Well, to start with who would EVER have imagined I'd even consider attending an event like the
Applied Creativity in 3 Acts
retreat in Coventry over the weekend of 3-4th June?!?!?!?!?!
But, consider it I did and booked my place way back in November
Then, with everything that happened it seemed to come around very fast
Being fairly local I did not "retreat" as such but Phil dropped me off and then came back for me
VERY long days - had to be there for 8am and first day did not finish until 8.45pm
But my first day was shorter as I had a total meltdown after the second workshop when, for some reason, everything just quite suddenly became overwhelming and the grief hit hard
I was texting Phil in a panic but made the decision to get him to fetch me early as I did not want to disrupt the next workshop and make an even bigger idiot of myself
People were so, so kind
One friend I had met only once before but whom is a FB friend spotted me trying to hide my tears
Came over with a hug - she was my salvation that day
thank you Kassa Hayselden
I was gutted to be missing Marta Laprowska's workshop
An artist I have always wanted to meet
But meet her I did as she was coming into our room as I was scurrying out
I offered my profuse apologies and she just dropped everything she was doing to give me her time
A tiny wee very beautiful lady who just grabbed my bags - my very heavy bags - and walked me out and sat and chatted to me
She was amazing and every bit the person I always imagined her to be
She went above and beyond for me at that moment
The wait for Phil seemed forever - but was only about 40-45 minutes really
Another FB friend, but now very much a real life one too came and sat with me the whole time - Samantha Kingdon you are another amazing friend
The moment I got home I knew it was the right decision
Needed to gather myself together to go back for the second day
and go back I did!
This time planning on being more sensible - had only two small glasses of water the day before and only a very small lunch as I do struggle in that sort of situation. I had no cakes or biscuits when they came around so was pretty much running on empty.
The Sunday was different and when everyone else had cake, I had cake!
And I was determined to make it to the end as the last workshop was with Finnabair - the gorgeous Anna Dabrowska - someone who has become a friend
There was no way I was missing her class
We did three workshops each day and first up on Saturday was France Papillon - an artist new to me but whom I loved from the start
We had to lay an egg.
Well, pour plaster into a balloon and blow it up and keep turning it
Alas, most of us ended up with saucers or pancakes but, oh the giggles we had!
France's second workshop was the circles project ... a technique based class that taught us so much.
The dreaded P word came into use here
P = Pencil
P = Debbie having a meltdown
But I was there to learn so pick up that pencil I did
Yeah, right - now you see why I hate pencils!
(actually LOVE pencils to look at and stroke and sniff but not to use!)
Finnabair's workshops were a wooden panel using her signature style of a photograph and a ton of embellishments
Oh, and her new Impasto Paints
Get myself into a tizz when I hear the word paint ... am much more an ink girl myself
But, of course, her products are so, so amazing
And her encouragement and demo's and teaching is second to none
So I managed to work with paints
Second project was a journal cover - exactly what I love doing
Pushed myself hard with the colours in both of these using colours I would not normally choose
So that's pencils, paint and different colours ... any wonder I was so stressed!
Final two workshops were with Marta Laprowska ... the Discover piece was the class I missed so did it at home and it is nowhere near what it should be - but done it is and on my wall
The Remember panel was a joy to do in a very, very different and a style new to me - very soft and pretty!
On reflection it was a simply fabulous weekend and I am so pleased I took part - not bad for someone who barely left the house from 2008-2013 ... check out the photo' below and there I am sitting right in the middle (total fluke as the other groups came into our room for the group photo') surrounded by fellow artists some of whom had flown in from the USA, Sweden, Belgium, Holland as well as from all over the UK ... and I was there too!