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Above: Interpretive map of Fort Warden in Port Townsend, where Artfest was held this past weekend. Created in Jill Berry’s excellent class, “Journal Mapping.” Mixed media on paper (pencil, Sharpie, ink, colored pencil, coffee)

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Dear Artfesters,

To everyone: It was so good to see you again! I hope that you arrived home from the weekend creatively refreshed and with a pocket full of new tools, tricks and stories to keep your art alive and refreshed in the coming months.

To those in my class on Saturday: Thank you for being there… I loved what you created and I thank you for the opportunity to take you into my “silly” world, even if for just a little bit. Send pictures!!

To those who bought stuff from me on Friday night: Thank you.

To those who would like to keep the creativity flowing: 2011 was my 9th Artfest; most of those times I came home after the event DETERMINED to keep creating every day. “Keep it going! No matter what! Don’t fail this year!” But the truth is, life is busy, and some of us do have a hard time carving out creative time and space when we have kids to get up in the morning, feed, drive to school and orthodontist appointments; when we have demanding jobs that take most of our creative energy; when we have spouses or other family members needing our love and attention. Not to mention those damn dishes.

My encouragement to you is to be gentle with yourself as you transition away from your creative weekend at Artfest and back into your normal life. It may be a month before you pull out your colored pencils again. I truly think that is OKAY.

To those of you who are feeling a bit of a letdown now that it’s over: Sometimes after a wonderful time at an event like Artfest I find myself fighting depression during the few days after. I know this is due to me being extremely tired, and also mourning the loss of the energy, people and creative time I enjoyed. If you find yourself a little down today, please remember that this is fairly common, I think. You are not alone, and it will pass!

To everyone (again): We were lucky to be together this past weekend, don’t you think? It was good to see you there. I am grateful for my wonderful teachers (Lisa Engelbrecht and Jill Berry), the students who took my class on Saturday, and especially for Teesha and Tracy and their crew for making it happen. Thank you.

xoxo

Carla Sonheim