Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Going on Retreat ... AN ARTFUL JOURNEY, here we come !!!

{If you click on the link / title above, you will be taken right to the page that introduces the Retreat I am going to with Ann Deakers, February 18 - 22, 2010.  Although OUR Retreat has been sold out for months & months & months :-), there is also AN ARTFUL JOURNEY Retreat scheduled for July 18 - 22, 2010 -- and registration for that Retreat is now OPEN.}

SO ... what does this mean, exactly?  We've all heard the word "retreat", and in several contexts.  Right?

I found it interesting, and a bit shocking, that the definition that I usually attach to the word RETREAT is ... barely defined by Webster's {my mother's old Webster's is the one I use, dated 1956 and bound in leather} ... I define RETREAT as a ... getaway to a place where one is focused intently on ... relaxing, or learning something new, or spending time doing something we love to do -- as in "a spiritual retreat", or "an art retreat" ...  I even think of "a board retreat", as in ... when an organization's Board of Directors meets annually "on retreat" so they can be intently focused on ... their Mission.  

Isn't that what most of us think these days, when we hear the word RETREAT ???

I would venture to say, though, that my father, Frank - a World War II veteran -- would automatically think of ... the "real" definition of the word Retreat:

"to withdraw; 1.  act of retiring, or withdrawing, as from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable.  2. a place of seclusion, privacy, safety, or resort; a refuge; asylum; hiding place; den.  3.  an asylum for insane persons, inebriates, etc.   4. (had to do with aeronautics)    5.  The withdrawal, esp. when forced,  of troops from the presence of an enemy."

THOSE are the definitions that I think ANY military veteran would ascribe to the word "retreat".

I, however, did find one last, almost hidden, definition in Webster's that I can work with:

"To make a retreat; to withdraw."

AND THAT, my friends, is what an ART RETREAT means to me {as would a spiritual retreat}.  For one to "make a retreat" {ie, to leave behind their everyday life for a period of time, to just get away}.  To "withdraw", certainly, from our everyday responsibilities, and worries, and life. 

Ann and I are about to "withdraw" from our lives in San Diego to spend 3 full and artful days with artists KELLY RAE ROBERTS {  } 
{ Kelly Rae ... and Kelly's hands .. from her blog }

and MATI ROSE McDONOUGH { }, who are co-teaching our workshop at AN ARTFUL JOURNEY, where we will create a "Funky, Chunky Coffee Table Book".  You can imagine my excitement to actually, finally, be taking a workshop from the mixed media artist that started me on this mixed media "adventure" I have been on:  Kelly Rae.  I have art in my home from both Kelly Rae and Mati Rose, and it inspires me daily.

{ my "whole-hearted" elephant from Mati Rose McDonough ... 2009}

For me, an ART RETREAT means ... focused and relaxed time with like-minded friends where we just ... get & stay CREATIVE, where it's expected that we will get MESSY, where we are sure to have fun, and for me, it's a place where I find a lot of grounding, and even spiritual growth ... because my passion for art and creativity is something that comes from my SOUL.  I have found that the friendships created in art classes or workshops are some of the most amazing in my life.  ART is the common denominator that brings us together, and no matter how disparate the rest of our lives might be from each other's, it just Does. Not. Matter.

The beauty of AN ARTFUL JOURNEY, for me, is that it is being held on a "campus" known as THE PRESENTATION CENTER ...

in Los Gatos, California.   Click here to see what I'm talking about:

And I would be remiss if I did not mention CINDY O'LEARY, the fearless organizer of AN ARTFUL JOURNEY.  All her hard work is about to come to fruition, and I know that I speak for all the Retreat-ants when I say "thank you, Cindy".

What I am especially looking forward to, besides the art and the new friendships to be forged over the time we all spend together, is that it seems that The Presentation Center ... is mainly used for SPIRITUAL retreats -- a place of serenity, beauty, stillness, and plenty of Mother Nature.  The history of THE PRESENTATION CENTER can be found via this link:

Right there on their website, is this comment: 
"Escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Take time to communicate more clearly and deeply with your colleagues."

 And that, my friends, is exactly what the word RETREAT means to me.

I dedicate this post to my beautiful friend Ann, to whom I am ever grateful for the gift of  her friendship, for the role she has  played in my ... blogging; in my discovery of mixed media; and for encouraging me all along the way of my Creative Discovery Journey.  I love you, Ann, and I think you are the most amazing woman! 

We'll be back on Monday evening .. you can expect a mighty long post after I return, with plenty plenty plenty of "visuals".

--  Davielle


Nina and/or Ruthie said...

So excited and happy for you, Davi! Have a wonderful time making beautiful things and enjoying yourself fully! I look forward to seeing your book when you get back!

Nina "Ruthie"

ann said...

you're too kind.
thank you for doing all the work for me!
so far so good...

DH 2Travelers said...

Nina, I can't wait to show you! and Ann -- Ann -- it was beyond my wildest expectations. I hope you're as refreshed, inspired, and content with the outcome as I am. What a Retreat! What AN ARTFUL JOURNEY ...

Kelly said...

I have been waiting not so patiently to hear about your experience. Can you hear me drumming my fingers on my desk? :-)