Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Riley's take on MoZart Retreat

Hey Y'all! It's Riley from Homegrown Joy. I was one of the participants from MoZart Retreat. Mo wanted me to share a little from my experience from the weekend. I cannot explain to each of you how fabulous the weekend was! From being welcomed by the BAH all decorated for fall to Mo's spunk, the weekend was full of art and so much more! Mo provided the perfect retreat environment. She has a gorgeous house complete with a retreat room with bunk beds covered in colorful bedding! The food prepared by Todd, her crew, and family was delicious and plentiful. She had snacks and food everywhere available to all of us. The weekend had a schedule that we adjusted as we went. Mo provide plenty of techniques and teaching to us newbies and shared new ideas to those seasoned artists and crafters. We got to love on her little ones for part of the weekend. They are much like Mo describes in her posts! In the end, we walked away with new friends, many memories, and our fair share of goods. The weekend was relaxing, bountiful, and truly a retreat! I would go back in a heart beat!! I know that I would be greeted with a warm home, friendly faces, and art a plenty. I highly suggest to anyone thinking about attending a MoZart Retreat to sign up! It will be worth your while and then some. In the meantime, here is my blog's day 1 post of the weekend. Feel free to follow along the next couple of days of my rendition of the retreat. {Riley}

Wowza - my past weekend was wonderful! Back in July, I signed up to attend an art retreat hosted by one of my favorite bloggers. Mo Joy, also known as Mo or Melanie, is a mother to two sweet girls, a wife to the biggest LSU fan alive, doting aunt, artist, scrapbooker, jewelry designer, physical therapist and many, many more things. She writes about everyday life in her Louisiana home. She originally started keeping track of her nephew's Caring Bridge site and after his passing, continued sharing her stories from daily life by starting her own blog. Mo Joy is a site full of love, inspiration, and lots of laughs.

One of Mo's many claim to fames, is her amazing creativity! She is full of so many artistic and crafty ideas. For many months she has been talking about hosting an art retreat. After a push from one of her blog readers, she posted the sign up. I was SUPER excited to make one of the eight spots and put it on my calendar. The retreat would be a nice treat to working so hard all summer. Before going to the retreat I knew a few things, I was staying at Mo's house, we were making canvases, jewelry, and a mini scrapbook, and there would be lots of good food. The weekend was all of this and so much more! Come along for a taste of my past weekend.

After everyone arrived, we had the grand tour, and got off schedule. No big deal, instead we jumped right into canvases. This was everyone's top item to make for the retreat. Mo started by showing how to use the texture medium to add dimension to a blank canvas. She had already prepped our canvases so they would be dry for us to paint on. To use the texture medium she does a few things. She starts with the corners and then put the "goo" into whatever shape she is painting on the canvas. In this case, she was prepping for a ornament. All the canvases she makes are basic shapes. There truly is nothing fancy to the goo.

I've tried many of things trying to achieve texture on canvases like caulk and joint compound. Now, I know what is the good stuff! A little amount goes a long way. Depending on the look you're going for, you can pile it on or do a thin coat.

After the gooey prepping, come the background. Mo explained that everything has to be grounded. When an object is sitting it always has a shadow grounding it. A canvas should be the same. The object needs to be grounded and have a darker background on the bottom and lighter up top.

My pumpkin in the first phases.

Another necessary component is having more than one color on your brush. I used about 3-4 colors at a time. Mo had plenty of colors to choose from!

You brush them on in any form or fashion with a cheapy 2 inch brush wetting your brush as you go. Also, it is important to cover the edges of the foreground because it will be hard to cover those up later. Once the background is finished, it can dry while you work on something else.

While the best part of painting canvases is the last step, the next part is when the object comes to life. The foreground is painted very similarly to the background with a few added details.

We kept in line with the shading techniques adding highlights with gold, outlines, stems, and leaves. My leaf needed a little help from "Pro Mo." Blue seen above on the left, decided to affectionately call Mo, "Pro Mo." It caught on really fast! Mo is seen in her glory below. This is only a taste of her loud fun personality!

Lizzie hung out with us everywhere we went all weekend. She is the sweetest dog!

Some of Mo's creations. I love the look with stripes on the left! She used old book pages as the background on the square pumpkin and the green background is the one she made with us.

Mo threw together this beauty while we were still working on our pumpkins. I LOVE the purple, orange, green back ground!

The best part to the canvas making was the embellishing at the end. Mo demonstrated on her canvas all the different thing you can add to make your canvas pop! Among the methods are stencils, swirls, glitter, mister sprays, and text.

My finished product! I was a little nervous using the sprays but they look great once they dried!

On our second canvases, we used old hymnal pages. I went for a vintage look on the background of my Christmas ornament.

If you can believe it, we did all of this in the span of a few hours! Dinner was homemade gumbo cooked by Todd (aka the biggest LSU fan alive). Mo self proclaims the lack of cooking skills she has. Lucky for her, they're made up with her color taste in home decor! Todd wasn't so keen on my Aggie roots. He walked into the art room holding my Tervis and asking who's it was. After fessing up, he said he could fix me up with an LSU one and handed it over!

After dinner, we jumped straight into jewelry making. Unfortunately for you, I don't have many pictures. Mo was a great teacher, but it took me a while to grasp a couple of the steps. After she taught us about eye pins, spacers, head pins, and tools, we set out scrolling through her collection of earrings she's made. Feeling inspired, I chose beads to made a pair of earrings to match my talisman and one for fall. Here's the end results.

The night ended with Mo blogging about day 1 and us trying our hand at texture medium. Within a span of 8 hours, I learned more than I thought I would for the entire retreat. I kept repeating how much "I LOVE THIS" about everything we kept making. Stay tuned for day 2 and all the adventures. In the meantime, go check out Mo Joy for her account of the weekend!


Zhohn said...

Thank you Riley!! Hmmm I may try to paint a canvas this weekend just by reading this!

Theresa Shirley said...

Love all the details Riley. You make everything sound pretty easy, but I bet it would be a different story if it was actually me trying to make one! Looks like ya'll had an awesome time!

nss said...

Riley's take REALLY REALLY makes me want to attend the next one!!! This no "artsy" person I am just might be able to be creative!

snekcip said...

Great re-cap Riley!! You did a great job of capturing the weekend! The collage was really great as well as all your pics!I have had the pleasure of meeting Mo in person and I must say your description was spot on!! In fact the WHOLE family Massey/Raborn clan are warm, gracious and inviting! I plan on being at the NEXT MoZart retreat! Thank you again for the "guest post"!! Awesome!!

Amy K said...

Well, this just confirms what I already knew....I missed out BIG TIME! Thanks for the awesome recap Riley.
So Mo, inquiring mind want to know...when will you be holding the next retreat?

Mindy said...

Great recap, Riley! It was a great weekend and I can't wait to get my paint on here at home!

Lindsey said...

I so want to be at the next Mozart Retreat. I am not crafty at all but I love trying!! Can you please give us details when your next retreat will be??? I would gate to miss it!! Thanks for sharing!! Lindsey D