Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Art Retreat Memories - Part 1

I'm back in the land of the living and it's St Patricks Day no less ... HAPPY ST PATRICKS DAY to one and all.

I must warn you, this is probably going to be a long post ... I've just had the best weekend in Melbourne creating art at the Creative Soul Retreat with fantastic tutors Stephanie Lee, DJ Pettitt and Bernie Berlin all the way from the States. I met so many wonderful people in the flesh that previously I'd only "chatted" with online, and feel that I have made some wonderful new friends.

It would have been nice to have a big group shot of everyone that attended the retreat , but we didn't actually do that, so I'll add a few pictures of the art I made, the tutor's in action and some people I met ... there are some photos still to come from others, so I'll do more posts over the next few days.

I travelled with Maryse Alvis from the Gold Coast on Friday, 13th March to Melbourne on an 8am flight. We arrived at Melbourne on time and were greeted by 2 airport angels / 2 Elizabeths: Elizabeth Mackie (aka Liz, aka Miss Oddity) and Elizabeth Harms (aka HRH, aka Queen of .... {you can fill in the blank ... LOL} no, no, really it's Queen of Toys). There were others arriving at the airport too, so we waited around and a convoy of 3 cars travelled into Melbourne to go to St Lukes Art Supplies and grab a bite to eat. By 3.30pm we'd arrived at our venue - the Edmund Rice Centre in Amberley and we got settled into our rooms ... my roomies were Brenda Grace and Nic Hohn, both lovely ladies that I hope to stay in touch with.

Some shots of the Edmund Rice Centre in Amberley.

Me and Liz (Miss Oddity)

Kelsey O'Mullane & Eliza Harms (HRH)

My roomies - Nic Hohn, Brenda Grace and me.

I spent Saturday with Stephanie Lee doing her Junk Drawer Metalsmithing class ... this class was way out of my comfort zone as I hadn't created any art with metal before, but I absolutely loved it and was so glad that I tried something new. Stephanie was an awesome teacher and has a pretty wicked sense of humour too, so it was loads of fun. If I can find a safe space around our place (where no kids or dogs can get to) I just know I'll keep making some of these metal pieces as they'll be great as embellishments on other altered pieces of art. I was pretty lucky in this class today as I won the lucky door prize which consisted of crackle paint, embossing powder and modelling paste ... all things I'll use in my art at some stage.

Stephanie in Action

Me and Maryse Alvis in action making our metal art.

Some of the things I made in class and the prize winnings.

A happy snap of Stephanie Lee and me ... what a lovely person and extremely talented artist.

After dinner on Saturday night, we were presented with our Little House swap and here's a picture of all the unique creations ... I love all of them ... so much work and effort went into creating these little masterpieces.

After the Little Houses were all handed out and the hubbub died down, Bevlea had the three tutors draw out a name to win one of the major prizes that each artist donated. When I was filling in my raffle tickets, I was saying to myself ... "I'm a really lucky person and I'd really love to win Bernie Berlin's painting" ... anyway, the first prize was drawn by DJ Pettitt and Deb won a beautiful collage and painting. Next it was Bernie's turn and she called my name out ... WOW ... to say I was thrilled was an understatement and here's a picture of her fantastic painting - I am just going to treasure this beauty forever.

My prize winning, original painting by Bernie Berlin.

But that's not all, Stephanie did the next draw and guess what ... it was me AGAIN!!! I was so amazed and a bit embarrassed and extremely excited all at once and for a moment there I thought, I should let them do a redraw and give the prize to someone else because I'd already won something, but that left my mind very quickly as I figured it's a random thing and I totally randomly won 2 out of 3 prizes .... how cool is that! I guess, it was my 40th birthday on Monday and although I got a few presents, my main gift was going to this retreat and so now I feel that I got a couple of extra birthday presents .... woo hoo ... I must be the luckiest girl in the world and totally grateful that I have 2 pieces of original art made by two phenomenal artists ... it's been a recent goal of mine to start collecting other artists work and now I'm off to a fantastic start!!

Here's the hand made original bracelet and necklace by Stephanie Lee that I won.

To finish off, here's a couple of fun pictures taken with the tutors ... Kirsty Campion had this cool mini Polaroid Camera and we were just having a ball checking out the photos ... I couldn't stop laughing, hence my dodgy smile in the photo below.

Me, Stephanie, DJ & Bernie.

Kirsty (my other buddy in the metal smithing class), Stephanie, Me and Bernie Berlin.

So much more happened, so feel free to check back as I will post pictures of DJ Pettitt and Bernie Berlin's classes.

Enjoy and keep creating.


Kathy said...


Oh man I'm so happy for you and sooo envious! :-) Sounds like you had a wonderful time! All those classes with such wonderful teachers! And congrats on winning two such wonderful prizes! Can't wait to read part 2! I'll attend this retreat vicariously! LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Diana,

I know what you mean about comng down from the high.. what a lovely bunch, and fantastic art.

You better buy a lottery ticket with that much luck.

Ro Bruhn said...

Wow lucky you winning two prizes, well done. It was a great retreat, even though I was only there for DJ's Saturday class, it was so well organized. I'm looking forward to next years. I didn't get to speak to you but saw you in passing, I met Nic, she's a lovely lady.

lyn said...

omg hun, sounded like you had an amazing time. what an experience that woulda been. lol u should b in this years cj at cupboard :)

Jo Wholohan said...

great to meet you di xx

Shelly said...

OMG, you won two drawings !! The power of thought is a strong thing.
The BB painting is wonderful and the jewelry - to die for. Stephanie Lee is one of a kind, isn't she? Your metalwork is fantastic - love the ART plate and the bird and nest pendants.
The house cards are amazing !! Your collection must be quite something now. I think I see Kelsey's card (Boo) . . . her style is so distinct.
Looks like you had the time of your life, and I'll bet it went by so fast. Can't wait to see more.