Laura’s California Working Table

A welcome "sign" of things to come!

As many of you know I went to California for a “Bloom True” painting workshop with Flora Bowley. I was hoping to attend Flora’s workshop at SAW in NH, (MUCH closer) but unfortunately for me (good for Flora!), her workshop  filled just as quickly as it was posted. I was feeling a little deflated and decided to see if she was doing workshops anywhere else close by. As it turned out she was going to be in Berkely, CA (NOT close!). It was already in the works for me to visit my friend Marlene in Oakland, CA and I hadn’t booked my tickets yet. The dates worked perfect and I was giddy with anticipation but when I went to register for the class I was informed by sweet Stef at the Teahouse Studio that Flora’s workshop had filled! What are the chances, right? I was put on their waiting list and kept my fingers crossed. I cannot explain it, but I just had a knowing I would get into this class and I did! I guess all the “visualizing” worked! (You may laugh but I firmly believe your thoughts create your destiny!)

My "working table" at Flora's workshop! I loved using all the rich colors and painting with sponges!

Everything about this workshop was glorious! I had no idea what to expect and can often be a little anxious yet filled up with all of the “unknowns”: not knowing the area, not knowing anyone in the workshop, wondering if my paints arrived on time~not to mention whether my painting skills would be up to par this weekend! This is why I love taking workshops. They always ground me and remind me how it feels to be a student. Anything new can be intimidating and it is good to be mindful of how I felt so I can share this experience within my own teaching. I think we put expectations on ourselves and often need to be reminded that there are no mistakes, just learning experiences.

I met such wonderful lovelies! We were warmly greeted by the “Teahouse ladies,” Sefanie, Mati & Tiffany on a glorious sunny morning. They made us feel right at home with coffee, tea and goodies while we took in their beautiful, airy, light-filled studio. These gals shared how this was only their second workshop at the Teahouse but you would never know it with their organization, kindness and attention to detail. This studio was a dream of theirs and I must say it was inspiring to see it all come together for them! You would LOVE taking a workshop here!

This show the spaciousness of the Teahouse Studio. We were all focused watching Flora work her magic!

I had set an intention for myself before I arrived that I wasn’t going to compare myself to anyone so I uncharacteristically placed myself on a wall where my back was to everyone. My hope was to totally immerse myself in my own work and hopefully resist my inner critic. I hate it when she comes out!

"I paint with ease" was my mantra for the weekend and I believe it worked as I was SO unbelievably relaxed painting!

This workshop was inspiring on so many levels. The energy was great, everyone painted so freely and Flora was amazingly generous sharing her many techniques. I think this was the first workshop I have ever taken where I felt like I could paint for hours after the workshop ended. Usually I am exhausted and in need of a glass of wine~ha! (who am I kidding, maybe I still had the glass of wine!) There is still so much I need to process and wish to share from this experience, I believe when you step out of your normal routine and comfort zone the world opens you up on so many levels. I am presently filled with inspiration and ideas galore and can’t wait to share the TWO finished paintings from the workshop with you!

More soon…xoLaura

p.s. I will leave you with Flora’s demo painting, which I just LOVE! Hard to believe she did this as a demo, right?

Flora Bowley's FABULOUS painting!
Detail of Flora Bowley's painting! SO great, right?

What artists are inspiring you today?


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3 thoughts on “Laura’s California Working Table

  1. You are my inspiration Laura! Thank you for sharing. You have inspired me to start an altered book collaboration of my own with some college friends. I just sent out the books and am starting a blog. I am not very savvy with computers, but here goes nothing! Lauren and I have been working on our altered books together as well, thanks for also inspiring her!!!

  2. Oh Loretta I am BEYOND thrilled at this news! Thank you so very much for sharing! You will have to let me know when you have your blog up. You will do great! I think technology is always going to be a learning curve for me, but I often surprise myself with how far I have come in a short amount of time, so stick with it! I will ALWAYS love to see/hear what you lovely ladies are up to so please keep me in the loop! Cheery smiles your way…Laura

  3. oh Laura, thank you so much for your kind and beautiful presence at the retreat ~ what a gift. I sure hope our paths cross again someday.


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