More ArtFesty Adventures

April 4th, 2008


I snapped a picture of this car in the parking lot. Hehe.

Artfest is a whirlwind. I'm trying to take it all in and enjoy it. It is pretty exhausting though. After the first class yesterday I was so tired that I went back to my room right afterwards and collapsed.

My first class on Thursday was about making mandalas with Anahata Katkin. I was so excited about it. It was a lot of fun, but it was so fast and furious. Normally, I like to work quickly, but this was a bit too fast for me. It was a lot to pack into one day and by the end of the day I was rushing to finish and then I wasn't too happy with the end product. However, I thought the work that people did was fabulous! Everyone had such a different take on the mandala theme and they looked so cool up against the wall at the end of the day. I think if I hadn't gotten myself all tied into a knot trying to finish the piece, I would have felt better about it. At the end of the class, here's how it looked:

This is on a 24"x24" canvas with paper collage, acrylic paint and gold leaf. After class, I headed back to the hotel, rested for a bit, and then I started working on the mandala again. I got it to a place that I'm more satisfied with (below), but I'm still not crazy about it. I wouldn't mind trying another one though, something with different colors. All the pink in this one makes me feel a little ill. Weird eh? I don't know what it is. It's pretty. It just doesn't feel like me. Ah well. Can't win em all!

Today was much more relaxed. I was in a printed paper class with Anne Bagby. She was kind of all over the place, but she was a real character, very funny, and she shared loads of techniques and tips that were fabulous. Plus, I appreciated her loose running of the class today because I had decided to do what felt best and not worry about it. So, I spent the entire class carving this intricate stamp which is I love and I saw the demos for all these really cool ways to print with stamps and stencils and I'll do those later on absolutely. It was nice to just focus on something and take my time. I'd never cut on the soft rubber mats and oh, it was lovely. As my classmate said, "like butta!" I'll share pics of that later on. I had some really sweet table-mates in class and I saw them all at the vendor night (which was nutty and I was in and out of there pretty quick.)

And now I'm back in my cozy room relaxing and recharging for tomorrow's class which I think will be fantastic. I had such a great chat with the hubster last night. He was so excited for me and the adventure I'm on. He knew it would give me a boost. Travel is such a fabulous thing. All of the sudden all your senses are turned on high alert. Everything is new and different and more alive. Of course, you can do this at home with a little awareness, but it's fun and exciting to explore new places. I've always enjoyed going places alone too. Fortunately the hubster understand this and we can both do this from time to time. Hooray for getaways!

17 Responses

There is just energy vibing off your post, Leah! I always find these kinds of gatherings to be transformative — not just in the moment they happen, coz often in the moment they almost overwhelm my sensory experience — but the energy from them keeps me flying for months afterward, too.

Loooove the car you snapped in the parking lot!

Interesting to hear your experience with the mandala…sometimes I create stuff when first practicing a technique that just doesn’t jive with me at all. And it put it away and stumble upon it later, having experimented more in the meantime, and will rework the piece and eventually it layers its way to something I actually like. And then sometime it just gathers dust :)

Have sooo much fun! Looking forward to reading all you will share about you experiences there!

I love the manadala in all its pinkness – it reminds me of the pink lotuses…

I could never finish a lg piece like your mandala in one day….lol…most of my stuff takes several weeks before I can say it’s done! It looks great as it is but if you aren’t happy with it, when you come back home you can put some finishing touches to it. It sounds like you are having a whirlwind experience-so much fun! It’s wonderful that you and your husband understand the need for alone time. Not every relationship is like that (believe me) and it’s a strangle hold when one person doesn’t let go enough to allow the other room to grow and experience on their own w/o feeling threatened.

Enjoy the rest of your classes–can’t wait to hear more about them!

Oh Leah, I am so excited for you ! Thanks for letting us live your experience vicariously through your wonderful descriptions ! I think it is fantastic that you have taken this adventure on your own ! The Hubster is wonderful to be so supportive. I have a man like that too and what a gift it is !
I also took a class with Anne Babgy last year at Hacienda Mosaico in Puerto Vallarta! She is a hoot, isn’t she ? A true artist with an all-over-the-place style but with so much to share.
I can’t wait to hear what comes next !Have fun, girl !

Thank you for sharing this – how wonderful. The energy is coming through loud and clear, and it sounds like you are having a blast. The second photo of the mandala, after you reworked it, seems to me to be warmer, somehow.

Wow! I love how this turned out! Thank you for letting us share this wonderful event with you.

I’m tired just reading all you’ve done. Wow!

you can do gold leaf! I am a miserable failure at gold leaf….tell me how! Sounds like that place is in high gear – how wonderful to spend days focused on creating…I’m jealous. And very happy for you. =]

I simply love your mandala. Your gold leaf is the perfect touch, and combines surprisingly well with the pink (gold and pink… who’d have thought?). It looks so great! I love the detail that you have added here. You must have worked your butt off to get all that done in one day!

I am with all you fantastic artists there in spirit!

Your mandala is very soft and lovely. I am in awe of your creative energy. How do you find the time to blog?

I think the mandala is awesome, I hope you keep it and look at it again later when you’re not so tired. I’m very envious of you being at such a place doing art. I wish we had something like that in my country too! Have fun and take care Leah!

Nice piece!

Your being too hard on yourself. The madala looks very cool! I am so glad you are having a wonderful time. You are getting me all fired up and I havent gone anywhere!

your mandala is amazingly beautiful!

Thanks for giving us the scoop on your trip, Leah. I do so love a good armchair travel. I’ve heard that ArtFest is a hard pace, lots of fun, overwhelming even. I agree with Kara. So many creative benefits from all that stimulation are probably yet to come- once you’re back in your studio.

It is gorgeous. ALthough PINK is my favorite color… it is wonderful beyond that. Maybe the pink came out of you for a reason? I have taken an Anahata class, and I know how you feel about the quickness of the class, etc. It can kind of leave you feeling “less than” the others, but don’t let it. Yours is beautiful, and your next one will be awesome too!


Whew! Thanks for sharing in the midst of your busy adventure.
I like the comment someone left about letting your mandala sit & coming back to it later.
Another thought is to add a glaze to take it away from the pink if it continues to bother you.
I’m impressed by how you can sustain your energy through this experience!

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