I just got back from five days in Santa Fe and I am spent. In the best possible sense. I am wore out emotionally, physically and mentally. I feel great.

I was in Santa Fe to help Paula Roland shoot her upcoming DVD about encaustic monotype. She invited me to come out and be her assistant, to help give input, ideas and overall support.  Our mutual good friend Jane Guthridge from Denver was there to help as well, and the three of us spent day and night together. We stayed at Paula’s house with her adorable dog Lefty and stayed up late, got up early, ate and drank, talked about art and told life stories.

Getting away is a much needed break for me. I need it visually, creatively and spiritually. I need some time with my tribe, creatives who walk the same road as I do. I need to get away and see new things and some familiar things too. While I was there, the trees started to bloom and spring was arriving in tulips and forsythia. Time in Santa Fe is like hitting an internal reset button. Even though we worked, the time spent there worked me too.

Jane and I were able to take a few trips around Santa Fe when we weren’t needed on the shoot. We made a quick hike up Canyon Road, spent an afternoon in the Railyard and made a trip to Santa Fe Clay.  We got lost quite a bit, driving in circles on Paseo de Peralta, eventually getting where we needed to go. We saw the shows at the International Folk Art Museum and enjoyed the textile and dress show on clothing from around the world. We had dinner with our friends Barbara Gagel and Linda Cordell and visited Barb’s amazing home and studio. By the way

Tulips in Paula's Garden

when I grow up I want a studio like Barb’s.

You might wonder how I met these amazing women. It was in a workshop at Ghost Ranch, Paula’s workshop actually. I believe that it takes a special kind of person to jump on a plane and take a workshop in an unfamiliar city, and I have found that they make great friends. Making art together is a bonding and unforgettable experience, and it forges friendships quickly. Some amazing opportunities have come about through people I’ve met in workshops. Many of these folks have become my dearest friends, despite the fact that we frequently don’t live in the same city.  So if you’ve never ventured out of your town or area for a workshop, you might want to try it. You never know who you might meet and I promise it’ll change you.