Sunday, May 31, 2015

Days Fourteen and Fifteen

Day Fourteen went a little something like this…

My mica mineral collection is growing.

"What is it baby goat, can I help you with something?"

"Awww…well, I love you too."


basket and pinecone

sewing machine and cabbage

tree stump and chair

Day Fifteen was pretty solid...

First painting at Rensing complete!  Cabbage.

I saw a snake in a tree.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Day Thirteen

Above is my favorite tree at Rensing.  I gave her a visit today and after saying hello, turned around and headed back the way I came.  A little further down the trail I felt pulled to explore the little nook below.  A shiny glint of something caught my eye (found out later it was the mineral mica), I crouched down by the water's edge to get a closer look and a wonderful thing happened...

I had one of those rare moments in adulthood when you find yourself doing something you did as a kid, like being hunkered over a stream looking at rocks, and you're getting dirty and it starts to rain but you don't care because you're lost in curiosity.  You are connected to that long-since-used child brain that runs on wonder.  It is such an important thing to be reminded of.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Days Eleven and Twelve

Day Eleven:  Fellow residents, Ann and Lindsay, and I took a 30 minute drive to Twin Falls and it was not only gorgeous but a great recharge for us all.  After our sightseeing adventure I moved my living and work spaces to a more private area and it is a glorious thing.  I see much work being accomplished in the very near future.

Day Twelve:  I feel today was my first full-fledged solid work day.  I had a great studio day which I broke up with small hikes around the property and ended the day with Ann and Lindsay over dinner.

Bob escorted me to coffee this morning.

I met this little dude.

I visited this flower as it followed the sun throughout the day.
Here are the times each photo was taken from left to right:
8:15am, 9:30am, 10am, 1:45pm, 4:30pm 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Days Nine and Ten

Day Nine:  Escape to the woods.
Long strands of uninterrupted concentration have not been common in Pickens.  Day Nine started off with a rumbling truck parked outside of the studio.  Even though it was impossible to focus on my work I was grateful for this truck because it was emptying the septic tank which has been the cause of being bathroomless and for the most part kitchenless.  Today began with the loggers sharpening blades in front of the studio.  At this very moment they are using those blades in the nearby woods.  But the sounds of falling trees and men wielding chainsaws is muffled by the rotor rooter guy doing damage on the bathroom plumbing.  *please fix the plumbing, please fix the plumbing* Annnnd…the electricity goes out…Day Ten, you have reached comical levels.

The building that houses my living space and studio is a constant hive of activity.  This activity is not what I had in mind when I was rocketing on a plane towards the rural community of Pickens, SC but I honestly believe if I can find a way to make work here, it will be a new way of working which will inevitably produce a new kind of work which is one of the main reasons for doing residencies in the first place.  I most definitely do not want to give the impression that all moments are a struggle, there are many wonderful nuggets throughout the day.

Day Nine:  We celebrated Lindsay's bday with dinner and cupcakes by the fire.
Day Ten:  I made the acquaintance of this rat snake in the pasture.

The distractions and disappointments have me hellbent on coming home with a solid series and that energy is conjuring up studio progress that I am excited about.  That means this journey has so far been a success - success that has taken a very unexpected route…one I could have never anticipated. Below are some progress shots.

Sandpaper is now my friend.

I know, I know…the most challenging experiences provide the biggest lessons and rewards.  Besides the direction of my work (very excited!) a huge reward is realizing just how wonderful my life is back home.  In the midst of today's chaos, I received a respite in the form of a beautiful letter.  I am so grateful for this experience and look forward to cultivating the seeds of inspiration it provides.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Day Eight

Bullet point breakdown of Day Eight:
  • coffee with goats (saw two turkey)
  • studio time
  • laundry
  • studio time
  • watched a tractor demolish a double wide trailer
  • grocery store (was in desperate need of ice cream)
  • ate ice cream with goats and fellow resident, Lindsay (saw mom and baby woodchucks)
  • studio time
  • showered at Lindsay's place (day two no bathroom at mine…grumble)
  • studio time
  • sleep 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Days Six and Seven

I started Day Six with these little dudes.  There is a perfectly placed log in the middle of the pasture that I have deemed as my morning coffee spot.  The rest of the day was a little rocky, there are a lot of distractions which has made working a challenge but Day Seven had me setting my stride.

While sitting on that very log this morning, decisions were made on the subject matter for a series that will go on the pink-painted panels.  I grabbed my camera and went in search of reference material - all of which I wanted to pull from interior and exterior spaces and objects from the Rensing Center property.  I've paired the photos I plan to use, so here is a "I think I know what I am doing but not completely sure and definitely not ready to articulate my thoughts" sneak peak.

After the reference hunt, it was time to put pencil to paper sewing machine-style.

Next it was time for a photo shoot of things I think are awesome.

Side note:  I totally found this bottle under some leaves.

Side note:  The sewing machine lives in the library.

Then it was time to hang with Bob.

Side note:  Bob is my friend.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Day Five

Settling into a new environment can take awhile.  The biggest part of that, for me anyway, is squashing preconceived notions of how you anticipated the experience to be and simply letting it unfold organically.  Overflowing toilets, noise from logging, and more than expected foot traffic through the studio are examples of what I hadn't fit into the equation.  But those things are all just a drop in the bucket when I look back on what I saw today…

Worm's eye view of the field by the pasture.


I am pretty sure this is the best swing in all of South Carolina.

This little guy is…total. stretching. his. neck.

I made progress on the panel paintings - unsure of what is next but spent the first part of the morning by the waterfall brainstorming and most of the day sweating in the studio.  Let's do this!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Day Four

This is what the studio looks like first thing in the morning...I dig it.  The panels made it safely here, thank you so much US Postal Service.  I am still not 100% sure what will go on the panels besides paint so I thought I'd start there - shades of pink…ok brain and heart, if that is what you want.  After applying a foundation coat (2nd image) I applied some washes and then sanded each panel (3rd image).  That is the process I plan to follow:  add, remove, add, remove…

A visit to an enormo flea market provided the excitement for the day.  I have never in all of my life been to a flea market this large.  It was overwhelming - you could purchase anything from live animals to toothpaste.  Surprisingly the biggest representation of goods was in the form of socks and pocket knives.  Who knew?

Are you in need of a bag of baby arms, hubcaps, or perhaps a baby pheasant chick?

These are my purchases.  

The flea market still life shot inspired me to set up a nature still life.   

This little dude was trapped in the studio trashcan.  Go back to your fields Brother Mouse.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Day Three

I started my day sitting at the big wooden table in the library.  I went through my journals and workbooks with all of the words and sketches from The More I Build You series to get a better understanding of the work I want to do now.  I still don't know the answer but I am getting closer.  Soaking up this environment will help guide me and that includes tonight's lovely dinner gathering.  My dining companions consisted of four creative woman including Ellen (Rensing's director), Lindsay and Ann (fellow residents), and Katie (the intern).  I feel we have the ability to rustle up some good energy that can help fuel work in the studio.

The day began in the library and ended at a dinner table but there were some great moments in between such as a photo expedition around the grounds.  Above is one of my favorite combinations…an indoor/outdoor comparison collage.  And then…BABY GOATS!!!!!