|"Sunset Over Sugar Mountain, Banner Elk NC" ©Mary Montague Sikes|
I love going to Cheap Joe's in Boone NC where I paint and learn something new in a workshop every year. I especially enjoy the workshops that Mary Ann Beckwith teaches. This year was special. Many of the class participants are also workshop presenters, so the expansive classroom at Cheap Joe's was alive with creativity and energy.
One important thing I got from the workshop this year was Mary Ann's suggestion to take a piece of art you're working on around the house with you. Yesterday I took two paintings with me and placed them on a tabletop by the television where I added details while I watched my St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. It was amazing how different the paintings looked outside my studio where I work beneath three large skylights.
|"Workshop at Cheap Joe's" ©Mary Montague Sikes|
I realized as we unpacked the car in Boone that I had failed to bring any books with me. In the past, I have scheduled book signings to coincide with my workshops. One year I signed books at Waldenbooks which has long since closed. While I was at that signing, Leonard Cosmo who owned Highland Newstand invited me for an event at his store. I signed there for several years, but it is gone now as well. There are no Barnes and Noble stores in the vicinity, so scheduling book signings now is difficult.
While I still enjoy writing and will never give that up, my happy place is wherever I can make art. Where is yours?