Do you ever just feel so overwhelmed by normal everyday stuff, that you just stop what you are doing and scream, “Give me a Break!”?
Ok, so I didn’t exactly scream it, but I wanted to. I just needed a break, and not just any break, I needed a Creative Break; an art vacation, a painting holiday, a short creative sabbatical even, from the norm, from the bills, the kids (or in my case, the dogs), the office, and well, almost everything.
In a perfect world, I would paint more, explore ideas, and create on an ongoing basis. But, life takes over and I never seem to have enough time. Even, with my great job at Cheap Joe’s, in which I am always surrounded with art stuff (every girl’s dream! Well, mine anyway!) and I get to work with the greatest art people, I often wish I had more time to paint. And, sometimes, even more than just any normal vacation, I just feel the need to spend some time with creative, inspiring, and passionate art people. To absorb the creative energy given off from everyone who is thinking, painting, designing, creating, contemplating, studying, or just quietly listening and observing.
And, where, you ask, would you find such a collective and creative group this time of year? Well, at the beach, of course, Myrtle Beach. Away from the cold, Autumn mountain air and in the bright sunshine and warm temperatures of the South Carolina coast. Springmaid Beach Watermedia Workshops is just the place to steal away just a few days to spend with some time with several of the nation’s top art instructors and many talented students all in the same location. And, it just so happens, that a few of my artist friends were at Springmaid Beach Resort last week. So I packed my bags and headed due Southeast to the coast, leaving the 15 degree temperatures and the 2 degree above zero windchill behind, high in the mountains of North Carolina.
Although, the weather was cooler than normal at the beach, it was a pleasant change from the chilly high mountain temperatures. I love the mountains and would never think of living anywhere else, however, I had not been to the beach in several years. I was excited to see the ocean, the sand, and the very cool palm trees that are non-existent in the mountains!
I met Heather Orr, the workshop coordinator, when I arrived. She got me settled in and I just pretty much wondered around until dinner. I popped into my great friend, Betty Carr’s classroom and it was great to see her again! Betty is a wonderful impressionistic artist from Arizona. I also, visited Linda Baker’s classroom and was delighted to see so many talented artists in her master class! Linda is also a great friend and wonderful instructor. She and Betty have been part of the Cheap Joe’s family for years!
Dinner was delicious and I seemed to just fall right into place with all of these creative and talented artists. I immediately began to soak in all of the wonderful creative energy as it flowed throughout the room! I met the remaining nationally known instructors which were certainly no strangers to Cheap Joe’s. Ted Nuttall, Gerald Brommer, and Carrie Brown completed the A-list of professional artists that were teaching this week at Springmaid.
Each day, while the workshops were in session, I found several activities to keep me busy throughout the mornings and afternoons. I attended a Christmas Gift Show at the Convention Center that definitely got me in the mood for the holidays! I especially enjoyed the Christmas Trees sponsored by area businesses and all of the life sized Santas on display. I also drove down Ocean Boulevard which runs parallel with the sea, and the activity is more laid back and quiet this time of year compared to the party atmosphere of the summer crowds! I rather enjoyed the lazy, quiet, mood of the off season at the beach.
I guess one of my most favorite parts of the area was the Springmaid Pier. I had a great view of it from my room and took many pictures as the sun came up each morning. I also took a stroll on the long pier to the end and back and watched as people fished over the edge. They seemed to be having a great day of fishing! One evening I even watched as surfers were catching the waves in the late evening light. The pier certainly made a great backdrop to all of the activity on the beach.
One evening, just after class, we all were invited to the Art Museum of Myrtle Beach next door. Their galleries were filled with exquisite oriental tapestries, unique sculptures, and wonderful photo art depicting the beautiful colors of sea glass. The gallery also houses several local pieces from artist of the area. This was a great opportunity to see lots of wonderful inspirational works of art!
Later, I leisurely walked on the beach and picked up seashells, and as quick as a flash, the wind picked up and blew in an evening shower! I was drenched as I ran back to the room to get ready for another evening with the group. It was a quick shower and was completely gone before nightfall.
By far, I guess, Friday night was the most exciting of the visit. The Springmaid participants had a chance to display all of the wonderful work they had accomplished during the week. It was a wonderful time to dress up and hang out with all of the instructors and students alike! The works were incredible and I am very sure no one, including the teachers, was disappointed with the week’s productivity!
Oh, how time flies when you are being inspired, you hardly know it is time to go! Sadly, my creative break was about to come to a close. Goodbyes and hugs were exchanged, well wishes, until we meet agains, and safe travels, until only the trip home awaited. As I drove out of town, I managed to capture some last minute inspirations and painting possibilities to add to my already running over, “I just can’t wait to paint this” file!
I want to extend a special thank you to Heather Orr and Springmaid Resort for their hospitality and for making me feel right at home during my stay. The accommodations were excellent and even more, the staff was very friendly and helpful in every way! Thank You!
Well, it’s back to home life, back to work, and back to the normal everyday and comfortable way of living. It was a wonderfully inspiring, refreshing, recharging, mini creative break, but there really is no place like home. I had a wonderful time, saw some great friends, met some special new friends and even though I did not paint much, I am totally filled with all of the creative energy I can hold from all of the inspiring people that I came in contact with and it feels great!
You know, it’s not always necessary to pack your bags to have a creative break. You might just visit a local museum, take a class from another artist, try a new medium, watch an instructional DVD, take a week long workshop at Cheap Joe’s in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, or sometimes just turn off the phone, enter your studio and put a sign on the door that says “Do Not Disturb, I’m Taking A Creative Break!” You really just need to allow yourself the time to paint, create, experiment, and explore your creative side. But only you can do it. So, when you need it, give yourself a break, a creative break!
So me? I am fully and creatively regenerated and I am ready to paint! … If, I can only find the time!
Have a Great Creative Break Day!
Keep your creative mind fresh and let the great art flow, because every new day brings a whole world of possibilities!!