A Still Heart and Loud Laughter {part one}

It is such a rare and special treat for me to get away to create art just for me.  No teaching. No responsibilities. Just the joy of being still.

{A piece I created while in Scotland from my sketches of Crovie and a vintage photograph of two women from the villages}

I prefer to travel with my family so to take this kind of time and money for just me is hard too but so needed.

I homeschool our children and this has been one of the hardest and most rewarding adventures of our family.

I have my studio at home even though we could really use it NOT in the home.  The reason my studio is still in the house is so I get interrupted and that I am surrounded by my family.

Most of our trips are as a family unless I have to teach which we have made the very conscience decision years ago to only teach 4 times a year away from home.

I have to say no to many offers but that was one of the smartest decisions we have made as a family.

As much as we work for our business we have the joy of BEING together most of the time.  Sure, we may be running to piano, French, gymnastics, play practice etc. but we also have hours a day of just studying and learning together.

As much as I love being with my family I also need to take care of me and make time to create, learn new methods and ultimately give my heart and head a chance to talk.

The last trip I took for myself to just create art was over 1 1/2 years ago.

To not only have this creative time but also time with one of my dearest friends was a dream.

Imagine traveling back in time to such a simple village along the sea in Scotland that your body just instantly exhales and waits for the inspiration that is sure to come.

Maybe it came in heart changes, mind changes or art changes.  It was different for each of us.

It was a gift to meet Gillian in person and not only have our friendship through emails, working together etc.

When I arrived in Gardenstown I told Gillian that she pulled me to that village with her color palette (which is similar to mine), the haunting beauty of her art and ultimately the story her art told.

I just told her I was searching for my story.

{My friend’s portrait of her mother}

As I watched Gillian create a pastel piece, using a photo of my friend Alexis and me as inspiration, I was instantly overwhelmed and found direction by what MY story is.

Leave it to me to have tears flowing down my face as I see things that have been in front of my face the whole time.

That whole story and my story will be another post.

{The pastel piece that Gillian created from our photo}

To Gillian I am forever grateful for bringing me to the sea, to allow me to sit at her feet as she creates and to allow inspiration to come.

If you ever have a chance to create in a light filled studio by the sea with Gillian Lee Smith I hope you do not hesitate. She is not only humble and talented beyond words but also one of the most generous souls I have ever met.

{Some of the art I created while in Scotland}

{Pure joy to watch Gillian create}

{Alexis adding to our wall of art}

{A peek into our studio by the sea}

{The view from our studio windows. So incredible}

{I look at this and can’t even believe I was really there}

{Some of Gillian’s gorgeous work}

{For. Real}

To read more about Gillian and her other retreats by the see click HERE.

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  1. Teresa in California

    It must have been glorious for you to have been in Scotland! A once in a lifetime opportunity for you, I am sure. Scotland is in my blood, but I have never been there, but it speaks to my soul as my ancestry lies within. The photos and workshop you took with Gillian are beyond other-worldly. A dark fairyland of bliss is what I feel. You were so blessed to be able to partake of that artistic feast! Thank you for sharing with us all.

  2. Suzen

    Anyone else in a business often takes trainings and retreats to learn and refresh…it’s considered a necessary part of expanding their expertise. That women and artists often feel it’s a treat and have to justify it is really unfortunate. Along with your 4 teaching excursions yearly, why not include at least one refresher course for yourself? Therapists need therapy, coaches need coaching and artists need retreats, not the least of which is to be on the other side of a great instructor once in a while. I love the work you did and the photos you shared. Just lovely!

    1. jeanne Author

      Suzen, I absolutely agree! I have a whole post coming soon about how the world says “dream big” but when you do and then go beyond DREAMING so many women have a problem with it and question your priorities. It is actually really sad and unfortunate.

  3. flowerpatchfarmgirl

    So beautiful, J! I’m amazed by your talent, always, and inspired by your heart. In other words…I miss you! (Wah!!!!)

  4. Pingback: It was just a moment in time .... Scotland Retreat part one - Gillian Lee Smith - Artist | Gillian Lee Smith - Artist

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