Art at the Beach 2016

Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to spend four days with some amazing, talented, arty, warmhearted ladies. It was an art retreat concisely named "Art at the Beach 2016"
The retreat was hosted by the wonderful Tiffany Goff Smith of Southern Gals Designs. Let me admit that Tiffany and I have been communicating over the interwebs for YEARS without every actually meeting, despite us living only 45 minutes away from one another (ridiculous, I know!)

Tiffany found us a house in Gulf Shores that was big enough to meet all of our needs: arting, eating, sleeping, drinking, and visiting the beach.

Here's a rundown of all the fun and creativity that was had.
We started with meeting and greeting everyone (though it was well into the evening before everyone got there), exploring the house, settling in, and learning that we were to use #ArtAtTheBeach2016 throughout the weekend on our social media.

After that, we indulged in a little gelli plate play before indulging in margaritas.

By the time we went to bed, we had definitely broken in the house for our creative purposes.

We started the next day with a little creative warm-up before taking a walk down to the beach.

Tiffany picked a perfect weekend for the retreat. Gulf Shores was gorgeous all weekend long.

We spent much of the weekend working on our own projects and in our own journals. Tiffany's southern charm was able to wrangle us some samples from Golden Paints to try out and play with.

I really loved how smooth the Golden paints are. They spread across my journal beautifully and dried quickly too. Look how vibrant those colors are as well! Yum.

Day three was spent with more creative play. Above are just a few of the pages I completed. The one on the left was done working along with Tiffany as she created her own page.

With instruction from one of the talented ladies there, we all worked on learning to draw faces. We were inspired by the work of Mindy Lacefield (instagram, etsy, facebookyoutube, pinterest). The paintings all started out with the same basic, weirdly alien shape.

But, with the addition of color and accents and hair, they evolved into beautiful little girls. We each named our little girls.

Here's a look at the whole group. I really love that despite the same instructions and inspiration, they all look so different.

Our last day was Mother's Day. We went out for brunch before returning for more arting. We decorated these little canvas bags that Tiffany had gifted us.

Throughout the weekend, we also worked on other projects including a collaborative canvas that sat out all weekend long for us to add to as we were inspired. The picture above isn't the finished product, just one of the shots I got during the long weekend. Tiffany took the canvas home with the intent of finishing it herself. I cannot wait to see what she does to finish it.

We created collaborative art pages in each other's journals by working for a few minutes at a time and then passing the journals. The one above is the one that was created in my journal. Isn't it fab?

And, some of us worked on painting these wood blocks we collected on the side of the road where one of the neighboring houses was having some work done. Mine's not quite finished, I brought it home and hope to get it done soon. I know it's a little wonky and disproportional, but I don't care.

Before we knew it, the retreat was drawing to a close and the sun was setting on my time with these beautiful souls.

I learned so much from those ladies about not over-thinking your art, using what you have, learning new skills, and being a genuine person. I will admit that I was nervous about going on the retreat and meeting new people, but these ladies made me instantly feel welcome. Thank you Tiffany, Debbie, Amie, PJ, Tina, and Lindsey for everything you brought to the table. It was a real pleasure and loads of fun!! If you want to see more pictures of our arty adventure, we all shared using the ArtAtTheBeach2016 hashtag on Instagram.

To close out this post, here's a look some of the art journal pages I finished.
I decided to have an intro page to show what I made at the retreat.

I really like how this one turned out for the most part.

Though a little blurry, this one used some of the golden acrylics and then an adult coloring book flower that I cut out.

This was the work-along page I did with Tiffany.

This was the last page I worked on during the retreat. I'm still not sure if it's done.

Finally, thank you to Tiffany for sharing her passion enough to host the retreat. I had so much fun and learned so much. I can't wait for the next one!

I definitely encourage all of you to break out of your shells and either go on a retreat or take a class that's out of the norm for you. I think I would have regretted not going on this adventure and getting my creative juices flowing. It was well worth the waves of doubt and social anxiety that preceded the weekend,

Have you ever done something like this before? It was worth it wasn't it?


  1. Hope love your post it captures our weekend beautifully. I am so excited that we finally got to meet!!

    Look forward to our next play date.

    1. Tiffany, I'm so relieved you approve. I tried to get as many pictures as I could, but I was having so much fun that time got away from me (as it often does). Yes, a play date sounds great!

  2. That looks like it was so much fun and the perfect setting for a retreat. I've only been on a retreat once back in 1996. It was at a camp and it was for mommies. My daughter was still an infant and it was very hard for me to be away from her. We spent the weekend taking walks through the snow in the woods, (yeah, it was winter) and making Shrinky Dinks (lol). I remember there was a hat contest. We had to make hats out of whatever we could find in the building. I made flowers out of tissues and attached them to a basket. I won the contest. That's all I remember. I couldn't wait to get home. lol

    1. Lorraine, Ha! It sounds like it could have been fun. However, since Megan was so little, I can only imagine how badly you wanted to be back home. This was not like that at all. We all enjoyed each other's company are are still messaging each other on Facebook. And yeah, the beach at Spring is indeed the perfect setting. ;)

  3. Hope, I enjoyed seeing your projects and hearing about the art retreat you attended. A delightful experience I can tell. Very inspiring to see your talent and hear about the encouragement you received. Thanks for visiting me and sharing about your garden. You have a sweet spirit and enthusiasm for your talent. Look forward to your future projects.
    Thanks for your visit and kind comments about my garden.

  4. I can imagine how much you must have enjoyed it! I take short evening jewelry making classes and it so so fun to be with other people with common interests!

  5. It sounds like you had such a fun and creative weekend! I've been to 'craft' evenings with friends, but not a retreat. I think I'm missing out, lol :)


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