Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Carmen Torbus’ Lonely Arts Club Tribe - by Katrina Kniep

I have a song stuck in my head. It’s the title track on one of my favorite albums of all time, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles.

“It’s wonderful to be here. It’s certainly a thrill…”

What does this have to do with anything? You might be wondering while you check the website address to make sure you are on the right page. Hold on, and I’ll tell ya.

For a long time now artists have been known for being solitary creatures. Their self-imposed loneliness was seen as creative and eccentric as well as necessary for their art. Today, this is not so.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Carmen Torbus through the blogosphere. It was nice to hear from someone in my area who was also interested in art and I gladly accepted her invitation to an art night with her friends. As the date approached I found myself feeling much the same way I had when I was getting ready for a blind date. What should I wear? Will they like me? What should I bring to do as my project? What if they think my project is dumb and my art sucks? However, two years ago my blind date panned out and became the love of my life, so I didn’t let these nerves get the best of me.

I drove up to Port St. Lucie listening to music and enjoying the sunshine. My art bag was packed to the brim. When I got to our meeting spot I was greeted with hugs and candy, a snuffle from a friendly hound and the giggles of excited children.

I quickly sat down at the table and was introduced around. From the start Lauren, Tara, Carmen and Christine were welcoming and talkative. I didn’t feel out of the loop or ignored at all. In fact the first thing I was asked was to pass around my art journals, if I didn’t mind. I got a lot of compliments on my journals and enjoyed seeing what the other ladies were working on. There was a multitude of painted projects from seashells and canvas, to painted collage, mixed-media and abstract art.

I felt compelled to draw, paint, sing, munch and chat along with these women and I enjoyed every minute of it. I worked on a doodle page in my art journal with no insecurity. I had already realized that this was a safe space to be myself. We laughed and as we created art we also produced the foundation for friendships and collaborative community.

I stayed and chatted with paint on my hands for as long as I could stave off fatigue. When I left to drive home that night I was surprised at how easily we all shared our own lives and art and how necessary it is to feel a part of something that is bigger. I hadn’t realized that I had become lonely for people whose vision mirrored my own.

As I drove home, I sang along to my favorite lyrics one more time thinking about our new tribe and all of the fun yet to come. For these women artists and I, loneliness is so passé.

So May I introduce to you

The act you’ll know well through this site…

Carmen Torbus' Lonely Arts Club Tribe

Author: Katrina Kniep

See more of Katrina's work on her blog!
Contact Katrina:


  1. I am so grateful to strangers-to-me Lauren, Tara, Carmen and Christine for treating Kat so well! Kat, I'm glad you found these artists. You have inspired me to break out of my "shell" a bit and find a group of creatives like this in my own town. Music, sketchbooks, photos, chatting and snacking with others who are unique, curious and creative? I can't think of a better time!

    Great entry, Kat. I love your writing, and your sense of humor. Keep creating -- in both the text and imagery realms! ;)~

    <3 Erin

  2. The Soul Of the Artist bounds above the words of a cynic, reaching across the universe with the innocent power of children's laughter.
    It soars above the practical and reaches for the inevitable. The soul of An artist sees with the eyes of the heavens, feels with the depths of the oceans, contimplates with the moods of the moon, and smiles with the rays of the sun. The soul of an artist is a magnificent crowning, with soothes other souls from the droll of unfullfilled life.
    Bless the soul of the Artist and you Bless Yourself.

    Lil M.

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