When artist, author, and all-around-amazing-person Rice Freeman-Zachery asked me to be part of the blog hop for her newest book, Destination Creativity: The Life-Altering Journey of the Art Retreat, I jumped at the chance.
I know that when the subject of creativity comes up, Rice is a pro. And her two most recent books, Living the Creative Life: Ideas and Inspiration from Working Artists and Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Making Art, are among my most favorites.
Rice and her husband the Ever Gorgeous Earl took a year out of their lives to travel across the United States to attend a series of art retreats. Their experiences are shared in this book as a way to bring the creative energy from these retreats to your home. But this book is so much more than just a personal travelogue. Five step-by-step workshops from well known artists are shared. Stories from retreat attendees are highlighted. Photos from each retreat are included to better present the experience. And Rice shares tips to help anybody start a small workshop retreat in their hometown.
I asked Rice to share a personal anecdote about the book with the readers of The Altered Page:
"I've written about this before, but it's such a huge deal, and so key to the reason I urge people to attend art retreats, that I have to mention it. At Art and Soul in Hampton, we stayed at the Embassy Suites, and in the evenings they have the Manager's Reception, where you get free drinks and bad-for-you snacks for a couple of hours each evening. It was great because it gave people a place to meet after their workshops -- you didn't have to go to your room all by yourself because you knew where to find everyone.
One night there were a couple of us sitting around talking, and someone pulled out her journal, and we asked to see it. She passed it around -- I think it was melanie Testa. Then someone else pulled out their journal -- Jill Berry, I think -- and then we all started showing what we were working on. More people pulled up chairs. I was stitching; others started drawing. Then someone started talking about magazines and editors and then books and publishing and possibilities, and we shared information and contacts and wrote stuff down to remember. It was like suddenly there was this community of people who were interested in the same things you were interested in -- stuff nobody in your hometown would care about at all.
Things like this happened at other retreats, and opportunities and ideas arose -- just like the very best communities, where you introduce each other to your friends and share recipes and power tools. For someone like me who lives in a really isolated-from-other-people-like-me place, this was just the best, bar none. It changed my life, believe it or not; now, when I'm at home and far, far away from all these fabulous people, I know they're still out there, still interested in the same things, still doing amazing stuff. It makes the world seem so much warmer, you know?
To celebrate the release of this wonderful book, all of the participants on the blog hop are hosting a giveaway. To win a copy of Destination Creativity, please leave a comment on this post by Tuesday 10/11. It's that easy. Sorry to say that people with addresses outside the United States are not eligible. Make sure I have your email and look for my announcement of the lucky winner on 10/12.
Please visit all the stops on this blog hop to learn more about the book and to sign up for more giveaways!
Monday, 10/3 - Melanie Testa
Tuesday, 10/4 - Seth Apter
Wednesday, 10/5 - Mary Beth Shaw
Thursday, 10/6 - Carla Sonheim
Friday, 10/7 - Lisa Myers Bulmash
Saturday, 10/8 - Melissa Manley
Sunday, 10/9 - Deryn Mentock
Monday, 10/10 - Jen Cushman