Art camp. Yeah, that’s what it’s like. Only there’s no little nose pickin, socially awkward, geeky little kids to deal with. We were all geeky grown ups.
Tracy and Teesha Moore produce a very unique art workshop event each year they call Artfest. Each year is a little different and it is now in it’s 7th year to be held at Fort Worden State Park located in Port Townsend, WA. Port Townsend is a Victorian seaport located on the Olympic peninsula, not real close to anywhere. An hour and a half from Seattle via highways and ferries, it almost seems secluded in a “no Starbucks in these here parts” kind of way. Well, there is one located at the local Safeway supermarket and there’s a McDonald’s but the locals prefer proper espresso in a chipped demitasse, thank you very much.
The workshops that are offered are generally one to two day affairs, just enough to whet an appetite but long enough to provide basic foundation skills for future study. The teachers are respected experts in their respective fields from artist jewelry to artist books to painting to printmaking to assemblage to deconstructions.
This year I chose to take classes rather than teach. It was a brief respite from the real world as Susan and I took a break from laundry, lawn work and long commutes. I really enjoyed the change from teacher to student.
Susan focused on creativity exercises and book arts while I brought my attention to dimensional work. Certainly, three short days is not enough to assume any proficiency but if nothing else, it recharges the artistic juices as you share the air with like-minded spirits and creativity is the order of the day. Fortunately that energy seems to be lasting until I reach the threshold of my own studio in a few days.
After getting home, I had to immediately repack the bags and hit the friendly skies again for the work that pays the mortgage. As I dragged my sorry ass onto the plane Monday morning, I longed for the smell of cedars, the greenness of ferns blanketing the wet hillsides and the feeling of doing something important for no one but myself. Jobs may fill the belly, but art feeds the soul. It really does.