Friday, October 4, 2013

She Matters Art Retreat - Christy Tomlinson Sept 2013

So sad to leave this lovely creative place - amazing memories forever!
First I have to say thank you to a wonderful and talented warm hearted woman - Christy Tomlinson ~ she amazes me - not only because of her awesome creativity but her generous and loving way of sharing this with us.

Christy with Margie and Chrissy - She Matters Art Retreat 2013
It hasn't been very many days since I have returned home from this amazing experience - the "She Matters Art Retreat" - so while I have a need to blog about it while everything is fresh in mind I am also overwhelmed by missing all that this retreat brought into my life ... amazing people, new art experience, and a jump start that was needed in my creativity ... Right now I feel like I can take on whatever I choose to - in the vast art world, the projects in my home I have been leaving, even maybe jump start myself in a few things I need to do personally - health, weight, happiness.

I also want to do a couple posts ... as I am a gluten free blogger as well (another blog I need to get working on) so I want to also blog to my "gluten-free-eating-is-their-way-of life" peeps about how the food and meals went ... once that one is also done I will link to it here.  ;)  I can only touch lightly on all that was learned and shared and I am sure little "heart-felt" pieces of this retreat will show up in my works and life for a long time to come.  :)

Chalkboard Art Class - by Chrissy Gardner (she rocks!)
I have hundreds of pictures, of course ;), about the whole experience so I am working in the PicStitch program to make some photo collages so I can post these into the blogs, there were so many "good soul" moments right from walking in the door ~ so many "aaaahhhhaaaa learning" moments ... not only watching Christy Tomlinson guide us through her process, but also having the blessing of having a Chalkboard Art Class with Chrissy Gardner - she rocks both in her sweet engaging personality and her love of art and passion for Chalk.  :)

Ben and Margie took care of us so well ... delightful

We were also blessed to be taken well care of by Margie Romney-Aslett  (@justagirl on instagram) who spent each day not only helping our awesome Chef Ben Tomlinson put out some amazing good for your soul comfort meals, but adding her lovely thoughtful sweet touches to our table, to make us feel so special.  We were blessed to spend time with these amazingly thoughtful people and I hope make some new friendships I will cherish, and time with Christy and Ben's awesome family - they have 6 wonderful children - 5 fabulous guys and 1 beautiful young lady.  It was a treat ~ truly all the love and good feelings in this home made me homesick for my own lovely little family.  :)

And this is not even getting me started on the all the beautiful new women friends that I was so pleased to meet and spend an awesome week creating and learning beside.  I (Edmonton - Canada) traveled down to the retreat with my friend Melanni (Airdrie, Canada) ~ but all the other women well we were all meeting for the first time and we were from all over - Michelle (Las Vegas), Laurie (Kansas), Fay (Nashville), Iris (Atlantic City) and lovely Shirly came all the way from (Isreal).  All walks of life and experiences.  We all did have one lovely fact in common - we were all inspired by Christy Tomlinson - her amazing sweet nature, her "just try it - there are no mistakes" attitude, her real approach to life, art and love.  Everyone that was in our little mixed group - women, men, kids ~ all had stories to tell and parts of themselves to share - I keep using the words amazing, wonderful, awesome but in truth that is exactly what this experience was ~ everyday from morning to bed time, full of these soul lifting moments.
Right side: Christy, Michelle & Shirly-Fay, Iris, Melanni-Sherri & Laurie :)

Abstract Painting outside, She Art - Paper and Paint, Chalkboard Art
I have people asking me oh I want to see all that you "did" - I think expecting that we cranked out art piece after art piece but this retreat was so so so much more than learning "art techniques" or even "how the artist does it" - it was a learning and sharing of some very personal journeys and how this is translated into how one "creates" art.  She wanted us to really learn that we are all artists, we all create beautiful - sometimes pretty messy ha ha - pieces and that we need to do this from our own soul ... sure Christy is amazing at showing us her process, and guiding us through this - but she wants us to take that "kick start" that "motivation" that "inspiration" we feel when we watch her and then make it our own.  These beautiful women ... these amazing people taught me a lot about "resparking" my love of LIFE - the Retreat was named "She Matters" and honestly the entire experience was so encompassing, so uplifting and touchingly awakening of my ... well LIFE.

In my household - my family - we have had a tough time, the hardest is my dear son losing his dad this July to a horribly fast acting cancer - I think the shock could have been enough to just stop us in our tracks, but you can't can you?  You have to continue on don't you?  I have felt at times that things should just stop, that the world should not keep spinning so fast ... it had left me fighting to keep myself looking ahead to what must be easier moments, trying to keep myself "whole" to be strong for my son and all he is going through.  I was trying to keep my art "washing away the dust of my soul" but I was struggling.  This retreat meant so much to me.  Not only did it feel like a healing of the creative spirit it gave me an inner boost of the strength that I need to fuel my motivation - for everything.

Christy truly made us feel that the "She" (WE) mattered ... I will forever be thankful and yes feel pretty darn blessed (my son has been saying I have been using this word often since I returned home) that I was able to attend and partake in this lovely experience with all these amazing people.

Truly if you have the opportunity to either join Christy in one of the retreats she is a part of ... or even take an online class or two from her or ones she hosts with or for her talented friends ~ take the "leap" - it can be life changing, it certainly was for me.

Biggest hugs out to all of you,
Sherri :)
So thankful for these special people who made this experience magical.  Hugs :)
Christy showing us how to paint "Abstract Paintings" outside  on the beautiful sunny Saturday

Amazing women - old and new friends ~ great memories made - always in my heart now. :)


Laurie Hull said...

You my dear are not only an artist with paint and canvas, but with words also. I knew I was in the company of such talent and it keeps amazing me on a daily basis. I could not have written it better myself. Every word you wrote, could have come from my heart. I truly am blessed from this life changing event, but most from the friendships that will take a life time to create;)

Unknown said...

You made tears come out of my eye- AGAIN!!! I just came home... everyone went to sleep here... Arranging my things and my thought and then reading your blog!!! Thank you!!!

Unknown said...

You made my eyes full of tears...AGAIN!!!
I am back home!!! Everyone went to sleep. I am here arranging my things and my thought...
Reading your blog was just at the right moment!!! Thank you

Christy said...

Oh goodness dear sweet girl.. You have me in years!!!! Truly in tears! So honored to know you and to be able to spend a week with you! Xoxoxo


Anonymous said...

such a wonderful week end i had with the girls at she matters art retreat. wedding is over and it was fabulous and the rain that was supposed to happen didn't. good news in that my husban's cancer has not spread. he starts chemo on tuesday and then 3 weeks later he starts 6 weeks of radiation 5 days a week. fay