In early 2000 when I started exploring painting with no previous background, with a full-time job in high-tech, and wonderful new-born twins, I faced a common artist’s dilemma. I could carve out time here and there to work on my paintings amid deadlines and family duties, but I felt like I wasn’t seeing the big picture. I wanted to work with no distractions. To do that, I needed to get away.
So I traded off kid time with my husband, and took a 48-hour retreat one weekend to attend A 1000 Moments of Silence in Pennsylvania, which was a life turning event for me because I witnessed and felt the effect of a well-designed short time off. I checked myself into a cottage in the woods, spent time reconnecting with myself, with nature, While on retreat, I had a perception of having infinite time to paint and a forgotten sense of ease. I remember driving back home after the weekend feeling as if I was born again and came home with a widest smile in years and a large number of sketches and a finished painting in tow. Since then, I believe that retreats do not need to be long to be useful. I also think short breaks are necessary for a productive life. As Michael Simmons, cofounder and partner at Empact, said about what he calls his "dates with the soul": "Without taking breaks, I start to feel like I don't have a grasp of all the balls in the air and what my priorities are for each day and even my life overall. I feel like I'm behind on stuff, but I don’t know what."
If you’d like to carve out space to think or create in your busy life, try my mini-retreats for making the most of a brief break in your busy life.
I offer mini-retreats that last 3 hours and are local to provide a convenient oasis where one can unwind, reconnect with self, and experience multiple disciplines such as yoga, painting, story-telling, meditation, drumming, dancing without worrying about the logistics and supplies. You will enter an inviting, inspiring, and gratifying environment. My mini-retreats is the place where you can reconnect with your soul and encouraged to dream again.
My Artist's Statement
In my art, the kind of moments I cherish and chase are tenderness and alertness of the mother, determination of the brother and sister about to plunge into the Mediterranean sea, a woman unfolding a letter from her secret admirer, a look of rejection of a dissatisfied young wife, mystery of the connection between a woman and the moon. Each painting is a journey into a rich inner world revealed in these moments.
See Elena's paintings portfolio