Dolls with Jan Harris.My last class was fun fun fun.Other then Sonja we were all newbies to doll making and it was a hoot watching everyone's ladies come to life.The class was cut short as there were people booked in for another function that evening so none of us completed our dolls.Below is me and Jan Harris.On one of my trips to clean my brush I glanced down the stairs to spy an Amazing Race checkpoint!!!!.When I mentioned it to Jan it turns out she is a huge fan and she raced down the stairs for me to take her photo next to the checkpoint LOL.Silly me I forgot to take one for myself but I suspect that was the reason we had to pack up and be gone by a set time.

Here is my emerging unfinished doll.I took her legs off for the photo but they attach with wire and she is meant to sit on a cupboard ledge.Mine was a very imperfect lady indeed...she has cellulite dimples and pudgy tummy and all *grin*.

What an amazing time we all had and I hope to go again another year.After the retreat I spent time with Elizabeth Harm's and my much loved artist friend Cath Daulman which was absolutely wonderful.I was in jaw dropping awe of Elizabeth "office" craft space(i'll show some of it to you all later....but Queen of Toys she is and more LOL)) and delighted to catch up with Cath as well.Thankyou Elizabeth for all your help.Please if I have used an image of your art work and you don't want me too just let me know and I'll remove it :o).
Annette In Oz

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Trip to Melbourne-William Rickett's Sanctuary

I'm home again after a wonderful trip to Victoria.All my fears and worries soon left at the airport where Elizabeth Harms had kindly came to get me 11 days ago.Arriving just prior to midnight in such a large city that I know so little about and far from little ole Humpty Doo in the Northern Territory of Oz was mind boggling to me.So Elizabeth's kindness at getting me so late at night(we had never met before) was a welcoming relief indeed.I spent the night in a hotel and the next day Lucy Leatham had been arranged to pick me up.I had never met Lucy before either and had thought the organized bus was getting me after it had collected others from the airport arriving that day.Lucy let me know she was to get me a week before I left and the excitement built from there.Both ladies where a delight to meet and get to know.Lucy so reminded me of a fav Aunt of mine and both made me feel very welcome.

Lucy took me to the Country Place where we were staying at for the next 4 days of the Creative Soul Art Retreat.I marvelled at the huge Mountain Ash trees that towered around us and the smell of Eucalyptus in the air.The venue was gorgeous.We helped Bevlea unpack and I got to meet some of our amazing tutors like Susan Lenart Kazmer and her sister Cheri and Laurie Mika and her sister Lesley.Also met Bevlea for the first time and the mastermind for the retreat.This lady has performed a small miracle in bringing this all together and her and her helpers(Lucy and Eva and sub enables who helped with supplies and other details like Elizabeth)just had me in awe.I can't thank them all enough for doing all they did.

We all then went for a yummy lunch in a quaint pub that had amazing coffee.Here I was sitting and chatting to some of our lovely teachers,their sisters and our wonderful organizers in a beautiful spot in Victoria and I really wanted to pinch myself.From there we went to William Rickett's Sanctuary.....OMG OMG this place just blew me away.Gorgeous sculptures had been created by this fascinating artist and then placed amongst the Tree Ferns,Mountain Ashes trees etc right in the side of Mount Dandenong...it was green,lush,a feast for my hands and eyes and also like a treasure hunt finding the hidden sculptures as well as the visible ones....just amazing.I certainly didn't want to leave and wished Grant was with me.Maybe we will get to do it ourselves later in the year.William Rickett's was inspired by the Aboriginals and their faces peep out all over the place. Below is a painting of William Rickett's.

Here are just a sample of the 92 ceramic sculptures you can see there...

I loved the Lyre Birds on this one....

On many you see hands arising up from the base like this ones.

This one below was intriguing as he has placed ? his head on an incised Aboriginal males body.

Loved the wings on this one and the how the ceramic has a wood grain look.

This looks like him again but the hair looks like a ladies .

Next is Susan and Laurie at a carved entrance way to a shrine inside.

The Dingo here is almost now reclaimed by the bush with his moss covered coat.

What a wonderful way to start the retreat but in no time we were back at the Country Place,unpacking and getting ready for the days of creativity to come.The company of the organizers,tutors,fellow creator's/students,scrumptious food all a heady mix.I caught up with old friends and made some new ones.I'll share what we did and the days as they passed over the next few days with you all.I can't believe its all over now and I am back home already and back at work.....WAH.
Annette In Oz

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Its Time To Fly-CSR Here I Come!!

My busy streak at work continues and I have only had one day a week off for a month now.I'm off for a week though to go to The Creative Soul Retreat in Victoria.I'll leave home in half an hour and I'm ssooo excited and scared LOL.I'm looking forward to meeting some new ladies and catching up with ones I know as well.the lovely Elizabeth Harms will be picking me up at the airport...it was one of my fears...getting into Melbourne after midnight, finding a taxi stand and a good cabbie had me petrified so Elizabeth saved me!!!
I'll let you all know how it went when I get back as I'll have one day off before I go back to work afterwards.I'm doing a waxy layers class with Jan(aaahhh forgot her last name),a jewelery class with Susan Lenart Kazmer and a clay doll class with Jan.These two cards I made last month but I didn't get them loaded up then so here they are now.The first one has polished pigments on the bg and its very shimmery....gosh she doesn't look happy LOL.She is a vintage image water transfer to calico.

This one is a vintage lady iron on transfer to white material.

I'll be back next Thursday.Melbourne here I come.
Annette In Oz


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