Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Squam Experience ...

From September 16 - 20th I was one of over 100 people that made their way to Squam Lake in New Hampshire for the Squam Art Workshops. There is alot written about the location, food and beauty of Squam Lake so I will not cover that here. My little view of that time is about my classes.

My first class was in a large room with a huge fireplace along one wall complete with a crackling fire. There were twinkle lights wrapped around posts and a long wall of windows that looked out over the lake. The class was 'Book in a Day' taught by Marisa and Christine.

Everyone was greeted with the statement 'We believe in hugs' and arms opened and folded until everyone had received their hugs. I could not have felt more welcome. We watched demos of various bookmaking techniques by Marisa and Christine and then spent the day cutting chip board, poking holes with awls, cutting and folding paper, playing with glue and embellishing with paints, photos and just about anything else imaginable. The supply of material was endless and inspiring. I left the class with the book shown below and another still in process. I also left with a new passion for bookmaking. Thanks so much to Marisa and Christine for sharing their knowledge and providing a supportive and fun environment.

This is a collage of the first book I made. It was so much fun to make and I love the result.

My second class was 'Creating a Painting in a Day' a class also taught by Marisa. I knew Marisa through her e-course and was familiar with her paintings. She is very generous with her knowledge, a skilled artist and is sincere in her desire to see everyone succeed. I just knew it was going to be a great class.

We were in the same lovely room with the crackling fire, twinkle lights, hugs and beautiful views of the lake. I felt very much at home and comfortable. I listened to Marisa speak about her process and I began to feel encouraged and brave enough to just pick up a brush, dip it in paint and well - paint! Then a wonderful thing happened. Something sparked inside me like a connection that had long been lost and then suddenly repaired. I could not wait to dive into the paints. When I finally put my brush down and looked around me everyone was smiling and to me it appeared as if they were very proud of what they had accomplished - just like me. This class will remain with me and inspire me for a very long time. Thank you Marisa.

Unfortunately, I was not able to stay at Squam beyond the first 2 days due to personal reasons. Sometimes life just takes these twists and turns that we can neither predict nor control. All that is to be done is to hang on and go for the ride.

As a result I could not attend my third class, provide my book for 'show and tell' or say good-bye to some of the really wonderful people I met. It is disappointing but I have been a Red Sox fan my whole life and as we sox fans say 'There is always next year'.


Swirly said...

Having you in the class was a treat...thank you Lois!

Elizabeth MacCrellish said...

oh my gosh-- honestly?? THE RELIEF I feel reading this-- I wasn't entirely sure why you had left early and was so concerned you'd not had a good time. SO SO SO happy to know it filled your heart well!! Bisous, E

Marisa and Creative Thursday said...

Lois ~ thank you so much. You know I'm not one for getting too sentimental :) but your story about how painting class touched you, brought tears to my eyes. I'm so happy to know you are happy creating, especially painting.

Kara aka Mother Henna said...

Lois, thanks so much for surfing over to Mother Henna to visit for AEDM and for appreciating my "I suck" post :)

I am absolutely in looooove with that book you made!! Haven't been to a book making workshop in ages, but it is one of my FAV things on the planet to do...

posted a little how-to vid a bit back about making a 16 page book from one 8.5 x 11 piece of paper... just a quickie how-to, nothing as lovely as your book here, but thought you might appreciate the pattern/idea anyway as you explore making your own books: