This is the first in a series of blog posts that I’ll be sharing about my art process and adventures while on a two-week art residency in Truro, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod (or “The Cape” to New Englanders).
Since I have only just recently returned home last night from my two-week art residency in North Carolina, I had only about 18 hours between when we got home from the 2 day roadtrip and the time that I had to leave for this Truro residency this morning. Fortunately my drive from home to Truro only takes about 2-3 hours, and the ride was nice and easy save a couple spits of rain around New Bedford.
When I drove down the driveway of Edgewood Farm, where the residency is located, I pulled up to the main office to await registration and instruction. I was shown which bedroom, bathroom, and studio would be mine for my fortnight here as artist in residency. At around the same time another artist was also just pulling up, so we introduced ourselves. It was nice to see some green grass and some daffodils blooming and a few other small plans sprouting on the campus, as last year when I was here it was way too cold and snowy for anything springlike to even think about making their way out of hibernation.
I unloaded the car full of art supplies and suitcases and blank canvase and brought them to their respective places in my studio and bedroom. As I was unpacking I realized that there was one backpack of somewhat importance back at the house. In this backpack were my changes of sneakers and sandals for going on hikes and beach-combing excursions. I also had my travel tea kettle and new favorite mugs in there, one that says “Create” in large letters, which I’ve used as my get-going signal to start my studio routine each day.
I was pleased that the studio I have this year has three windows along one wall, as opposed to my dark corner last year with a single domed window off to the side. Now that it’s slowly becoming more and more like spring, I hope to be able to have the windows open most of the time so that I can take in the fresh air while otherwise working in oil paint fumes all day.
I took some time to unpack my art supplies and set up the tables and easels in the studio space to maximize efficiency in my painting workflow. I left one corner of the long tables open so that’s what I’ll use as deskspace to keep track of my goals, daily planner, lists, and my computer for blog writing and photo processing as I go and explore the area this week and snap some photos that could possibly used as paintings. I put the tables in an L-shaped configuration, with my paints and solvents and palettes on one, and my tools, sketching materials, and technology on the other.
I took a brief break to drive up to the Ace Hardware store in Provincetown, just a 15 minute drive from Truro, to pick up a few items and tools that I needed. By around then I was starting to get hungry for dinner, so I went to Montano’s, an Italian restaurant down the road. When I was here on art residency last year, I had passed it on my drives to P-town, but I had never stopped in to check it out, so I’m rectifying that on my first night here. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to take some food home that can then be used for dinner for another 1-2 meals.
I sat at a table for one, with two chairs. The waitress took my order and brought bread with olive oil dip and cheese in separate sections of a dish, so I tried dipping the bread in the oil first, then dipping it in the cheese to have some cheese stick to the bread. It was delicious! For my entree I had been thinking of getting fettuccine alfredo upon arrival, but then I found out that one of the specials was goat cheese gnocchi, so I had to try that. The platter had fettuccine with a cream sauce, gnocchi, prosciutto, and figs. The flavors really blended together well. I set aside about 2/3 of the meal to go home in a box, and then the waitress brought out a Nutella cheesecake. I thought that the dessert would literally just be Nutella flavored cheesecake, with maybe a drizzle. This was nutella flavored cheesecake, but it was also chalk-full of hazelnuts and peanuts throughout the cheesecake, making it much heavier than it otherwise would be. I took a few bites and got the rest to save for later, even thought it was very tasty. I’m not used to my cheesecake being crunchy, so it was a little bit of a surprise.
I returned back to the farm and took some time in my room so unpack and hang up my clothes and settle into the room. I made up the bed with the sheets and comforter that I had brought, as we were told to bring our own bedding and pillows. Once I got all settled, I went upstairs to my studio (it’s all in one renovated barn building) and busted out my daily planner, notebook, and computer and started to coordinate the events I was told was happening at the residency, and come up with a game plan for my goals for this residency. I reviewed my day and started writing up my blog post for day 1 (as I am typing this). Eventually my eyes just started watering from being so tired, that I retired to bed around 9:30pm, which is relatively early considering how late I had stayed up on my last art residency in North Carolina just a few days ago.