|Big barrel cacti were everywhere!|
Artzona: it was amazing! As an introvert who doesn't usually "do" groups, I was a bit concerned that the overall experience would be more stressful than fun. However, this is one of the few times in my life that I can say I genuinely enjoyed hanging out with a large group of people ... all the more amazing because they were a group of people I had only just met! The Artzona crowd turned out to be a real "come as you are" bunch, ranging in age from 30-something to 80-something. The majority had been to a past Artzona (this one was number three), but there were plenty who like me had never attended, and a few who had also never met any of the other participants before.
|Chihuly sculpture and cacti just belong together.|
So, what happened over the four-plus days I was in Mesa? The event organizers did an amazing job thinking of how to make the most of the time. We made art of course: in a conference room at the hotel, well-equipped with big worktables and snacks. There were also some optional side trips: an evening hike in the desert, an art walk in Scottsdale, visits to art supply stores, and a trip to see the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the botanical garden. Also, on the last day I went to see Taliesin West, built by Frank Lloyd Wright, before heading back to the airport for the flight home.
|Taliesin West. Beautiful, but totally worthless as an actual place to live. Unless you like to keep your living room at 95 degrees in the summer and don't mind snakes in your bed.|
I know not everyone loves to read about others' vacations, so I've kept it brief -- but hopefully this gives you an idea of what an art retreat might be like. Suffice it to say, I had an amazing time, and it was over before I knew it! My roommate was fabulous, and we had a great time from the moment we met for the first time at the airport. I loved not only seeing other people's art, but also how they worked. The woman next to me showed up with an incredible amount of gear, including a spray booth, and her art-making was almost like interpretive dance: she was layering textures and collaging in layers, mostly working standing, with efficient, graceful movements. Other people were sculpting items, drawing, painting ... you name it. I saw lots of neat techniques I want to try.
|Just part of my Artzona haul!|
I had to travel for work the weekend after Artzona and have otherwise been busy as usual, but I am exploding with creative energy and am making stuff whenever I an squeeze it in. In fact, I finished a sewing project this morning: I'll share that soon, along with another sewing project I finished over a month ago.