Since our theme last weekend was all about suns, moons and stars, I can’t help but rely on celestial terms to attempt a description. It was almost like being on another planet, a mini universe of unique features, that you can visit for just a short time, embrace all there is to offer, then carry the experience forever. With many familiar faces, and some not-yet-known, we embarked on a journey to this place where the environment shifts and the routines of daily life are quickly forgotten. Our destination appeared friendly, inviting, even domestic with its farmhouse, red barn, and fading garden....trees lining the perimeter of the property and colorful fields framing the panoramic view. Valley Ridge may seem no different than scenes from the next country road, or the previous one, but those who arrive know better. All cares of the outside world blur for three days and participants become immersed in discovery, play, and community as they contribute to the collaborative spirit and energy that visably multiplies. It is indeed a privilege to observe the process of creativity that emerges and to witness enthusiastic artists stretch their zones of comfort and ripple wider the rings of friendship. Upon reflection of departing from this enchantment, we realize that the material evidence of what we expressed together on paper is only a portion of what transpired, while the remainder can only be seen with the heart.
Thank you Katherine for being such a gracious hostess, and thank you artists for linking arms with me and each other on this dynamic, remarkable waltz across the stars.
After being productive in the studio, we enjoyed social hour in the community building on Friday, then a spectacular special dinner prepared by our dear friend Jennifer in Katherine's home on Saturday.
They came from near and far. They rose to amazing heights. Truly cool stuff. I love that while we all started out with a planned format and distributed set of images, every artist made it their own. Each nearly-completed journal so personal and unique - exactly what we hope for. I love that my mom comes along each year and is warmly welcomed into the studio - seeing me in the role of instructor and *getting* what it's all about - the passion for putting our hands to work in a way that nudges us forward on our creative paths and ultimately feeds our souls because we choose to plug in and make it happen. As much as I hope to give, I always end up feeling like I am the one who receives. As I said in the introduction circle, Valley Ridge has helped me become who I am....I believe that's a truth for many of us. While Katherine is changing the process of presenting events, I am happy to learn Valley Ridge will be an available space for workshops in the future....because we don't want to stop the momentum.
Until we meet again, *blows kisses*.