Monday, July 18, 2016

The Ritual of Return

Just returning from my trip to Portland, Oregon for the 2017 IAMPETH Convention. What a week and what a process!!! Our convention was wonderful as usual. Filled with friends and all of the passion that comes when pen enthusiasts congregate together. Your obsession with ink is considered the norm and we can talk about snap shades and terminal lobes on exit strokes without drawing stares from others. It is a great week. Highlights for me were getting to meet Portland's Unipiper, Brian Kidd. He is a Portland icon and I was so happy that 2017 President Alesia Zorn brought him in for our opening reception!!!! He was a treat. I had requested that Alesia have him appear in his traditional Darth Vader helmet with the flaming bagpipes! He was wonderful!
What a great kick off to the week. Highlights of the convention are too many to mention. I spent time in the archive room studying the incredible collection that we had and throughout the week enjoyed walks around the river, taking classes and trying to adjust to their time zone which was never entirely successful.
This year I was commissioned to create two certificates for Ronald and Donald Tate in recognition to their contributions to IAMPETH. The certificates were on display throughout the week in the Archive Room which was such a special treat to see.
The convention recharged my love of the pointed pen. My class was on Wednesday where 115 of us explored Victorian Pen work techniques in my Vintage Garden class.
I loved every minute of the convention this year and hope others did too. This year was the first time I took a sketchbook with me. I have fellow botanical art enthusiasts there at the convention and a few of us wanted some time to compare notes. I was amazed at how many times my sketchbook helped me on my journey.
An 11 hour layover in Chicago was a great time to finish a sketchbook page I started with my garden pansy. I worked on water droplets and a side view of a pansy leaf. I made a mental note to keep a waterbrush pen with me in my tool kit as I had to improvise with lid from a water bottle in the airport!!! Morning walks in Portland were with my dear friend Joe. Along the riverwalk were beautiful flowers and foliage that I had to captured in my sketchbook. I picked one California Poppy and tried quickly to record the details.
So hard to work from life when the details change every minute! I also picked an Oregon grape leaf which reminded me of holly. The bush looks like a Holly plant with clusters of grapes. My pages were completed in OHare on my return journey and kept me awake after an overnight flight and a 7 hour layover! Now I am safely home and the ritual of return begins for me. I enjoy every second of the process. Tools are cleaned and carefully replaced in their designated spaces. I return to my usual walking path around the garden and in the neighbourhood. I carefully wash down the surface of my desk as I prepare not only to unpack my suitcase but also unpack my mind and layout fresh goals. I revisit my daily calendar to see what tasks are coming up but I also take stock of what needs to change. Every trip for me brings some sort of change but IAMPETH usually brings some major changes. It refueled my focus to complete my upcoming book on The Enchanted Letter and also planted seeds for a second book on Flourishing techniques. Now I have to decide which order to produce the work. The ritual of return for me is as important, if not more so, than the trip itself. This morning my cat Oscar was waiting for me expecting me to put him on his leash and take him for a garden walk. He has been with me throughout the morning and now took his his usual spot on my comfortable computer chair
while I have to make do with a hard wooden chair! I am home.

4 comments:

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Beautiful and Dear Heather... How have I missed your blog? So excited to have found it.. I love seeing your work and inspiration...

I just got home from the convention and must say... by far.... yours was my very favorite class. I was sure your work was way above my level, but you made it so easy to follow along. Of course there is no comparison to your perfection, but it is something I will use and be proud of nonetheless. :-)

Big, big hugs dear one...

Linda Spencer

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thank you for the kind words about he Vintage Garden class. So glad you enjoyed it and hope you can incorporate the techniques into your work. Many thanks! Heather

Elsie Hickey Wilson said...

I am so delighted that I was in your class at IAMPETH this year! Also, loved chatting with you. IAMPETH is my renewal experience each year to leap into the next year of practice. Thank you so much for being part of that! Hugs,

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thank you Elsie. It was so great to see you in class! Big hug to you!