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
Abstract Acrylic Painting - 2005, 2006, 2009,
Painting - 2007, 2008
Director of private school/treatment facility for children
with special needs
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."
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.
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
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.
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check availability or request a 24-hour reservation hold.
here for info on Artista specials.
Artista Creative Safaris for Women
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California 93921