Friday, June 6, 2008

Melbourne Art Journey Retreat

Jo and Mandy in the plane, noses in books, we had to be at the airport at 5 am so a bit sleep deprived. We had a fabulous time in Melbourne, our accommodation was shared with Mandy W and Di Thomas from Stamping to Di for in Perth. Karen Hardey and the lovely Corinne Davis joined us as well in the next apartment. Di, Mandy and Corinne where our little angels that we could not have coped without, setting up the shop on the Thursday while Joanne handle registrations and I taught a Paint effects class. I spent a little time in nina's class on the Friday managing to just put together her little book with the match box inside, just enough to finish when I got back to Perth, being the first day we wanted to make sure all the tutors and students where settled into their individual classrooms and doing the general running around to try and ensure things where running smoothly. From comments from tutors they get looked after better here than they do in the large retreats in the USA, guess its a bit hard to give tutors individual treatment when there are so many of them, but they do appreciate what we do for them. Nina's classes are always a joy, with lots of cheerful banter between nina and the students on the american language, nina taking it all in the good humour as it was given, she does have a way with words.
It turned quite wintery on Saturday and these bare trees formed tracery's against the sky in the Swinburne Tafe gardens. Saturday night a group of about 20 girls including the tutors had a lovely dinner at a lovely bohemian restuarant, the food was delicious and the company perfect, thank you to all those who joined us. We have made such good friends at the retreats and it was lovely just to relax and let our hair down. Just down my end of the table was the lovely Christina from Christina Crafts, Jacky Williams, Shirley Howard, Keron Lee and as I have such a shocking memory for names other very lovely girls whose names escape me, thank you all.

I spent Saturday and Sunday in Misty's classes, I found her classes very interesting, have always loved playing with paint and it was a good opportunity to see her teaching techniques. Misty sets the mood for a most enjoyable class with a pack with copies of her artwork, miscellaneous vintage book pages some sequin waste all thoughtful things you could use in the class and a nice touch a tea bag, sitting on your table when you arrive along with several chocolates with inspirational messages on the wrapper. Nice music added to the ambience. Misty has you gather around her table where she will demonstrate each step of her techniques and then the students go off and follow her instructions or try to. Misty will stop everyone in the class and get them up for the next technique so with camara's flashing away each student is at the same step. In between Misty will wander around the class giving each student extra attention. I found her class very inspirational and professional.This was her smallest class on the sunday lucky for all those that chose this class as they got more individual attention, see all the paint on the table covers.Do you get the impression by Alice's smile that she is enjoying this?Di deeply engrossed, she said she had the best time, we heard a lot of that. It is very gratifying hearing from the students that they had such a good time, made all our hard work and worrying worth while. There was a few hiccups, but we learn from each retreat, its a learning game, we could employ a professional to run the retreats but that would push the price up, so thankfully most of the girls enjoyed the retreat. Running the retreat and bringing over the shop is a mammoth task and fortunately there are very few problems. I only looked in on Tracey's classes but we got very positive responses from all that did her classes, Jo commented on her professionalism as a teacher as did many others. At the end of the classes on Sunday we had the task of packing all our remaining stock ready to be picked up the next morning by the couriers and freightways. This was certainly made easier by Di, Corinne, Mandy the lovely girl who also picked us up to take us to the dinner on Saturday night. While we where packing up the foyer was filling up with lovely people coming to do a seminar for the Mormon church and lucky us they where doing a row of about 5 people at a time massages and offered us them as well, was most welcome by this time.

We allowed ourselves a day to unwind and see a little bit of Melbourne, such a beautiful city. Mandy had to fly out early so I shared a taxi with her to Prahran where she found the perfect pair of boots she wanted, we parted company there and I spent the rest of the morning browsing the shops on my own, meeting up with my dearest sister Phil, lovely lovely neice Karen and a little angel all snuggled up and warm for lunch.

Isn't she just perfect, look at that little pink hand, I can definately see creativity there. mmmI arranged to meet Di and Jo in the city at 4pm, walking to the train I came across this urban art on the wall. Now I know some people don't like graffitti, but you have to admire their creativity I wish I could spray paint around on a large wall and it came out so artistically, this is down in a minimum of time to avoid detection, so even more amazing. I dont find it as offensive as some of the modern architecture around large cities which I find uninspiring. What do you think?And while waiting for the train to arrive this plump fellow obliged my by staying still long enough for me to snap his photo. Meeting up with Jo and Di we were wandering through the beautiful old arcades when we bumped into Ro with Nina and Misty having a quick look around the city. Finally it was Tuesday and time to fly home to Perth, from the plane window I snapped this photo could it be Uluru. Amazing landscape viewed from above, beauty all around. So for another year Art Journey Retreats are over, its back to familiar routines until the next one.


Judy said...

Sounds like you had a lovely time despite the lack of sleep.

Ro Bruhn said...

It was a great retreat and great to catch up with you and Jo again. It was also nice to bump into you in the arcade, it's always difficult trying to show visitors as much of our city as you can in such a short time, but I think they managed to take in quite a lot. I love the photo of you in your profile.

jo said...

Love the photo of Alice, she looks like she is having the time of her life. And the one of Do deep in concentration!
Jo xoxo

Anonymous said...

Good to hear Mandy found her fluevogs!