Saturday, July 17, 2010

Halfway Point

I'm at the mid-point of my third residency. Art made, friends made, and more to come. Gotta admit I'm a little tired out by the constant activity and busyness, however! I can admit I am homesick for my little house in the woods and my Fromage.

Above, the bed I made in my studio to nap in the afternoons. A quick fix, then back to work.

Breakfast with my art posse here. I've made friends with several fellow low-residency MFA students---fine artists, all.

A shot of my current pallette---all oilbars, all the time! No tools required---it's like painting with big oil crayons. I prep the paper with acrylic matte medium or a thinned gesso. It's not perfectly archival, but it's enough of a gesture in that direction to satisfy my guilt complex about the whole thing.

A painting in progress. I tentatively titled this one, "It All Comes to Fruition." This is a grand departure from the gold leaf/acrylic/fine ink illustration paintings I do in my home studio. Mostly, this VSC work is due to feeling free to do anything I want without the expectations of having to show it...ever. (Although, a few of these are really wonderful, if I say so myself, and I'd like to get them out on view someday.) Above, oilbar on paper. 30"x44". (Unfinished!) Most of my paintings are this size, and I'd like to go even larger. I've done six finished paintings so far. I never run out of ideas. Always a good thing.

In the evenings, it's all a matter of relaxing and cooling off. A group of us often go sit in the river in lawn chairs, sip a beer or glass of wine and watch the sunset and tell stories. This is Jason (PhD!) most recently of New Hampshire. He's a theory and conceptual sculptor who works with wood, felt, sewing and paint, among other things.

This is James, from just down the road. My local contact, as it were. He's also a sculptor---paper mache, primarily.

Our usual haunt. This is the Gihon River which flows right by VSC and is shallow and cool and perfect! We get a good scare once and awhile if a crawdad creeps over our bare feet. Usually, a duck and ducklings are hanging out nearby and we get to listen to the local frog inhabitants groan and chirp from the weeds at the shoreline.

Sunsets have been beautiful here. Each day ends with a lovely cool summer evening. It's a quiet crowd this month, for the most part---serious artists and writers intent on making work, not mahem! Some of the poets get a little rowdy with their favorite drinking game of "Stump" which involves a beer in one hand and a hammer in the other. (I played a round, it's not too dangerous...)

Two more weeks to go!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

An evening view of the Red Mill. Vermont has been stuck in the east coast heatwave this last week. For an Alaskan woman, it's the tropics! In all honesty, it's wearing me out. I need some cool nights to compose myself. My studio and dorm room have been alternately stuffy and sweltering! Hopefully cooler weather is on the way and I can better concentrate on my painting.

An excerpt of a recent 40"x30" painting tentatively titled, "Winter Protectes the Hibernators." Pictured above is one of the Hibernators---in coldsleep, reduced to only it's spiritual mask. I made this painting to channel winter and all it's lovely coolness! I amuse myself greatly, sometimes.

I'm working solely in oilbars on heavy Stonehenge watercolor paper prepped with acrylic gel medium to seal it. Who knows if this has any archival qualities at all.... What I do know is that these materials make me happy right now, and I have no lack of ideas and inspiration when I'm working with them. Gotta go with what you know---you know?

Another critter from a painting that I'll call, "The Truce." It's a rather romantic painting at it's heart which, strangely enough, no one else seems to see. If all artworks are autobiographical, that means that I've just painted myself as a nubile, red-fleshed bunny headed woman with horns. I think it means I like me quite a lot, because this character kicks ass! So entertaining...

So far, reactions to the four paintings I've completed have been rather desultory. I don't need accolades and acclaim to keep working, but a few choice compliments are always enjoyed. I haven't gotten around to many of the other studios to see my fellow resident's work. The slide show this week promises to be very revealing!

Now---to cool off and get back to the studio.