Thursday, April 11, 2013


I just returned the other day from the Art-is-You Retreat in Nashville. It was my first time. I was scheduled to go last October to Stamford but had a family emergency the day before I was to leave. Well let me tell you, I counted the minutes until Nashville and it was SO worth the wait!!! I'll start with this photo. I think I could stop here and be done. The look on our faces pretty much sums the week up for me. This post will be long...but heck, I want to remember every minute!
This was a class called Kick-Ass Boot Story that Carolyn and I took with Sue Pettetier. I have to tell you I haven't laughed this much in a long....long time. One of the best classes ever. If you haven't taken a class by Sue it is a MUST!

Here are our hosts--Sallianne and Ellen. WOW! They know how to put on a Retreat! It was a pleasure to finally meet them and now call them my friends.
As always when you come home from somewhere you wish you took more pictures and so is the case. 

Carolyn (my ever faithful traveling companion) and I got to the retreat early to check out Nashville. Jessica Sporn (no picture of us--darn) also arrived early and hit the town with us. We went to Puckett's Grocery (a resturant that someone told me about before I left). WOW! My first adventure with Fried Green Tomatoes and REAL chicken friend steak!
 We also stopped at Khan's Desserts a vegan bakery and let me tell you AWESOME!!! Don't tell anyone but Carolyn and I made another little trip here later in the week :)

Okay enough with the food--the retreat is what is important.

The Classes:
I LOVED each and every one of my classes. The teachers were incredible, warm and so willing to share their knowledge with us.

Crazy Girl with Sunny Carvalho--no picture of Sunny :( Sunny was so sweet and an incredible artist. We had a wonderful day with her. In my class was also a friend, Kirsten, I had made at another event and it made it even more special! Carolyn and I got to spend some time with her over the week and it was wonderful! Here is my project:
At night we had the opportunity to sign up for a special even with Sue Pelletier (pictured above) to all paint an American Flag. Let me tell you, who would have ever guessed that painting an American Flag could be so much fun! I couldn't believe that NO one's looked the same. I really enjoyed this event! Here is mine:
Carolyn and I also took a day long class from Sue called Kick Ass Boot Story. This one appealed to me right away when I saw it in the offerings because it reminded to keep my Brave Girl Boots on! I have to say that this class was a reminder to me of why I make art. I really can't even explain our day with Sue. Carolyn and I also got to play with Sue's new stencils from Stencil Girl--love them!!!! I'll just say I haven't laughed that much in a long, long time! Here is my boot which still needs some details:
The next night a group of us had dinner and then went to the Nashville Art Walk. It was amazing to see all the different kinds of art displayed. Made me feel like maybe there is a place for me....somewhere....oh if I could only make that much money from one of my projects....

Carolyn and I spent the next two days with Pam Carriker in Busting Out. Pam is a wealth of inspiration and information. I learned so much about faces and shading them! Thank you so much Pam! Pam made the class so relaxing and fun. We also got to play with some of her new stencils from Stencil Girl. Loving them too!!!! Here is my project and Pam showing off all our heads:
I also won a original piece of Pam's work in the raffle. I will cherish it!!
I also met Rice and Earl. Rice is an INCREDIBLE artist! You can find her at Notes from the Voodoo Cafe. I was in awe of her embroidery work and Earl was our photographer at the event. They are one special couple and I am so lucky to have met them and spent time with them. As a matter of fact, they got Carolyn and I (It wasn't hard) to do a video while we were there. You can see it HERE. What were we thinking :)
I also met SO many wonderful people along the way (next time I will be taking more pictures)....Linda Willis!!! LOVE HER!, MaryBeth Shaw (Stencil Girl) who I know but was so good to see, Jodi Ohl--love her artwork and finally got to meet her...the list goes on and on! So now I will be counting the days until I again travel with Carolyn to the Art-is-You Retreat in Stamford this October. Hoping to see many of my new friends again! If you haven't signed up yet there is still time!!! Thanks Art-is-You for making me so welcome and remembering why I make art!

PS: My friend Carolyn is hilarious. She made me laugh daily until I cried (no joke). Here is our goodbye to Nashville.....

We went to the Parthenon (no not in Greece) in Nashville. If anyone (there were many) saw us trying to take pictures to get us both in the frame with the Parthenon they would have thought we were nuts! We were sitting on the ground, standing in different places it was crazy!!!! Love you Carolyn!!!!


  1. What a great capture of the AisNashville. Sounds like blast. Your pieces are beautiful. Yes, Carolyn is a hoot, too.

  2. just fab ! enjoyed this post! Thank you for sharing all this fun!

  3. You have made my day with this post! All the fun just came flooding back to me- let's do it again!

  4. What a marvelous, fantastic, laugh and creativity fest you all had. Chicken fried steak um so good....your classes sound and looked over the top boy Sallianne and Ellen know how to put on a good time. Next year Nashville I am there.......Love your face from Sunny's class!!! xox

  5. What a terrific time! Thanks for sharing your memories with us. Your art is fabulous enough, but that bust is amazing!

  6. Love this post and all the memories it preserves! It was SO GOOD to meet you in person. What a wonderful time we all had. See you in Stamford!

  7. love this post...

  8. Oh How Wonderful! What a great capture of memories. Wish I'd been there. You are an authentic and beautiful soul!

    Love ya. xo

  9. What a great post, Maria! Your art is amazing.... the boot, the face, the flag, the bust.... WOW! Wish I could've been there. See you @ Art is You Stamford!

  10. What a great recap, Maria--it sounds like you and Carolyn had an incredible time and just what you needed! So nice to meet you, too! Love all of your class work! Great job!
    See you in October!


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