Even the first year I attended Jamvention my husband and I were welcomed into Willy and Jacklyn’s home like family. The convention officially starts on Friday night. Despite the huge mountain of work they have do on the Jamvention itself, on Thursday night Jacklyn cooked an amazing dinner for the artists who had arrived in town.
On Friday we were treated to breakfast, and a wonderful walk over 3 miles in the woods with Jacklyn and her dogs! It felt great to get out and walk after the long travel day before.
out for a walk
Everyone was very patient with my obsession with photographing mushrooms, haha! I love all the different colors and textures of mushrooms and probably have taken hundreds of photos of them on walks over the years!
Friday afternoon we loaded up the vehicles with gear and artists and headed over to the Jamvention location to set up! It is SUCH a cool location for an intimate jam and convention. (For a more in depth description of the venue and my first time teaching at Jamvention, check out the first ever issue of Wet Paint Magazine!)
Everyone pitching in to decorate and set everything up!
We aren’t able to get into the space until 5 pm, as it is used as a camp for kids during the week. So, we have 2 hours to get it all ready before attendees start to arrive. Everybody pitches in to help set up and decorate the rooms! There is such an awesome sense of community and ownership among the FIP team, which contagious and spreads to all of the visiting instructors. I love how everyone jumps in to help!
The opening night festivities are so fun and full of energy. People gather from literally all over the world, and greet each other with hugs like old friends. I’ve said it once and will say it again this year…the food is AMAZING!! Friday night we are treated to a paper cone of awesome Belgian fries with delicious sauces, dished up right in the kitchen.
On the opening night everyone is welcomed, and the instructors are introduced. Did I mention how amazing the food is? We also enjoyed their fun tradition of incredible cakes on opening night! One of the cakes had edible fondant photos of every instructor, so I even got to eat my own picture!
Opening night was awesome as usual…a great chance to kick back, enjoy a treat and beverage, and get to know the instructors and attendees!
My husband Wayde and I manning our table in the vendor room
There is always a jam on Friday night, and this year it was a blacklight jam! I didn’t get a chance to participate in this year’s jam as I was busy selling books and stencils in the vendor room, and the black light room filled up pretty full. But, it was fun to pop in and see what everyone was working on!
Saturday was amazing! I taught both jewelry and henna. My jewelry class was probably a bit too full for everyone to be able to fully enjoy as people were bringing more chairs into the room to squeeze in…that and me painting too small made it a little bit of a challenge, but the next time around it went much more smoothly! 😉 My apologies to my jewelry guinea pigs!!
My first jewelry class on Saturday
Tessa was my beautiful model!
Tessa was a wonderful model! In my Sunday class I painted a giant gem on the back which was much easier for everyone to see. But my fabulous students made some pretty amazing gems on themselves in this class regardless!! This painting is obviously really exaggerated, but we did a gem, pearls and some other smaller gems in settings.
getting a closer look
I also taught a henna class for beginners! It was a fun time…we talked about the origins of henna, what it’s made of, how to make it, warnings against black henna, etc, and then had lots of time to practice drills and designs!
Saturday’s henna class
Last time I was at Jamvention I taught every session, but this year I had some breaks and was able to attend other classes which was really fun!
Belinda Wurmitzer’s one stroke flowers
I attended Paula Southern’s calligraphy course on Sunday, too!
Saturday night’s festivities were AMAZING. For the big 10th anniversary FIP really went all out. Attendees were asked to dress in FIP’s colors, blue and gold, and all of the team members who run the event were dressed in their formal best and they applauded everyone as they entered the room for dinner! We had yet another incredible meal, and even some drinks with edible glitter!!
drinks with edible glitter!
There was another fun 10th anniversary surprise, as we were all treated to an incredible fire dance show! Just spectacular…I need to dig up a video to share but here are a couple pictures:
Saturday always ends with a paint jam! I had sketched this queen bee design a couple days before and was hoping to bring it to life.
I was really lucky to have the chance to paint Marcel Verbeek…he and his wife Daisy are both body paint models and do an amazing job!! Other than my 11 year old son, and the pregnant bellies I’ve painted, the only time I’ve body painted on models has been this time, and 2016 at the Jamvention. They provide models for everyone who needs them which is amazing!!
I love walking around the grounds in the morning at the Jamvention…it’s such a gorgeous and peaceful setting! I have dozens and dozens of animal photos but I’ll spare you all of them, haha!
So many gorgeous views here!
Sunday I again taught both Jewelry and Henna…another great time with wonderful students!!
Teaching Jewelry on Sunday
Sunday’s jewelry class was much smaller and we were able to cover more things…
Note to self… larger jewel made a huge difference! We also talked about pearls, chains, making tiny diamonds and quick beads.
Some of my wonderful jewelry students and their gem paintings!
THE Belinda Wurmitzer attended my henna class too!
Henna students starting out with markers and some drills
I really can’t thank Willy and Jacklyn and their dedicated team enough for all the hard work they do behind the scenes to make this event such a huge success!
Some of my favorite moments of the Jamvention were here in Willy & Jacklyn’s home…the conversations with people from all over the world were just fascinating and sometimes so hilarious my face hurt from laughing! What an honor to rub shoulders with so much talent!! I got to meet Andrea Benocci and the beautiful Elena…amazing body painter Raphaelle Fieldhouse and her super talented balloon artist husband Gary, incredible artist and calligrapher Paula Southern…and I laughed so hard with Belinda Wurmitzer… Jacklyn has this amazing ability to hand pick instructors from around the globe who just seem to click together right off the bat. Everyone I’ve met there has been so immensely talented, yet so humble and down to earth, it truly feels like one big, wonderful family.
I can’t even explain how wonderful and energizing it is to be able to hang out with fellow artists who are passionate about the things you are passionate about. I guess this is why attending workshops and conventions is so important for artists like us. We don’t get to hang out with dozens of like minds every day, as if we were working on a team in a corporate office…as artists, and for many of us as sole proprietors of our businesses, it can get lonely. I am thankful for conventions like this, social media, and my local monthly jam sessions, for their ability to fill us up with fresh, creative energy and inspiration! 🙂
The Jamvention always runs right around our anniversary, so my husband and I had a wonderful time staying longer in Brugge and spending a day in Ghent to celebrate our 19th! I’ll pretty much teach anywhere in the world if I can turn it into a trip with my hubby or family! 😉
THANK YOU Jacklyn and Willy, and your entire talented FIP team for all of your hard work and dedication, and congratulations on 10 years!!