A Creative Week in HollandKristen Dettoni
In the spring of 2022, I joined a group of thirteen women on a Local Flora Field Guides trip to Holland. The trip was led by Kimberly Becker, Lauren Pignatello, and Susan Becker with the goal of experiencing the country while learning about the local flora and creating field guides. Each of the three hosts had something different to offer. Kimberly, an artist and designer, taught watercolors and embroidery. Lauren, a farmer and herbalist, taught all about the local flora. She walked us through the gardens showing us which flowers and plants are edible and how they can be used for medicinal purposes. Susan taught yoga classes for those who wanted to partake.
As an entrepreneur who works out of my home studio, it can be a challenge to just relax and unplug. With my office (and my work) always in view, setting boundaries can be challenging. That’s why to truly relax, getting out of my home is key.
Holland proved to be an idyllic vacation for an artist needing a little R&R. It combined relaxing with learning something new and meeting interesting people. Our home base was a lovely home in Abcoude near Anna Haen, a working farm and restaurant. Over the course of a week, we visited a beautiful tulip farm, ate our way through delicious cheese, bread, and chocolate in Gouda, and rode our bikes through the countryside.
We explored Amsterdam, visiting museums and browsing through shops. One of my favorite excursions was to Utrecht. There we enjoyed a leisurely paddle boat ride down the canals and a delicious final group dinner.
Holland’s spring weather was perfect.
Time outdoors, away from my computer proved to be so therapeutic for me. Spending time with paints and flowers got my creative juices flowing without the pressure of a finished project or saleable product. Kim, Lauren, and Susan were wonderful hosts. At every moment on the trip, we were well taken care of. The week was just the right balance. We had independent time to explore and time to take in all the amazing knowledge of our hosts.
I’m a firm believer in the power of travel to help reset your creative energy. I’ve signed up for many group trips by myself, including a block printing trip to Portugal and a natural dyeing trip to Scotland. I love that it allows me the freedom to spend time alone or go with the crowd. And with all the details of the itinerary planned, it’s a stress-free travel experience. Between my artist residency at Snow Farm and this trip to Holland, my creativity has definitely been energized. This trip inspired many of our popular Friday color palettes and The Netherlands Collection, a collection of patterns in our proprietary library.
Next up, I’ll be heading to Nova Scotia with ACE Camps in August! What type of creative vacation have you taken to refuel? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear about it!