the very idea of a container ship residency

it’s enough to set my heart racing.  i’ve been applying for residencies aboard ships since they started becoming available – late 2015.  and it’s okay if i don’t get in.  there are thousands of artists applying for an artist residency cooped up on board a ship on the open ocean.  and why wouldn’t they?

see, i’ve been trying to get on a boat for some extended period of time.  not to work, and certainly not to party in one of their many ballrooms and yuck yuck yuck.  i’ve always wanted to go to see on a tramper.  a local.  a merchant ship.  a bulk carrier.

bitd there weren’t any container ships.  there were cargo ships, and there was the QE2.  then the shipping container industry swallowed up everything else, and now it’s hard to hitch a lift on a steamer, because those container ships only hold 12, and they’re all crew and officers.

but recently it became possible to actually book passage on a ship again.  especially after eyjafjallajokull blew up in 2010 and ruined everybody’s air travel plans for a couple of weeks.  I was preparing for a residency at that time, and had to shelve my plans.  that’s when i started looking at the possibility of a long ocean cruise, during which i could paint all day and rock in my bunk all night.

and even more recently, there came two opportunities for container ship residencies.

one was negotiated personally by a woman of great courage, willing to face the stony responses of shipping companies until one said, sure.

the other takes advantage of the newly available booking companies for passage on board ship.

both offer three weeks on the ocean, where all you have to do is paint and show up for dinner.  a cabin of your own, and as much solitude as you can stand, with only the weather outside that changes, and the rocking of the floor beneath you.  in my case, the sloshing of my watercolors freshly applied to paper, and the running of wax as i try to burn in my encaustics.  maybe i could rig a sling to keep things even???

anyway, a residency application often takes as much time as a funding application, and i’m actually doing both.  i applied for the first container residency between xgiving and xmas, and then i applied for a residency aboard a scientific research vessel, and now i’m finalizing the application for the second container ship residency, and then i will go back to working on the funding application for a big public art project in iceland next year, after which i will do my taxes.

and there’s no art involved in this, not since i finished up a dozen venetian canal oil paintings in oil, and another dozen little venetian window watercolors for the local xmas market.  but i haven’t done anything since then, and my bedroom doesn’t even smell like oil paint at the moment.  waah.  but writing proposals is an art form in itself, and i love to write, so i’m having fun turning my vast unorganized outpouring into an artist statement and a proposal of no more than 250 words each.  hahahah.  but i do it, in the end, and it sounds pretty good, if a little romantic at times.  because i like metaphors.

i will post again soon, but i’ve waited already too long to post this.

here are the pieces i’m submitting for these projects.

gfdg

 

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