It has been a full and creative early summer. In June I went to the Six Breaths Art Retreat in Victoria. I learned watercolour techniques from Danielle Donaldson and fell in love with the simplicity and ease of her process. It felt so light and free to create in this medium and I know it's going to find its way into my repertoire. I had great chats with Danielle about business, process, selling, social media and a few good laughs about her rustic Canadian experience (she's American). She's one awesome and talented woman and I feel like I walked away with a clear sense of the simplicity that's possible in art, and a whole lot of creative inspiration.
I spent a second inspiring day painting acrylic abstracts in the beautiful outdoors with Victoria artist Blu Smith. We painted large and bold. It was in stark contrast to how I'd spent the previous day painting small and delicate and feminine. His process was about creating from intuitive shapes. It was great to see how much I opened up and relaxed throughout the day and by the end I was creating beautiful abstracts that I really loved, and using my own colour palette and instincts. I was really amazed how different everyone's work was. It was inspiring.
I loved the experience of this retreat. I surrendered any expectations and showed up to play. I met an awesome group of women. I made art. I relaxed. And we were at Sleeping Dog Farm just outside Victoria which is a beautiful peaceful working farm. It was like being suspended in time along a quiet country road, right out of a novel. We were all incredibly nourished by the delicious vegan and gluten free meals and the morning yoga. It was all I needed. Thank you Poppet Creative for a fantastic weekend!
After the retreat I stayed on in Victoria for a few days & reconnected with my younger traveler self. I stayed in this hostel and went everywhere on foot. I ate my way through the city at gluten-free spots (which are abundant in Victoria – Bubby Rose's Bakery & Cafe was my fave). I explored beautiful neighbourhoods and beaches. I journalled. I went to Sapphire Day Spa for an ayurvedic treatment. And I faced down my fear of water on a zodiac boat out on the open waters. I saw about 40 Orca whales which was magical and humbling.
[Exploring Market Square / Journalling in my beautiful notebook by Papaya Art + fave artist Anahata Katkin / "Fearless" mantra I wrote on my arm set against tote bag with my painting reproduced on it (buy one here) / walking and more walking]
I think we all need moments to reconnect with ourselves and step away from the daily grind. I came back from this short trip renewed and grounded and it was a really good reminder just how far we can come back to ourselves over a few short days if we give ourselves the space and time.