I can’t believe that it’s Friday and that I’m already 5 days into my art residency here in North Carolina! I feel like I should have had 4-5 paintings in process already by now, but that would only work if I was spending literally every waking moment in the studio from 6am-11pm, but I’ve been working on pacing myself, so that I give each painting its due attention, and so that I can also take in the scenery, watch the horse competitions, interact and network with people here, and sample the culinary scene on campus. So even though I only have 1 canvas in process and 1 painting on the way, I’m still content with the life balance that I’ve aimed to include during my art residency.
This morning we got to the studios around 10am, and then I went next door to the coffeeshop, which had been closed since I arrived but it’s finally open! I ordered an earl grey tea latte, which was very good.
With my tea latte in hand, I analyzed the blue mountain rain painting to see how the drips had moved after its second overnight dripping. Surprisingly, there wasn’t anything disturbing about the drips, as they each moved into places on the painting that made sense, so I didn’t have to overly edit the painting, which was reassuring. But as I looked closer, I realized that there were 5-6 bugs stuck in the paint! So I very carefully took my fine point brush and feather brush to delicately remove the insects, then smooth over the “hole” left by their removal.
Since the first painting I worked on was well in hand, I decided to start putting paint on a second canvas just waiting for action. I am working on this painting inspired by photos from the previous night’s beautiful sunset over the mountains. I toned the canvas first to reflect the gradient changes from blue to purple to pink to orange to yellow.
Then I worked on adding silhouettes of the mountains and pine trees on the sunset horizon, mixing my own black color from purple, blue and raw umber and mixing it lightly with liquin so that it will dry just a little faster than the rest of the paint, so the paint drips will fall over the silhouette rather than mix with it. I emulated the texture of the trees as I saw from my perspective and was content with how they came out. I began to apply a few rounds of thicker paint to the purples and blues of the sunset, then we had to start getting ready for the artist reception that would be held tonight for people to meet the artist in residence — me!
We moved tables to the courtyard area between our studios and Tammy’s shop/gallery. Then we hung one of my dry, finished paintings on the exterior wall over the refreshment table, and we put two other paintings on portable easels outside by the sidewalk for passers-by to see as they walked around the campus. I went through my messy art studio and tried my best to tidy up the studio so that visitors can come right in and see the two paintings in progress. It was kind of hard to have it look super neat and clean when I had puddles of paint under the easel on the dropcloth. Tammy put a few of her sculptures outside, too, as a small preview to promote the join exhibit that she and I will have in Italy later this summer. Once everything was mostly set up, we ran home to quickly freshen up and change for tonight’s reception.
I wore a blue cocktail dress that has quickly become my favorite dress, and it matched the blues of the Blue Ridge Mountains rain painting that I have on the easel. We had a small trickle of people come out of the woodwork to come into the studio and gallery to take a look at my artwork and to chat about my process. I always get very passionate and excited when talking about my Abstracted Rainy Moments collection, so I hope that my enthusiasm for art shone through to those that attended the reception. I answered many questions on process and paint and had a great evening sharing my art with some folks. A lot of people that came through were very intrigued with the blue mountain painting.
After the evening, Tammy and I and a friend of hers went to the Legends Grille to get a late lite dinner of soup and bread. We chatted and laughed about the day and the reception and shared feedback gathered from visitors. Then we turned off the lights in the studio for the night and went back home where we stayed up past midnight talking and laughing and having a relaxed time now that the reception was over.