My Santa Fe Experience & My Escape Valve

My Santa Fe Experience & My Escape Valve

This month I attended a 4-day workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with Lauren Mantecon I have been in her Dive Deep mentoring group this year working with her and a wonderful group of artists.  I knew heading in that I might feel vulnerable and outside my comfort zone during the workshop, and boy was I right!  At the same time, I do need to stress that the workshop was a very safe and supportive space.  I am one of those people who does not feel comfortable being vulnerable with others.  Give me anger or frustration any day, but raw vulnerability, uh thanks, but no…..   

I have worked with Lauren through Mastrius before the Dive Deep program, and I adore her, but she and I are VERY different people.  It’s one of the reasons I have learned more from her mentorship than any other.  Although my thoughts go all over the place and make unpredictable connections, at the same time I am drawn to a linear logical list-making type of existence.  I prefer having concrete answers that include visible evidence for everything (which logically, I know isn’t possible).  Lauren sees so much outside of this type of existence and asks questions I don’t know how to answer but I understand I need to examine.  She is spiritual, deeply grounded, and knowledgeable.  This wasn’t an art technique workshop; it was a space and experience where we could all experiment and dive deeper into why we make art and what it means to us personally. 

Continual professional and personal development are so important, and that’s how I looked at participating in this group.  One of our smaller activities was creating a soul collage and then a circle discussion about what we produced and what they revealed about ourselves.  They were made utilizing magazines and building a collage with the images you are drawn to at that moment.  (Mine is pictured here – titled, “Listen up Bit%&!”). My description is not doing it justice, but you get the gist.  I will not get into the nitty-gritty of the discussion, however, during my turn, Lauren made a comment that hit me like a lightning bolt.  She said, “your art acts as an escape valve for you.”  O.     M.     G.    YES!  I have never been able to put my finger on it but that is exactly what it is!  With this eureka moment I spent many of my mornings in Santa Fe writing about this idea and subsequently have rewritten my artist statement. (You can click here to go read it) 

The piece I created during the workshop was quite interesting to me as it ended up being a blend of the style I used when creating the Catharsis collection and the pattern and detail I utilize now. I think it partly came from being “in my feels” that weekend.  I entered the workshop with the intention of being open and receptive.  I am happy with the end result, regarding both the art and what I learned about myself.  This piece is currently unnamed, but I intend to hang it in my home, spend some time with it, and continue examining and writing about the experience.

 

Santa Fe is a stunning and beautiful place to visit.  I honestly think they have more art galleries per capita than anywhere else.  Between the galleries, Aspen Vista, Meow Wolf, the Georgia O’Keffee museum, my workshop, and writing, I had an amazing trip and would suggest a visit to Santa Fe for any art lover. 

 

On a totally different topic – I am part of a Studio Tour this upcoming weekend and if you are in Calgary I would love for you to attend!  Because I am moving studios soon, I am hosting mine at A Collaborative Design Group – a stunning interior design firm.   

When – Saturday, October 22nd & Sunday, October 23rd, from 11 am to 4pm 

Where – 4521 Manhattan Rd SE (A Collaborative Design Group) 

Click here to learn about the other artists involved and to see the google map of all of the stops! 

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3 comments

“Art as an escape” has got me reflecting. I know it has taken me a life time to make art based on my own tastes and interests and I will always struggle to keep that my focus. As a young person I got caught up in the praise and attention it brought me. That killed the joy Art making brings. Escaping into the art making sounds perfectly blissful.

Lenore

“Art as an escape” has got me reflecting. I know it has taken me a life time to make art based on my own tastes and interests and I will always struggle to keep that my focus. As a young person I got caught up in the praise and attention it brought me. That killed the joy Art making brings. Escaping into the art making sounds perfectly blissful.

Lenore

The statement of " your art acts as an escape value for you" makes so much sense. It’s an unpredictable force that just happens. I am too having a “whoa” moment on this.
Thank you for sharing your inspiring work and insights.

Barb Pagani

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