It happens every summer.
My friend Kate and I head north to the cottage. Our luggage consists of one wailing cat, several bottles of wine, really healthy food like crackers and veggies and cookies, and loads of paint!
It's Art Camp time! It is our own personal retreat to make art, count bunnies, catch up on all things lovely, take walks, and enjoy summer and all things creative.
Both of us had our projects. Kate is working on her third Birdiferous calendar which is sold every fall at galleries and our own Designing Women sale.
I was working on just being better at it all -- and on a few paintings for Jemma, including this one of one of her her wreaths.
It was a most productive time! For Kate, another month completed and more in the making.
For me, more Martha's Vineyard houses...
...a possible holiday card (still needs work)...
...and my cousin's cat, Woody.
Our neighbors had a wonderful arrangement of floaties on the lake. I loved the flamingo the most!
Although the floating tropical island was pretty cool!
For once, Lizzie was just a cat, not a model.
But I did take a crack at my first painting of Stimpy -- my very first cat. It's not quite right yet, but I think pretty close.
We took side trips to the farmer's market to stock up on fruit (and cookies). The last of the cherries and the early peaches which were some of the best Michigan peaches I've ever had!
And even diverged from watercolor to finish painting the window trim on the back of the cottage. The yellow is gone! Now I have to finish the rest, but this was a huge help and great cosmetic improvement!
Art camp fell during birthday week so Kate treated me to a wonderful dinner at Bennethums, a restaurant not far from the lake with the best menu in the north. (Certainly the best lemon buerre blanc sole!).
The wine pairing was terrific!. (I don't know if you might remember from this post last year, but I wrote that one of my favorite sites on my lake walks was seeing a dad pushing his stroller, walking with his dad and a their dog. This year, two babies in the strollers. Well, I learned this summer that he's the guy who has the restaurant! We gave them high praise when we saw them this time!)
The waitress heard Kate mention my birthday and brought us a complimentary strawberry shortcake. And it was made the way my grandma would have -- with a real biscuit!
The thing about art camp that really rocks is that there is no schedule. Oh, we might walk in the morning -- or in the early evening when the bunnies are out. On Wednesday or Saturday we'd hit the market. But it's pretty free form. We painted all day and as late as we could, enjoying the neighbor's next door who were great fun and also had the best playlist of music anywhere!
And it was relaxing. I've not been at my best with a nasty summer bug (and as I write this, bad enough laryngitis to sound like a broken squeaky toy.) But you look at the sunset, you feel the sand in your toes, you touch the paint. And all's right with the world.
I mean, with a sky like that, as little national news as possible and a floatie flotilla...
What could possibly be wrong?
Life is good.
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