As women we tend to take care of everything else around us before we even think about our own needs. But we actually need to take care of ourselves first so we CAN help those around us. Just like on an airplane….if there’s an emergency, we’re told to put on our own oxygen mask first before helping someone else. It may sound selfish but think about it…. If you’re travelling with children and you pass out from lack of oxygen while trying to help them first how can you help them at all?
All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ~Pablo Picasso
Most people’s first reaction when they hear the words “art” or “creativity” is to say “I’m not artistic. I can’t draw. I'm not creative.” My response to that is baloney, I laugh in the face of the naysayers! I used to say exactly the same thing, and believed it for years. Now I AM an artist.
We were proud to show them off and display them for everyone to see. Somewhere along the way encouragement to play with crayons and rainbow coloured markers teetered off. Instead we were told to do something ‘constructive’. Learn all the prime numbers (which I use ALL the time! Said hardly anyone ever....) or memorize all the Presidents of the United States.
While information is valuable and fun to collect, (I’m always seeking new information) the ability to express our selves creatively is also valuable. The more I immerse myself in creativity, the more creative ideas pop into my head. It becomes like a party of ideas in there!
We have all heard that music and art in schools helps kids with their other subjects, yet we relegate music and art to extra curricular activities that only the “talented” kids get to do. Can you imagine what things would be like if we were all encouraged to keep at it?
Generative research shows that everyone has artistic abilities. With more training, and more diverse training, your potential for creative output increases. Sir Ken Robinson talks about how we lose our creativity over time at TED Talks.
When I was a kid I remember attempting to carve animals out of the rejected bits of soap I’d find in the bathroom. I thought throwing them away was a waste, and so collected them all up and planned to make a fantastic menagerie that would become world-famous, and be shown in art galleries and museums around the world. I can vividly remember gathering all my materials and tools and setting to work. In the end I became so frustrated with what I thought were my failures, I gave up and threw it all away. I convinced myself I wasn’t talented and would never be artistic.
As the years wore on I was continually stunted by my thoughts of inadequacy as a creative being. All the while I dreamed of making something so beautiful it would make people weep with joy. I pined for the ability to draw and paint, to express myself through all kinds of mediums. I envisioned myself as one of those 'cool artists' with paint in my hair and splashes of colour on all my clothes. The years went by and nothing happened. I continued to let the fear of failing restrain me from drawing and painting. Eventually I avoided all things artsy (except for the zillions of doodles I did on all my notebooks and journals). Until one day I was asked to be the foster guardian of a tool kit full of paints and paintbrushes.
I held onto that box. Took it out every now and then to lovingly gaze at the colours and promise of what they could be. The paintbrushes were well used and had paint crusted on the handles, to me they were like precious jewels.
Then one day I woke up with a wild picture of colour and texture in my head and thought maybe I could create it using the paints I was fostering. I waited and waited for the right moment until one day I just couldn't wait anymore. I pulled out the paints, poured out some water and found a t-shirt to stand in for a canvas. I brushed midnight blue, sea green, foamy whites, and specks of magenta and lemon yellow onto the dampened shirt. The colours were vibrant and they bloomed like flowers across the material - they were beautiful, and I was thrilled. I had finally done art. I had made something. Everyone praised it and mentioned how they thought they could never do something like it.
I laugh about it now because that’s what I always used to say and I came to believe it. Now I believe anyone and everyone is an artist and is creative. It’s just a skill that needs to be practiced and nurtured.
Since then, only about eight years ago, I have learned how to carve soapstone, sculpt with clay, paint and draw. I can even draw a reasonably good face now (that’s my drawing below). I am a reluctant drawer, as I still have doubts about my ability, but I know the truth behind it now. I have been practicing, and now I want to share it with everyone. I want to convince others that they can create art too and that it is fun. If I can do it I figure anyone can do it. It just takes some time and practice, and since it's fun to do, it’s not a chore!
So, I'm excited to say I'm planning to hold art and creativity workshops. We will have a place to get our creative art on, connect with our inner creative child and spirit, play, have fun, get messy, take a break, breathe some fresh air and eat good food.
I have lots of ideas for art projects but I'm curious about what kinds of things people would be interested in learning and doing. I paint with acrylic (no watercolour experience, yet, so that's not an option), make beaded jewellery, carve soapstone, work with clay, create collages, draw and illustrate and I'm a pro in Adobe Photoshop.
Wine Women and a Paintbrush ~ Art Camp
Get your artistic groove on
To help women
· rediscover their artistic ability
· get in touch with their inner creative child
· expand their creativity
· break out of a creative block
· build confidence
· have fun
To provide a judgment-free zone for women to be able to express themselves creatively, artistically and emotionally.
To provide a place for women to retreat from daily life, get creative and pamper them selves.
To provide a place for women to learn, relax, create, make art and pamper and take care of them selves.
To provide quality, fun art workshops and classes
To provide a venue and resources for women to tap into
To provide a venue for women to give themselves a break
To teach and encourage women they are artistic, creative, worthy and that it’s ok
To bring together women for support and encouragement
To promote community, sharing and accessing our inner resources
To promote Shawnigan Lake
To promote creativity and wild abandon
To provide a variety and range of options to suit budget needs and personal choices
To promote creative thinking
To promote personal well-being, health and creativity
What we offer
3-5 day art camp/retreat
Art and creative classes
Spa services and other extra-curricular activities (yoga, music, journaling, hand reading to help determine your life’s purpose)A safe place to explore and experiment artistically.
Some of the projects I already have in mind:
Collage and mixed media
Journal making and altered books
Clay play and 3D sculpture
Beading and jewelry making
Creative writing (Leanne)
creating a sketch book/participating in the next Sketchbook Project
acrylic painting (in this alone there are tons of options….you can paint with acrylic on just about any surface - I've painted shoes, chairs, mirrors, canvases (Naturally), clothing and lots of other surfaces
I'd like to have your thoughts and opinions about this!
or, you can answer the questions here (in the comments section). Here are the questions:
1. What do you think your artistic and creative abilities are?
do you think you are creative or artistic? What's your reaction if someone asks you to draw a face? How do you feel?
2. Would you attend an art camp, even if you think you aren't artistic, if there were other activities you could do as well?
3. if you had a weekend or an evening to create art without any outside interferences what kind of class/activity would you like to do?
4. What kind of environment/situation/accommodations would you like to be in?
Camp Pringle, Shawnigan Lake (kind of rustic but clean and fun; variety of accommodations including camping)
Shawnigan Lake School (bit more upscale but dormitory style housing)
not fussed about it
5. Would you like to be with other women in a fun atmosphere or would you prefer to be alone?
with other women
Other (please specify)
6. How much would you be willing to pay for a 3 day camp?
7. What length of camp would you participate in?
Other (please specify)
8. Would you be interested in attending a season's worth of workshops (for example: one Saturday a month throughout the winter)? Or just a one-time camp?
season of workshops
any other options you'd like to see?
9. Which name do you prefer?
Wine, Women and a Paintbrush Art Camp
Get Your Artistic Groove on Art Camp
Other (please specify)
10. What other types of activities would you be interested in at the camp? (Yoga, spa services to pamper yourself, creative writing, hiking, water activities....other?)
11. Any other thoughts you might have about this project?
Please send me a message or leave a comment with your thoughts suggestions ideas feedback. Any idea is a good idea!
I'm excited to get this going so your help will help me help people know they're creative.