batteries [somewhat] recharged

oh my.

 it feels strange to be writing on the blog.  i have been unplugged here since just shortly after my birthday last month.  so much has gone on & things finally have quieted down (for now anyway…next week, things may change what with school starting in a couple of weeks)… where to begin?  so much to share both tales & pix>>>

***  i had to update my professional credentials with the state (tons of paperwork!)

*** wrap up the itty bitty vintage prom dress swap in flickr

*** get organized for my 1st ever antique flea market show ever (that took sooooo much time & energy…but all the hard work paid off as the show was a smashing success!)

***interviewing folks as well as collecting submissions for my upcoming zine project 

*** interview for a possible contract with a local school district much closer to home 

*** attend a 2-day art workshop here with the sweet,  amazingly talented & generous misty.

***trying to do all of the above (& then some) while also being really mindful to be joyful &  create in the midst.

i very tall order, i know.  but i got to most of them.  still working on creating {joy} in the midst.  that, i can see, is going to be on-going. 🙂


well, i guess i will start with the most recent events & work my way back…  i still have to post my blurb from my travels up north & the fab time we had at teresa’s fabulous shop & studio.  & i also need to post pix of all the swap goodies & itty bitty books that i received during my self-imposed bloggy hiatus.  egads, things are piling up [sigh, the story of my life lately, hehehe].

i just got back from an incredibly inspirational 2-day workshop at the fantastic valley ridge art studio with the equally fantastic mixed media artist, misty mawn.  i’ve watched her art evolve since coming to the scene nearly 3 yrs ago.  it was a privilege & an honor to have taken her workshop.  i learned a great deal of new [to me] techniques & misty was a very patient & generous instructor.  her down-to-earth & gentle demeanor made it possible for me to even conceive the notion that i could do even a mere fraction of what she can with her eyes {literally} closed!  watching her demonstrate creating one of her signature pieces from start-to-finish was quite astonishing. seriously. omg, the woman works at warped speed…we’re talking, wicked FAST. 

it was virtually impossible to take notes or snap pix during one of her many demos.  if you so much as *BLINK*, you’ve completely missed, like, 10 steps, hahaha!  she makes it look all too easy, i’m afraid.  because when she told us to try the techniques at our own tables, it was (for me anyway) a bit of a struggle & nowhere near lightening fast.   that’s why she gets paid the big bucks, lol.  but seriously, she is an immensely talented & prolific artist.  the proof is in the pudding.  i saw it with my own eyes, folks.  amazing as all get out.  if you are ever fortunate to take a class from misty, i would tell you, what the hell are you waiting for?!   be prepared to be amazed when you do.  trust me.  you can take that to the bank.


to be perfectly honest, i was a bit apprehensive taking misty’s workshop at the outset.  i mean, it had been quite a while since i picked up a brush.  i really haven’t consistently painted (watercolors are my thing) or sketched since we’ve been here in cheeseland.  & the thought of painting, particularly a la misty mawn style, made me wicked nervous.  oh yeah, i have used acrylics, in fact, all the time.   but to paint boxes, board books, etc. for my altered art projects & assemblages… not to render the human form as misty’s work often does.  taking her class was majorily taking me out of my comfort zone.  ask her or her… they both know how much i was stressing.  but it was a good thing in the end.  it forced me to grow as an artist, regardless of how nervous & scared i had felt initially.  learning something new, i realized,  will only enhance [not detract] & further develop your skills & artistic vision. 

kathy & her husband bill, the proprietors of their amazing studio/art retreat/b&b, were so very welcoming & accomodating.  they made everyone feel comfortable & relaxed.  it truly was an art retreat.  their property which sits on 120+ acreas of rolling hills, cow pastures & a trout brook was very much the epitome of tranquility & country living at its finest.  being in this environment allowed me to explore this foreign artistic territory unencumbered. 

  having been immersed in so much creative activity & also being in the delightful company of like-minds the past couple of  days, it wasn’t before long that i found myself painting again & to my great relief, loving it.  i think , part of my trepidations earlier may have stemmed from thinking that i had lost my passion for painting.  thank goodness that wasn’t so.   

thanks misty, it was your workshop that got me inspired to paint again.  & i will always be indebted to you for that.  xo

that’s all for now.  i suppose my bloggy break is over & i will slowly but surely get back in the habit of posting.  until next time, bonne nuit!

xoxo mary ann  


5 Responses

  1. Oh geez, I just posted my comment on the wrong post !!!!

    Anyhow, it was so great to meet you at VR and the fun we had will be remembered for a very long time !!!

    Misty was a great instructor….I just love her and all the warmth and patience she guided us with.

    I just posted some photos from day one….and I got a little of you in one of them !!!…..I just had to share our outdoor adventure…in order to show everyone the beauty of Valley Ridge !!!

    Art photos will be part two… a day or two !!!

    Hugs, Beth

  2. yes, i have a bunch of outdoors pix too, but i will probably post them on my flickr…i’m too lazy right now to photoshop all my pix, haha!

    will bop by to see your pix of part two!

    xo, mary ann

  3. Mary Ann I am so glad you went and had a fab time. That place looks amazing (I had checked out their site before because it looks so cool…I also thought about how wonderful it would be to run a place like that!)


  4. what a wonderful thing to win! Love the little book, please enter my name.

  5. Hi Beautiful,
    I don’t know where you get all the energy from beautiful lady. Your achievements are never-ending. YAY YOU!
    Mar, I am so totally, totally envious that you not only got to meet but also do a workshop with Misty Mawn. I truly adore her art, her blog, her photos. It is because of her that I got started in mixed media.
    What’s this- saying you are lazy – I’ve never heard such garbage
    Angels be with you dear,
    Wendy XO

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