I try to practice mindfulness on a daily basis, but some days it really can be easy to forget to pay attention to being alive in the moment. For me, I think one of the things I appreciate most about attending art retreats is that living in the moment is easier than normal. When you can be physically removed from your everyday routine/environment, your mind stands a much better chance of being able to unclench itself, to stop running story lines in your head and to just pay attention to what’s going on around you.
Ricë does a very good job of showing you what the Artfest experience is like in her forthcoming book, Destination Creativity, so I’m not going to give you a play-by-play rundown here, but I did want to just share a few of my favorite moments.
- Walking along the Seattle waterfront for a bit before driving onto the Bainbridge Island Ferry. Ivar’s fish ‘n chips (Pier 54 location) is the best in the world, in my opinion.
- A stop in at Churchmouse Yarns & Teas in Bainbridge for a new fingerless mitts pattern and some lovely pashmina yarn in grey-violet.
- Spending each morning at the Undertown. I can’t get enough of this place. The coffee is amazing, the scones are amazing, the atmosphere is delicious.
- Being fearless with layering on paint and texture in Roxanne Padgett’s class. (I’d forgotten how much I love paint on fabric.)
- Catching up with old friends during lunch each day.
- Setting meaningful intentions for the future in Karen Michel’s class. Hammer nails can actually be very meditative. I’m serious.
- Walking down to the marina and smelling the ocean.
- Learning how fun it is to paint with your hands (and with abandon) in Jesse Reno’s class.
- Listening to the wild surf outside my room each night.
- An oatmeal-apricot scone to accompany my morning latte from Blackbird Bakery back in Bainbridge. It’s fun having something so delicious for the ferry ride.
- Shopping stops at The Paper Zone and Daniel Smith’s (this got me a new corner rounder and an entirely new art material for me—pastels!)
- De-boarding the plane to the warmth of my desert home.
I’m back in my normal world now and back to facing the challenge of living in the moment, but I’m happy for the recent inspiration I’ll draw from when I take time to nurture my creative self.
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