Day 5: My Golden Apple Art Residency (Thursday)

I went to the studio early today, ready to see how the overnight dripping of Painting #2 turned out. I found that the drips had gone fairly well, although there were a few more blue/gray drips intruding on the orange/yellow space that I cared for. One of the most difficult and risky things when creating an Abstracted Rainy Moments Painting is hoping that the colors don’t get muddy when they drip and run into one another, especially colors that mix easily, like blue with orange and yellow. One of the things that I do to try to minimize this issue is to make the orange on the bottom of the canvas really thing, and to make the blue and gray area above a much thinner daub of paint, so that when it runs, hopefully the orange and yellow stand a chance.

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I used a small fan brush to go into the painting #2 to get some blending and removing going. I removed a few of the blue drips that were blocking the sun, to enhance the vibrancy of the glow in contrast to the cooler colors surrounding it. I then touched up the Painting #1 just a little bit, as it’s towards the end of how long I can work on it until the stand oil forms a skin and then I can’t rework the surface any more. I got all this done by around 10am, because then Kaitlin (a fellow artist), and I were going to a whale watch/puffin boat tour with Robertsons Sea Tours. This is is a must-do recommended by the residency hosts, so we had booked an 11am tour, which would last around 3 hours (yes, a three hour tour…a three hour tour…).

The dock was just about half an hour away. On the way, we stopped at the pharmacy to pick up some Dramamine as a precaution against seasickness since we would be going out in the open ocean at the end of the harbor. We waited with another couple  at the end of the dock until the captain encouraged us to walk down the gangplank and get into the boat. Greeting us at the dock were two beautiful and very friendly Labrador Retrievers, one yellow Lab and one chocolate Lab — this is how I knew that we were going to have a good time. (Warning: I’m pretty sure I took more photos of the dogs than I did take of the ocean and harbor itself).

We got to see multiple islands, peninsulas, rock formations  and a few lighthouses and buoys. Some of the lighthouses were from the mid 1800s. One of the islands was even a place where wild sheep lived and grazed. As we kept getting further and further from the land, we could feel the impacts of bigger and bigger swells as we crashed over the waves. At some points our boat was so far deep in the midst of a swell that the horizon went out of sight for a moment. When I go on a boat on waves this big, it is always with a mix of anticipation, excitement, and also fear and anxiety and realizing just how powerful the ocean is, and how huge the waves are. I admire and respect the fisherman and boat operators that go out on the open ocean as a matter of their trade.

We did see some wildlife! We saw a few seals, both small seals and a few harbor seals. They were sunning on rocks like they owned the harbor. We almost missed a sighting of seals because they camouflage well with the rocks that they  were sitting on, then we realized that there were two pups — baby seals. They were a little smaller and a lighter gray color. We saw a bald eagle in the top of a tall tree, just before he soared over our boat. We also observed some puffins floating in the water like they owned the ocean.

At some point, I was beginning to feel just a little pre-queasy as the waves went over the bigger waves, and I remembered that I had left the Dramamine in the car. The lull and the rhythm of the waves and the bright sun made me feel a little drowsy, so I let myself nod off to sleep a few times, woken each time by a large wave or when someone exclaimed they spotted some wildlife. If I was slightly asleep, the queasiness went away. When we got back to the dock, we drive back to campus and we were so beat. I was sunburned and whenever I get too much sun, I am so exhausted, it takes everything right out of me — so I gave in, and I took a short nap.

After my nap, I went to the studio for a brief touch-up of the current painting, only to find that a fly had inspected my painting a little too closely — it was stuck in the paint. It was stuck in the sunspot, essentially the focal point for this painting. So I very carefully removed the fly without damaging any of the painting, then blending in the mark that the fly left behind.

Dinner was lobster mac and cheese, with garlic bread and salad. It was delicious. Dessert was cookies with vanilla ice cream. I turned in early after dinner, needing to get rest and put aloe on my sunburn.