Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Kauai art retreat

Here's a pic of Kate, Joanne, Me and DJ
If this retreat is offered again- YOU MUST GO! It was OUTSTANDING!

OK - here's the scoop (now that I am recuperated)...... Last week I was incredibly fortunate to be a participant in an art retreat hosted by Lorri Scott, fiber artist and DJ Pettitt, mixed media artist, both from the mainland. The retreat was on my home island of Kauai in Hawaii and was 3 1/2 days of dyeing fabrics, painting faces and backgrounds and whatever else you wanted, on fabric, and 3rd, putting our dyed fabrics and paintings together into a fabric journal that also had clear pockets for memorabilia and photos. Earlier, Lorri sent all of the participants the most scrumptious paper booklet (all SEWN together by Jan, put together by and embellished by Lorri, with Hawaiian painting prints done by DJ) It contained the info on supplies needed, directions, etc.
On Monday I picked up Kate and Joanne from the Marriott in Lihue and we drove to Poipu and met up with Lorri, DJ, Jan and Kelsey. Joanne and I immediately hit it off together - she is down to earth, funny, and relaxing to be around. Kate, Joanne's best friend was a total delight - her reality observations sure kept me laughing! I had met DJ in Arizona last August and Lorri I had met the month before when she was on island setting up the logistics of the retreat. Jan I knew only from online conversations and art swaps - so it was a joy to finally meet her in person. Kelsey is DJ's 17 yr old unbelievably mature and talented "fit in like she was one of us" - niece.
The retreat house was a beautiful bi level home with a huge partially covered deck that looked out to the ocean in Poipu. Gorgeous. We all went out to lunch together and to a new bead store that had just opened in Koloa "Bead-a-licious" and then to Pizzetta's for dinner. Joanne is going to/has? posted tons of pics on her blog and picturetrail if you'd like to see more!
Next day at 9:30 am the art began! Jennifer, a mixed media artist and online altered art diva pal, as well as Sharon, a quilt artist , and Joyce, a former student of DJ's.
DJ gave all of us the most gorgeous folder/book you've ever seen. It was handmade from fabric and embellished with stitching and DJ sewn vinyl covered photos. It was meant was to hold all of our notes as well as instructions and tips from Lorri on dying and loads of color and black and white DJ art drawings/prints for us to trace and/or use in the books we were there to make - or just for inspiration! - but I think it is a work of art all by itself.

Lorri then demonstrated three different dyeing techniques including shibori. In our kits she provided us with 7 silk handkerchiefs to experiment the techniques on. And then we had large pieces of silk to dye - raw silk, silk velvet, sheersilk, and about 5 other kinds. And we dyed ribbons! Thin ribbons, fat ribbons, etc. It was so much fun and so exciting to see the results. Different types of silks take the dyes in different ways. Lorri also gave us cut velvet and showed us finished examples of how you could dye it with 2 different types of dyes and get distinct color layers. She also had fabric etching supplies available to us and did some examples using silk screens, stencils and etchant. We ran out of time to try this, but Lorri generously gave me her "palm trees" sample to include in my book so I wouldn't forget. We were supposed to stop at 4:30, but some of us were gluttons and stayed until it was too dark outside to see what we were dyeing! Lorri and DJ provided lunch, too! Then Lorri invited me to stay in the retreat house overnight so I wouldn't have to drive all the way home.. Jennifer was staying there too. I was ssoooo tired and grateful to just go to bed.

Here are some examples of the dyeing I did. I dyed A LOT! Lorri gave us each 5 YARDS of 2 different ribbons, and of course I cut mine up to have even more to dye!

The next day DJ demonstrated her infamous face painting technique. Now, I haven't picked up a paintbrush to paint a whole picture since I was 11 - no way I could paint a face! But DJ insisted that everyone could do it - and she was right! Every single participant did a marvelous job - each one put their own spin on the technique - but everyone saw that YES THEY TOO COULD PAINT A FACE! She also taught us 3 different styles of backgrounds, with tons of techniques.

Here are two of the pics I did. I need to fix her wonky neck and I haven't finished the flowers yet - it will get another layer of background. DJ teaches you to paint in multiple layers to create depth on depth. She also emphasizes taking chances and JUST DO IT!


joanne huffman said...

Great review of our wonderful time! Now I have to go put up my pictures on my picturetrail.

Lorri Scott said...


I still haven't written anything at my blog as I came back to my writing class and my son's volleyball. Heck this is such a great write up I should just have people come here to read about it!!


primdollie said...

wow amazing stuff!! your dyed fabric and the pictures are truly wonderful wat a great time you all had and thanks so much for sharing with us!!!! amazing work!!! Hugs Linda

dejavucreations said...

This is a super write up of our retreat experience. I'm so glad I was able to go and meet you. I hope we can get together again sometime.