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Kelly: Yep, I’m Flying Too

Okay, I’m doing it. I’ve sent in my 50% deposit. I’m looking at flights. I’m telling myself and telling myself again that it’s okay to do this thing just for me, so here I go. February 18-22, 2010, I will be participating in An Artful Journey, taking DJ Pettitt’s class. I am incredibly excited and incredibly terrified at the same time. I’ve wanted to do something like this ever since I started playing around with mixed media.  I’m very much a kinesthetic learner; I have to learn by doing. And what better way to learn by doing than to actually be there learning and doing with an incredibly talented artist and instructor? This will push me past just marking all the wonderful projects in Somerset Studio and Cloth Paper Scissors with my “I must try this soon” sticky notes. This will make me sit down with a group of other artists (I still hesitate at calling myself that) and do. This will force me to face my fears and my doubts and really put myself out there for all to see (well, at least all in the class anyway…) I talked with DJ via email earlier today and she’s incredibly gracious and incredibly encouraging and incredibly unaware of my sheer terror.  🙂 Have I said incredibly enough yet?

I actually registered for this class about two weeks ago, but I had been hesitating sending in my confirmation deposit because I was having a hard time justifying spending the money on something this self-indulgent that would take me away from my family for five days. This is definitely a “want to” do, not a “have to” do. Times are tough all around right now economically. I have friends who’ve lost their jobs, I have a husband who’s had to lay off employees and is concerned about the amount of work he has, and I have children who need school clothes and supplies. And then there’s me: full-time-working, bust-my-butting, family-care-taking wife and mom who yearns to ditch her day job and play with paint, paper and beads all day long. What pushed me to finally send in my deposit was our discussion on “fly anyway,” prompted my Miranda’s photo and comments. Thanks for that push, Brittany. “Work every day but fly when you can.” I’m working my butt off so I can fly to California in February. Maybe I’ll even work enough to bring the family along so they can walk through a giant redwood while I’m sifting through a pile of beautiful papers. Either way, California, here I come!

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. This is SO EXCITING, Kelly!! Wow. The class looks amazing. (In terms of the $, I’m pretty sure that if you didn’t spend it on this class and trip, the cash would just evaporate into nothingness anyway. Seems to be how that works.)

    Interestingly, I’ve been thinking about a workshop myself — there’s something about getting together with a group of artists that forces you to recognize the artist in yourself.

    Can’t wait to read your post-trip blog post(s)!!

    August 6, 2009
  2. Yeah! Glad to hear you decided to go. It sounds awesome!

    And not like any of us has the time to organize this, but wouldn’t it be cool if we created a Creative Construction workshop for us and other creative moms to get together and create? If only we could do all the things we imagine… *sigh*

    August 6, 2009
  3. congratulations on a decision well-made. enjoy it! and the workshop, too.

    brittany, methinks you’re on a roll of inspiration…

    August 6, 2009
  4. thanks guys. and brittany this is the first time i’ve heard mention of a creative construction retreat. i think we need to do that. 🙂

    August 6, 2009
  5. I wish we could have a MOTHERS’ STUDIO. Some place where you could bring your children and leave them with a bunch of great babysitters while you go next door, order a latte, and either sit with other mothers and work on your laptop, or go to a quiet room if you prefer more solitude — with studio space for visual artists who are able to bring their supplies with them….would be a home for various groups and classes, a cafe for nibbles, maybe a gallery — all under the umbrella of a place to go for a few hours where your kids can have fun (if you don’t have other childcare options) and you can return to yourself.

    I’m there right now, in my mind….

    August 6, 2009
  6. ok, now i’m drooling….

    August 6, 2009
  7. Kristine #

    Congratulations, Kelly! I’m so, so, so excited for you! Go for it. 🙂

    Mothers’ Studio…I’m drooling, too.

    August 6, 2009
  8. That would be awesome, Miranda. I’m there in my mind too… And drooling…

    And since we’re brainstorming, I’m pictureing a CC retreat at a summer camp. Lots of different programming and options. You bring the kids and the husbands. Opportunities to do art projects/creative problem solving with them. (Tom and I took a pottery class together before kids and had so much fun.) Opportunities to learn from other creative women in seminars and workshops. Support group for husbands. “Camp Counselors” who keep the kids busy with numerous activities. Performances by mother performing artists, etc.

    I do think that our families generally DO NOT understand our particular position as creative women whose creativity is often ignored/set aside/abandoned just to keep everything else in life running smoothly. They don’t necessarily get the idea that wives and mothers who are more creatively fulfilled and feel like they are whole instead of fragmented bits of their former selves are going to be happier, and generally better, at wifing and parenting.

    Speaking from experience, Tom is always very proud when I win contests and get my writing published, or finish a doll, etc. But he doesn’t understand that I’d rather this not be a occassional miracle when I happen to find a spare moment. As is usually the case, I completely abandon house cleaning to find the time to have a creative moment and then have to listen to him bitch at me later about the state of the laundry or the dishes piled up in the sink. He doesn’t understand the latent resentment I feel towards the boys for climbing all over me and interrupting my creative moments. And if we’re being honest, it totally pisses me off that his work is sacred and he must be left to concentrate just to write an email, but since my work is creative, I’m supposed to suck up the babies and toddlers and dogs and cats and general chaos and upheaval to my thought process because I’m not doing anything serious.

    If “Mommy” is doing something outside her job description it’s met with annoyance that Mommy isn’t mommying more.

    I think an opportunity for our families to see us in another light, to realize what we’d really be capable of with more support and understanding, would be absolutely the best thing ever.

    August 7, 2009
  9. wow, great discussion going on here! i love the idea of the Mother’s Studio. And Brittany, you are so right…in most cases, the husband’s just don’t “get” it. Benny always tells me he’s my biggest fan, and that’s all great, but when I’m away at a show for the weekend–setting up my booth by myself, manning my booth by myself for two days, breaking down and loading up my booth by myself–only to come home to a house that’s been been hit by the tornado that is my family when left to their own devices, that support is definitely not very evident. and don’t even get me started on who does the majority of the childcare and all the housework on a weekly day-in, day-out basis…while working a full-time job outside the house. i think that’s a big part of the reason i find just said, heck with it, i’m going to the retreat. i do deserve it.

    a mother’s studio summer camp sounds fabulous. i think we may be on to something here. seriously. i plan and organize retreats and conferences all the time. we can make this happen. make the event self supporting and the only upfront costs is the deposit on the facility.

    August 7, 2009
  10. fantastic! i’m there.

    again, not for my convenience, because, as stated by kelly above, near home may not be convenient at all…but i live mid-coast Atlantic christa’s no longer in ME, but a few MA res’s and a FL and 2 SC res’s and MI to here is pretty equidistant to NE to here. williamsburg, va has many suite type rentals, group, family places, with pools, etc….
    if you want i could take the ground view of a place, with possible conference room or some such…as I’m about 20mins from there.

    August 7, 2009
  11. That’s a great idea, Cathy.

    Another option is to literally book a summer camp in the off-season. I don’t mind roughing it. 😛

    August 7, 2009
  12. When we lived in Cincy, Tom and I went to Camp Dogwood outside of Chicago. It’s a camp for people and their dogs-exactly like summer camp but all the activities are geared toward canine fun. It was in mid-October, held at a location that in the summers was used as a Jewish summer camp. So it had a mess hall, lots of different buildings to host a myriad activities, walking trails, a stage etc. People could stay in cabins by themselves, or for a lower cost, could sleep hostal-style in some of the bigger cabins. That’s kind of what I had pictured in my mind for this…

    August 7, 2009

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