Sedona is mostly known for three things: its beautiful landscape, its art-colony atmosphere and as a place for spiritual discovery. Now imagine wrapping all these into one unique package where art and self-discovery fuse to create a life-changing experience. This is exactly what the Sedona Arts Center has created in the form of two incredible retreats known as the Sedona Art Retreats. They are called Unique Connections and The Power of Words and they are fantastic!

I have to say that I am thrilled to be a part of both retreats!

I’ve spoken before of the many hats I wear. I’m sure you all know of my photography (you can ‘like’ me on Facebook to see more: Facebook.com/artistkelliklymenko) – and that’s exactly what I teach at the Unique Connections retreat. My segment is called, “Photographing Essence” and it’s one of my favorite classes to teach! One of the reasons it’s so much fun is that I help students to move beyond the technicalities of photography and explore the true essence of composition through emotion. You learn how to photograph feelings rather than just scenes or landscapes. I love seeing my students explore new techniques and challenge themselves. The results have always been amazing to witness!

Photographing essence is just one part of this visual arts retreat. There are a total of six instructors (including me) that explore collage, journaling, life-masks, talismans and ceramics. I look at it as a chance to let go and let art happen in your life. If you are looking for a creative outlet and a chance to view art from a different perspective – this is your chance to share an intimate connection with truly creative individuals. Komala U. Rohde, Libby Caldwell, Vince Fazio, Liz Learmont, Dennis Ott and yours truly (me) instruct this retreat.

But what if you are a wordsmith? What if you’ve read through this simple and quick blog I’ve written and had a dozen complaints on style, grammar and punctuation? What if you love writing, performing or orating? Then The Power of Words retreat is for you!

The Power of Words retreat is based on the transforming and healing power of engaging our senses, creative wordplay and storytelling. Our words have the power of personal magic when grounded in reality and used creatively. Kate Hawkes is the lead instructor and coordinator who, along with three other instructors (me included) “create a unique synergy of influences, a model for writing, grounded in the senses and in spontaneous creative potential”.  If that doesn’t sound fabulous, just wait for my segment:

Aroma-creativity. (Here’s where you learn about another hat I’ve worn.)

I spent a good portion of my younger years exploring the world of scent. I’ve made over 300 incense and oil blends, published 3 formularies and love creating soaps, lotions and anything that makes our world smell better. I even owned my own shop called Spellbound in New Jersey for a good number of years where I made the best smelling scents around. I always loved to fashion new ‘intention-based’ scents to help with creative moods, ease stress or allow love into our noses. I still mix blends today, and this retreat is just another excuse to share the art of mixing unique blends.

The retreat starts with a surprise exercise in writing and editing, where students then develop characters from my aroma-creativity session. Then, through a gentle outdoor "moving-meditation" students learn to deeply inhabit a story and ultimately learn to write themselves as a character from a different point of view. Kate Hawkes, Jim Bishop, Tera Klymenko and I instruct this retreat!

You can learn more about the retreats here: SedonaArtsCenter.org/SedonaArtRetreats or by calling the Arts Center at 928-282-3809.

Now that I’ve shamelessly plugged my retreats, I just want to say that I love what I do. I love to share art, creativity and inspiration any chance I get. I hope we all never forget the importance of art in our lives. I am proud to be a part of the Sedona Arts Center on many levels, where we have hundreds of artists who share their work, their knowledge and their spectacular skills every day.

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, teacher, marketing director and free thinker experiencing life in one of the most inspiring and picturesque places on earth with his fabulous wife and children.

 

Our memory is imperfect. If you closed your eyes after looking around for a few seconds and recited everything you saw in the room around you, you would do two things: you would not remember everything you saw, plus you would add things that weren’t there. If you gave yourself even more time to view your surroundings, perhaps you would recall more – but you would never remember everything. Then, if you waited a day or two and tried again, you would add things that weren’t there and forget even more than before. So now imagine painting or drawing something from memory - your accuracy will be significantly diminished.

Unlike the plein air painters of Sedona or those who work in a studio from models, photographs or a still life – the artist that creates from memory produces a much different work of art. We just aren’t wired to recall accurately everything we see. Instead, our information is consolidated into a single memory link of an event. So if you are staring into the cosmos, watching a meteor shower with friends, all your memories will be stored into that one particular link. Everything you remember will be filed in your consciousness under “meteor shower,” etc. From this single point of memory, all retained information about the particular time you spent is placed into your working memory (under “meteor shower”) and from there we think about the details we have retained about the event. So this is where the details get sketchy at best.

Typically there is no need to pay attention to all the details in our surroundings. Therefore the information that we actually pay attention to varies depending on the experience. This information will be different to everyone. Take my Photographing Essence workshop – students go out into nature and sit, meditate, take in the environment and then photograph what they feel. The experience is so different from everyone and can be seen clearly in the photographs they produce. Is your focus on the creek, or rustling wind, or insects busily fussing over flowers? The details are experiences that even those photographs won’t completely accurately capture of the memory we personally had.

But we haven’t even touched the subject of memory yet.

After an event and the memories that were created in our one memory link, our minds begin an encoding process. Encoding is the process of organizing information that will be stored in our long-term memory. Our minds decide what to keep and what to discard. This is profound because yes – we DISCARD memories that our minds feel are unnecessary. We generally remember important events and anything that holds a special meaning to us, but it’s all limited to only what we pay attention to. (And we only pay attention to a few things at a time, as seen by our exercise early on.) After all this is completed the brain stores the information and develops paths to the stored information. There are cues the mind creates along the way to use to recall the information later. (Such as “meteor shower”)

The final process of memory and the one that this blog is about is retrieval. This is where we pull up the information stored by accessing the cues that our mind created. So through this jigsaw puzzle of stored material, we have our final memory of what took place. Ironically, this could be a memory of something that happened a decade ago to something that happened this morning. When the memory was created, stored and filed away is not relevant, the important part of all of this is the fact that our memories are faulty. We fill in blanks and add, subtract and rebuild our memories of what we experience, see, smell, eat and touch.

So what’s the point of all this?

Artists truly do create from their souls. The artist recalls bits and pieces of information that was stored through an experience that only they could truly interpret through their art. It’s an experience they materialized from their souls in the form of art you’re admiring right now. Of course our memory of this will be faulty, but in the end it will be our own - our very own memory of an experience that was created through an imperfect, inaccurate representation of a feeling that we once experienced. For me, this takes art appreciation to an entirely new level. For you, I just hope you remember reading this.

Kelli Klymenko is an artist, storyteller, photographer, teacher, yogi, husband, father, science aficionado, marketing director and free thinker - experiencing life in one of the most inspiring and picturesque places on earth with his fabulous wife and children. “Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.” – KelliKlymenko.com

June, 2013 - Sedona, Arizona

 

Sedona Arts Center proudly presents SEDONA PHOTOFEST 2013 from June 4-9, 2013 with a full free day of events on Thursday June 6, 2013. Join John Paul Caponigro, Tony Sweet, Scott Stulberg and Suzanne Mathia and immerse yourself in the world of photography between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m on June 6, 2013. The FREE DAY has outgrown the original venue and has been relocated to the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Sedona Red Rock High School located at 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road, Sedona to accommodate the overwhelming response.

 

The free day of presentations is sponsored by the City of Sedona with the keynote presentation by John Paul Caponigro from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and sponsored by Canon. The free day of presentations by master photographers is a rich mix of information and inspiration on technique, process and the hunt for subject matter that all photographers face. Each presenter will be instructing a workshop during PhotoFest 2013. Here’s the complete schedule of events:

 

9:00–10:30 a.m. Tony Sweet “Textures of Reality”

Presents his photographs from world travels and talks about his processing techniques. He will also present some images that resulted from the Sedona Workshop that took place June 4 & 5th.

 

10:30 a.m.– Noon Scott Stulberg “Travel Photography”

Scott Stulberg discusses his process for “Travel Photography” and will present his photographs from world travels while sharing his processing techniques.  He will also preview his use of Photoshop plug-ins that will be used in his workshop to bring about stunning finished products.

 

Noon–1:30 Lunch break!Take a break and explore one of Sedona’s many great places to eat!

 

1:30–3:30 p.m.  Keynote – “Process” with John Paul Caponigro

Sponsored by Canon, John Paul Caponigro discusses aspects of his latest book on creative photography entitled “Process,” in which he illustrates how the written word, small drawings, and unexpected aspects of creativity influence his photographic process. Caponigro is a nationally recognized speaker offering innovative images. John details the many aspects of his creative process - color, composition, drawing, iphoneography, writing and more.

 

3:30–5:00 Suzanne Mathia  “Workflow Lightroom & Photoshop”

Suzanne presents secrets of Lightroom and Photoshop and gives examples of workflow strategies used for various outcomes from books to prints and the web.

 

PhotoFest is now in its third year and is a presentation of the Sedona Arts Center. As part of the event, the Sedona Arts Center is also hosting two outstanding exhibitions opening on June 3rd at 1 p.m. with receptions on June 7th First Friday from 5–8 p.m. In the Theatre Studio at the Arts Center, Scott Stulberg will be exhibiting many of his large travel photographs.  Scott’s years of international travel and his gift for working with people make his photos unique moments in time. In the adjacent Special Exhibition Gallery, the Sedona Camera Club is exhibiting a special member’s juried show. The club has been continuously operating since 1952 and encompasses members encompassing the Verde Valley. Besides monthly meetings, club activities include workshops, programs by noted photographers, one-day field trips and multi-day outings. Guests are always welcome at the meetings. Both exhibitions will run simultaneously through June 12, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. at the Sedona Arts Center.

 

Visit SedonaPhotoFest.org for the entire spectrum of the program. Online registrations are available for the Free Day as well as the workshops, or call the Sedona Arts Center at 928-282-3809.

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, teacher, marketing director and free thinker experiencing life in one of the most inspiring and picturesque places on earth with his fabulous wife and children.

It’s never been easier for authors and artists to manifest their works in print. Gone are the days where a writer has to invest thousands of dollars to see their book in printed form. Today, you can publish a book within a matter of hours and have it in your home within days instead of months. Self-publishing isn’t limited to the production of novels and poetry books, either. Artists, photographers and crafters are creating fabulous portfolio, reference, and coffee table books, too. So if you’ve been thinking about publishing your own work read on…

 

Why Self Publish?

 

As with anything in life, there are pros and cons to weigh before taking those glorious steps into any new venture. Most authors dream of the big time, scoring a dreamy deal with a publishing company that will do “all the legwork” for you and give you a nice fat check to get you started. The truth is - getting a publisher to read past your cover letter is more difficult than planning a mission to mars these days. Their marketing for you is mostly just piggybacking on their name, as they are looking for more and more authors that have their own following and marketing plan. And advances are a thing of the past with most book publishers (unless you are a brand-named author).

 

So what do you do when you’ve been handed a dozen rejection letters (or you choose not to write them in the first place)?

 

Self-publish.

 

When you self publish and design your own books you have complete creative control with your entire product. You can create a unique design that stands out past the cookie-cutter works that are pumped out by the bigger names out there. Oh and did I mention royalties? Take home about 70% or more instead of the 8-15% you would see with a traditional publisher. Personally, I like knowing that I have complete control over a book I write. I can change it any time and release a new addition, or even just put it out of print if I’ve changed my mood. The choices are all yours to make, no contracts to tie you down. Plus, no one cares if Harper Collins or Lulu Press has published you – your creativity shouldn’t be about the bling of a big name, but more about your own creative vision.

 

The first step to self-publishing is to release all that fear. We all know that we can’t get anything done if we listen to all that fear constantly. Sure you have a lot of questions, but you can do research or take a workshop. The point is to take action! Did you know that you could create a book online and publish it the same day? Did you know that you could market yourself for free? There are no more excuses to putting your creative works in print. Which reminds me – I’m teaching a workshop on self-publishing and marketing with social media May 18-19, 2013. My intensive two-day workshop covers the publishing industry (including print on demand) on day one and then marketing, social media and promoting your book on day two.

 

Just remember – what you need most is your own motivation. Don’t be afraid to take that step into the world of publishing and make yourself stand out. You can do it – I believe in you!

 

You can visit http://SedonaArtsCenter.org/School/Faculty/kelliklymenko.html or call 928-282-3809 to sign up for my workshop.

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, teacher, marketing director and free thinker experiencing life in one of the most inspiring and picturesque places on earth with his fabulous wife and children.

As an artist, I often take on every creative project I can get my hands on. I’ve frequently mentioned how this can be a multitasking (as well as a marketing) nightmare for me. Thanks to this brilliant aspect of overburdening myself, I am fortunately able to get quite a few things accomplished. This includes self-publishing my writing, photography and art as well as the growing collections of some of my grandiose projects that will forever be labeled as “works in progress.” So to help you people burn the candle at both ends, I created a self-publishing and marketing workshop. So let me ask you - Do you love to write? Do you want to publish your own novel, art or photography book? Do you want to learn how to better market yourself and your artwork? You can learn the ins and outs of self-publishing on May 18 and 19, 2013 at Sedona Arts Center, where I’ll be offering up tasty little bits of information in my two-day intensive workshop. Agreed – this particular blog is a little self-serving. But we’re artists! We need to be self-serving in order to serve others our creative talents. What comes around goes around? I’ve heard time and time again from artists, writers and photographers that they wish they could be published. For some the projects they have in mind are part of their souls, for others – just a creative coffee table book they always wanted to come to fruition. Whether you’ve been writing for years or just weeks – self-publishing is easier than ever in today’s do-it-yourself world. The first thing you need to do in every situation is to let go of fear. Without fear, your possibilities are endless. In my two-day workshop, I cover an overview of the publishing industry, publishing choices, print on demand, e-books and more. I show you all you need to know about self-publishing: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ll show you how to use Internet sources, i.e. Lulu.com, Blurb.com, CreateSpace.com and others to print your publication for little to no money down. You will learn how to format e-Books and get them sold at Amazon, the iBookstore, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book retailers. I also will teach you how to effectively market your self-published book or art and how to make the best use of social networks to market yourself. This intensive two-day workshop will cover the publishing industry (including print on demand) on day one and then marketing, social media and promoting your work on day two. So if you’re available on May 18-19, in Sedona – join me for my workshop. It’s always a great time, with interesting people and stories. Sign up at SedonaArtsCenter.org. Thanks for reading and stay-tuned next week as we delve into the world of art across the globe as we explore what’s trending in art. Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind. About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, teacher, marketing director and free thinker experiencing life in one of the most inspiring and picturesque places on earth with his fabulous wife and children.

immersion1In spite of school budget cuts and slimming programs, the Sedona Arts Center’s School of the Arts just wrapped up a three-day Arts Immersion with middle-school students at West Sedona School. This year Vince Fazio, the director of the School of the Arts at the arts center partnered with the new Sedona YMCA (at Posse Grounds Teen Center) and the City of Sedona’s Artists. In the “Classroom Project,” students were able to approach aspect of their curriculum through the arts by engaging in five different art projects designed to be both educational and fun!

 

These amazing projects are built around the Character Counts program originally created by the Josephson Institute and the YMCA. The pillars of character are trustworthiness, responsibility, caring, respect, fairness and citizenship. The program itself is used nationwide to reinforce character traits that help to enrich individual lives and build a sense of community. For example, students made six mosaic tile banners with Delfina and Franco Valentini portraying the six character traits in one particular project. Those banners will be mounted of the pillars of the school cafeteria. Students also did a collage project where they identified the character traits in magazine images and collaged the images into their own cast shadow.

 

They didn’t stop there!

 

Each student also worked with Libby Caldwell to create a unique handmade book that included a short story on one of the character traits as the first entry in their book. They also creatively interpreted the traits through a dance project led by Eric Aglia. The fifth project is a film about the overall immersion project. Students will study the filmmaking process, take raw footage and conduct interviews. This footage will then be edited during the following week in the new Afterschool Film Club sponsored by a grant from the Sedona Community Foundation. The Afterschool Film Club at the YMCA Teen Center will meet to edit versions of the film on the theme of Art-making the week after the immersion. The sessions will be overseen by YMCA staff and taught by Ron Melmon and they will take place at the West Sedona School Digital Media Lab. Participants in the project will learn about using iMovie to edit film, creating a story with imagery, voice, text, graphics and music. The After School Film Club will continue after spring break at the YMCA with at least two other film projects on the themes of Nature and Imagination.

 

The arts are alive in Sedona and with our children thanks to the efforts of resourceful groups and your tax credits and donations. Sedona Arts Center continues the outreach programs at the local level to enrich the lives of our creative children. I look forward to working to help expand the programs and do my part at the arts center to nurturing creative discovery, learning and sharing through arts education and artistic development.

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, teacher, marketing director and free thinker experiencing life in one of the most inspiring and picturesque places on earth with his fabulous wife and children.