SDA Retreat: Why I go to a retreat

Hello all,

The last week of May,I was able to attend a SDA (surface design association) retreat here in town at Cottonwood Center for the Arts. Oh how much fun and inspiration we had!!!

Let me go back to last summer when we had the first retreat over on the western slope. We met at Color Creek Dye Studio in Grand Junction owned by Mary Hertert. What a great time we had! I had never dyed synthetics before and it is a totally different process so it was a real learning experience for me. I did find that no matter what dye you use the shibori techniques do work. I don’t think I will do a whole lot of synthetics simply because it is not my style but it is always good to learn something new and expand your knowledge. We had such an inspiring time we had already planned the one over here by the time we left to come home.

I was able to dye a piece of silk in Grand Junction that I am still gathering other fabrics to go with it. When I have everything gathered up, I will create. Anticipating creating is so exciting.

On Sunday, Liz made gelatin plates and we started mono printing. She also made a very large gelatin plate 20 x 45. Liz used soft clay as the edges to hold the gelatin. What a great idea!  We were able to print larger pieces of fabric and got some amazing fabric prints. There is a short video on my Ruth Chandler Designs facebook page if you want to see what we did.So much fun!

Monday we were able to finish up most of what we had started. Each of us had our own things to work on but the sharing and talking and throwing ideas around was the best part.

I cannot express enough the value of taking time with other artists and just creating. The time you spend is an investment in yourself and your art. I feel a change in the feel of the room and the creative juices start flowing and it is really exciting. Do not pass up opportunities to get together with like minded people and just create. No plan, just go with it! You will be energized and build some great and lasting relationships.