The trip was flying by at this point, but the most important part was yet to come. The impetus for taking the trip in the first place was so I could attend a workshop with Lauren Mantecón. The workshop title was “Meeting Your Inner Guide/ Painting Your Inner Wisdom.” Now I know this is a blog centered around my photography, but I dabble in other media as well and there’s no reason why painting lessons can’t apply to digital photography. The workshop title resonated strongly with me, especially as I was in the middle of my 365 Project. The purpose was to cultivate self trust through the creative process.
True to my own nature I was highly anxious as I drove to the workshop on a crisp and bright Saturday morning. What would the people be like? What are we really going to do? Will I like everyone? Will they like and accept me? Where do I park? What if this is a total disaster? What if I’m uncomfortable? The inner chatter was relentless even as I walked through the door. As I met everyone though I slowly felt the anxiety begin to defrost and quietly melt into the earth.
Going into this weekend I had no idea what level of inner transformation I would experience. I had no idea I would meet some of the most empathetic active listeners, not to mention highly skilled artists, and wonderful, warm women I have ever met. There was trust and understanding. That’s not to say that I didn’t feel awkward at times because I totally did (that’s part of my nature too!). However, the awkwardness was easier to unroot throughout the weekend.
I left the workshop with new tools in my belt and a greater sense of what it feels like to be heard. I also made a painting. A pretty big painting. I kept adding sheets of watercolor paper, encouraged to extend the canvas in all directions. The final dimension was about 24” in height and 66” wide. Lauren was gracious enough to wrap up the piece for me so I could take it back to Florida. My bundle of joy went on the journey of a lifetime back to Florida. More on that later. All in all I was amazed that this came out of me. The blank canvas is often intimidating. How does one begin? How does one finish? There were moments of stuckness, but breathing through them with patience and some guidance I learned how to work through the stuck.
It was great to be messy and spontaneous, quietly sitting with the painting, figuring out what it needed. I used acrylics and pastels for this piece, rekindling a love affair I’ve had with pastels since I was a little girl. I came out of this workshop a new person, far more certain of the inner wisdom I hold within and far more capable of expressing that visually.
As I said my goodbyes to all the wonderful women, I drove back to the casita in a bit of a daze. The sky was quite miraculous. Santa Fe is known for its skies, but until this point we hadn’t really seen an epic sunset. Day 5, Sunday, finally delivered! The colors were almost explosive in a soft way. Pinks, purples, reds, blues, greys. A sliver of moon added to the celestial unfolding. I hurried home to grab my camera. Peter and I ran through the streets of downtown Santa Fe to quickly capture this fleeting display of color.
After a brief photoshoot we made our way to Robert and Connie’s for dinner at their place. They made a wonderful Italian meal paired with a lovely red wine. We got a tour of Robert’s incredible studio, his gigantic easel, and previews of his many beautiful large works. We thanked them profusely for their generosity and welcoming nature then made our way back to the casita. Days 4 & 5 blew my mind.
I hope you enjoyed this part of the journey. Do you have any questions or comments? Maybe about painting or Santa Fe sunsets? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment block below.
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