Firstly I want to thank those of you that recognize and honor this month away from my day job: Personal Assistant (that has me schlepping from housesit to dog walk, from Point A to Point B, to the P.O or shoe repair to consignment shop or up the down staircase and no guarantee of income except the consistent 12 hours M/W/F afternoons) that this is an Artist Retreat. It is not a vacation.
Vacation conjures up dinners on foreign sidewalks, frolic in the ocean and the chance for intimate encounter, hmmm maybe an Italian chef who sings and plays guitar. Paid time off (gasp)! –That is not this. In the corporate world this might be a business trip with reimbursement and expense account. Not that either.
This is beautiful. Perfect. Present. — except these brief distractions of explanation–forgive me. So now I’ve said it.
This is an ARTIST RETREAT.
Granted there are vacation similarities and the possibility of most of the above. Maybe just semantics but still. The Artist Retreat comes with intention and a whole lot of solitude (which is the point).
A time to focus on the pursuit of the Primitive Seamstress, long walks on a long beach, and to thrive in the salt air that is too cold for swimming, in its perfect off-season bursts of fog and red flag days to amazing emerald calm and too early for tourists. This is gifted time away from the demands of daily life. Time to indulge in the creative process uninterrupted by obligation to others, though not completely cut off of course. There is wifi and I partook in the recent Facebook Artist Challenge. Thank you Katherine Coons for the nomination.
True it is of my own making. Thank you Brenda. Best gift I’ve ever given myself. No Creative Capital or Lannan Foundation funding though I am grateful for the generosity of a few who bought into the art exchange/donation that helped with gas money for the 4 day road trip from Santa Fe to Santa Rosa Beach (1400 miles +).
And it has been fruitful. The Primitive Seamstress Series well underway.
An honest beginning.
And the blog and the Thursday poem.
I think back to other times I’ve taken leaps of faith for adventure. A 28 day backpacking trip through the Escalante canyons of Utah. In June. Bare bones. A blanket and a cup. At 22. I lost 13 pounds. Ten months later I quit school early to raft the Grand Canyon for 21 days. 1983. Again 8 years later. These were in a life long before I realized I was an artist. Since then there have been trips to Mexico for painting and poetry and Spanish lessons. A bicycle tour in Tuscany. A month at the Vermont Studio Center and four years at El Zaguan on Canyon Road.
A friend posted a quote on FB recently (below). Some might find it corny but it resonated with me in my forever search for purpose, identity, a safe place to reside, a creative balance — how to proceed toward ‘the dream’ if you don’t know what it is –and how does a person not know their dream? Wow! that is the question.
I know that travel is a passion. Process my vehicle. That the first step is to value yourself. To create your own happiness. To write your own dream. To let go of judgment (self and others) and to take a deep breath and open the door. Who knows where it might lead you.
Brenda is a visual artist and occasional poet who lives in Santa Fe, NM. She is currently at an Artist Retreat in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Her work can be seen at the International Gallery of Contemporary Art (IGCA) in Anchorage in February 2015 or visit Art Happenings. Studio visits welcome and by appointment.