Monday, October 11, 2010

Art & Soul Retreat: So Much Fun!

My mother-in-law generously paid for me to go to the 2010 Portland Art & Soul Retreat this last Friday.  The retreat is actually more than a week long, but I only attended two classes, both on Friday.  My 9:00am to 4:30pm class was about photo tinting or hand-coloring photos.  The evening class we took together from 6:30pm to 9:30pm, a sort of junk-to-art class.

The retreat was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel at the end of the PDX airport runway.  We could hear jets all day, especially the F-16s that flew right over our heads as we went out to get our lunches from our cars.  They couldn't have been but a couple hundred feet over us, zooming so fast and loud it shook the ground and made our ears hurt.

My photo tinting class was long but good.  I learned more about that than I expected, taking away a better idea of what is involved in photo tinting.  It's not just slapping some fake make-up on a portrait or filling in some tree color.  I learned about different kinds of media and how they can be used effectively on different substrates.  That was the "scientific" part of what we focused on.  For example, you would never be able to smear Sharpie ink on cardstock.  And you'd never be able to effectively color a glossy photo with crayons.  Certain substrates use certain coloring agents better.  Soft papers with a big "tooth" work best for oil pastels.  Medium papers (think regular paper) are great with colored pencils or some dense pigment paints.  Shiny papers require stains watered down and floated onto the surface.  Clay-like papers (think old photographs with a matte finish) take more media than any other type of paper--they're a dream to work with.  The rest of that class was not so scientific and quite relaxed.  We colored inside and outside of the lines.  We smeared, smudged, and scrubbed on a lot of different kinds of pictures.  At the end, we all shared our work.  Everyone was kind and supportive.  Very fun.

Between the two classes, The Man's Mom and I hopped the river to Vancouver where we ate at Sweet Tomatoes.  I restrained myself and only had two blueberry muffins this time (oh the willpower!).  We were back in Oregon with just enough time for me to spend my "complimentary" $10 in the retreat store.  I bought myself my first real bone folder and a set of metallic chalk-paints.  My total out-of-pocket in the store was a whopping $0.25, so I think I did okay. :)

We took the second class together in the evening.  It was a trash-to-treasure, a junk-to-art type class.  The total instruction time was about five minutes.  We all got to get up then and scrounge around for items that "spoke to us" and assembled them using glue, caulk, cement, whatever! to hold our projects together.  I made a sort of photo journal box that has room to grow.  The box itself was an old cigar box with pretty ducks on the outside.  I lined the inside with papers and fabrics, glued a few trinkets down, and even invented a funny little picture file thingy.  Around 8:30, we both ran out of gas and decided it was time to motivate southward.

Now I had been a genius and took I-5 to 205 going north.  But coming south in the dark, I chose to trust the GPS to take me home the way I'd come.  About halfway into downtown, I realized something was very, very wrong.  I hate bridges, and the I-5 bridge in downtown scares me to no end.  And there is no way to get off I-84 between 205 and Terwilliger, so I was stuck.  I took a few deep breaths and made it across without incident, but I wasn't very happy about it.  Terwilliger was exciting as it had started raining... and then I was in more traffic than I would have liked until Wilsonville... and then it rained the whole way to Albany... and I didn't get home until 11pm.  Exhausted.

But it was a good day. :)


cm0978 said...

Oh I am so sorry about your return trip. I hate that bridge also, so I can very much sympathize about the condition you must have been in! And rain on top of it!

I had a great time with you -- Sweet Tomatoes is a **fantastic** place to eat!

MissKris said...

Oh, my! If Dear Hubby and I had gone to Value Village in Vancouver and then stopped at Sweet Tomatoes like we'd planned, you and I might have been eating there at the same time! GASP! But we changed plans and went to Oregon City instead and ate at Shari's. I hate the Marquam Bridge, too...the way you're sandwiched in going south and up on the top tier with very little side barriers going north...creepy! Even creepier is going across the Fremont Bridge on a motorcycle...what a wind tunnel!! The Terwilliger curves are a nightmare no matter what the weather. If everyone would just slooooooooow doooooowwwwwwwwnnnnn it wouldn't be so crazy! Glad you had a good time and made it home safely! And how nice to spend some quality time with your m-i-l! My m-i-l has 3 daughters...I don't think she and I have ever spent a day like that in 36 years. But then I'm not your average d-i-l, either. I love her, but we have absolutely nothing in common outside of my Dear Hubby and grand/great-grands.