Years ago, I embarked on what I call a “creative journey” with longtime friends Joell Jones and Marcy Voyevod.

painting with pastelI can’t pinpoint exactly when it started, but two times a year, usually on the Vernal and Autumnal equinoxes, we retreat for four or more days to experience the creative spirit.

My goal is to try something that is outside of my artistic comfort zone. One year I brought supplies to do linoleum prints. This was something I had done as a very young women but had abandoned, moving on to other methods. Getting outside of my usual art medium, of pastel on paper and collage, enhances the endeavor of making art. It shakes me up and allows me to view the process in a new way.

This small act is a wonderful experience for all of us. There are NO mistakes or judgments in art. There is an acute learning process that sometimes moves me to a spiritual awakening, a letting go of preconceived ideas. Our biannual trips have turned out to be important and profound times. I cherish them.

There is, and probably always will be, “stuff” to work out. After all, we are humans and at most times are driven by our emotions. On retreat we work very independently, coming together at intervals to share what we have done.

For me the books we make together mark our larger creative journey, and are a reminder of the true creative spirit.Crow artist book