This photo shows the generously huge and well lit studio I was given on the first day getting settled in. It brought tears to my eyes! I didn't dare measure it. Big. it was big. yay!
The center runs so smoothly and seamlessly. Everything there is organized to support creative people in their endeavors. From spacious studios to work in, private rooms for housing, and the warm and inviting dining hall with the most delicious meals ready for us like clockwork. My stomach still wishes I were there!
For those of us not on a full Fellowship, there are still ways VSC helps artists to make their residencies happen. II received a partial Merit Scholarship, and was able to exchange work-study hours to also help with the finances. Even if I hadn't had those assists, it is well worth the expense to have such space and care taken for all of us.
In preparing images for these posts, I realize I only took some photos of other artists during our Open Studio, which was held on the Thursday before two-week Residents like myself would be leaving on Saturday. I'll post some of that on a later update. While I don't have much evidence of the other artists to share, I consider their presence a great influence on me. There were Resident Slide Nights, Resident Writer Reading Nights, Visiting Artist Lectures...There was a lot of energy, inspiration, information, language, concepts, techniques to take in. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to be among them.
So the following images are more studio based, sharing the different types of work I was exploring while there.
Enjoy, and please get in touch!
Basically, I started off with the fiber techniques....sewing up some bundles to dye, hand stitching on other pieces to slow down my mind and be present.
Besides enjoying that quiet time, I'd also brought my old-school cd-walkman with headphones to listen to books on tape and/or music or David Sedaris. The studio policy is not to play music, out of deference to each artist's practice and privacy. Which is pretty cool! While it may be a quiet building when everyone is deep into their work, there is a ton of creative energy to be felt!
Part of my proposal was to try to work with mixed media approaches and finding ways to integrate them with my textile techniques. I saw though, that I needed to work with the familiar first, to get my mojo going as it were. Then I began....and whenever I hit an unfamilar wall (often), I found myself back over at the other table, stitching or ironing my fabrics. Creature of habit! But I kept venturing back to the paint table, to stretch my wings to a new area.....
The middle image shows the stage where I adhered the silk to the canvas with more medium, then began painting more layers of colors to bring out my image.
The image on the right shows it futher along. It is still incomplete at this time, but I did paint some more layers, then added color pencil details and have also stitched small accents into the piece. I will load those images soon, but knew it could be awhile since I'm currently at the pondering stage, to decide if more stitching or other details are needed.
My inspiration is a path to my memory of living near frogs. I want to convey the mood of swamp colors and humidity, fog and quietude but for frogs singing...of the silence and the noise that only remote areas give us. Maybe by painting it I can bring real life living near frogs to me again!
Either way, would that I could have a VSC Residency for 6 months! I would get so much accomplished....really the two weeks was wonderful. It felt like I just was getting into a groove and becoming braver with learning how I want to combine mixed media with fiber. But I will continue with the works that are started, and try to post progress as I go along.
There are more projects and other things from the Residency that I'd like to share, but I need to go do some other work now.
Time to step away from the computer! and enjoy some studio time.
Thanks for reading, Please email your thoughts and comments!