Today, I am introducing a new series of guest posts from a few of the ladies who have attended my retreats over the last few years. My hope is that these posts will not only give you a glimpse into the Be Present Retreats, but also invite you to realize the importance of taking time away from your daily life to recharge, connect with your kindreds, and rekindle your creativity.
And I am thrilled that my friend Stacy Kathryn is kicking off this series today! Read on...
The first time I was really awakened to the power of art, of the ability to evoke emotion in others and make people feel and understand without a word being spoken, it changed my perspective on life. But the ability to create is arguably a skill, like playing a musical instrument, and it requires effort and practice to improve upon. It requires a set of tools both tangible like paintbrushes or a camera, but it also means looking at tools in a broader sense.
The internet is a powerful tool in itself. There is a seemingly endless supply of resources at our fingertips for any interest we may have. And as an artist, it's a great place to connect with others from across the globe to share your thoughts and ideas, learn new skills and techniques, and communicate with others you might normally never have met. One could argue, though, that for as well connected as we all are, there's a certain isolation that comes with being behind a computer screen as well. That's where artist retreats have been extremely beneficial to me.
Now, I'm not what you'd call an extrovert by any stretch of the imagination. It's just not in me to interact with a group of people as effortlessly as some do. But taking a big step outside of my comfort zone to meet people who share my interests and feel the same way I do about art has been well worth the butterflies in my stomach - and these "strangers" quickly become good friends.
When people come together for a common goal, the energy and positivity in the air is remarkable. It's at these retreats that I always find a little part of me that has been missing. I also manage to walk away every time with invaluable tools to add to that creative toolbox of mine, as well as heaps of encouragement from my new-found friends. For me, one of the biggest "tools" I've picked up recently is writing poetry. Something I learned more about at the Be Present Midwest Retreat, and learning a whole new way to look at words and how we can put them together into these beautiful, mysterious, evocative poems. And different forms of art all have a way of finding relationships to each other. Being a mixed media artist allows me to draw from many inspiring sources: pictures, poems, paint, put together they seek a natural balance all their own at times and conspire to form new beautiful things in the process.
When I returned home from that retreat last May, I was bursting at the seams with ideas, inspiration, and new tools to put to use. I've been writing more than ever, eager to try out many of the new techniques I'd learned, and it helped me to see what I've created in a different way. I encourage you to take the leap, if you never have, and attend an artist's retreat. You will be truly amazed at what you can learn from so much creativity in one place. And you just might inspire someone else with your own ideas and thoughts!
How have you added to your creative toolbox lately? Was it a retreat, e-course, or just jumping into something new?
(Please feel free to share your answers in the comments today.)
Stacy Kathryn is an artist, and dreamer who loves to spend time creating mixed media paintings and jewelry. Though her life has taken many twists and turns her passion for art has been a constant companion. She hopes to share her enthusiasm and inspire others to embrace change and creativity. You can check out her blog and website for a little bit of inspiration, or go check her shop out which is filled to the brim with fun, colorful goodies!