The Art Retreat is Over. Now What?

 Untitled, Charcoal and Gesso on Watercolor Paper, © Beth Cole

Untitled, Charcoal and Gesso on Watercolor Paper, © Beth Cole

I just experienced an amazing art retreat with the talented and generous Jeanne Oliver. My friend Alissa and I traveled together to meet her friend Jen and gather with 23 other like-minded souls to spend time soaking in God's goodness poured out through art and new friends.

I am trying to sift and process this morning and thought I might think out loud a bit about what to do after the retreat is over. Here are some questions I am asking myself.....you're welcome to listen in!

How can I stay encouraged to make art?
There is an energy in the room when people gather together to make art. It is easy to get a fix from that energy and feel we can't create when we get home because we don't have that same energy at home. But I say - let's CREATE anyway! We are not always going to be in the mood, feeling like it, whatever, and it is easy to make excuses, but I think once we get started, God will give us the energy and momentum we need to continue. Don't let FEAR stop you from getting started.

What is the best way to process all of the tools and techniques we learned?
I am a list person and I have deadlines and shows coming up so I need to keep mental notes about paintings that need to be finished, ones I want to start and ones I want to paint over. If I can apply the things I learned to the paintings that are in progress and the new ones I start, I think it will be good for my heart and my art. The retreat was all about being authentic and painting what you know. I don't ever want to be detached from my paintings, right, and I don't think you do either. So for me, I need to let down my shield and not be afraid to paint with emotion, with energy, with love. It needs to come from my heart.

How can I do good to others through my experience?
I believe sharing your creative spirit is a good way to do good to others. We can share by contributing to art groups, organizing painting days, sharing demos or tutorials, creating learning environments - all good things. I want to continually remind myself that my art is all about doing good to others and not forget to invite, include, share and have fun!

Now. Where did I put that charcoal? 

Thank you dear reader for sticking with me to the end.

--Beth
Soli Deo Gloria