Monday, April 11, 2011

Artfest 2011 - Part 1

I must be getting old ... coming home from Artfest feels like jetlag {artlag? festlag? surely there's a German word to describe this, they have a word for everything}. It might be sleep deprivation ~ I stay awake far into the nights {did I mention the military beds?}, or I'm too wired to sleep ~ my head brimming with ideas, and then it's back up at 7:00 to get breakfast before class each day. Thank heavens all I had to do was wander sleepily across to the commons building and into the buffet line, where some very nice {morning} people put lovely edible things on my plate.

I kept bumping into people I knew ~ either from other retreats, or from classes at previous Artfests, or from swapping through other websites {hey, beenebag!}. And this year something odd seemed to be going on ... I'm not sure why, but I felt more "settled". I've yet put my finger on the why of it, but I just felt more present and confident and at peace. I didn't do my usual "sit-at-an-empty-table-and-see-who-will-sit-with-me" shy thing I used to do in the dining room. With 500 or so people milling about with food trays {okay, maybe not ALL 500 at once!} there was always someone to sit with ~ so I did. I traveled down this year with my friend Rose {hey, Rose!} and we always looked for each other at meals, and even had our first day's class together, but then it was off in different directions.

There was the usual trading frenzy at the first dinner, and as I'd posted a link to this blog on the Artfest yahoo group, it was heart-warming indeed to have people actually recognize what I'd made from seeing my blog post beforehand. Apparently I'm still getting used to be out there blogwise. I made 120 trades and only came home with about 20 {never fear ~ they will find a home!}, and I received very creative stuff in return. Lots of people handed out collage packs, which came in VERY handy in class on day three. The trading pretty much continues throughout Artfest, and Rose very kindly kept pointing me in the direction of people who had cool stuff I hadn't seen yet {Have you traded with the pea lady yet? She's sitting over there ...}.

And now a word to my gentlemen readers {if indeed there are any}, here's something you might want to remember when faced with an audience of 500 or so artists {primarily women} who've come to take three days worth of classes with roly carts bursting with art supplies ... after dinner on the first night, Teesha and Tracy, our most excellent hosts, had the teachers and the Artfest crew come to the mic and introduce themselves ... and one of the volunteers nearly got a standing ovation for this: "Hello, my name is Richard, and I also know Tracy from an unnamed online game, and my passion is ... lifting heavy objects for women." Of course, your circumstances may vary, but I'm just saying, you might want to have this line in your repertoire.

More on Artfest in the next few days ... after I've recovered a little more from Festlag!


celeste said...

sounds like a wonderful Artfest! Missed you all!

Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

Sounds like a wonderful time. Can't wait to see what you learned!! :)

Jane B. said...

I think I'm suffering from the same thing! It's been two weeks, and I'm still working on my journal and, well, doing laundry! Just putting your trade into my journal as we speak - lovely!!

Holly said...

I like your word "festlag". Totally captures that punctured balloon feeling of lugging around and putting away all the art supplies after you get home. Still, I wish I could've been there. It sounds like you had a fabulous time!

I'm sort of in love with that Richard guy. I hope he comes to Journalfest.

beenebag said...

Hey Penelope!!!
At least you've blogged about Artfest. I still have three totebags to go through...have not had anytime it's almost June!!! School took up April and most of May and now there are other projects and vacation plans creeping in for the summer. You're inspiring me to get my stuff together and post...maybe next week:)