artist residency

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ocean-Inlet morning sunBut I broke my wrist..  I was just getting to Ocean Inlet, was in the parking lot.  As i get out of the car my foot turn over and down I go.  Of course my painting buddies say “Is it your painting are” and when I say “no” they tell me to stay and paint.  But the pain got the best of me so I
took a few pictures and did this one at home in the studio.  Not right away of course.

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It’s Saturday afternoon and the week is winding down this week… this really wonderful week. I’m so happy to have had this experience, and I’m sure everyone else who is here feels the same way.  I’ve gone around and taken pictures of everyone in their studios.  Perhaps I’ll make some kind of photo collage.

I was completely open when I came here; I didn’t have a plan and brought only blank paper and blank canvases.  I think that worked out to a good thing because it made me completely open to experimentation.  Yesterday afternoon when I was finishing “Awakening,” the one with the rainbow hair and the overt symbolism, I had an epiphany; I felt like I I was free and expressive.  At that point, a few people came by said that they really liked it.

This gave me such a feeling of affirmation… like I really was in touch with something inside of me.

Later, I decided to use a new medium, a watercolor canvas, with the geometric painting I’ve been working on.  I had begun that one very very methodically, and some of it had to do with the readings I’ve been doing on visual intelligence and the way the eye sees and interprets certain objects.

Part of my planning and process was the study of it all.  This, in turn, opened a cognitive door that has brought me in touch with my own process, which tends to break down into a lot of planning and investigating various processes, such as photographing, looking, touching, reading, studying…  all the various sensory approaches I can use to communicate the topic and environment of the painting.

Usually it’s an emotion or a feeling.  It can be quite tricky sometimes, but I now feel that, at least, I’ve identified the process.  An example of this happened when I was working on this geometric painting.  I had begun with the portion I’d planned out methodically in advance, but new ideas began to appear and overwrite what I’d planned to do with each section.  The painting was interacting with me.  It was like being in a Jazz dance with each new move flowing organically from what had come before, but in a living, dynamic and unexpected pattern.

I’m looking forward to trying this with an entirely new image.  Now, that it’s happening there is so much potential and I want to do something different with it.

Of course, I still have the rainbow hair one to finish; I’ll always see it as a treasure because of what it gave me.

I’m going to top off this week by getting a massage.  I noticed one of my studiomates this afternoon strongly resembled toffee in the warm sun.  When I asked her about it, she told me our life model is also a masseuse who is offering a special price to the Vermont Studio Week people.

That is just too good to pass up.

Main Street Johnson, VT

I’ll get the massage, finish up my painting tonight, drop in at the readings being done by the literary arts people, and tomorrow is Open Studio… then back to the real world.

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Gihon River at VSC in ther Snow

End of April, at VSC by the River; typical NE weather

It’s Friday morning and  a good night’s sleep and a great breakfast is behind me.   The people here are great.  They were open to begin with, but as the week has passed, I’m really feeling like a part of the Vermont Studio Center.  We talk a lot about the sense of calm and enablement that this place brings and the changes this is bringing to their work.

There is a certain freedom that comes from escaping from one’s daily duties and routine and just focusing entirely on the artwork.  Although I must admit, listening to some of the stories that my fellow artists tell, I’m so grateful about the supportive atmosphere I have back home.  In some cases, the difference is so great that I don’t want to compare my situation with theirs.

In any case, I do feel freer.  I finished my painting of the river in the snow.  I used a splatter technique at the end to bring out the snow, and I’m very happy with the way it came out.

Then I started with one of the larger pieces of paper – the 22 x 30.  To first put paint on a sheet of that size is always a bit intimidating.  The image is a profile of a woman with her hair flowing back and her hair becomes a rainbow.  It came together well, but yesterday, just seemed to be a bit of a low-energy day, so I broke up the periods of painting with casual walks.  Then, in the evening, I stayed in the studio, the first time that I’ve done that during this week, and continued to work on my dream-reality.

As I added touches, I was really happy with the way it was making me feel; I was engaging with it, and it was so exciting, I almost didn’t want to leave it as the evening progressed.  Now, I have that to look forward to today as well as some other stuff.

This is such an enabling experience.  I’m so happy I had the chance to come up here and work.  With good fortune, I’ll have other opportunities to come up here.  This is a unique and wonderful idea.  I love it.

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It’s Wednesday morning and I’m just beginning to wake up.  There’s something positively tranquilizing about the cool Vermont air… besides these blankets are warm.

Yesterday, the weather, which had been lovely, decided to show its teeth.  Rain became hard rain– hard, cold rain.  Then, it became something that is known in Florida only as a legend—snow.  White, swirling snow.  The accumulated warmth of the ground melted much of it away, but the trees became spectral white shapes.  It looked beautiful, a bit sloppy, but still beautiful.

The snow inspired me.  That is it inspired me to stay put inside the studio.  Beauty has many different aspects and when one of them involves wet, cold shoes paired with a completely inadequate jacket, it is best viewed from a distance with at least one layer of Thermopane between the viewer and the viewed.

The time for the figure drawing class came and went and still the snow came down.  Contenting myself that the by now snow-covered landscape was as aesthetically satisfying as the human form, I took a few pictures.  Besides, I had taken those same views a day before and I plan to do a few studies in contrast.  You know the sort—winter and spring.  I didn’t need to tell any potential viewer that in Vermont those can be only hours apart.

Once the creative ice was broken, I took out the sketch of the river scene I’d made on Monday and re-rendered it in watercolor.  This took much of the rest of the day.  It came out so well that I began another, drawing from my earlier inspiration, showing the same scene in the snow.  I plan on working on it for much of today.

One reason for this dedication is that the snow is still falling quite enthusiastically, and there is a winter storm warning in effect until four or so this afternoon.

One of the natives commented that this snow was even after “the sugaring snow.”  It is so Vermont.  I just love being here and I’m looking forward to finding a place so we’ll have a permanent northern New England address.

Last night, I braved the outdoors to listen to the writers’ readings.  The various writers were reading selections from their works.  It was a wonderful change of pace from working in the visual and really enjoyable.  There were a wide range of material being presented.  One man read a comedic piece that was quite funny in a tongue-in-cheek way.

On the way back, I stopped off in the studio.  It’s interesting to get to know my “studio mates.”  We took the opportunity to do a bit of show-and-tell about our various projects.

Vermont Week at VSC


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