Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I am so excited to share with you the Paper Cowgirl Art Retreat! This is a long post because there are a lot of pictures, so grab something to drink, put your feet up and relax as you scroll through the Paper Cowgirl Art Retreat......

As the time approached for me to leave for the Paper Cowgirl Retreat last Wednesday, it seemed like my studio, aka crack house, became more and more dangerous to walk through. I took a couple of pictures just for you to see my work table. . .
Can you believe this? I'm so ashamed.
I arrived in Waxahachie last Wednesday after driving for five hours - I had so much "art stuff" in my car that I looked like I was going to California and didn't know the way.
The retreat was held at the Hampton Inn *my favorite hotel* and my room was so, so nice as evidenced in the photo below of my bed.
Then there was my "art stuff's" bed. . .
Thursday my friends, Rita and Susan, and myself, went shopping in McKinney.
Oh, my. There's this store there called Smitten. I left a large amount of Frank's money there. We had such a good time at Smitten's and the other shops we hit. Then it was back to 'hatchie for the "Meet and Greet" held at the Dove's Nest in historic downtown Waxahachie. Amazing.

Meeting all of the girls, seeing old friends, meeting women I've known like forever through emails and blogs and shopping at the Dove's Nest while enjoying appetizers was so much fun!

My class was scheduled to take place the next morning, Friday morning. I was so excited I could hardly stand it! I LOVE to teach and I had put so much into the prep for this class that I felt like I already knew all of the ladies so I was anxious to spend some time with them!

For those of you not in the know, I was teaching a class called, Home is Where Your Art Begins, and it involved painting and collage on a 16" X 20" canvas. So, okay, I'm on my way down to set up the room.
Oh, I simply must show you what I filled my "students" goodie sacks with - all kinds of wonderful little things that I hoped they would love. Look at that Aleene's Tacky Glue in the wee bitty bottles. Cracked me up - I had to buy them!
I was VERY fortunate to have a lovely assistant. LOL My BFF, Mendy Mitrani, one of the other teachers for the retreat, helped me in class and she was really SO helpful! Here she is with Terri, showing the class the example I brought from home that I had painted the prior Sunday. It's a collage of Marie Antoinette and worked well to show some of the different techniques we would be using on our own canvases.The class started with a blank canvas; literally! They had a wee bit of homework which was to paint their blank canvas with a layer of Gesso to prepare the canvas to take the paint well.
The next step, and first step in class, was to lay out what you THOUGHT your collage would look like. I have found that God always has his own idea about what it should look like and not to get upset when something doesn't work that I wanted to use! So, we all cut, shaped, and laid out our collage.
The next two steps involved painting a light color of their prominent color all over the canvas.
From there they could add other colors that complimented their first 'wash'. Then they added some papers.By changing from painting to laying papers, back to painting to laying more papers, they were able to create layers. It was at this point that I taught them how to use napkins in their painted collages. Boy howdy, was that ever a hit!
Here's my finished canvas. You can see that I used a napkin for the flowers along the bottom, cut papers, torn papers, stamping, coffee stained cheesecloth, glittered rose, a "special event" tag next to a multi-flash (remember those???), a metal circle, the Paper Whimsy girls, of course, and layers of paint.
Everyone worked very hard in my class and at the same time, we caught ourselves roaring with laughter at something someone said. It was a riot!
I had just the BEST CLASS! I loved every one of my students and hope we will remain friends and see each other at least at next year's P.C. Retreat!
Andrea, who is from San Antonio - right down Hwy. 10 from me:), was totally focused on applying her first layer of paint.
I wonder what it was that caused Cara to stop drying her paint to check out Lisa? LOL
Here's Mendy, my lovely assistant, helping Nancy dry her first layer. In front of them, Terri and her daughter, Andrea, are hard at work!
Here's Elizabeth, aka Stripper Girl, AND good sport! It's a long story, but even without hearing the whole story, you can imagine how hard we laughed. It was so much fun. In this picture she is showing us her finished canvas - it's simply lovely!
This is Nancy, a darling woman whom I've had the pleasure of knowing from last year's P.C. Retreat. Here she shows us her beautiful canvas. It's not quite finished (the fence needs to be attached), but didn't she do a wonderful job?
Lisa is rightfully proud of her canvas. She used a picture from a vintage magazine and napkins to make a soft and beautiful piece of work.
Wow. I wish I could tell you who did this piece, but I took the picture without the artist.
Duh. But, even though we don't know the exact artist, we can all enjoy the collage she created. I think I know who it belongs to, but not being sure, can't say. But, for the sake of the post, we'll refer this canvas as Rhonda's Canvas. (Gosh, I hope I'm right! LOL)
The canvas below is Cara's. I know that because of the yellow in the first layer:) Didn't it turn out great??? She incorporated several of the House of 3 color copies that I brought and are so beautiful.
I'd almost bet the ranch that this next lovely piece was done by Kim. If you read this post and you know better, please email me and I'll fix any mistakes I've made! But, whoever did it, it's wonderful, isn't it? I like the way the pieces of collage seem to grow out of the one attached to it. (Did that make any sense???)
Me, working hard on my corsage in Mendy's class.
Rhonda and Karen - sweet picture of two friends!
This picture was taken in Mendy's class.
Phyllis and LaVerne working hard, or is it 'hardly working', dragging, pooped....whatever it is, it's in Mendy's Corsage Class!
My finished corsage in Mendy Mitrani's class - isn't it beautiful??? I simply LOVE it and Mendy was such a great teacher!
Me with my happy face on and Mendy.
Just some of the spoils from the huge ATC SWAP hosted by an amazing Barbie look-a-like.
Just a hint of what I received in the Paper Ephemera Swap hosted by the delightful Jamie Miller!
This is the most precious Dale McLain who taught a class with a bird theme, I can't remember the name, but it was so wonderful! And just look at her sitting up there on that credenza like a pin-up girl from the 50's! She's a cutie, alright.
Dana and Leisl are chomping at the bit to get started in Dale's class!
Shannon is working hard on her piece in Dale's class.
Lisa and Dana can still have fun while working on their pieces in Dale's class!
I LOVE this picture of Kim. We all have that look on our face at least one time when we're working on a new creation!
These following three photos are from the SHADOW BOX class taught by Joanna. There were some really precious pieces made in that class!We had MANY swaps to go along with the retreat and one of them was the CROWN SWAP. Here are two Paper Cowgirls with their crowns atop their heads!
Here's Andrea, her mom, Terri, and Cindy, ready for VENDOR'S NIGHT! They're probably looking for those icing shots!
Two sweet Paper Cowgirls during VENDOR'S NIGHT.
LaVerne and Nancy had a shared "booth". I think Nancy came out ahead in this partnership as LaVerne is buying some of her items!
And just where did Nancy disappear to when it was time to tear down???
Poor LaVerne, on the floor.....will she be able to get up without help? Here are some cards I made to sell at Vendor's Night. I used my precious Paper Whimsy girls on them along with some wonderful "flashcards, patterned paper, hat pins and swirls!
There were some left and I'll be listing them in my Etsy shop and my Lollishop........soon..........very soon.
My pink flamingos are lined up and ready for the long walk to 'hatchie!
Look at them - you can see how excited they are!What to cover my table with at Vendor's Night???
I pulled out some vintage tableclothes and dresser runners, ironed them and they looked mahvelous!
Here's my table at VENDOR'S NIGHT. I packed it full so it would look really good!
And it did:) I had such a good time that night.
Glittered and dressed for a Texas garden with their coordinating pink bandanas, these flamingos were a huge hit!
The PAPER COWGIRL RETREAT is nothing if it's not filled with the most wonderful women and this year was no exception. Everyone was wonderful, lots of fun, kind, helpful, I could go on and on.

This is Karen - she was a doll.
And here's Cheryl playing Queen for a Day with her wee bitty crown! Dale had these little crowns in her goodie bags and they were quite the hit!
Susan and Rita and I terrorized McKinney on Thursday - here's a picture of them at lunch. We had such a great time. Susan is a delight and, knowing Rita for many years, I can tell you that she's a dear!!
There was always time for a hug as Shannon and Lisa prove!
I could simply end here by saying, "The End", but I have to tell you one more thing.

I may have said it earlier, I don't know.
The Paper Cowgirl Art Retreat is a dream retreat.
It's filled with the most wonderful women, amazing teachers, great bosses, lots of fun things to do to fill our "down" time, and it's in Texas!

That being said, I'll leave you with one last picture - a picture of the poster women for Glue Guns.
And to show you how well they do their job (they didn't want me to say anything), they are the ones that talked Leisl down. She gave up her glue gun and no one was hurt.

Thank you, Mendy.
Thank you, Jan.


the wild raspberry said...

holy frijoles....i made it through. that must have taken you 3 hours to do!!
love the shadow boxes and nancy's collage was AWESOME!
glad you had a blast.
happy 4th!

debsea said...

wow. double wow. you are a doll for sharing all this with us, i have never seen nor been to anything like this. i think i would have to start heart medication prior to attending. it's like a scene from the best dream i've ever all the creativity, all the art supplies, all the girl time...
would you ever come to kodiak & do a paper fisherwoman retreat???

Debby said...

Jan, these pics are fabulous, thanks for sharing with us. Looks like such a fun weekend. I don't know what part I like best, all of it...sigh...all the collages turned out wonderful, great work there. Loved the pics of your vendor's night table.

Linda B said...

WOW! I wish I was there, but Texas is a loooong way off from Wisconsin:D I absolutely LOVE your collage! Thanks for the inspiration:)

the vintage vignette said...

Oh my goodness! I had so much fun reading this post...felt like I was almost there! The projects were awesome and it looked like you made some great friendships. When will the next one take place...I'd love to go:)

dragonflydreamer said...

It looks and sounds like you dolls had a great time and the art work was beautiful and inspiring. I'd love to attend, but Texas is a long way from Virginia too. Maybe next year I could schedule a visit with #2 son at that time since he's living in Texas. Thanks for sharing, this was an awesome and inspiring post.

xo dragonflydreamer xo

Jeri said...

The retreat looks like wonderful fun Jan!

LaVerne said...

Thanks so much for the're right about the wealth of talent and the amazing adventure Paper Cowgirl '09 turned out to be...thanks for organizing the ATC swap. You certainly had your hands full with a class to teach, a booth to stock, classes to take and the largest of the swaps to spearhead!!! You deserve a break! Rest on the 4th and enjoy the holiday. Stay cool. LaVerne

Jamie said...

Jan this is fabulous post!!! Your photos and commentary are perfect! I had such a lovely time and it was wonderful meeting you and all the other Cowgirls. I can't wait until next year:) Love, Jamie

Tiedupmemories said...

Wow! What a fantastic time! So much inspiration and fun in all those photos! Thank you for sharing! It looks like an incredible experience for all who attended!!Beautiful works of art!!

Sea Dream Studio said...

LOL! Yes, it WAS wonderful fun, wasn't it! Great pics (except where I look like a monster!eek!).

andrea said...

jan i really enjoyed meeting you. and we two cowgirls live close to each other so hopefully i will see you soon and often. i can't get that weekend off my mind. had such a great time with wonderful women. be well my friend. happy 4th!!

Little Pink Studio said...

Looks like a really fun art retreat! Love all of the classes shown.
I was looking at your photos of your desk area in full size and had to do a double take. The little dress hanging on the stand? I have the exact same one in my laundry room. The little supply box with drawers? I have the exact same one painted the exact same shade of pink! (and I ALWAYS have bottles of The Ultimate glue on my work table...or with in arms reach of anywhere I am!) LOL Just thought that was funny.
I am smitten with your flamingos! I wondered if you need to bring them in when it rains?
Hope you're having a happy 4th!

mendytexas said...

Had so much fun last weekend! Just got back in town from the fourth...and now to finally look at all my goodies from PC! Love all the cute pics!! :)mendy

Anonymous said...

Hi Jan!

What an amazing retreat! I see pics of you and want to just squeeze and hug you, you are so loveable! I will save up my pennies and dollars for next year's retreat. Your collages are beautiful! Such inspiration! Hugs! Amy :)

Anonymous said...


Great stories, great times. Thanks for the wonderful class and all the fun times we shared in the pics. Hope you're back on your feet soon!


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