North Carolina Artist Residency: Day 6 (Sat)

We rolled out of the house right around the same time as the other mornings here, after chatting over coffee and debriefing on inside jokes from the day before. Upon arriving at the studio, I first checked over the first dripped painting of the blue mountain rain, seeing that it didn’t move much, I just touched up a few spots.

I was eager to return to my second painting so that I could finish up applying more of the thicker paint daubs and dots before getting it into my signature “rain mode.” I put a series of dots in blue, periwinkle and purple, then I took a break to go get a tea from the coffeeshop. Then I put more paint daubs and dashes in magenta, mauve and pink. Then I took a lunch break at the Mexican cantina. When I returned I put more paint daubs on in orange, gold and yellow.

I finally got the painting to a point that I was ready to “rain” on the second painting, to see all those beautiful sunset colors drip down into striking drips and runs. I was also a bit nervous to see how it would go, since I had two sets of opposite colors on top (blue, purple) that would run into their opposites (orange, yellow, respectively). But artists take chances; what artist ever got anywhere playing it safe? This whole rain painting experience has been exercises in patience and letting go of control and responding, so this painting was going to be no different. I took my brush and my stand oil, and went to work dripping the oil on the painting first to lube it up. Then I loaded my paintbrush with stand oil and began the process of applying pressure from top to bottom of the painting to get the colors to start running together.

Once I had the painting running like rain, I took a walk around campus to take a break from the painting, to allow a couple hours for the surface paint runs to move on their own. I worked on a couple emails, sorted through some photos to decide what could inspire my third painting’s composition. I went and got a hazelnut vanilla caramel macchiato, checked in on the painting, then watched some of the horse jumping events in the main arena across from the studios. It was a relatively warm, sunny day, so then I went to the general store on campus and ordered a peanut butter fudge ice cream cone, because it seemed like the right thing to do. Apparently I wasn’t the only one with this idea in the afternoon, because there was a long line of people waiting to order their ice cream.

I returned to the sunset mountain rain painting again and observed how far some of the original drips had fallen, with good amounts of sky blue coming into direct contact with the orange of the lower part of the sky, etc. With surgical precision I used a fine brush and removed any visible brush hairs, and then with the same careful handling, I moved my fan brush up and down the canvas, blending some areas and helping some other drips along, removing drips and helping to smooth and blend others in.

Tammy’s parents had arrived to visit from a long ways away, so she asked me to keep an eye on the gallery and studios while returned to the house to get them settled in and visit with them for a bit. Since I would have a better viewpoint of all the art spaces, I used this as a good break time from the actively dripping painting to take my laptop and catch up on writing my blog posts about my art residency impressions and artwork process. I caught up to about 2.5 days’ worth of writing and photo editing.

When Tammy returned, we went over to the “What the Fork” party held at the Legends lodge area outside under the portico. There was a band playing rock and roll classics, and people helped themselves to the buffet, drinks, and dessert bar. Tammy and I got our dinner and then sat in the adjacent gallery space by the fireplace, and we finally had a chance to talk in more depth about various ways we can adapt and interact our different styles and subject matter of artwork for our joint international art exhibit in Italy in June 2019, less than 3 months away. We scribbled sketches and concepts for how we can blend my rainy landscapes, her expressive horse and tack paintings, and her bronze/resin horse and tack sculptures. Our show will be titled “Rains & Reins” to reflect each of our contributions and signature artwork. Now that the opening of the gallery, and the artist reception are done, we aim to use my remaining week here to actively paint together on these concepts we discussed. I am excited to see these ideas come to fruition.

 

After dinner, I put some finishing touches on the painting before releasing my painting to my gravity elves for the night shift, and then we drove home for the night, where I finished this blog post and finally caught up all my blog posts so that I would indeed be writing and posting them within 24 hours of each day’s happenings.