I took a few days off this week to travel to California to take a class with this lady; Patricia Griffin an artist living in Cambria. It came at a perfect time for me; I feel like it’s been mostly work, work, work, with the Hana house, the Hospital and readying the kids for their exchange programs. I really wanted to do something special by seeing something new and surrounding myself with other creatives. It was also nice to insert a little pause in that space between having the kids here and ready to go, and having them leave our nest. I needed to take a breath.
The first day I was there, I took a drive to Monterey and visited the Aquarium there. My favorite was the jelly fish exhibit… I have a special thing for deep blues and orange. Mesmerized, I could have stood there all day.
Outside, a layer of fog hung low and I enjoyed watching various sea life not common to Maui. I soaked in the neutral-colored landscape, and enjoyed the cool air. Just look at those tans, browns and greys!
Meeting Patty was like meeting a kindred spirit. She was so warm and welcoming! I was taken by her cheerful charm and willingness to teach.
The class was taught in a one-room school house, converted into an artist’s studio. There were artifacts of the old school room scattered about like an old-fashioned pencil sharpener and a tiny desk. The room was well lit and there was plenty of space for all of us. As far as I could see, we each enjoyed working on our projects while listening to greats like Carol King and James Taylor. Who doesn’t like James Taylor?
Patty’s art was scattered around, some of it for sale, some of it put to use. I have my special hopes for a mug which she plans to make a batch of soon. It’s very difficult to get a hold of one of her mugs… one has to be very lucky! The way to do it is get on her mailing list and watch for her announcement that she will be launching a sale. The last time she did that, she sold out within minutes! Maybe I shouldn’t be telling you this! If you are interested in seeing more of her work, check out her instagram page or even better, check her out on pinterest!
I made several pieces, but my “big” one was this cheese-platter made to commemorate my special day hauling in the akule fish with the people of Hana. You can read more about it here. All in all, I found Patty’s class to be very well structured, very easy for both the beginner and expert, non-intimidating and Patty herself was extremely giving and available. She really enjoys what she does! By the way, she just emailed us and told us she has a last-minute cancellation for her August 27th and 28th class. If you are at all curious I’d say sign up! Her next round of classes isn’t until April of next year and I’m sure she will certainly be sold out way before the class! For more information, go here.
During my trip I was fortunate enough to take long walks along the California coast. It’s amazing. There is a part of me that knows I’ll always live near the ocean. I love to just look out and stare.
Because of fire, the highway that serves Big Sur was initially closed, but on my return north I was pleased to find in had been opened. It was simply spectacular!
One of the books I read while on my trip was “Letters to a Young Artist.” If I could say anything to a young artist, I’d tell her to get away at least once a year. Find a way to do it. The clarity of mind I have now, the peacefulness of hitting the “reset” button, the happiness I have to have made a new friend and explore a new medium have all been worth the sacrifice of cost and time spent. There will certainly be a little crossbreeding with regards to taking what I’ve learned back to the studio, and who knows, maybe there will be even more work with clay!