Each evening after our workshops, we'd all return to the house and display our projects on the mantle in the living room and talk about what we'd learned. 11 talented women in one house. "That's a lot of girl art," a friend at home said when I described our little ritual to her. After three days, our creations had spilled out onto the nearby bookshelves and the coffee table. A room full of inspiration.
The three encaustic pieces in the top photo were made by Stephanie Lee. The rings are mine. The metal and glass book in the background was made by Lori Brofsky. The bird head in the background of the second photo is also Stephanie's, and I made the heart and pomegranate in the foreground in her class. I'm not sure who the zebra/fish-bellied sculpture belonged to - it showed up overnight one night, an import from the Art Asylum, probably.
I rented a car this trip and travelled alone, a different experience from my previous Artfest visits, but a good one. Time to process what I'd learned, time to just be. I left Port Townsend pretty early and drove slowly through the pretty countryside back to the Bainbridge Island ferry. Once back in Seattle, I walked through Pike Place market (pretty crowded with tourists on a Sunday afternoon, but the flower stands were amazing), and then along 1st street's botique row before a quick stop at the Daniel Smith store before heading back to the airport and home.
I was so tired at the end of this trip - I didn't waste time sleeping when I could have been spending time with my friends talking about art and life and kids and everything in between, and was feeling the lack of rest by the time I got home. I'm normally very protective of my sleep hours, but I have so much crazy energy to burn at Artfest that sleep is the first thing to go. Also so much creative input and inspiration makes my brain spin so fast that sleep would be impossible even if I tried.
Returning to work felt a lot like re-entry from outer space into a forgotten atmostphere. I had been letting my artist self hang out in the open for a few days, feeding her, honoring her, and then *slam* back to being a manager, back to the fast pace, the details and emergencies. I endured a few meetings wide-eyed and overwhelmed, and I was pretty crispy around the edges after that first day back at the office. These two lives of mine are sometimes hard to reconcile. I was describing my "other" life to my friend Lori one night at the fort, late, sitting out on the porch of our big creaky house, smelling the ocean air, paint bits coloring our hands and jeans. "Which one is more you?" she wanted to know. I wasn't sure how to answer that. The artist, I think, is more real, but also more often hidden. Certainly she has a longer history. The career woman is no less true to myself, but also more polished, less raw, more a public face. The artist is who I am when I let my hair down. When I feel safe. More and more though, they overlap. The frank curiousity and devil-may-care attitude of the artist is influencing the manager, and the organization and determination of the manager is starting to show in the artist. And this, I think, is a good thing.