Tuesday, July 30, 2013
looking forward to platte clove
I'm getting excited about my one-week art residency at a cabin by myself up in the Catskills, which starts Aug 4. I applied and was accepted back in the spring, and have pleasantly held the idea of it in my mind for the past few months.
I had written about how my paintings often embody a kind of stillness.
"My environment is reflected in my art, in one way or another, over time. Themes of sense-memory emerge, whether I am painting lush blades of grass, a sky of whirling snow or stars, or the effect of natural elements on man-made objects like old signs and buildings. It's often when everything else is quiet that the new ideas drift in and take shape. I've worked in small rooms and drafty barns, in an open field and a narrow storefront, and this shifting of my studio reminds me to be flexible and open to how the new surroundings will affect me.
I occasionally like to make temporary installations, for amusement and to explore the interior/exterior - a huge chair built out of firewood, a snowman wedged inside a phone booth; sometimes pictures result from these outdoor meanderings. My intended project will be a series of nature-based drawings, paintings, and observational writing, reflecting a solitary summer week in a remote cabin in a beautiful, wild place."
The Platte Clove Artist-in-Residence program is offered by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, and is situated in the historic and beautiful area where the Hudson River School of Painting, the first American school of landscape, was initiated in 1825. I visited the cabin in June for an orientation and to meet the other artists who would each spend a solitary week there. I'd driven up and up a winding mountain road until I finally spied it, surrounded by trees. We'd eaten lunch on the porch and hiked down to the nearby waterfall. They explained the kitchen, showed us the outhouse with its composting toilet, and gave us keys.
Now the time has come and I have to actually pack the stuff, fill a bunch of jugs with water, and say bye to internet for a week. That in itself will open up a lot of hours. I've been somewhat distracted, and while it's true I have the same mind wherever I am, it will be easier to focus said mind somewhere else for awhile, and back to the practice. I've set the tentative task of creating new work from what nature puts before me or what it may evoke. Rather than strictly from objects and images stacked in a towering reference pile nearby. At least I know I won't be absently forking up ice cream from a quart container while working, as I am currently doing.