If my brain were a spreadsheet, all of its cells would be full and overflowing. The sheer wonder of my experience at the SAQA conference in Santa Fe overwhelms me. I met so many incredible artists that I hold in high esteem, I was professionally coached (in public!) on finding my voice and I savored fabulous food in The City Different. I was challenged, encouraged, supported and enlightened. And I have filled my soul with art from many genres. Other than that, it was a pretty normal week.
As I sort through the events and changes of the week, what stands out the most are the people that I met. I didn’t find one person too cool to talk to me. Everyone was open and willing to share. Artists that I held up as icons became people that I now know by their first name. The relationships that were formed, the information that was freely exchanged, the “secrets” to good art that were revealed-all these are treasures to me on my artistic journey.
As a Regional Rep, I was invited to dinner at the home of Jennifer Day-click on the link if you are not familiar with her work-it is incredible. I got a chance to get to know Jennifer and meet other Reps, Board Members and Other Fun People over dinner. Jennifer is also a talented Interior Designer and I found her home was just so dog gone cool!
Just an aside here: due to an Artist Malfunction Moment, I erased some photos of my trip. So just imagine with me:
There should be a photo here of Jennifer’s stash of 1,000+ spools of thread (really!),
all on several 5′ tall wooden spinning holders.
Jennifer generously allowed us to go anywhere we wanted in her home, so of course I headed to her studio. And I thought I had a lot of thread-hah! This is just a portion of her thread stash.
Insert photo of maybe 1 foot high stack of various fabrics-that’s it!
Funny, cause this is her fabric stash-that’s it! Because she has her photos printed onto fabric, she has no need for a large fabric stash. I found this amusing. She makes stunning art quilts yet needs very little fabric since she “paints” her work with thread!
Friday was packed with Break Out Sessions. Patty Hawkins (8 times in Quilt National, 3 times in Visions!) shared her journey via a Power Point presentation-it was a gem. She included many “Pearls of Wisdom”; ideas like “play to the themes in your soul” which really resonated with me. She was so generous and delightful.
Carol Ann Waugh gave a jam packed lecture on how to market my brand/thrive/make art and still enjoy life-my head is still spinning with ideas from her lecture. Anna Hergert spoke about the Teaching Circuit. She was very candid, open and generous as she spoke about money, opportunities and the nitty gritty details of teaching and contracts.
A pivotal point for me was a personal session with Leni Wiener on finding my artistic voice. I answered questions beforehand and sent Leni my portfolio with some background so that she could prepare. Then, in front of maybe 50 people, many of whom were famous artists, I exposed my inner thoughts and angst. Leni helped me clarify what kind of art makes my heart sing. I really do have a clearer vision of myself and my art-that is pivotal.
Friday night was a fun night of great deserts and an auction of small works donated by SAQA artists. This piece, “Eucalyptus Trees in Berkeley” by Berkeley, Ca artist Nancy Bardach was a must for me. I had to guard my bid during the process to make sure no one else got it!
“Ruffled Leaf” by Portland, Or artist Diane Born features a Lutradur leaf inspired by a trip to Montreal. I find it exquisite. Lucky me to get TWO! SAQA made over $5,000 and only expected to make $1,000-yipppee!
I met up with 2 new friends-Margaret Blank and Judy Warner. I “know” Margaret from her blog, which I follow. It was so much fun to actually meet her! I also met Judy while at conference-funny because I knew Judy’s art already but hadn’t met her until conference.
I can’t wait to head into the studio and start new work with my “new voice”!