North Carolina Art Residency: Day 1 (Mon)

This is the first in a series of blog posts about my two week art residency in North Carolina’s Tryon International Equestrian Center. 
I am honored to have been selected to be the very first artist of the Equestrian Artists of Tryon Artist In Residency studio program. These daily blog posts will detail my experience here.
Since the road trip to North Carolina will be about 14 hours of drive time (not counting breaks), my husband and I decided to break it up by stopping a few places to stay and visit with friends. On Saturday we left Rhode Island and stayed with friends in Pennsylvania. On Saturday morning we did the long leg of our trip from PA to a hotel in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Along the road we stopped for photos at a few of the “Welcome to Maryland/Virginia/North Carolina. We also noticed that the further south we got, the more signs of spring we saw. In Rhode Island, the temperatures were still 30-50*F without any big tree blossoms or flower blooms just yet, and as we kept going we saw flowers and blossoms and the temperature was in the mid to high 60’s (*F).
On Monday morning we left early to head to our final destination of the Tryon International Equestrian Center, where I will be the artist in residence for April. What should have been a 2.5 hour straight trip turned into a 6 hour trip, since we wanted to explore some of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Great Smoky Mountains region, as I wanted to snap some reference photos for use in my paintings. Along the way we also stopped a few times to try food from some of the food chains that we don’t have in our area, namely Bojangles and Hardee’s. It’s all about just the right biscuit.
We noticed during our drive through NC and VA that there was an unusually frequent number of abandoned cars on the highway through these states. We weren’t sure if it was because we were just seeing a lot of road during our road trip, and thus seeing more abandoned cars on the roadside, or if it just was genuinely because there really are more left cars.
We arrived in Tryon around 4pm and met up with the art residency coordinator, Tammy. As we drove up the long driveway, we were escorted by the greeting committee, Jasper and Scout, Tammy’s dogs. When we got out of the car, Scout was already jumping up to meet us. The property is beautiful, with acres of pastures for grazing horses and livestock, along with a reflection pond and lots of trees and knolls.
We got settled into the apartment I’d be staying in, and then we unloaded my art equipment into the studio that I’ll be using during my stay. Then we drove towards Lake Lure to get dinner.  Along the way, Tammy drove us to a viewpoint where we could see Chimney Rock in in all its glory. We ate at an American meat-and-potatoes place right along the lake. After that, we drove home and settled into the apartment for the night. My husband leaves in the morning for his own road trip while I am here for the next two weeks on my artist residency.