Lorri Flint and Lori Wostl here, from Art Camp for Women and this year we are focusing on Connection. I (Lorri) just returned home from a day with my fiber art friends. We each brought our own project, a contribution to a potluck lunch and spent the day together. It was an opportunity to share our creative endeavors – there was knitting, bookmaking, quilt making and hand stitching going on today – and catch up with each other.
My day with friends has left me feeling content and supported in a way that my family just can’t do for me (nor is it fair to ask it of them.) I was working on a quilt, but left inspired to make a book and was reminded how long it’s been since I hand stitched on cloth using my hand-dyed threads. At the end of the day, we give each other a hug and I always leave thinking “why don’t I do this more often?”
Lori and I are both reading “The Happiness Project” a #1 New York Times Bestseller by Gretchen Rubin and I just reached the chapter about Friendship and Making Time for Friends. I’m grateful that Gretchen did so much research and brought it all together into an easily readable, thoroughly enjoyable account of her year exploring the many aspects of happiness. I’m inspired, I wish she was my next door neighbor and I highly recommend it!
She notes that “everyone from contemporary scientists to ancient philosophers agrees that having strong social bonds is probably the most meaningful contributor to happiness.” Her research found that we need close long-term relationships with friends we can confide in and we need to belong. She also noted that “some researchers argue that over the last twenty years, the number of confidants claimed by the average American has dropped. Perhaps because people move more frequently and work longer hours, they have less time for building friendships.”
We heartily agree that life seems to be jetting by and many women we know don’t take the time to nurture their creative side (some of them don’t think they even have one, but we know better.)
There are many ways to connect, but our favorite is to get together with other like-minded women to create. Here are some ideas we’ve come up with:
- If you work or have small children, set up one evening a month to meet at a friend’s house, bring a small project to share or just bring your own. Enjoy dessert and tea together and make sure everyone gets a chance to talk and share.
- If you have time during the day, meet for a morning or the whole day. Bring your own project or have one person plan a project for the group. Enjoy lunch together (we like food...can you tell?).
- Go for a play day (made popular in the “Artist’s Way” book) and visit local galleries, art museums, treasure hunt in junk shops or go to the botanic gardens and sketch.
- Get away to a retreat and really give yourself the space to relax, connect and let your creative side out to play.
While there is a rise in online courses, which are useful in their own way, they are no replacement for the personal contact and all-out-fun of getting together to create, sitting side-by-side learning from each other and having a real live in-the-flesh teacher. Not to mention happy hour, chef prepared meals and the possibility of seeing a fox catch dinner right outside our Art Camp for Women lodge last year in the Colorado Rockies.
How will you connect? Come on over to www.artcampforwomen.com and comment on our blog about how you like to connect with your art friends. While you're there, don't forget to sign up for our newsletter for a chance to win a free camp.
Lorri and Lori
Art Camp for Women