Slow River Studios: Creative Kickstart

I’m at about the 18 month mark of my artistic journey, from my very first drawings in my very first sketchbook. I’ve really enjoyed the discovery: I love watercolors, like drawing, and lack the exactitude and patience needed to do lettering arts (I have bought like 10 books and every time I try to do it I’m like … this is boring. Let’s watercolor instead.) But I felt like I was getting to the edge of what I could learn by myself, from books and via Skillshare online classes. It was a wonderful stroke of luck when one of my friends sent me a gift certificate to Slow River Studio. Browsing through the classes was a little like that feeling you got when the college released the course catalog for the next year, and you found yourself dreaming of that Thursday night “Death, Dying and the Dead” seminar and the sticky noting the fascinating classes (before you realized that you a) didn’t have the prereq and b) they all conflicted with your required courses … pretty sure I ignored at least a) when I did sign up for DD&D). I finally settled on spending Wednesday evenings in Essex doing “Creative Kickstart”.

It was a six week class, and I both really enjoyed it and feel like I learned a few things. I also feel like I did my first ever piece of art that had a thing to say (other than “mountains mountains mountains mountains TREE!”). Here’s what we did (click on each for a bigger version and page through):

(I’m trying a new format with the gallery!)

Here’s the 98355 poem:
9 Mineral Lake: Old Mill Pond, Loggers Long Gone, Farm Bred Trout
8 Mt. Rainier: Active volcano, Ancient Ice, New-born Stone, Dangerous beauty
3 Sky: Cerulean, Above Clouds
5 Hill Road: The winding road to civilization
5 Towards Round Top: Gateway to the Wild Lands

Five Cozumel moments worth remembering

1) The room
The morning after we returned, as I lay in bed and before I opened my eyes, I could still see the blue skies and sandy beaches beyond my toes – with my boys lying around reading and playing video games. Tragically at home I usually wake up to see my messy closet. The room we stayed in was one of the “Reef Rooms” (we stayed at the Presidente Intercontinental in Cozumel.) It was graciously appointed and spacious (with tables for games and an epic bathroom!) The best part was being able to open the blinds in the morning, lay in the hammock and watch the nearby ocean. It was glorious.

This was what I woke up to every morning.
This was what I woke up to every morning.

2) The kids in the pool
While Adam and I much prefer snorkeling in the sea, the kids loved loved loved playing in the pool. They spent hours soaking themselves in the warmed waters of the main pool. (There’s a second adults pool that we obviously didn’t spend much time at…) We brought some dive toys and they dove and swam and splashed and somehow just passed hours in the sun and water. It was fantastic.

The kids in the pool
The kids in the pool

3) Reading over breakfast
And after swimming. And before bed. It was so glorious to have readers with us who were just as into their books as we were into ours! Grey read most of the Narnia series. Thane read the first 8 books in the Magic Treehouse. It was a harbinger of great joy ahead, and really awesome right then and there. “One more chapter, mommy! Then we’ll go swimming…”

Reading over breakfast was my favorite
Reading over breakfast was my favorite

4) Swimming with the dolphin
The swim with the dolphins at Chankanaab was way more than I would possibly have anticipated. I didn’t think there was any way my six year old would swim out into the deeps and be pushed back to the pier by a dolphin. I didn’t think anyone would be allowed to grab onto a dolphin’s flippers and be dragged back to shore. I was entirely wrong. It was really, really cool.

Swimming with Merina
Swimming with Merina

5) Spending time with the people I love best
I got to help Grey write a book. I did a puzzle with Thane. I laid in the hammock with Adam and watched the stars. I got to spend time focusing on and really seeing the people I love best in the world. It was a really joyous feeling and experience to have!

My beloved family
My beloved family

You can see pictures of our Trip to Cozumel, or of our swim with Merina!

Check out the sea lion show at Chankanaab!