Thursday, October 29, 2009

Four Days Into It

Settling into the second residency in Vermont. This is a view of my studio building---yes, a former church!

My view.

A spot to rest from the rigors of the studio...

My only art supplies when I arrived...had to ship everything else..

A close up of the first painting/drawing I did here... #1. Oil pastels.
My project is to do one drawing or painting a day. So far, so good.

Close up of #3. Chalk pastels.

Close up of #4, more chalk pastels. By far, my favorite of what I've done thus far.
(There isn't a close up of #2 because it's butt ugly. Happens, you know?)
It's been a long day. Tired!
Thankfully, there is a dinner Halloween costume party this weekend and possibly some dancing afterwards! I brought my costume from home: the serious grad student prepared for art school.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Flying East with the Art

Traveling across the continent to school! I had a long layover in Seattle and got to spend a few precious hours with good friends Joe and Jan. I felt like I couldn't participate properly in conversation---already jetlagged or was it still this lingering flu that hasn't let me sleep in days? Regardless, it was wonderful to see them.

We stopped by The Fetherston Gallery where Joe has been showing for a few years. The large charcoal/graphite drawing on the right is his. Really beautiful work. He and I met back in the day when we were both going for our undergrads at Cornish College of the Arts and I know Jan from my life in Portland. She and I got to know each other in The Fabric Welders Alliance, our quilting group.

Flying on to Vermont, many, many hours later, I got to spend the day with good friend James and his daughter Eliza. She's 12, and I am positive that when I was her age, I was nowhere near as intelligent, mannered and thoughtful. It gives me hope for the future to meet a young person like this!
We went to the Shelburne Museum on the very last day of their open season to see an exhibit of vintage, racing and specialty designer motorcycles. Ooohhhh, you can bet my little heart went pitter-patter at the sight of all these gorgeous machines! In the presence of these bikes, I could feel something in my very soul react. For those of you reading who have known me since the olden days, you know what a unique, meaningful place motorcycles have in my heart.

Unfortunately, I didn't write down ANY of the designer's names.....very lax of me! I'll conveniently blame that oversight on my titanic jet lag. Look at these phenomenal machines! Can you just imagine riding one? Given the distance between seat and throttle, I kept thinking that they were made for large people...or small people with very long arms...

This was the show stopper. The paint detail on the fragile, elegant body panels was amazing. It has 2 engines and the gas tank is inside the rear wheel! And it runs! How it actually rides is anyone's best guess....only it's maker knows, for sure. Being near this bike, it was like being in the presence of a new species. A really fabulous experience.

Also at the museum was a huge, permanent exhibit of handcarved miniature and full size circus and carousel animals. James said that the goats were his favorite, and I have to agree on that one. The carousel animals all had these very shiny glass eyes and many had real horse tails to swish in the wind. A little creepy to go with your whimsy. Just like I like it.

Finally, I landed at the studio center to start my second residency. This is my cutie-cute-cute room! A good omen of things to come, I managed to get a full night's sleep......I think it's been a week. I feel much more myself today, awake and aware, after two weeks of flu-induced mental fog.
I am keeping busy today---getting settled, doing whatever errands I can. My art supplies don't arrive until this afternoon. I carefully planned their shipment: "Send second-day air UPS on Thursday and they'll arrive on Saturday. I arrive on Sunday, so I can get right to work!" What I had not foreseen is that "2nd day air" AK-VT actually means, 4-day air. So....twiddling my thumbs just that much until they arrive....
I did bring my travel water colors (translation: crayola kiddie paint set) and sketchbook, so I am not totally without means of creative expression.
I've already met a few really nifty people. My two fellow Low-Res students here this month seem to be kindred spirits, which is great. Last night at dinner I sat with a sculptor from Singapore and at breakfast I met a writer who is a retired psychotherapist who will be revising a novel while she is here. Great minds and talent abound! I can't wait to see everyone's work.
And speaking of working.....I'm going to get down and dirty with the Crayolas.....

Leaving the Freezing World

Tanana river view...
I'm heading out for my second residency at the Vermont Studio Center. Yay! I've really been counting the days for the last three months; so anticipating going back and reveling in the art immersion.
Before I left AK, I had to finish several paintings for two shows I had agreed to do: an invitational group show at The Annex, and the 6th Annual Woman Show at The Alaska House. It wasn't a good idea to take up these invitations, as I was working on a large portfolio project for school that took more time and effort than I could ever have planned on. Regardless, I got everything done.



Acrylic, acrylic ink, gold leaf on wood

This painting I finished the night before I left....! I hate doing things last minute, but I'd imagined the finishing steps of this piece so much that actually working on it was smooth and trouble free (not always the case). My idea for the intricate drawing was seed images, morphed. I wanted to show a drop seed---one that has appurtenances that allow it to move/fly/fall farther from it's parent.

Of course, when I showed this painting to Fromage, hoping to get a good, straightforward appraisal he said, "Jeez, what's with all the giant sperm?"

Yikes! He's absolutely right, too. Since I'll be in Vermont, I'll miss the opening night for the show this painting will be in......good and bad, seeing as I painted giant sperm. I'll let my commrades and constituents in the local arts scene scratch their heads and wonder, haha!

Next up.....reports from 4,000 miles away.