I got to play at Jane Davenport’s house again. I’d only been at her house in October last year, but I jumped at the chance to go again. As in – I booked an hour after she announced it – jumped. I know how much of a transformation and awakening I had last time and was craving the chance to feel that again. Cause it’s kind of addictive.
When I booked, I sorta figured it would be the same class as last time which I was quite happy to do. Except it wasn’t. There were little hints of the last one which were as beautiful as last time – like the genius of the journaling exercise on her studio deck. I would go all that way just for that part of her classes.
The journalling part of her class is one of my favourite parts of going to The Nest. The other is getting to talk with Jane about art during the breaks. Her opening the door to that world is so generous. Book deals and product licensing and her philosophy on teaching is mesmerizing. I could talk to her about that for days. To be fair, I can talk about anything for days, but even more so when it comes to this sort of stuff.
I really wanted to ask her a question about finding your own style and not being drawn into copying from your teachers. She gave the most beautiful and generous insights as she answered that question. And I will be forever grateful for her answers. Cue fairy lights and fireworks and the hallelujah chorus…. I felt like she let me into her personal world in that moment to share that just with me. How can you possibly say thank you for that? She would reference that question back to me on and off during the whole weekend which was magical. Because it meant it was washing around in her mind long after our original discussion and her continuing to add little snippets to her answer were more proof of her generosity and openness to sharing her world of art.
The second day of the workshop started with a yoga session. Now, I’ve got a few extra curves on my highway, so I was a little nervous. The breeze was blowing ever so gently, washing over our skin as we lay on our mats, breathing in… breathing out… It made the trees sway and their leaves talked in whispers. Birds were singing in different corners of her garden… breath in…. breath out. So blissfully relaxing. A couple of birds had a little tiff in the tree right above me and I remember thinking “please don’t ruin this by pooping on me” but they soon flew off and my serenity returned.
Our gorgeous teacher spoke in such a gentle way, it was like a meditation all on it’s own. She would shoot me the occasional glance with a little smile that was overflowing with encouragement. Despite my curvy highway, I never once felt self conscious. It was okay if I lost my balance or couldn’t keep holding a pose. No-one was looking or judging. And Jane made sure when Angus took a photo of us, it wasn’t while our butts were in the air. Yep… that girls a thinker!
I’m so happy with what I learned and made over the weekend. But I’m grateful for so much more than that. Learning with a whole bunch of like minded and kind hearted girls. My first ever yoga class. The gift of art discussions with Jane. Listening to Jane as a working artist sharing her life. And having Jane write a cheeky message on the back of one of her prints for me.
I just wanna reach through the computer and hug you and tell you if you have never done a workshop with your favourite artist in real life… do it. Do it as soon as you can. Find a way. Because yes, you will get grow as an artist. But you will grow so, so much more as a person. And you will have rocking chair memories that you will hold close for the rest of your life. Because life isn’t about day jobs and getting the vacuuming done. It’s about weekends like this.
Biggest of big hugs – Coral. xo