Best of 2009 – Workshop, Blog & Moment of Peace

I’m batching my responses to “Best of 2009” so here are the three latest.

December 6 Workshop or conference. Was there a conference or workshop you attended that was especially beneficial? Where was it? What did you learn?

I bravely went to my very first mixed media workshop this year, about 6 months after taking up painting. Unfortunately, by the time I heard about the retreat most of the classes were booked out and I missed out on some kick-ass stuff. But I still did manage to squeeze into a workshop on “collage with found treasures” by DJ Pettitt, whose work I am continually inspired by. I was very excited to learn recently that she’s in the process of creating an online class on digitally altering photos. I just can’t wait! What’s even more exciting is that she may be creating another online class of the very workshop that I was gutted to miss out on earlier in the year – book making. I’ve wanted to learn bookbinding techniques since I took up mixed media art a year ago and DJ’s books are so beautiful. I swear I did a little happy dance when I learnt about these online classes. Bring ’em on DJ!

December 7 Blog find of the year. That gem of a blog you can’t believe you didn’t know about until this year.

My latest blog crush is on Andrea’s ABC Creativity: Create your own happily ever after. Every time I visit this blog I read something that I can relate to so completely it’s eerie, like she’s writing my thoughts only more eloquently and insightfully. Andrea description of her blog is that it “is filled with tips, encouragement, support and tools for your creative journey”.

December 8 Moment of peace. An hour or a day or a week of solitude. What was the quality of your breath? The state of your mind? How did you get there?

Hmmm, I don’t remember the last time I had an hour of solitude, let alone a day or week! But I do remember a moment of peace. The type you get when you know you’ve made a massive life changing decision and it was absolutely the right thing to do and that every thing’s going to be okay and so much better than okay. I wrote this in my journal on the 12th July, 2 weeks after arriving in the UK to embark on our long-term slow travel throughout Europe – “This is probably the most amazing thing we’ll do in our lives and this is the beginning. It is all ahead of us”. We’d just purchased our motorhome “Nettle” (as yet unnamed) and were waiting for the money transfer to go through so we could pick her up. So often in life we feel that where we are (the city we live in, the friends we have, our job) is a culmination of seemingly random events or decisions made too young, too flippantly or without direction. That we’ve been swept along by a current stronger than our own will, that we didn’t choose to be where we are, we just ended up there. In that moment I experienced the peace of mind that comes with knowing that I had made a conscious decision about how I wanted to live my life and had made it happen. I wonder how many people in life are lucky enough to have such an opportunity. Is there a greater blessing than that?

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