Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Self-Directed Artist Retreat

It's rare in this life to meet people by chance and form a lasting bond.  Two years ago I attended an encaustic workshop at Arrowmont in Tennessee.  I've been fortunate and have kept up with several of the ladies from the workshop. We get together sporadically.  Like a roving band of artistic vagabonds, we gather at a house and make camp for a rowdy weekend.  The cast of characters for this particular trip included Trish, Kevin, and Leah.
Kevin and Trish made great minion -
I mean assistants while Leah posed for me!
We work together, soaking up the creative atmosphere, and share what we've learned since the last time we were assembled.

Leah's work.  She works in 3D
quite often and it shows!
Kevin's wonderfully detailed work
Trish's prolific awesome pile of work
Leah at work adding color to this marine inspired piece
To keep from flipping the breakers every other minute, we shared palette space.
I scraped quite a bit.
Leah fusing an very interesting piece of fiber art.
My workspace

Leah giving us an impromptu paper molding class.
During the afternoon of our 2nd encaustic work day a thunderstorm rolled in.  I had passed this interesting tidal marsh on the way to Leah's house each day and wanted to go shoot it when we had some interesting clouds.  A plan for a quick field trip to play on the highway was hatched!
Yes, we looked like nutters, but that isn't all that unusual for me now is it?
Now these are clouds!
On a side note, Leah's most excellent husband, John was wonderful!  He fetched food and supplies and even packed us a picnic to take to the beach!

This was definitely a mixed-purpose trip for me.  I shoehorned a photoshoot into the already tight weekend of hot wax. 

To start off the day of photography, we simply had to walk across the street from Leah's house to this charming little path through some wonderfully large, Spanish moss-dripping live oaks.  Kevin brought the most amazing vintage dress with rhinestone buttons.  It was wonderful of her to share it and the dress was the perfect fit for this oh so Southern location.
Kevin directing Leah

Next stop - the historic Bonaventure Cemetery!  We spent what now feels like a really short time at the cemetery.  At some point I'd like to come back with a map and some free time to explore more.  Especially if it was cooler! Did I mention that it was hot? It was like standing in Hell and being handed a blow torch kind of hot!  Just keeping it real...

The infrared camera definitely came out for this location.

Our last location of the day blew my mind.  It was quite a drive, but certainly worth it!  We went to Hunting Island in South Carolina.  I will qualify this by saying that I am not the most traveled person in the world.  My experience with beaches is limited to Myrtle Beach and the middle section of Florida's eastern coast, which all look pretty much alike.  This was a beast of different proportions all together!  On this lovely little island, the beach was eroding a forest leaving great hulks of dead trees like prehistoric skeletons emerging from it's white sandy surface.  My tiny photographer's mind simply imploded! I kept bouncing back and forth between what I had planned on shooting and just taking landscape shots.

Trish set off to explore.

Leah posing for her other photographer friend, Kelly Roetto.
I took this shot to prove that the tree in the surf was really there,
not something I added in Photoshop.

This particular tree's claw-like shape inspired some Fay Wray-esque posing.

Mother Nature was particularly kind to me on the day of the photoshoot (except for the heat and humidity).  We had beautiful clouds and the tide coming in on the beach made for some exciting shots.  I'm already planning a trip back to this spot for another photoshoot with a particular ballerina friend if I can talk her into it...  Oh the possibilities!

Thanks ladies for the continuing fun and inspiration!