Me Time! Self-care at a St. Louis Art Retreat.

self care and an art retreat

Me Time! Self-care at a St. Louis Art Retreat.

We are all guilty of it. Overbooking. Overcommitting. Getting stressed out because we are afraid life as we know it will come to a halt if we step out for a day or two to take care of…..gulp, me. And, from time-to-time, self-care is the absolute best thing you can do for you as well as all those around you.

Art retreat in St. Louis

A wonderful class with Mary Beth Shaw and Seth Apter!

I had an absolutely wonderful weekend in St. Louis hanging out with these crazy, nutty fools “At The Improv.” Mary Beth Shaw and Seth Apter concocted an art retreat months and months ago. When the email hit my inbox and I signed up immediately (knowing how cozy Mary Beth’s Studio is). There were only 12 spots available and I needed one of them for some self-care before the crazy holiday season hits.

We spent the weekend watching them “riff” off of each other’s mixed media techniques and create beautiful art. Mary Beth cranked up the tunes (alternating between Motown and a playlist she got from a Roxann Coble online class – both very inspiring). She opened up her Studio — all supplies were included. We learned new techniques, found out about some cool products (Golden Fluid Acrylic Transparent Shading Gray will change your life), made new friends, and had time to focus on our own art and learning. Heavenly.

As much as I LOVE hosting classes at Ephemera Paducah, and I love learning what I can when visiting instructors teach,  it felt like a luxury just showing up and creating.

art retreat in St. Louis

Seth consulting with Gwen and Mary.

As a tablemate, I’m not real chatty. I tend to save that for lunch and breaks. But I so appreciated the wonderful women with whom I shared space. I’ve been admiring Gwen Lafleur’s work for some time now and watching her create was as magical as her artwork. If you look up “sweetheart” in the dictionary, you’ll find a photograph of Mary Nasser. As talented as she is kind. And I met a kindred rebel in Jerilyn. As we both sport “RBFs” we almost mind-melded at time or two.


Sometimes I forget why coming to Ephemera Paducah is so much more than an art class for many of my patrons. What a wonderful time I had refocusing, energizing, learning, and having that be my only responsibilities for a weekend. So blessed and refreshed! If you need a retreat, take a gander at our 2018 Workshops!

Here’s what I created – Mixed Media Acrylic Paintings!

self care art retreat

We learned how to create depth and so many important layers. I tried to steal this circle stamp at the end of the retreat. MB said, hell no.

self care art retreat

This was done with Fiber Paste, stencils and Golden Acrylic paints. Simple, but I love how it turned out.

self care art retreat

Parts, parts and more parts. So fun creating everything on here.

self care art retreat

We did a round robin warm-up exercise. I had to include some of my art sisters work in this piece!

  • Seth Apter

    November 14, 2017 at 10:19 pm Reply

    Wonderful review. Thrilled that you joined us in St. Louis!

  • Cathy Costelle

    November 14, 2017 at 10:34 am Reply

    Great work Kristin and so nice you had some time for yourself.

  • Mary C. Nasser

    November 13, 2017 at 5:39 pm Reply

    Fabulous photos! Thank you for your kind words, too. I was so delighted to sit next to you! Such fun to see you create, too! What a memorable weekend!

  • Gwen Lafleur

    November 13, 2017 at 4:58 pm Reply

    Love seeing your work from this weekend… so fun to meet you and share a table for two days!

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