Artista Flame Newsletter

Lisa SheehanAlumnae Spotlight:  Erika Serek, September 2009

Like many modern women, Erika Serek desired to exercise her mind rather than lounge poolside while on vacation. She found Artista Creative safaris for women in lovely Carmel-by-the-Sea and has been returning annually to paint for five years. Shopping and dining her way around California's most idyllic village was just icing on the cake. By now, she's practically a local.

Classes Attended:
Abstract Acrylic Painting - 2005, 2006, 2009,
Encaustic Painting - 2007, 2008

Director of private school/treatment facility for children with special needs

A little about Erika:
Erika grew up in Europe where art history was part of her education. She moved to British Columbia, Canada in the late '60's, where she took art classes in high school, but went on to university, completing a degree in speech pathology, linguistics, and psychology. Over the next 25 years, she accompanied her husband on various postings across the globe, while managing to work full time and dabble in crochet, knitting, tole painting, watercolors, quilting, decorating, gardening, and collecting art. Erika was widowed in 1993 and settled in Calgary, Alberta to be closer to family. When her daughter turned 21, she decided that she didn't need to chaperone at horse shows; it was time to pursue her love of painting.

After some research, she came across the Artista Creative website. Intrigued, she signed up for an acrylic class in 2005 and has returned every summer since. "Carmel-by-the-Sea in California offers a beautiful location that is hard to beat," comments Erika, "This is my yearly creative trek; a gift to myself to continue my expression and my learning as an artist."

What was your inspiration to come to Artista?
My job as Executive Director of Pacekids is demanding, consuming, and requires analytical thinking. I needed an outlet where I could be more creative and totally explore my intuition from within. I wanted to be able to create beautiful images, use vibrant colors, and learn techniques. The Artista intuitive concept allowed me to capture the expression of what I felt and experienced, and I was pleased with the results. The successive returns were due to the great experiences from year to year, and each trip is different because of different influences from within the group, as well as the instructor's approach. Unfortunately, I only paint during the three days that I come to Artista, and I am able to take back anywhere from 25 to 35 paintings! People are amazed when I tell them I only paint three days per year - I am a prolific painter. I would love to be able to have the time to paint more, and I hope to have a studio in my house someday.

What highlights do you remember most while on an Artista Creative painting safari?
Since I have returned to Artista for the last five years, I always look forward to meeting new ladies that come to the courses and love getting to know each other, as we are all unique and have that yearning for exploring. I love looking at the results of expressing ourselves in different ways.

The instructors are very good at bringing out the intuitive talent that we all have, and positively support and encourage the participants. There is a definite synergy present in the groups that encourages creativity and support. The staff at Artista looks after your every wish and it makes the whole experience unique.

One thing stands out in my mind from my second visit. As my pieces were getting framed at a local gallery in Calgary, the owner decided to display them while waiting for me to pick them up. I received a call one day from the owner of the gallery, who informed me that her patrons had asked if I would sell my paintings. That year, I sold about 75% of my pieces, and kept the rest for my collection. I was proud of my accomplishments and so pleased that others expressed interest in buying my art. That was an inspiring moment for me to continue doing what I love.

Please email or call us at 831-625-5748 to request details about a specific safari, check availability or request a 24-hour reservation hold.


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Artista Creative Safaris for Women

Manifesta Safaris
Box 4669
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California 93921

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