Friday, May 2, 2014

Art Lockdown 101

A week ago today Art Lockdown '14 was in full swing.  All of our planning and dreaming and anticipating had found their fulfillment and we settled down into the bliss that is uninterrupted creative time.

So what do we do in an art lockdown, you may ask (and some of you did)?

Heather and I both have had conversations with women who don't quite understand the whole thing.  We chuckle over our chats with the extroverts we know and love, with their puzzled looks, as we politely (over and over) insist that we don't go anywhere except the cavernous used bookstore nearby.  Really.  We don't leave our room.  And the Do Not Disturb sign remains on the door from start to finish.

For some this may be torture.  For us, it's heaven on earth.  To each her own.  :)

So here are the six elements of a successful Art Lockdown, Artistic-Introvert style:

  1. Open-ended art time:  I'll get this one out of the way, since it's so obvious.  We go to get messy.  That isn't the only reason, but it's a main one, and it is glorious.  We rent a hotel suite with a living room area where we can literally spread art supplies across every horizontal surface- floor, couch, table, bench- and leave everything out all. weekend. long. 
  2. Food:  That's right- beautiful, colorful, varied cuisine brought from our respective homes and planned weeks and even months in advance.  We go through bottles of red wine and hard cider, cheeses, meats, fruits and vegetables, salads, finger foods, and chocolate fondue for dessert.  We don't go out to lunch or dinner even once, and this year we only went down to the free hotel breakfast one out of three mornings.  Coffee from Heather's French press and a banana sufficed the other mornings.  

  3. Good music (and quiet):  This year we began our mornings with a soft piano station on Pandora and moved to a Norah Jones station after lunch.  I love that we enjoy the same music for creating.  Many of these songs have become kind of a soundtrack for our annual weekend, and when I hear them throughout the rest of the year I become nostalgic.  Aside from the music, though, and the ripping of paper and kindred conversations, there is no unwelcome sound.  No children needing our attention, no ringing phones, no running dishwasher, or buzzing dryer.  Just quiet.  Something we both crave in abundance.
  4. Books and journaling:  We both adore books- and for the most part, even enjoy the same genres.  So we create monthly book lists for our book-club-for-two, and spend a few hours at the used warehouse bookstore looking for treasures.  As for journaling, we love the freedom we have to spend reflective time writing down our thoughts, prayers, and goals.
  5. Flow:  One of the most important elements of our weekend together is the lack of any expectation, either of ourselves, or each other.  We naturally and almost in sync feel our way through the days and nights.  We go from creating, to reading, to journaling, to chatting, to eating, and back to creating, in a flow that is so peaceful and intuitive that there is never any lull.  
  6. Kinship:  It is rare to have a friend with whom you can just "be" and not wonder about social cues, or time constraints, or personality differences.  While Heather and I are certainly different in some ways, the kindred friendship we share has no barriers and no discomfort.  It is something I treasure and do not for a moment take for granted.
So there you have it!  A little peek into our weekend creative vacation!  Hope you enjoyed it and maybe have a desire to create one of your own with a kindred you treasure.