Pysanky artists seem to be few and far between here on the West Coast. This art originated in the Eastern European area of Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Lithuania etc. and immigrants brought it to this country. Like my dad’s family, most of them settled on the East Coast or across Canada and not so many came to central California where I live now. As a result it is rare for me to meet others who share my love for creating this type of egg art.
Thankfully the internet has put other artists within my reach. Just over a year ago I joined an online pysanky chat group and began learning new techniques and tips from our discussions. I thought I knew a lot about creating these eggs already, but found a whole new world of fun to explore. These new-found friends willingly shared knowledge and sparked a renewed excitement in me and my work.
A couple of weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to meet some of these people face to face at a pysanky retreat. Forty of us spent time hanging out together at a beautiful retreat center in Dalton, Pennsylvania. I walked into that place never having met anyone but immediately I felt like I was among “my people.” The names I knew became faces as we all spoke the same language and got excited about the same things. Together we took classes, admired each others’ work, freely shared ideas, and continued our own projects.