Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Join Me in France Summer 2009

I'll admit, the whole project seemed/seems daunting--gathering a group of eight students/participants in a gorgeously redone stone house in Southern France, with an air conditioned studio on the top floor and our own chef, patio by the river, a whole week to explore all kinds of mixed media ways to enjoy the flea markets, scenery, art, and people.

Actually, it sounds like a lot of FUN!!! with more details below. Your deposit is your ticket to Art and Creativity.

Sighs and Secrets: 7/20/09-7/27/09 A multi-media exploration of the wonders of Southern France and our own stories. For this week-long workshop in France, we’ll explore a technique (or several) each day, leading to a cloth/paper/found object journal with small dolls and elements of Doll Making as a Transformative Process. Transfers and effects with Golden Media, Embroidery, Drawing, Using Found Objects, Construction, Story Telling about ourselves and our experiences. An chat group prior to the class will get everyone pumped up and prepared. Instruction and studio time in the morning, field trips in the afternoon, more studio time with Pamela in the evening or relaxing on the patio, in the 18th Century stone chateau decorated with Flea Market Finds.

The Area: Experience the rich landscape of the Languedoc region of Southern France and the unique cultural resources of its artists past and present. We’ll be based at polymer clay artist Gwen Gibson’s retreat center, La Cascade, a beautifully restored stone house in the village of Durfort, one hour east of Toulouse.

The village of Durfort has been making copperware since the Middle Ages. Cathar castles, medieval villages, flea markets, fields of sunflowers await your exploration. The region is an hour and a half from the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean and a couple of hours from Provence.

The Workshop: Instruction in a new arena each morning, culminating in a personal accordion book with pockets for the dolls and mixed media objects you will create, an expandable panel of experiments with Golden polymer media and the images we will collect on our afternoon expeditions into the surrounding area. There will be open studio in the evenings in the air-conditioned space at the top of the building, where you can work night and day if you wish.

There will be an online discussion group with Pamela prior to the adventure, so she can tailor the class specifically to the needs and desires of the participants.

The Accommodations: La Cascade’s four bedrooms are double occupancy (two twin beds) with three shared bathrooms. The beautiful new art studio is located on the third floor of the house and is available to you at all times. Living room, dining room, and a large outside terrace that goes down to the river are part of the home. We have our own personal chef to provide exquisite and healthy meals, and Pamela will provide the dinner at least one night.

The Price: Workshop fee of $1700 includes :
• Seven night’s lodging at La Cascade, double occupancy
• Daily afternoon field tripsJOI
• All breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
• Workshop instruction, many supplies, and one of Pamela’s books
* $500 deposit to reserve your space
* $600 due 3/1/09, $600 due 5/1/09 as your final payment
* Registration is limited to eight participants, your deposit guarantees you a place
* Participants with be included in an email chat prior to the class and will be mailed a packet with detailed itinerary and more information.

Name:________________________________________ Date:____________

Address: ___________________________City: _________________State: _____ Zip: ________

Country: _______________________________

Email: __________________________Home phone: ________________

Please make check for $500 payable to:
Pamela Hastings, 3007 South Laurel St., Port Angeles, WA 98362

Email: pamela@pamelahastings.com Phone: 360-457-0221 (Pacific Time)


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

End of Summer Adventures

One of the many events Port Angeles uses to lure tourists and their dollars is the Sand Castle Festival in August. Along our Hollywood Beach downtown, sculptors from all over the world carve wet sand into amazing figures. This was my favorite, about the origin of jazz, in a Cubist/Futuristic style.

Any trip downtown calls for a stop at The Little Oven, where Eric and Liz make the best croissants west of Paris. The kitchen is not much more than ten feet by ten feet, with a line of patrons out the door. The smiling bakers have a friendly word for each customer and always want to meet and hear the story of every new guest I bring in.

You may remember last fall's hike from Lake Ozette to the Pacific coast with Katie and Sally. Unlike last year's raging storm, this year the sky was blue and sunny, and more like a pleasant stroll, than a test of survival skills.

After three miles of boardwalk through the rain forest, we reached the beach, stacked with huge salt and sun bleached trees...and a Very Tame deer family. They must be related to the ones who like to hop through my sedum and eat the flowers off my geraniums at home.

Maybe the deer were hired by the park to add a picturesque touch to the beach scene. Unlike last year's hike when we were the only hardy souls eating our picnic in the wind and rain, we had company on the beach this time.

We were way out on the Northwestern edge of the country, and all but two of the license plates in the parking lot were from Washington. Now that gas prices are so high, people are discovering the scenic beauty of their own areas....although at breakfast the next morning, I gave a German man and a French woman directions to Hurricane Ridge.

I feel very fortunate to live in an area with so much natural beauty.

In the Hastings family, each day of exercise ends with a food treat. Actually, every day is planned around food treats, and we are also famous/notorious for our pictures of food.

Here Hugh prepares to photograph the chantrelle, asparagus, white sauce, and onion pizza before we demolished it. On the night he and Connie arrived from Seattle, Hugh picked a collander of wild blackberries from the field in front of my house, and Connie, West Seattle Queen of Pies made us a heart-shaped blackberry pie.

For the Labor Day weekend, with two major hikes, and lots of walking and shopping, the food won out over the exercise, and I gained a pound. Thank goodness for that 6-mile hike through the forest or it would have been much, much more.

The Labor Day Weekend wasn't just all fun and games. The Big Doll is coming along--there will be at least a million stitches by the time she's done, I'm sure. Hugh is holding the maquette, and he's at least 6'2", so you can get a sense of her amazing presence.

There is only about 6" from the top of her head to the peak of my ceiling.

When I'm not obsessing about food, or making up stories, I am considering my next Art Move. Trudging the last mile back zig-zagging through the trees on the boardwalk (2 feet wide, from native cedar--how did they get the materials all the way out into the woods?) I saw the crooked path through tall trees, painfully continuing to put one foot in front of the other, as that was the only way to get through and back to civilization, as a metaphor for my Art Life. I can't see the end, but must trust my need to keep going, one little step at a time, even though it may feel bewildering and painful and trust that the destination will be at least interesting, if not Spectacular. Like making a nine-foot doll with no particular place to go, writing books, or teaching in France (more about that next time). Although I can get lazy I am always happy afterward when I give myself the Big Challenges...even when I don't know exactly where they might lead me, and when looking at the journey as a whole seems totally Overwhelming, I put one foot in front of the other and keep going--good advice for all.