I met Liz (the owner) while driving back and forth to Winnipeg 2 years ago. She has been pestering me to teach ever since. I have been procrastinating ever since. Believe it or not, I am such an introvert. A three day retreat scares me. I get so nervous thinking about entertaining people for days on end. I get my batteries recharged through solitude. In the back of my mind, I told myself, 'this is the last time. Then I stay home and create.' Silly, right? It was the BEST teaching weekend to date. I had such a good time. I came home with a happy heart but pouting because i didn't want the weekend to end. ; )
The first afternoon was Postcards with the Challenge Theme being SPRING! Birds & nests, flowers, and landscapes were a common theme. Liz just came back from vacation to she couldn't help herself. She did the underwater ocean scene at the bottom. She tried to convince us it was the prairie, but we know better. : )
|lovely quilted landscapes with layering and embellishing|
The second afternoon was the Threadpainting class. I've been teaching both of these classes for six years now. As usual, the women had a range of experience - from those who had never done free motion, to those who have threadpainted lots before. I once had a student who didn't even know how to thread a machine! I tailor my classes so that everyone starts on the same foot with the same information, and everyone including the experienced threadpainters learn new things. This particular group were really great at the longer stitches I teach. I personally love to see that. Here is someone working on her project who has lots of background with free motion.
Beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful. She used all threads with sheen.
You have to see this next one. It's been getting overwhelming attention on facebook. : ) One of the participants sent me this image of her finished project. It was her first attempt at threadpainting AND she had an injured arm - She wore a sling all weekend! Isn't that incredible!?
|way to go TANYA !|
Truth be told, everyone's work was fabulously done. It's not often I get to see the fully completed piece. I love how she finished the branches. It is so lovely. Check out all of the blending! Super. I think it's had over 2000 views and nearly one hundred comments on my FB page. : )
On the last night of the retreat, I gave a brand new lecture for the first time. Usually I do a trunk show of what I do, or a retrospective slideshow of how I developed my art and what inspires it. This time however, the talk was on Landscapes. Specifically, I explained about getting the most out of your own photos to use for fibre art, whether you have a high end camera or an outdated cell phone. It irks me when people use other artist's images and compositions. Everyone has their own photos. This talk was all about getting the most out of your images, even the ones that you feel did not work out at all. I spoke about composition, cropping, lighting, points of interest, perspective, basic computer editing and how taking risks to capture images is well worth it. It was a very fun talk, and there were several women who stayed after to discuss this more. We went through their phone ipad images together and made some incredible discoveries. I showed them how to make new pictures from old ones. It was powerful! There was a lot of emotion when they were able to see the original scene with all the light and colour they remembered. It sure ignited some creative passion to confidently move forward and create art. I think this is an invaluable class. I will definitely be fine tuning it and offering again and again. I know I've been told so many times that great art begins with great photos. I'm glad I could show them how to do it themselves.
|another beauty from Sutherland Beach in Saskatoon|
So, now I'm home again. I had never been to a full 3 day quilting retreat before. I'm still digesting it all. *Pun intended* We ate like queens. If you ever get to attend this particular group's retreat location at Circle H Ranch, you will not be disappointed. It was an incredible dining experience. I expected to drop a couple pounds, but I gained 4. (Haha - I suppose that's not great advertising but we could all stand to take a few extra walks, right?) Liz brings her quilt store goodies with her, so we were all able to shop on site. It's advertised as a craft retreat so there was not only quilting, but ladies doing polymer clay dolls, fondant, scrapbooking, felting, and me - I brought my hand embroidery. : )
No regrets! I am going again as a participant. That ranch setting and the wonderful food and socializing was just too fabulous. We even enjoyed the return of some Canada Geese. Happy Spring, and thank you so much Liz. It was great to get to know you better.
Have a beautiful week,