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a little about artfest

liz lamoreux

rocky beach

I must admit that no, I haven't unpacked yet. And, ahem, I am still in my pajamas this Thursday afternoon.

My heart is still full of the joy that was Artfest. The connection and the creating…this is what I will remember. I learned so much this year…especially about myself. I tapped into confidence, which in turn tapped into a sense of self-joy. Is that a phrase? Self-joy? Well, it seems to represent how I was and am feeling.

I was indeed twirling during Artfest just as I had been twirling the previous weekend.

And, just like the last two Artfests, I was too present in the moment to take photos. I guess I just wanted to experience more than document. I think we have to do that sometimes. Step away from the camera (or maybe the need to capture something to blog about it) and be with the people who surround us as we experience something, whether it was something out of the ordinary like Artfest or something a bit more everyday like sitting at a table eating lunch.

But, it is also a joy to document…oh yes it is. And, I have loved reading the posts on others' blogs about their Artfest experience and seeing their photos. People made the most incredible art this year. (Yes, this happens every year, but for some reason show and tell night just seemed full of more vibrancy and more people feeling brave enough to share their creations.)

After my first Artfest, I came back to this space and wrote about all of it in several parts. My head was just spinning with all the wonder that was my experience. Although I would like to tell you about my classes (I will take photos of what I created...I promise I will Jen) and why I love Port Townsend and so many other things, today, I am feeling more drawn to say this:

This year, Artfest was about me meeting me.

I had Annie Lockhart's class the first day and I decided to use a vintage hand mirror in my assemblage piece. Although that piece was hanging in my dorm room for the rest of Artfest, I felt as though I carried that hand mirror around with me and was constantly looking in it seeing my true self.

Through connecting with so many people…through the many conversations and the shared truths with Kelly Rae…through the moment when I heard Michelle's voice for the first time Wednesday and felt my heart widen…through watching the joy on Kelly's mom Carol's face after her first class…through the laughter until tears rolled down my face…through the deep friendship I feel when I spend time with Kim…through the "oh yes I totally get that" moments shared with Candice and Julie…through eyes meeting with understanding as I talked to my new blogging friend Kelly…through the shared meals with Diane…through the hugs with Blue Poppy and the immediate connection I felt with her friend Mindy…through the moments after class with Ali and Dona and Jill and Stephanie…through learning and chatting with Reisha (am I spelling your name right girl? email me and tell me please)…through the sunshine and the windy rain…through the "how are you?" moments with Misty…through the tears...through sitting on the floor in the dorm hallway sharing about classes and life and a common love for Theo's artwork...through the wise words of Susan…through the joy (and wisdom gained) that is time spent with Katie and Judy…through the commiserating over no heat or hot water…through the learning from Annie, Bee, and Nina…through the connecting with familiar faces like Ginny and Joyce and Sharon and Kristen…through so many other moments…through it all…I also connected with me.

I spend so much of my time alone that it took this year at Artfest, and the time spent with others, for me to get out of my own head and see myself.

Through the excitement and ups and downs and creating and connecting, I feel strong and grounded in the person I am becoming.