Technically, my day started off with an alarm at 3am.
On Day 12, I stayed at the studio late and ended up not only touching up the three stacked paintings, but I also started a new painting, bringing the total number of paintings to 9! I finally finished up in the studio around 2:45am and walked back to the cottage, right around the same time that the first fishermen were starting their engines and taking their boats out to the harbor. I went into my cottage, took a shower and going through my nighttime routine before going to sleep. A few minutes later, a startling alarm buzzed and lights flashed everywhere in the cottage. My cabin’s fire alarm was going off — at 3:00 in the morning, when everyone else is asleep. There was no fire in my cabin, I checked everything. The only thing I could think of was the sudden steam from the recently finished shower escaping the bathroom and hitting the fire alarm, as Greg and Shelley had warned us to be careful to happen. I called Shelley’s cell phone immediately, hesitant to bother to wake them up, but knowing that it was the right thing to do — especially since we were told that the fire alarms in the cabin are directly tied to calling the fire department, and I did not want to greet firefighters at 3am in my pajamas. Greg came down and fixed the fire alarm so that it finally went off. When I finally, finally put my head down on the pillow, I could still hear ringing in my ears from the piercing alarm noise.
I had set my alarm for 9:30am but I didn’t get up and going until 10:30am. I ate breakfast in my cabin and got ready, and then went over to the studio to get working probably around 11am. I took a look at the three stacked paintings and then examined the one pastel blues and purples that I had started at around midnight the night before. All four of the paintings seemed to be doing well — no major disasters. I took out my handy-dandy little fan brush and worked on blending, feathering, and editing the drips and drops on each of these paintings. This took up most of the short time of the remaining morning until it was time to have lunch.
We ate our (last!) lunch together out on the patio, taking in the beautiful cool weather and nice breeze. The lunch conversation was actually quite pleasant, not major debates or discussions like the day before. Since today is our last real day (tomorrow I leave at 10am), I realized just how much I will miss having these meals and company out on the porch, with the beautiful view down to the water through the trees. We talked about having a walk-through with Shelley, Greg, and each of us at around 2pm just to see what one another had worked on. I thought this would be just a short walk through, at about a half hour up to 45 minutes at most, so I had started to put paint on ONE MORE canvas — my last ditch effort to have a paintingly productive day and to have it be my 10th and last painting from this residency. My work plan was to do as much on that last tenth canvas as I could before 4:30pm, then I had to stop to pack up and clean up my studio space before dinner. Overall, the short walk through ended up lasting not 30 minutes but closer to an hour and a half. It was really great to hear a little from each artist about their work and their process and what their challenges were for these past two weeks.
After seeing everyone’s work, I as eager to return to my semi-blank canvas to get that rolling in the last 2 hours that I had remaining until I really did have to start packing up and cleaning. I chose just a simple color motif to put on the canvas, just a gradient gong from pastel yellow on top to orange, pink and then purple on the bottom, a slight inverse of some of the colors that I had incorporated in to the stacked three paintings inspired by the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain. Instead of putting a lot of very thick paint daubs on the painting, which would have taken much more time and was much more tedious than the time I had left, I stumbled some of the paint on in a much thinner coat, more of an undercoat. ThenI dripped stand oil over the paintings and proceeded to smear the painting with a paintbrush sopped in stand oil as I had done to the other paintings when I am turning my painting into a rainy moment.
By then, I had finished up what I needed on the painting, so then it was time to finally admit that the week had come to an end an that I was going home tomorrow morning. I cleaned all my brushes, took down the printouts of photos from the week from the walls and cork board, put several paintings in the rolling drying rack, wiped up drips that had fallen to the floor, swept and wiped down all table surfaces. This place had become a nice home for my art practice for the short two weeks that I was here. I couldn’t believe just how easily I had settled in and made the place my own. In the last residency I did, I was very cautious to keep all my things as close to packed as possible and never really fully let myself spread out with all my stuff. Here I had things in the cabinets, on all the shelves, and every easel was taken up with work. I packed all my art supplies into the bags and boxes that I had brought them in — I was actually surprised that all the extra items I ordered through Amazon fit in with all the original art supplies I had brought, without need to get a new bag or container. I broke down all the boxes and took out the last trash from the studio. I snapped a few photos of what the space looks like after being cleaned (save for the remaining three canvases that I will retrieve tomorrow morning), now it is a blank slate for the next artist who will inhabit this creative space.
We had (our last!) dinner together, as we have in days past for the past 12 days. Shelley made a taco lasagna with bread and salad, and it was delicious. We all toasted one another in the work that we had done, Shelley and Greg toasted we artists , we toasted to them for their amazing hospitality and support of artists. We took a brief group photo with all of us — I look forward to seeing that on social media, hopefully. We lingered a little around the table, our last formal gathering of this group at this one time.
After dinner, I returned to my studio to finish up the last of the cleaning and packing. Kaitlin helped me load my car with the drying rack of paintings and several other bags. Kaitlin, Sally, and I took our last selfie before Kaitlin left the studio to go to bed. I said goodbye to Sal on my way out, since she would be leaving long before I awoke in the morning. I made plans with Kaitlin to have breakfast the next morning on the patio at 9am, since we would both be leaving around the same time — I to Rhode Island, and she to New York. Christian passed by me while I was moving my car from unloading, with a ” stay in touch and take care” as he continued walking down the past to the cottages. I took one look at the studio before I turned the lights out. I returned to my cottage where I tidied up my living space and packed my suitcase. In the morning, I plan to wake up and pack the remains of my personal belongings in the car, check into the studio to tweak the paintings on the easel, then load them on the drying rack in my car. I look forward to having breakfast on the patio with Kaitlin. After that, I drive to Bar Harbor village to check out a gallery exhibition, of an artist from Cambridge whose art I love, and grab something to eat for lunch. Then I get on the long road back to Rhode Island.