A Big Slab of Heaven
I guess I probably should show you a little bit of scenery and tell you a little bit about My Happy Place, just in case you’ve never been or you wonder why I call it that. This morning I am heading home and that always comes with a bittersweet feeling. After four days here, I miss my family, my dogs, my bed, my routine… But this place, this carved out pocket of red rocks in the Coconino National Forest, it holds a sense of magic for me.
I hate to leave.
I always say that it’s so much nicer seeing the red rocks crop up into view as you are heading into town on 179 than it is to see them in your rear view mirror as you are heading home. Today I’ll have that dreaded rear view.
Getting Here from There
Seven years ago I visited Sedona for the first time and fell head over Fluevog heels in love. The art galleries, the spectacular red rock views, the Oak Creek, the Canyon, The sunset, the vortexes, The Arts Center. It was all amazing and spiritually captivating. Something deep inside my connected heart told me that I had to find a way to make this place a permanent part of my life. I just did.
I signed up to receive the Arts Center catalogue and a few months after I returned home, it arrived. When I flipped through it I noticed that they offered art workshops in addition to weekly classes. I immediately reached out via email to find out what I had to do to be considered as a workshop teacher.
And the rest is history. Well almost…
Just to be sure I’d always have a reason to come here, I secured gallery representation with Lark Art. This wonderful husband and wife owned fine art gallery represents local and national artists. They specialize in whimsical animal artwork.
You see? It’s magic.
How Sedona Got It’s Name
By the turn of the century, about 15 homesteading families called this area home. T. C. Schnebly was an enterprising young man from Gorin, Missouri who had married Sedona Miller. T.C.’s brother, Ellsworth, had moved to Arizona for health reasons, and convinced T. C. and Sedona to join him in red rock country. The Schnebly’s built a large two-story home that also served as the area’s first hotel and general store. T.C. saw a need for regular mail service, and organized the little village’s first post office.
T. C. suggested the names, Oak Creek Crossing and Schnebly Station, to Washington, D.C., but the Postmaster General at the time had a prejudice for one-word names for postmarks. Ellsworth advised him, “Why don’t you name it after your wife?”
Paying homage to your wife is always a good idea.
My class is always a wonderful group of people, and this weekend was no exception. The Arts Center sets me up in the Theatre space, which is the largest classroom they have. This means that every student gets their own 6-foot table. There are two deep sinks in the room for washing brushes, there’s a full kitchen if you want to bring lunch or bring groceries, and there’s a spectacular view just outside the door. The Arts Center is centrally located right in Uptown Sedona, walking distance to restaurants and shops with hotels close by.
Oh! and they have their own art gallery of over 100 local artists, and a ceramics studio on the premises. Just in case you are looking for something to do during your lunch break.
In the Paper Paintings Collage Workshop students learn how to hand-paint their own collage papers utilizing a multitude of techniques and experimentation on a wide variety of found and purchased papers. Working from photo reference, students then incorporate the papers in a impressionistic style of collage that looks like a painting. Everyone works on the 12×12 Small Apple Exercise so that we students can learn from one-on-one instruction as well as each other. The objective is to create volume and shading of a simple shape (sphere) with collage.
My April class and visit to My Happy Place has come to a close, we all had a wonderful time. The bittersweet is less bitter than sweet, knowing that I’ll be back again in November.
Meet me in My Happy Place
If you are interested in meeting me in Sedona in November, pack your warm clothes and visit their website to sign up. We fly into Phoenix and rent a car at the Sky Harbor Airport. The drive through the desert is scenic and relaxing, but I suggest making sure you arrive early in the day so that you can make that drive in the light. If you can time it just right to be arriving in Sedona (two hours drive) just as the sun is getting low in the sky…. well you’ll know just why I love this place.
Email Debbie Winslow at Sedona Arts Center for more information