Just returned from a teaching trip to Arizona. We drove our RV out to Tucson once again for Art Retreat in the Desert.
It was crisp and cold in the morning and even woke up one day to ice in the fountain which is so strange when you are surrounded by cactus! What is fabulous is that this RV Park is less than two miles away from where the event was held, so an easy commute to “work” each day.
Art Retreat in the Desert is a wonderful event hosted by the ever-gracious Barb Solem and her lovely daughter, Erin, who make up Vivi Magoo…named after Barb’s grandchildren!
I started off the week teaching a class called Grateful Hearts to a small group of Vets….this was a free event for military vets from the surrounding community. Barb’s idea to support these folks who serve our country was a wonderful, philanthropic way to Give Back and Pay it Forward. It sounds like this will become an annual event at Art Retreat in the Desert and I am sure it will grow year after year.
It was really fun because most of these folks had never worked with polymer clay before. I always love turing people onto the magic that is polymer clay and they made some unique and beautiful clay hearts!
My first official class kicked off on Monday with Divine Shrines. This was a full day class that ran from 10:00am until 9:00 pm with a three hour break in the middle! We needed every moment to finish these beauties!
There is always time for a little happy hour in the evening after class, always a nice time to catch up with people like fellow instructor, Robert Dancik. Hubby had fun learning about some of the materials that Robert uses to create his unique pieces. Fellow teachers, Debby Anderson and John Creighton Petersen also joined in!
After class on this day, I hit the famed Tucson Gem and Bead show and managed to do a little damage!! I love that Barb plans her art retreat during the run of this crazy, huge event where all of Tucson is transformed into a jewelry shopping bonanza!
I always have fun seeing folks like Becky Nunn of Nunn Design at the event, To Bead True Blue at the Doubletree Hotel. Becky has a wonderfully artistic aesthetic and sells a quality line of jewelry findings.
On our last day in Tucson, we decided to spend the day at Saguaro National Park. It was a beautiful clear day and we loved it! Next time we will have to spend some time hiking there.
After leaving Tucson, the ol RV headed up to Prescott….. where I was scheduled to teach at Kat Kirby’s fabulous studio. Couldn’t believe she actually had an RV pad ready to go!
Kat’s studio was a converted 10 car garage that now includes not only Kat’s studio, but her husband Bill’s incredible guitar making studio but also a guest suite for visiting artists! Heavenly!
Kat’s studio was large enough to accommodate the 18 students that were taking my two day class called Mixed Media Mosaic Shrines.
I really liked this wall plaque in Kat’s studio and it kind of depicted our fun group, a gathering of lots of creative, like-minded women who created great energy for our weekend together.
Here are some examples of work in progress:
While we spent two days creating these beautiful pieces, David went off exploring in Kat’s FJ.
This beautiful place called The Dells is a location I will have to see on my next trip to Prescott!It was a fabulous weekend that came to a close all too quickly…..and we were sorry to say bye to my fabulous group of wild women, and my hosts, Kat, Bill and of course, Ripley! (sorry Peaches, no pics of you!)
Thanks so much to all who spent this lovely weekend with me and many, many thanks to Kat for hosting me!