Truro Art Residency 2019: Day 5 (Fri)

This morning I woke up brightly around 7am and worked on finishing the blog posts from the day before, so that I could add photos and proofread and then post before 8:30am. I got most of this accomplished using my tablet from the comfort of my bedroom. I was even texting on and off with an early-rising art friend who recommended that I get to know one of her good friends who is also at this residency for the same period of time. She connected us via text message, so Martha and I put together a game plan to go get lunch and art supplies in Provincetown this afternoon.

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After I uploaded images and the final text to my blog post from the wordpress app on my tablet, I decided I would take an alternate approach to reformatting the layout of images in the article via using the program using a web browser on the tablet (as my laptop was still upstairs in the studio, and I was still too comfortable in my bed to go up and get it). But when I logged in to my website using the browser, it appeared that anything that I had written or photos I had uploaded to that blog post had disappeared, been deleted, vanished. I went back to the app, and it appeared the same — everything I had just spent an hour doing was now gone. Frustrated, and also succumbing just to a wave of lethargy, I rolled over in my bed, pulled the covered over me, and went back to sleep until almost 11am.

Eventually my body decided that it had gotten enough of this extra slumber and decided to wake me with the need to use the bathroom. At that point I was up and showered and got ready for the day. I went up to the studio and took a look at my undripped pointlism painting in earth tones from the day before, and used this moment to generously drizzle stand oil over everything, followed by repeatedly dipping my brush in stand oil and dragging it down the canvas, cleaning it, rinse and repeat. It was iffy as to exactly how the drips would result, but I couldn’t stay around for much longer because then I had made a plan to meet Martha, another artist in residence here whom my friend told me to connect with, so that we could go get lunch and art supplies in P-town around 1pm.

 

We met in the parking lot and drove to Provincetown, deciding to do lunch first and art shopping later, since we were both already hungry by then. I took us to The Purple Feather, a favorite spot that I’ve always tried to stop at ever since my husband and I first discovered it on our one-year anniversary trip to Provincetown many years ago. The place was busy, and the cafe smelled like brunch, like waffles or maple syrup or something, so we debated between whether we should choose breakfast or lunch foods, but then the waitress helped us with that decision by letting us know that they were no longer serving breakfast for the day, so we each chose paninis, mine with a side of their amazing famous mac ‘n’ cheese, and Martha’s with a side of New England Clam Chowdah.

While we waited for our meal we got to know a little more about one another’s artwork, family, life, residencies, and more. The food came and it was really delicious. Just as we were about to receive the bill, I reached for my cell phone in my pocket, which has a wallet in the phone case containing credit/debit cards, to pay my part of the bill. Then I realized that my phone wasn’t inside my pocket, so I frantically searched my purse. It wasn’t in there either. Embarrassed and slightly frantic, I thought maybe I accidentally left my phone back at the studio, charging. Martha graciously offered to pay for lunch this round, and I promised I would pay here back once we returned and I had my phone (and cards) in my possession again. I got a to-go box for the remainder of my mac ‘n’ cheese, and we walked back to the car to put the boxed meal in the car while we stroll the “downtown” area of shops, etc. When I opened the front driver’s side door, there was my cell phone, on the floor mat, almost under the seat! What a relief to have my phone and cards back where they belong! Also, now I could pay back Martha for her generosity.

 

We spent the afternoon walking down Commercial Street and back, popping into shops and stores, checking out the little strip of beach behind some of the shops, getting a coffee. We ducked into a Portuguese bakery to get some sweet bread, a popular choice around Easter. When I had driven through last night, everything seemed really quiet, even vacant. Today there were hordes more people out with their dogs, families, significant others. It was April vacation week for local school districts, so there were kids out with their parents and pets. We stopped into a gallery or two to check out what they had on exhibit. The local military surplus store had a surprising variety of just random stuff: camping tools, sweatshirts, old license plates organized by state, seashells, wooden swords (I was really tempted to get one of these).

We stopped at a little coffeeshop and it smelled so good in there. We each got a coffee (mine was cold-brew New Orleans blend, Martha’s was hot pour-over coffee), sat and watched the ocean for a bit talking about life and society. We eventually decided to head back in the direction we came, after coming to the relative end of the boutiquey sections of commercial street before it changed over to residential and seaside resorts. Eventually we made it to the Artist Loft, the only art supply store this side of the Upper Cape, and it’s only open on Fridays through Sundays for April (their winter hours). I got a whole mess of stuff to work with: canvas, tools for encaustic class, more hues of ochre and sienna based oil paints, and some sturdy wide bristle and synthetic brushes I found.

After we got our supplies from the art store, we headed back to the car to return to Edgewood Farm, our residency “home.” We took the long route back, including going to the very far tip of P-town where there’s a jetty you can walk over by the Provincetown Inn, an old conference center and hotel.

We took a couple side roads and scenic routes on our way back, doing what felt like potential off-roading into narrow sand-and-grass roads to find a good vantage point to see the dunes. We passed by quite a few secluded and off-season summer homes, and went down one road that was too narrow with twigs and branches and just a little too sandy to try driving on in the lowest gear possible for my road trip. There was one part of the trail that felt a bit like an enchanted forest, the way the trees formed a tunnel around our car. We did get some good photos though!

While we were driving along these roads, out of the corner of my eye I saw movement that looked like some animal. I stopped the car and we looked a little closer (from the car windows) at what looked like some kind of wolf, coyote or gray fox (is that a thing?) It looked to be about the size of a large dog or slightly bigger, and it observed us very carefully, not approaching just watching, and then it stretched out, curled up to itch its hind quarters, and then snuck off into the nearby woods. Which canine do you think it was? I wish I had my better camera to zoom in a bit to get a better look.

One our way back we passed by Savory & Sweet Escape and Martha had never been in there, so we had to stop to show her what it’s all about. We each got a small baked good that we ate in the car (she a cupcake, me a small canoli), and then headed back towards the farm. We took a brief detour to see what “Pilgrim Point” was all about, reading a couple of the historical interpretive panels, wondering at some of the content. On one part of the panel showed a map that the original Pilgrims allegedly travelled in their first, second, and third trips to and around Provincetown. On a few sections of the map it showed a line that looked like either someone was fighting over the ship’s helm, or someone steering the Mayflower maybe had a bit too much rum at the rudder. I also wondered how could we possibly know the exact zig-zag patterns they took on that trip on those specific patches of sea and harbor?

Eventually we did end up returning to the farm, where we parted ways to each go put our spoils back in our respective rooms and studios. We agreed that we had a great afternoon adventure now and were glad to have made the connection with one another. Now we had to return back to the studio and maybe actually try to get some artwork done. Going on this short adventure thought helped me to return to the studio and get focused on finding out what happened to the second painting that I had just started dripping this morning, to see just how far the drips had gone in the last 3-5 hours unattended.

The drips were a little chunkier than I was happy about, which I had almost forgotten can sometimes happen if I wait until the morning to apply the rain technique because part of the paint dries slightly overnight. So I took my fan brush and worked on fanning out some of the drips and smoothing out others. I was a little overwhelmed with just how far the top gray had covered up some of the copper-sienna colors below, so I tried to unbury some of those colors, along with trying to uncover some of the “river” part that had been obscured by the colors that dripped over it. I also touched up the red painting a bit.

I went downstairs to reheat some dinner and bring it upstairs to work on my computer while eating, but I saw fellow artist and studio mate Patty eating dinner by herself at the dining room table, so I asked her if I could join, and she nodded. I’m so glad that did this instead of me just eating my pizza in front of my computer. She ended up sharing some wine with me and we ended up talking for about the next two hours! We talked everything from art process, to masters degrees pros and cons, career, websites, marketing, other art residencies, caretaking for spouses, art critiques, mentors, funny college stories, and more.

 

It was such a pleasure and soul-filling to sit down and have an authentic conversation over a glass of wine about art and life. It was also really lovely to earlier spend quality one-on-one adventuring time with Martha. I had begun feeling like some component was missing this time from last time I was here in Truro:  authentic conversation and sense of discovery with my fellow artists. I had passed some of the other artists briefly in the kitchen or at a meeting, but we each otherwise were just keeping to ourselves and to our studios, so to share two meals today with two different artists was very gratifying for my artist spirit. I hope that we have more of these throughout the remaining week that I have here.

After dinner with Patty, it was pretty late, but I returned briefly to the paintings on the easels doing one last brief touch-up before wrapping up my studio time for the day, putting covers on my paints and Gamsol containers, and heading to sleep.