Sunday, December 29, 2013

Creative Excursions in 2013

As I looked back over some of my favorite projects from this past year for my last post, I also reviewed some of the best creative excursions I enjoyed.  Seeing the places I visited in 2013 has gotten me excited for all of the possibilities for 2014!
Remember how excited I was to be sketching and watercoloring in Jane LaFazio's workshop?
One of the most noteworthy excursions was the CREATE Mixed Media Art Retreat in Somerset, New Jersey, back in July.  I was so incredibly excited to find an art retreat so close to my home that I could easily drive and spend a couple of nights completely on my own, doing nothing but soaking up art with hundreds of other people who enjoy and value it as much as I do.
My "tiny tarnished tome" from Kari McKnight Holbrooke's workshop
After Seth Apter's bookbinding class, I came home and "went to town," creating my own bound books.
I was going to try to convince my husband that an artists' retreat should be an annual event, but I've found several wonderful workshops offered over the course of 2014 at Longwood Garden, where we've been members for six years now, and I am thinking of taking some of them instead.  There's a watercolor class, mixed media, nature journaling...I think I will be able to get some artful excursions much closer to home this year!

The other workshop I took this past year was a Zentangle class at Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, back in May.
My completed practice tile from Zentangle class
The class gave me the opportunity to work with "official" Zentangle materials, specifically the thick 3-1/2 by 3-1/2 inch lightly-deckle-edged tiles that come with officially-sanctioned Zentangle kits.  I will continue to tangle on every and any surface with every and any pen I happen to have at hand, but it was fun to play around with the high-quality "real-deal" for those couple of hours in May!
Simon Sparrow's mosaic, "Assemblage of Faces"
Some of my most inspiring excursions took me to places to admire others' art.  I still find myself thinking about particular pieces from the Outsider Art exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that I saw back in May.
Jon Serl's "Family Band"
If you check out my two-part series of blog posts, you will get a sense of how much I really wanted to share the experience with you and allow you to see all of the really amazing pieces that were on display.  (Part I is here.  Part II is here.)
Detail from George Widener's "Blue Monday (Reversal)"
I was also completely blown away by my first visit to Isaiah Zagar's Magic Gardens on South Street in Philadelphia.  Please take a moment to look through the photos in the original post; it just might be enough to get you to book a ticket to Philly right away to have a look for yourself!
The artist at work on his amazing mosaic project at the time of my visit.
My daughters giving the artist's dog a pat in the midst of the mosaic garden.
Head to the Magic Gardens in Philadelphia for a multi-layered mosaic extravaganza!
Another inspiring destination from this past year was the Allentown Paper Show.  So inspiring, in fact, that I had to go TWICE--once in April and again in October.
I should really put a strict moratorium on paper and ephemera purchases for the next year, simply due to the huge haul I still have from my visits to the show.  But it is very, very hard to resist!
Besides these noteworthy creative expeditions, 2013 was filled with a number of other Artist Dates that "filled my creative well" quite full over the months.  Some of my favorite places to poke around and get inspired include:
Stores with beautiful displays, like Terrain
The ocean
Thrift shops, like The White Elephant at St. Francis of Assisi in my neighborhood
Art shows with wonderful collage art, like the Wallingford Community Arts Center Holiday Sale
Flea markets, like the huge one in the multi-tiered parking lot of our local community college
Yard sales, like the ones we enjoy around town during Media Garage Sale Days
I am thoroughly convinced that I have no need to bring one single additional item into this house beyond food, so I believe that 2014 will be a year for window shopping and eye candy, rather than actual shopping and purchasing.  I plan to have as many, or more, artful excursions to fill my creative well with images, ideas, and inspirations, but I am going to try to keep my wallet CLOSED throughout the process!

I hope you will come along with me during the next year to find out what artful excursions await!


Jewels said...

You had quite the artsy year! Good for you...

Linda Gibbons said...

Wow! What a full and creative year you've had!
There's a museum in Baltimore that you would love, the Museum of Visionary art. It looks very much like that exhibit of outsider art.

Jo Murray said...

Love the Philly gardens....and everywhere you went. Thanks for the vicarious trips.

Sue said...

I'll be curious to see where your creative journey takes you in 2014!

Joyfulploys said...

I enjoyed seeing your picks for this year. Here's wishing you lots more creative journeys and projects in the new year ahead...HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Patty Antle said...

Wow you did a lot of neat things! I've just been to one art retreat so far but I've got a fab one coming up in May. So excited.