Artfest is over?!! Already?!?

Heather Carr self portraits 2012

After 3 1/2 days of painting, friends, and parties, I am totally wiped out!  It was my first year of attending Artfest, as well as Artfest’s last year of operation.  Teesha Moore, the creator of this art retreat, promises something even grander in the works.  I can’t even imagine what that might be.  I just hope it’s still local!

After a retreat I always feel both completely filled up – with ideas, inspiration, and the emotional charge that comes with connecting with old friends and making new ones, and completely depleted, from giving some blank canvases everything I’ve got, from sharing with friends a lifetime’s worth of crazy inebriated stories, and from knowing I have to say goodbye, even if it’s just ’til next year.

Since my brain is feeling fried, and I’m being subjected to a never-ending loop of Nyan Cat (thanks to my children), the rest of my post will be more pictures, than words.  I wish I’d taken more photos, but I was too busy playing!

Heather Carr Jesse Reno Painting

I painted with Jesse Reno for two days, and miraculously, finished a painting.  A second piece is still in the works.


Heather Carr Painting work in progress opasnaAfter:

Heather Carr 2012 painting

It says “OPASNA” (oh-pas-na) which means  she is dangerous, in Russian.  It is my interpretation of an anglerfish.  If you can believe it, when I started it kinda looked like Marilyn Monroe.  Ha!  I wish I’d taken some transition shots, as it went though many stages, but my hands were always covered in paint.  By the way, I’m not sure if the title is referring to the painting, or the artist… 🙂

Heather Carr painting work in progress

Another work in progress from Jesse’s class.  To be finished soon, I hope!

Heather Carr 2012

Jesse doing a drawing demo.  I love watching people sketch with ease.  I always get nervous if I’m too aware of people watching me!!!

Below is a warm-up exercise we did in Jesse’s class.  I’d like to play around with it some more.

Heather Carr 2012 drawing

I took Mindy Lacefield’s class on Saturday, and it was great to share the day with her!  I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to know her better over the last two years.  I had a blast helping her out at her marketplace table Friday night.

She did some great demos in class.  It was fun watching her work.  She is a master at cuteness!

Heather Carr 2012

I worked on four backgrounds.  Can’t wait to play with these more.

Heather Carr 2012 painting

The owl and the pussy cat?  I did this in class.  The owl and cat are made from torn paper.  The words say “Ya Teb-ya Lyoob-loo” which means I love you in Russian.  I may play with this a bit more, but I like the raw wood showing through.

Heather Carr painting 2012

Two heads are better than one.  This other piece is unfinished.  It’s a two-headed bird.  These birds may get some stripes and crazy legs… not sure yet.

Heather Carr 2012Well, that’s all for now!  Friends, old and new, I hope you’ll keep in touch.  And ladies, (*ehem* Danielle, Janna…) let’s not forget about our plans for next year!

Countdown to Artfest!

Heather Carr 2011 paint on hands

I’m heading to Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA next week to attend Artfest.  It is the 13th anniversary for Artfest, but my first year participating, and unfortunately, Artfest’s last year of operation.  Artfest is 3 days of art workshops, evening events, and mingling with like-minded souls.

Even though I live in nearby Seattle, I don’t know that I would have known anything about Artfest, or met any of the amazing artists that I know now, if it weren’t for an email I received one day that inspired me to be brave…

A few years ago I went to my first art retreat.  I’d received a newsletter from artist Mati McDonough that said she was going to be teaching a mixed media art class at An Artful Journey, a retreat down in the mountains of Los Gatos.  Mati and I met in a class, years before, back when I still lived in San Francisco.  I watched as her art career blossomed; her hard work and success has been a great inspiration for me.  When I heard that she was teaching, I felt that it was an invitation that couldn’t be ignored.  So I packed my  bags, left my kids with the grandparents (Thank you, Mom and Dad!!) and hopped on a plane.  At the retreat, Mati was teaching along side Kelly Rae Roberts, who I wasn’t familiar with before the class.  Another incredible woman and artist, Kelly Rae has extensive guidance available for anyone interested in turning their art into a career.  (Check out her Flying Lessons for art business advice.)  Anyway… their class totally rocked.  I was blown away by all the creative energy in the class and all the amazing attendees that I met.  There were a lot of established artists there.  Amazing people!  It was like being surrounded by a sea of really friendly art rock stars.  I was a bit overwhelmed – and totally hooked.

Heather Carr An Artful Journey 2010 Mati McDonough and Kelly Rae Roberts

Mati Rose and Kelly Rae demonstrating their mixed media expertise.

Heather Carr Child painting 2010

My favorite piece from my first art retreat.

I returned to An Artful Journey the following year to paint with Jesse Reno. If you ever have a chance to take a class with him – DO IT!  Jesse is an incredible, intuitive artist, and storyteller.  His teachings have influenced my art quite bit.  And I am grateful for that.  I enjoyed his class so much, that I am taking it again next week at Artfest in Port Townsend, WA.  I will also be taking a class taught by the sweetest girl I know, Mindy Lacefield.  I love her work!!  If you are attending Artfest, stop by Mindy’s table at the marketplace Friday night and say hi – I’ll be helping her out!

Heather Carr Jesse Reno 2011 Artful Journey

Jesse Reno explaining paint magic.

Heather Carr 2011 painting work in progress

The beginning stage of my paintings in Jesse’s class.

Art retreats are highly addictive. They empower people in amazing ways… being immersed in so much creative energy – people carry it back home with them, harness it, and SOAR!  I’ve seen so many fledgling artists really take off, in just the few years since I first met them.  With two young children as passengers (or more like co-pilots!), I feel like the wheels are just getting off the runway for me now, but that’s okay.  It’s way better than sitting in the airport lobby, just admiring the art from afar.

Flora Bowley Rocks!

One weekend in November, I was one of the lucky few who got to attend a Flora Bowley painting workshop here in Seattle.  She is truly awesome. There is nothing I love more than having hours and hours of uninterrupted painting time, surrounded by creative, like-minded souls.  And who better to lead you on an intuitive painting journey, than Flora?!

Both GIANT paintings that I worked on came to be, just by playing. I tried not to influence them by making plans too early on.  Or over-thinking things.  They were definitely shaped, however, by the overwhelming bliss of having a weekend to put being a mom on hold, and the knowledge that I was going to be visiting NYC for the first time ever, soon after my class.  I recently finished up both of the paintings.  What do you think?

big city – 30″x30″ – in progress and finished!

letting go –  30″ x 30″ – in progress and finished!