13 December 2013

Kickin' It Old Skool - Day 13

This month I'm joining Jamie Ridler and Shannon Ridler in their Kickin It Old Skool Blog Challenge.  It's a month long challenge that will encourage us to post every day.  If you want to join in, click here or on the button on the left side bar.

Day 13 - Share a First

Today we are encouraged to share one of our firsts.  A first car, first day of school, first job, etc.  I've been thinking about this for a few hours now trying to decide what would be an interesting first to share.

For my share a first today I'm going to share my first art retreat.  I wrote a little about it here after I returned home last year.  But I'll share more now.  

In February of 2012 I signed up for my first art retreat.  I was really nervous as I'd never been on a retreat before and my "art" was minimal at best.  In October of 2012 I went to the Blue Mountain Retreat Center in Knoxville, Maryland to attend the first Red Thread Retreat.  Being quite a shy person, meeting new people and going to places I've never been is a bit much for me and I tend to not do it.

But I will never, ever be sorry that I went on this trip.  I met so many wonderful ladies.  It was so wonderful to experiment with different forms of art making.  

An 8 hour drive was spent holding up the camera with one hand and just snapping pictures.  It was fun to see what came out and I was surprised by how many pictures were pretty good.

Despite all the fun, we had to end the retreat a little early due to Superstorm Sandy.  I couldn't head back home as I'd planned to spend a day visiting a couple of nearby towns and also had an appointment with a tattoo artist.  

So I headed out looking for a place to spend the night.  I ended up in a hotel in Hagerstown for three days while the storm raged through, while I watched the coverage on tv, painted my nails over and over and occasionally played on the computer.

Finally on Wednesday, October 31st, it was time to make my appointment and head home.  I left the hotel with a few hours to spare.  I drove to Boonesboro where I was getting my tattoo.  I chose Boonesboro because I'm a fan of author Nora Roberts.  It was really neat to see a town she'd written about in her books.  I found the shop and still had lots of time to kill so headed off to Antietam which was just a little ways down the road.  I walked around some of the battlefield, listening to the rain and the spirits that wander there.  It was an interesting place to be on the day when the veil is thinnest.  I could hear the sounds of rifles and cannons, the groans of the wounded.  A very intense experience that was heightened by the weather.  I really hope to get back there again someday and take a tour.

 (Robert E. Lee statue at Antietam Battlefield.)

Anywho, off I went to my appointment and after four hours left with a permanent reminder of my experiences.

The skeleton keys represent the connection to the spirit world and for Papa Legba, the color purple in the eyes of the keys is for Maman Bridgete.  The red "thread" represents the retreat and my stepping outside my comfort zone to open up to new experiences.  This was my second tattoo and I have many more that I'd like to get.  :-)

I hope you have enjoyed my little story of my first art retreat.  It was a wonderful experience that I am so happy to have had the courage to do.  I also hope to be able to experience another at some time.


1 comment:

Johanne said...

I also attended my first art retreat last year. It was a mixed media course, but focused on spray painting. I had a great time. You're right, sometimes it takes a bit of effort to do something new, but like you said, it worth it.