March blew out with some rain and wind. I left for Atlanta and Asheville on April 1 for one giant art date with my friend Patti, the SnowQueen. We had been planning this “Birthdaycation” for a year!
It took me ten hours of driving to get to Patti’s. The next day we drove 3 hours to Asheville and checked into our home away from home, Watauga Woods, a cozy, comfortable airbnb.
Patti had a beautiful bedroom with walls painted by our hostess, Brenda and I had a hideaway on the sunporch… my treehouse room with three walls of windows and plants all around.
There were restaurants nearby, big beautiful homes with flowering front yards and towering trees and a little lending library!
When were weren’t roaming around Asheville galleries, art studios, bookstores and restaurants, we were on the porch with our own little art fest going on…
May was B U S Y!!! It wasn’t originally planned that way, but life happens… throw in a 10 day vacation to New Mexico with Mr. French to celebrate a special anniversary and POOF! it’s June!!! But traveling is always inspiring and uplifting… and going to New Mexico just grounds my soul and makes my creativity sing. We explored the many, many art galleries along Canyon Road in Sante Fe, we ate sumptuous tapas at El Farol. We climbed up into the rock caves in Bandelier, we explored Plaza Blanca, the White Place, that Georgia O’Keeffe made famous in in her paintings. We visited Sam Brown of Abiquiu, an artist that does amazing spiral paintings and makes spirals with rocks in his gardens. And we experienced a very special workshop at Ghost Ranch with Catherine Anderson… Photographing the Space between Heaven and Earth. I took enough photos for a years worth of inspired paintings. I learned how to take macro photos with my iPhone and a small Lens embedded in a rubber band! We met wonderful, heart-full souls in the workshop who shared our love of nature and photography.
We hiked and we hiked…We hiked a rocky switchback trail high up (7100′) to Chimney Rock… we were on top of the world and we had it all to ourselves. We hiked into Box Canyon. We hiked a cliff trail that overlooked turquoise Abiquiu Lake and had a close view of the dark and brooding Pedernal (above) in the distance. We hiked up to our Tumbleweed Casita at the ranch. I walked a Ghost Ranch Labyrinth. We documented our time with photos and art and journaling…
And I made a book (thanks to Catherine Anderson) with some of our photos when we returned home…
Whew! Hard to believe Thanksgiving weekend is really winding down. It’s been special. I’ve also been working on two workshops: Mandala Magic with Julie Gibbons and Creative+Practice with Lisa Sonora.
Here’s one of the watercolor mandalas I did:
AND here’s the cover and 2 inside pages of my new “Map Book” sketchbook for Creative+Practice. It used to be plain black!
I’ve been busy framing and labeling and shooting photos of the work I’ve done this past year.
I’ll be teaching Mandala Drawing and selling my paintings at the Heartwood Yoga Festival in Bradenton, FL on September 26. Come on by!
I have many projects going right now!… Dream Catchers with doilies, painted zipped pouches, a 20″x20″ painting, journal pages, and these little Mandala books that are made from one sheet of 8.5 x 11″ paper. I add encouraging words after the mandalas are done, fold it up and it’s like a little greeting card or keepsake booklet. It’s very meditative to make these. I think it might be my next monthly challenge.
W I S H
I wish that all your wishes come true this holiday season.
It’s Mandala magic month…
8′ x 10″ Acrylic painting with Feather