Sunday, April 6, 2008

Asilomar Challenge

As part of the welcome packet for Asilomar, the artist retreat i will be taking next week with Art and Soul,(i can't believe it is already April...!!), we were given a ceramic fish. Just a plain white fish with the instructions to "alter" it. I came inside this clear pillow box filled with blue cellophane dunnage and a sprinkling of shells. How cute is that? Also inside the box were cards shaped like fish, each listing the classes and instructors we had signed up for. I just love the extra attention paid to something that could have otherwise been so plain and boring. These little touches really help get you in the mood to be creative!
Well, what can one do with a plain white fish? Paint it, sure but too obvious; do a tile or maybe a marble mosaic? Hmmm, that could be cool. But no - i decided to go outside the box and do something fish related, but not a fish exactly. I'll wait until next weekend to post a picture - just before i go. This is the backside. I should have scanned it before i started, but it just isn't like me to think one step at a time. I just jumped in last night and before you know it i had a concept and was half done.
As part of these art retreats there is a mad swapping ritual. I only know about it from the Arts de Mer cruise i took a few years back. They asked us to make 30 or so ATC's, which i had never done, to swap at the meet and greet coktail party on board the ship. I made "life's a beach" cards with a picture of a beach, some sandpaper for sand, and some beach glass-like beads wired on. Not bad for my first ATC venture?! It was so interesting to see how some people put so much effort into these things, while others take the shortest possible path. Well, that's really life in a nutshell, isn't it? Everything grades on the bell curve. Some people outdo themselves, some shouldn't even bother, and most fit right in the middle.
For Asilomar i decided to use these little mini book-laces i had left over from a project. Each one has a letter sticker on every second page - A thru Z. It is like a mini dictionary. The idea is that you need to finish the book by stamping or collaging or just adding a sticker to each page facing the letters to create your own visual dictionary. They would also make great storage for inchies.
I filled in "W" with a mini version of my 4x4 swap page for the fat book swap for this same retreat. The theme was "windswept" and i used the lyrics to the "westward wind" so it fits right into the alphabet beside W!! I added some colour to the book covers with Portfolio oil pastels and finished off with some coordinating beads. So 25 nice artsy people will get one of these in exchange for whatever they might be swapping.
I have heard these swaps can get elaborate and snotty - so i hope i don't encounter that at Asilomar. But just incase someone is swapping more labour intensive projects, i might bring a dozen or so beeswax collages to exchange. And maybe some ATC's - mini versions of the 4x4 fat book page i did.
The hostess of that project posted pictures of the books on line - they turned out really really cool. I can't wait to meet her and all the other artists who participated. It will be one way to meet and mingle next Sunday. Oh man, is it really only one week away? I have been collecting all the supplies for my classes - but they are scattered all over the house. I need to get myself organized and figure out what to pack and what to pack it in. Then there are the tools and materials, and clothes, and whatever else one needs for an artist retreat....!

1 comment:

carol said...

I can't wait to hear about the retreat!