My work

Friday, April 12, 2013

Art is You Art Retreats 2013

Last week I had the great fortune to go to Art-is Nashville, one of the Art is You Art Retreats. A couple of years ago I was happy to find the Art-is Petaluma Retreat and have been a loyal fan since then.

The Art is You Retreats are the brain child of Sallieanne McClelland and Ellen Legare who both lived on the east coast and met through an art class. They started the retreats in Stamford, Connecticut and now they have four locations: Stamford, Petaluma, California, Nashville, Tennessee, and Australia.

I took this photo at Art-is Petaluma last September
I have been to many art events but this one is very different. It is like being on an all inclusive cruise. You buy the retreat by the day, choose your classes and the extra activities, gifts, and two meals a day are included.

The atmosphere is also different. There is no competition, politics, or unpleasantness. Everyone is there to have fun, the teachers mingle with the students at meals and events and everyone is very supportive, and loving. It has become my therapy.

I went to Art is Nashville because of the classes and ended up making a great many new friends.

My first class was with a dear friend and artist, Sunny Carvalho.
Sunny makes the most unique art I have ever seen and I decided that I needed to take her painting class. I'm sure glad I did.

Sunny and Me
My camera was acting up so many of the shots of new friends were fuzzy (it had nothing to do with the operator, honest). I wish I could have taken a photo of everyone, but I did get one of all of our paintings.

Maria and her curly haired Goddess
Kirsten's beautiful lady

The other Julie and I had great fun together
Our art pile

Me, Cheryl, Sunny and Jill

We also had morning motivators and my new friend Gloria kept me on track. She always had her schedule and knew where I was supposed to be. I am so thankful she took care of me. LOL
Rise talks about creativity

Me and Gloria absorbing the knowledge, ha, ha

The next two days I took metalworking classes with Richard Salley and his lovely assistant and wife, Jane.

In the first class we made a locket. He showed us a unique and easy way to make the hinges (well, as easy as sawing metal can be.) Again I met new friends and got a lot of encouragement from the other students.

Richard sawing the hinge. Notice the Thomas Mann bench pin.
I must have one!
Me taking pictures of Ana taking pictures

Beautiful Katie and so talented

I was so happy with how my locket turned out and plan to make more to improve my technique.

And inside is a picture of me on my horse when I was younger. Well, sort of. I never actually owned a Paint but it could be.


 First step was etching the metal, then cutting out the design and soldering on the copper tubing for the hinges.

Then we cut the hinge doors, cut out the inset and soldered the cup for the cabochon with paste solder. I'm not a fan of paste solder but this worked out fine. We also used paste to solder on the bail on the back.


 After a patina bath and polish we used a nut and screw cold connection, cut the excess screw and used the riveting hammer to make a rivet.

I am very happy with my locket
The next day I made what was called the "Fire and Ice Pendant".
We sawed out the center shape and torch fired it with enamel. We then designed the backing and cut it out and soldered on the bezel. Next we marked where the sterling tube was to go and soldered it to the backing and then used a ball bur to make a seating for the stone. A patina and polish followed, then we set the enameled piece and then the stone.  There were a couple of new techniques for me and lots of fun.


This photo shows how we torch fired our enamel pieces. Merry Beth sat right next to me and does beautiful work.
The next activity was Art Trunk which is always a highlight of the retreat.
My dear friend Linda Willis from Rhode Island was there at her table. She is a talented fiber artist that I met at my first Art-is Petaluma Retreat.

Linda made this doll for me and surprised me with it. Gary was happy to have a new friend. For those who don't know me, I always travel with Gary the Cat.

 I also got to see my new BFF, Ken Oliver from Spellbinders. He had a gagle of fans with him at all times. Shall I say Groupies? Way to go Ken!
And Veronica and I showed off our Metals.
Now I ask you, if a picture speaks a thousand words, do you think I had a good time?
I'm tired, gotta' go now. Talk to you again soon.
Julie Panusis


  1. Julie...I had such a great time with you again! I'm looking forward to my next class with you. xoxo

  2. My dear Cheryl, it is always fantastic to see you. I hope you will be able to make it to Petaluma in September. It would be so nice to see you again.
    Please look at my Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal. You will recognize some of your beads in my creations. Hugs.