CREATE Irvine, Part One

I recently spent six days at CREATE Irvine, one of the art retreats put on by Cloth Paper Scissors each year. It was my first art retreat and I had sooo much fun! I hope I can do it again next year. I met lots of really nice people, including my roommate! Carol and I met on a private Facebook group connected with the Flying Lessons class; even though we’d never even talked on the phone, we decided to take a chance and be roomies — and it was wonderful! She is such a delightful person. Friday evening we found ourselves with some free time, so we decided to go out for dinner. We went to the Cheesecake Factory. We both snacked on appetizers for dinner, then ordered a piece of cheesecake to go. The whole dinner was so good that I’m sure it was immoral!

Carol Bray and Cindy Jones Lantier at the Cheesecake Factory in Irvine CA

But, I’m getting ahead of myself! Carol and I both got to the hotel Tuesday afternoon. We spent some time just getting to know each other. Classes started on Wednesday morning. Overachiever that I can be, I signed up for EIGHT classes! You know that’s too many, because there was a gift for signing up for three classes (A nice bag with some miscellaneous treasures in it) and a gift for signing up for four classes (A really nice apron) — but no gifts for eight classes!

Goodie Bag Given Out At CREATE Irvine

Classes began bright and early on Wednesday morning, at least 9AM is pretty early for me! My first class was with Joanne Sharpe. She was an amazing instructor. She showed us all kinds of fun techniques and even turned me on to a couple of new products. We played a lot with stencils and sprays — two of my favorite tools! — so that wasn’t so new, but she did introduce me to Peerless Watercolors. I’d heard of them before but I didn’t really get the appeal until I actually played with them. They are watercolor pigment on paper, instead of in a tube or a pot, so that makes them perfect for traveling. I don’t use a lot of watercolors, but these are so transparent and so pigmented that they are absolutely YUMMY! Joanne was selling them in class, so I bought two sets — the traditional palette and a palette made especially for her. I can’t wait to play with them some more!

Joanne demonstrating Peerless Watercolors. Aren't they lovely?

In Joanne’s class, we made a small book out of five canvas panels. We painted, collaged, and journalled on the panels and they were bound with large metal rings. I haven’t finished mine yet (the story of my life!), but here’s a shot of five of my collages — without lettering, cause I totally suck at that!

Here are my five canvas panels, in various states of paint and collage.

Here is one of Joanne’s from the class sample; her lettering ROCKS! She teaches an online lettering class; I may have to sign up for it.

Here's what I aspire to -- a canvas panel designed by Joanne Sharpe

Wednesday night was “Deconstructed Paste Papers” taught by Helen Shaffer Garcia. She was another amazing teacher. The underlying technique she taught was completely new to me — mixing paint with a specific kind of paste and creating our own collage papers — even though we did stamping and stenciling in her class, too. It was only a three hour class, so I was hustling every minute — and I forgot to take any pictures! But it was a wonderful class, and again, I look forward to finding the time to just play with what I learned. Artistic play is very important to my process!

I’ll write more later about the other classes I had. I was lucky — not one was a dude! Every class taught me something. It was, as I said, LOTS OF FUN!


One Response to CREATE Irvine, Part One
  1. Carol
    June 10, 2012 | 6:08 AM

    What a great time we had and what a super roommate I had! I’m so happy we were able to meet up with each other. I posted about CREATE all last week. There was just so much to show and tell!