North Carolina Art Residency: Day 12 (Fri) Last Days, Last Post

Today was Friday, my last day here at the residency. I made assorted filled pancakes for Tammy, my husband, and me for breakfast around 8:30am. Earlier in the week, I had joked with Tammy about my high standards for pancakes, based on my family traditions growing up making pancakes almost every other Saturday. While the apartment was fully appointed with pans and pots and mixing bowls, we had limited ingredients to use, so I had to compromise by starting with bisquick mix, but then adding yogurt and some other ingredients to improve the flavor and texture. I also cut up bananas and shredded a couple of apples, in order to offer plan, banana, banana-chocolate-chip, and apple cinnamon silver dollar-sized pancakes. Tammy’s dogs, Scout and Jasper, we’re sure to lay down right under the table to catch any scraps that might fall to the floor. This was our last morning with the dogs around since we’d be traveling home, so I didn’t mind.
While I had planned to head to the studio first thing in the morning after making pancakes, to work on the paintings one last day, we delayed in order to get our packing and cleaning of the apartment in line. I also received a few last-minute emails from my accountant regarding my 2018 taxes, so I was on the phone and email with their office for a couple hours in the morning figuring out some things in my tax filing that needed to be taken care of today, since taxes are due this Monday, and we’ll be traveling on the weekend. I got the majority of my clothes and toiletries packed, saving a few outfits for the morning when we leave early tomorrow morning.


I didn’t have any photos of my making the pancakes because I had to cook so much so quickly that there just wasn’t any time

By the time all of that was completed it was around 1 or 1:30pm so my husband and I just used the apartment’s microwave to heat up leftovers from restaurant meals out the last couple days. I got to the on-campus coffee shop next to the studios just a few minutes before they closed for the afternoon in time to get a cinnamon blended ice half-car coffee drink. When I got to the studio, I was happy to see that the overnight drips on the last paintings aren’t as bad as I thought that they would be — actually they fell into quite a nice looking pattern. I used my tiny fan brush to adjust and blend the drips, helping some drips along and deleting some others. Then I checked out the third painting to find that there wasn’t much that needed to be done to that one.

Pete hung around the studio, shooting some more action shots of me painting and helping with a few menial art tasks. Around 2:30 I decided to change gears and wrap up the majority of painting tasks, and shift instead to cleaning and packing away my art supplies and equipment for the trip home. First I put my tubes of oil paint away in the bag that I had packed them in, then I cleaned the brushes as best I could using the Gamsol thinner I had thought, but I didn’t have a sink right in this studio to finish up the washing, so I’ll take care of that at home. My husband acted as artist assistant with some of the other cleaning and packing tasks, such as drying the paintbrushes before packing them together, wrapping fragile painting containers, etc.

Once we got to a point where 98% of the necessary bags, suitcases, easels, and canvases were ready for the road. Before loading the car, we took a break for we three to go get a drink at the Silo Bar, a cool old hay silo that had been converted into a 360 view bar with a variety of signature cocktails, bar seating, picnic tables and even hammocks. We took a couple unoccupied seats and I asked the bartender to surprise me with which selection of fruity beverages she had recommended were specials unique to the SIlo Bar. From the silo bar, we had a pretty great view of the sunset in action, along with a few of a few horse practicing and training arenas.

After we finished up there, Tammy and I returned to the studio to try doing a few test prints of one of my paintings using her large format printer. While we troubleshooter some Photoshop and Mac issues of my old MacBook Pro, and then resumed printing with hers. My husband brought our SUV around to the studio to load. We packed in the wet paintings first that I had completed, using our new custom made painting transport rack, then we loaded in the other art supplies, only leaving one small fanbrush, small canister of Gamsol and paper towel roll to touch up the pink-purple painting after dinner.

After troubleshooting the print and loading up all of the important art materials, we went to dinner at Campagna, the Italian restaurant, because Tammy hadn’t been there yet after being a vendor tenant for over a year. I think both Tammy and my husband shared my thoughts of being glad that we chose to go there, because the food was excellent, and because we were the only ones in the restaurant at the time, we got distinguished and attentive and personable service. We split a bruschetta in addition to the delectable rosemary garlic bread and tomato jam that they provide complimentarily. I got the thin crust pizza special, my husband got cavatappi, and Tammy to salmon. After for dessert we had the light but sweet house-made gelato, which was also delicious. The waitress brought over a whole extra to-go box of the delicious Rosemary bread and a small container of tomato jam to go, awesome!


Addendum: Days 13-14 (Sat-Sun): Road Trip Home

While my husband and I had planned to leave to get on the road home by 7am, in all reality between last-minute packing and having a difficult time getting up, we didn’t leave until 8:30am. We plotted our trip to a hotel in Pennsylvania for the first leg, a 9 hour drive, and then we planned to do the last 6-hour leg of the trip home to RI from PA.

We said goodbye to Tammy and her adorable dogs, Scout and Jasper. I will miss them when I’m gone, they were so cute. And getting to spend time with and get to know Tammy a little better the last two weeks has also been really great.

It was a pretty smooth drive, with a couple pits stops, including Hardees for one last biscuit. Just before we got to our hotel, we detoured to go through the Gettysburg National Park, and to use the info center to use the restrooms. When we arrived, there was some sort of gala or fundraiser event going on and they almost didn’t let us use the restrooms. When we said we were all the way from RI, they let us use them.

On our way back out to the car, in the parking lot I saw a man in a tall black top hat getting out of the car. As I looked closer, I realized that it was a costumed interpreter (reenactor) of Abraham Lincoln. We got out of the car and asked Mr. President if he would snap a photograph with us. He gladly obliged and his wife offered to take the photo. That was the highlight of our road trip home! It was abe-solutely amazing!


Sunday morning we got an early start and arrived home around late afternoon. We ran a few local errands first, getting food for the house, some more supplies for my next residency, and then we got ice cream just because. Tomorrow morning I’ll be heading out to another 2 week art residency, this time again in Truro, MA, but for now I was glad to be home for the next 18 hours and at least sleep in my own bed for one night.