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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Teaching Creativity

One of the really fun things I get to do is travel to art retreats and weekend gatherings where artists and crafters gather to create. The events are often held in some of the most scenic places in the world.  
Yesterday, I went to Rio Rico Arizona, to a retreat held by Arizona Scrapbooking.   

It was truly one of the most beautiful places I'd ever seen, it was high desert, the clouds overhead looked fake.  

The mountain landscape was inspiring. 

We were right on the Mexican border, it was amazing.  

When I visit retreats and art gatherings, I like to teach "creativity."  I go with a plan, projects, and supplies, but I like to let students create their own "works of art."  After-all, students attend retreats to learn how to create and to be inspired.  All too often, instructors go to an art or craft event with a project that requires their students to "paint this here, stamp this there, stick this here" type of  project that doesn't really let a student explore his or her own creativity or learn new techniques.  Instead, the student ends up with a knocked off copy of whatever the instructor chose to create that day. 

Yesterday, I went in with a plan  to let students explore making handmade DIY cards with some craft papers and die templates.  

 The cards they created were amazing...as you can see below, two different students, using the same materials, created very different projects.  Both are very beautiful, and each represents how the student interpreted the the supplies and instruction they received.

This card is decidedly vintage, with inked, distressed edges and a lacy doily, while the card below...     

is crisp, clean and simple. 

Both are very elegant and show a great use of the supplies provided to create a tiny "work" that is personal and expresses the unique creativity of each student.

I feel really luck to have the opportunity to teach "creativity." It's really rewarding to see how other artists create and I am always inspired whenever I see how students work and create.  I love the creative process.  
It's always really fun...new friendships are forged and old friendships rekindled as we create together.     

And, we always make time for a little silliness...

Thank you again Arizona Scrapbooking for letting me visit to teach a little creativity at your art event!  



  1. Looks like everyone had a great time!

  2. it is always fun to give direction and see how they take it, glad you had a good time!

  3. Sir, I just found your blog while looking for "shield shape" ideas. You are a fabulous artist and I wonder why you've been hiding from me. :) It looks like you were at a beautiful place that sparked some creativity on the retreat. Thank you for sharing your talent.

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