This week Ed (my husband) and I are having an “art retreat week”. Since we have decided not to travel any more, we have been looking for some way of breaking our daily routines. Both of us enjoy creative activities but we never have time for extended in-depth exploration. Our busy schedules seem to interfere.
We came up with this idea last month as a way of traveling without having to leave Tucson! Here’s how it works. After breakfast we unplug the phone until after dinner, turn off the TV (I like noise in the background all the time) and limit our time on the computer to art-related searches and activities.
And every night for the entire week we go out for dinner! We’ve discovered a lot of smaller family run restaurants with home-cooked foods that make us feel like we are in another country. For example, last night we went to a sweet little Vietnamese place where the Pho is amazing. The night before Chicken Sharma and Lamb Kitta graced our plates. And this being Tucson, there are many small wonderful Mexican cantina type places. So I guess you could say that we are eating our way around the world.
We start our retreat each morning at 8:15 a.m. with yoga stretches and a walk. Then we head off to our individual studios to focus on our projects. He’s very involved with photography, and this month I’m all over the place finishing up projects started months ago, taking an on-line class and catching up with my blogging.
For our September retreat I focused on a project called “Feathers in My Pocket”. It’s an idea I’ve been waiting to develop for several years. I’ll be posting more about it later this week. I find myself working on a wide spectrum of projects from artists’ books to painting to stitching and more. Today my focus is taking photos and writing so this blog can be posted and shared with you.
This summer we both took a class at Santa Fe Workshops with Karen Divine, (www.karendivinephotography.com) an extraordinary artist who works with her iPhone photographs to develop unique composited work – all done on the iPhone desktop! Ever since returning home Ed has been exploring the concepts he learned with her and is now working on a series using material he has shot in museums. You’ll be able to see some of it at (www.zenfolio.com/eddddean) I don’t know just when they will be posted, but he promises it will be “soon’!!!
Our “art retreat” idea has worked so well for both of us that we have decided to set aside the last week of each month for this type of “at-home” creative traveling. We’ve discovered that it is a wonderful way to break our daily patterns, explore our creative thoughts and “travel” without having to go through the hassles of airport security or full days of stressful driving.