The focus of ArtFest is art journaling. I’ve tried this a couple of times, even made a few art journals, but never really got into it. I journal… and I do art. They come from two different parts of my brain. Whenever I’ve tried to moosh them together, both parts sort of suffer.
Part of coming out here (aside from loving Teesha’s rubber stamps and, you know, traveling) was to stretch my artsy envelope and embrace art journaling (at least for five days). I’m with 143 artists who are good at this and six teachers who want to help us do it better, give us new ideas and techniques, and support the artsy life. My attitude is I’ll Try Anything! Bring It On!
We have two classes a day with a two and a half hour break between for lunch, rest, and journaling on our own. Each class is three hours long, which never seems like enough time to do everything we want to do. The point is not to create a finished piece, but to play around with the cool tools and new techniques, get a journal spread started, then go off later and mess around with it.
Not surprisingly, perfectionism among the ArtFesters abounds, but the teachers keep slicing through that by making us do things fast, sloppy, random, imperfect. I love it! Yesterday, teacher Orly Avineri, trooped us all outside with the images we’d made that we liked the least. We stood in a circle, ripped them up, then released them like confetti with whoops and grunts and whatever non-language noise came from our guts. Without release, she said, we get stuck. We can’t continue to wander to the next thing, and the next and the next. In Artfest’s Superhero pantheon, Orly is Wander Woman.
After class yesterday, I met up with my new friend, Michelle (brain enthusiast, fan-girl, mystic, potty-mouth) and her Southern California gang for supper. I was too tired to enjoy their lively conversation about Broadway shows. Time zone changes, adrenaline, the push of a schedule on the road, the gentle sway of rapid cycling; whatever the reasons, I’d only gotten three hours of sleep at night for too long. I had to skip the beach bonfire last night and for the welcome snug of my bunk. I fell asleep with the evidence of a day well spent.