Getting ready for my Feb at Vermont Studio Center (yay!) was a little easier than preparing for last spring's residencies; I have a better sense of my adaptability, plus I'm not simultaneously moving out of my apartment. Since I've been living with a lot of my stuff in storage, the essentials are ready to go, with minimum deliberation. Sweaters, canvases, pencil case. (The words 'pencil case' always do make you think of the first day of school, don't they?) My most frequently used art supplies were within quick grabbing range to be packed haphazardly in typical last-minute fashion. I discovered I need to get some new, uncrusty brushes (funny how that keeps happening) and a few fresh paint tubes. Unbleached titanium lost its cap and dried out. The last-minute drama, self-inflicted, was only because I had to get upstate for a few days first to take care of the dog and horses for my mother, before continuing my northbound journey. I don't have to be in Vermont until Feb 5. I felt that I had more to wrap up this time before leaving Beacon, but then I usually have a sense of things unfinished. Maybe because nothing ever is, from feelings to projects and plans.
I've been looking forward to this residency for a long time. It was a year ago that I started thinking about it and deciding to apply, knowing that I'd have saved the money and that it would be an extraordinary treat. Though while it feels like a glorious privilege that I somehow convinced them to accept me, it also seems essential for my work, as the other two did. Not just having a separate studio in which to paint, which I do have now, but a new place to experience and new people to meet. I am also content with familiarity, find it comforting and stabilizing. I am increasingly able to focus, if reasonably equipped. Then wrenchingly life-changing things happen and I have to gather myself together again, with love, with time, with art.