Today was my last full studio day…would I be able to finish those final two blank canvases?
It was really nice to know that on this morning, instead of having to already be packing the car, we still had today to make art, relax and laugh before having to pack up the car tomorrow morning.
I was glad to not be waking up at 5:30am for the sunrise, nor was I recovering from a headache. I woke up at a normal 7am and started my day. I revisited the one canvas I still had dripping to see how it was doing. The beach blue that I was planning to work on was still pretty freeform and drybrush painted, but I hadn’t yet heard from the other artist’s curator friend to see if they wanted that painting exactly as it was at the time of the photo, or if I would be able to get to it to make it drip.
As soon as I finished working that one canvas, I put up two more blank canvases, one big and one small. These were my last two canvases of the twelve that I brought with me, and I was determine to paint on every single last one. For the large canvas, I wanted to re-do my attempt at painting a sandy path through dunes to the ocean peaking just beyond the hills — from the very same photograph I took and worked on the first day here. This time I wanted it so that the drips from the dark water didn’t overwhelm and drip over everything else, making it muddy and unintelligible. So for this painting, I went much lighter sand dune colors, and also put much thinner paint on the very top.
Just before I could do much else on the painting, Cherie, the residency director, popped up the stairs, arriving an hour early for our scheduled video shoot. Thankfully, I was already dressed and made-up to face the day. She had me sit in front of my paintings, and she asked me a few interview questions to prompt my answers while the camera (or iPhone) was rolling. We recorded these videos to help provide a testimonial and promotion for the residency program at Edgewood Farm, since it is still relatively new — we are among the first year’s accepted artists! Cherie mentioned that today was her day off so this is where she’d have to say her goodbyes. I thanked her for all her work with coordinating the residency, and we hugged and took an obligatory selfie to document the moment 🙂
After she left, I continued my work on the big canvas to make my dreams come true for my vision about repainting the path through the grassy dunes. Also, there was some really cool lighting coming through the morning window, so I stopped for my own artist selfie.
As I was working, I stopped frequently to take in the studio, the sounds from outside the window. I frequently checked my watch to see just how many dwindling hours remained for me in this artist haven.
A little later, as I was finally making the first painting drip, Nan came up to ask if we wanted to go visit another artist’s studio that we said we would visit. At that moment, I wanted nothing more than to finish these last two paintings. So she said that we could instead try to go one hour later, which would have been better, but I still preferred to use that time in the studio.
After I got that painting dripping, I faced my twelfth and final canvas, a small 12×18 inch canvas. I had only one hour to use to make something of this, so i turned to old reliable — a red, orange and yellow sunset. I threw paint on that canvas, in a frenzy, determine to have it covered and dripping by the time I had to step away from it. I also added three small pillars at the bottom of the horizon, the same tone as the ground, sort of metaphoric silhouettes of myself and my three fellow artists, to commemorate their influence on me these last two weeks. I had been incorporated into one each of their paintings, modelling for their portraits or figure paintings…but I’m not really a figure painter, I wasn’t sure how I could include them in my work. Finally, it came to me, and I was satisfied with this option.
Little did I know that as I was painting us three watching the sunset, Nan came in to say that the sunset outside was really spectacular — pinks and golds. Say no more! We jumped into my car and we raced to the best spot we could think of to watch the finishing notes of the sunset symphony — Herring Cove. The sunset was truly fantastic, with beautiful colors in an atmospheric fog over the water that gave it the sensation of only being a stage set backdrop about 200 feet away — as though we could touch it. This had been the type of sunset that I had been trying to capture the whole time we were here! Finally, on our last night, nature rewarded us with this beautiful colorscape.
After the sunset, we quickly stopped by that artists’ studio, but it appeared no one was home. We continued on to get a late dinner at Savory & Sweet, some panini then followed by a little of the restaurant’s homemade ice cream. It was delicious.
When we returned to the campus, there was a stillness and sadness to the air — it was our last night. And instead of spending the rest of the evening just sitting around talking and chatting about our fun adventures and breakthroughs from the last two weeks, each of us quietly returned to their studios to break down our setups, clean up, and begin to pack our art supplies into bags and boxes.
When I returned, I immediately first checked up on the last two dripping paintings waiting for some last minute attention. I used a fan brush to touch up the surface drips of each. Then I dove into putting away my oil paints, then my solvents, then everything else I had spread out onto two full 8-foot long tables. I left my remaining blogging station — laptop, journal, books and tea — because I could put that away in the morning. I took all the paintings down from their perches on the wall, and I put them in the drying rack to get ready for their trip to their new home in the morning.
Then I packed away some of the rest of my clothes in my suitcase, made a list of the things NOT to forget to do or pack in the morning, then I went to sleep here at Edgewood Farm for the last time on this art residency.