art residency

so i’m going to be spending a few weeks at an art residency next year. i just got the acceptance letter. so now’s a good time to begin planning what i’m gonig to do.

the problem is that when you go on a residency, your plans go out the window first thing, and the place tells you what to do. or should sincerely guide your work.

for example, i’ve just been stricken, in the middle of the night, with the imabe of a painting of the view from the residence cottage, over the shining bay and over the craggy shore and into the deep mountains – as a bed quilt. i’ll dye the fabric there at the residency, and make it up when i come home.

i can plan with some confidence to be doing at least one quick little oil painting of my surroundings a day (and how am i going to transport up to 30 oil paintings back home again?)

i am already planning to take only raw ingredients and make up the colors as i need them. so instead of watercolors and oils and fiber reactive dyes i’ll be taking dry pigments, gum arabic, linseed oil, and fiber reactive dyes.

but will i take vast acres of material, maybe a bolt ot wide muslin sheeting, maybe pima cotton. how about 5 yards of silk satin, how about 3 dozen scarves, how about 6 yards of canvas (how much gesso will i need?), and a roll of watercolor paper. these are things that no longer fit the baggage requirements.

what i’m going to do is just pack the pigments and binders, take some cloth, but get my sister, who will be driving me out to the back of beyond where i’ll be staying, to go to an art supply store once i get to her house, and then a grocery store on the way down. she’s got an suv and isn’t afraid to use it. we’ll be all the way packed with provisions and i’ll have everything i need except for eggs and milk.

i won’t know what i’m doing, really, until i get there. but my head is already full of things i want to do.

usually when i go on a residency, i take my photographs and a bunch of canvasi and my paint boxes, and i paint a bunch of pictures, 5 at a time if i have the wall space, of anything that really wants to be painted, including my surroundings.

but this time i’m feeling my way, because i’m in full exploration of all the stuff i’m doing with fabric. i won’t know whether i’m going to be working on a project, designing something for later work, or making a bunch of things i can sell when i get back home. i could just continue the eperimentation i’m doing right here at home, altho it doesn’t seem worthy. i feel i should be doing something special with my gift of time.

i’m already fantacizing being up all night and again at the crack of dawn, putting color on fabric. going from one project to another, pausing to make bread and take a walk along the side of the cliff, being beset with ideas for what to do next.

but i still don’t know what i’ll be doing.


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