Tuesday, 12 April 2011

ArtFest 2011

It was the 12th Artfest. For me, this was the first.

For those who don’t know - ArtFest is a place where old friends meet, creativity spills over, and new friendships begin. This is a place where your artistic dreams come true, where you learn new tricks and skills, and get creative ideas. It is like being back to childhood when there is no fear and everything seems possible. All of this magic happens due to the gigantic work done by fantastic couple Teesha and Tracy Moore. Their crew, does so much work which perhaps we don’t directly notice (because everything seems so seamless) and we take for granted, but the work gets done and we participants enjoy the fruits of their labor.

ArtFest takes place in Fort Worden. Fort Worden, along with the heavy batteries of Fort Flagler and Fort Casey, once guarded nautical entrance to Puget Sound. These posts, established in the late 1890s, became the first line of a fortification system designed to prevent a hostile fleet from reaching such targets as the Bremerton Naval Yard and the cities of Seattle, Tacoma and Everett. Construction began in 1897 and continued in one form or another until the fort was closed in 1953. The property was purchased as a state park in 1955. Fort Worden is named after Rear Admiral John L. Worden.

A special treat at Art Feast for me was to meet my online class teachers Carla Sonheim and Misty Mawn. I’m so glad this happened.
I took a number of pictures at the ArtFest, to show you most of them I had to group them.

Here are the facilities where everything happened. These are former barracks which have been re-tasked as our sleeping quarters. These barracks look out over Puget Sound and the shore was literally just a few yards from our quarters. The landscape is lush, wonderful stands of trees, mountains in the background and a most incredible assortment of wildlife. The weather was nearly perfect, cool and clear with clear skies and clean air.

Iron Chef Artist competition, where our teachers were given a bag of goodies and they had to create a piece of art in 45 minutes using the objects provided.

I took three classes at the Art Fest:

1. Painting with Jesse Reno.

It takes Jesse Reno to paint like Jesse Reno.
This class was a blast! If I hadn’t painted in it at all and just listened to Jesse’s stories, it would be worth the price of admission. Jesse let us see his work through his own eyes, showed the process of building a painting from inside out. His stories sometimes seemed to deviate very far from art, but, at the very end everything made perfect sense.

I loved the process of mixing paints on the palms of your hands and painting with fingers. Here is my try.

2. "Black and white" with Misty Mawn.

Charming, charming Misty Mawn.

You would not believe but I forgot half of my supplies for Misty’s class at home (the most important ones – pictures, papers, collage elements), my only excuse is that I was very sick the week before the ArtFest, I lost my voice, I thought I won’t be able to go, I was trying to get there in one piece, and by doing that I left many pieces behind. As a result, my work in Misty class was very minimalistic, take a look.

3. Mosaics class with Katherine England.

Charismatic Katherine England totally got me into making mosaics. I had the most doubts about this class. Who could imagine that glass which seems so cold can be so warm and rewarding. We completed a mosaic piece called a prayer rug. Everyone’s work in this class was just fantastic.

I think everyone who was at the ArtFest will agree with me that we are very lucky people.
I’m very grateful to the organizers of ArtFest for their vision and execution, to my teachers for sharing their skills and ideas, and to everyone for being so friendly.

I send you much love and hope to see you again.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing :) I would love to go to art feast one day
    I love the pictures and the works you have made

  2. looks like a lovely time! i'm headed to art and soul in a couple of weeks. (my FIRST ever art retreat).....can't wait. i love seeing your photos of misty mawn and jesse reno. i will take classes with both of them too. thanks for sharing your adventure with us here.

  3. So awesome. Looks like you had an incredible experience. Next year will be my Artfest year. This year squam art workshops with misty, Penelope Sullivan and Sarah ahearn. Thanks for the post and a glimps at what is the incredible event.

  4. Wonderful. Loved your minimalist work. Thanks so much for sharing! Ahhhh...to be a fly on the wall :-)

  5. i love your misty mawn pieces. i wouldn't worry that they are minimalistic. they are so so wonderful! all your work is amazing dear elena. it was just a delight rooming with you....you are so very sweet and i'm glad we got to connect there. love you and i loved seeing all these photos. nice!


  6. sounds like u had a great experience lucky lady!

  7. Thanks for sharing! I, sadly, had to miss this year and it is people who generously share their experiences, like you, that help me feel reconnected and and inspired!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing!! This is my first year and I can't wait to meet you and all of the other Stretching Sisters!! I love your work in Misty's class, sometimes as they say "less is more", they're beautiful. All of your work is wonderful!! xo