Designer Experience +++ Artist Residency at Sou'wester

On the second Sunday in June I packed my gigantic suitcase with much of my closet (the weather at the coast is pretty unpredictable this time of year so a girls' got to be prepared!), neatly filled my wicker laundry basket with art supplies, fabric, beads, embroidery necessities, inspirational things and books including some much needed hilarity via David Sedaris. I brought my laptop, foodstuff and even my caboodle. Yep, my caboodle. Thanks Mom!


     The main lodge built in 1892

 My connection to the Long Beach Peninsula is a dear one. Since a youngster I've attended the Rod Run to the End of the World   there whilst hitching a ride with Aunts and Uncles, cousins and new friends alike. One weekend stands out prominently; sentimental in my bones, the year my Husband and I partook as our first date/trip together almost 14 years ago. We stayed in a field rogue style and slept in the back of his now ashes of the earth '63 Ford Fairlane wagon. As an avid classic car enthusiast, that vehicle pretty much sealed the deal as far as the whole "love at first sight" business goes.

Photo taken in 2001 of the field that now plays host to a behavioral health facility.

Of all the years I'd visited I've failed to take notice of the little lodge/trailer park/camp spot called the Sou'wester on the road that leads to Seaview proper. This Place! Many people I know have visited this here since they were little but I knew of it not.

My original stay here was in January of 2015 at the first ever Full Moon Gathering Workshop organized by the very talented and transparently sincere Caroline Marie Griffin. I knew that I'd return to this most magical place the entire time I was there. Upon more website research, I discovered their artist residency program and swiftly applied. Once we solidified the dates of my residency I started focusing on my brainchild that would emerge from this experience; compartmentalizing exactly what I'd work on and all the supplies I'd need. I had lists and lists and lists! Ha.



My homey home for the week.

I stayed in cabin 10. It was a sweet little cabin, slightly musty as a beach cabin promises to be. It was a homey, cozy, and fantastic space to refocus, gather inspiration and produce some radical shit. The only things I forgot were my thumb-drive for some website work, and I could have benefited from more cooking pots/utensils. But ultimately, the fact that I forgot the computer stuff was perfect because I focused exclusively on producing actual artwork, which is the damn point.

"I always, feel li-ike somebody's watching me-eee..."


I designed/created some new prints for textiles, designed a poster for an upcoming pop-up shop that I've been organizing called Coalesce that will take place in NoPo (stay tuned for more on that), worked on my upcoming art collection featuring strong and powerfully creative women I know (including a couple from the Sou'wester), painted some flowers and embroidered & beaded textiles. It was wonderful.

Some of the print patterns I painted while hangin' in the lovely covered area outside Cabin 10.

My Favoritest husband ever, Jesse traveled up with our Rubinator on Wednesday evening to ensure I wouldn't go crazy missing them. Three days proved long enough! It was the perfect amount of time to spend alone and get the chance to miss my dear daughter and among other amazing traits he beholds, my rock of a hubby.

I'm lucky for more reasons than I should go on and on about here, so I'll spare you dear readers, but I am one human who fully grasps the beauty of my life and the splendid things that I get to have, experience and offer in this sometimes fucked-up world. Sometimes a re-start is all we need to secure a harmonious near future. It may be hard to justify, especially when one has a family and/or full work schedule obligations, but I sincerely feel that a time-out from the fast pace-ness. I'm not ignorant to the privilege that I had to do this. 

The work didn't cease once my daughter arrived, AND it was more fun!

"Let's paint the roses rainbow!" -Ruby Luella

Words cannot express my appreciation for this AMAZING opportunity that the Sou'wester offers for artists, designers, writers, musicians and creatives to escape the crowded bustle of the city and daily responsibilities beyond our selves. It can better be expressed through a monologue by Melissa McCarthy's character in Bridesmaids, followed by some gymnastics.

Just kidding! It's through art, duh.


While recently studying The Language and Sentiment of Flowers,  I've revived my genuine artist self.  Plants and flowers were a strong avenue of communication during the Victorian period and I've found that to be an extremely fascinating study.

Iris: A message ( This particular variation of Iris is beloved to the most recent owner and Queen of the Sou'wester, Thondi (Tondee) and they grow here and there throughout the property as well as throughout the landscape along the Peninsula, but sadly are not native to the land. Oh well, they are pretty prolific now!

Fern: Sincere, magic, fascination

Wild Rose: Charming, Simplicity

Lily of the Valley: Return of Happiness (Gratitude was the main reason for this flower, which translates to any small white belle flower).

So this painting represents my message of sincere gratitude for this enchanting, charming and simplistic experience I beheld at this magical place. Thank you Sou'wester!!!!

I can't wait to return.

Sand Angels.

I saw this in the back of a pick-up when I arrived and the next day it was installed as historical structural art.


I have a strong talent in making a table very messy.

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Have a splendid summer fellow lovers of the beautiful and thanks for reading!


~ Katie







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