I can’t believe that it’s already Saturday! By my calculation I have just 6.5 days left here! This is right around my halfway point — this residency is already flying by!
This morning I woke up at 6am because I had to use the restroom, but that felt too early to officially get up, so I set my alarm for another 2 hours and got up to shower and start my day around 9am. I wasn’t sure what direction I was going to pursue today. I went to the studio to brush up the first two paintings and to wire up a third. Around 11am I decided I would go to PTown to get a few things at the hardware store. As I was working up in my studio everything felt really humid and clammy. When I walked outside it was breezy and cool, so I needed to pick up a studio fan just to keep air moving, along with a few supplies needed. Before I left I took a brief walk around some of the fields of the property, visiting in with the other studio in the print shop on campus.
I parked on Commercial Street and went first to The Purple Feather since it was a nice day and I had already had lunch at the farm, but I hadn’t yet tried the gelato that I saw that they had the other day. I ordered the chocolate salted caramel swirl gelato. I went and found a chair on the outside patio to enjoy this treat. Also out on the patio was a couple with a golden retriever and what looked to be a black lab. The goldie was totally calm, very chill as all these people and other dogs walked past. The black lab, not so much. A puppy, it kept wanting to sniff and follow each person and canine that walked past him. The couple kept the dogs close on their leashes, trying to just keep the young one calmed down. We chatted briefly about their dogs and travel. They said they were originally from York, PA. I said that I had just stayed in that town 2 weeks ago on our drive up from North Carolina, what a small world!
I stopped into the TrueValue hardware store just across the street and got a few things that I needed, put them in the car, and then kept walking. I noticed that at TrueValue, there were stuffed chickens sitting on the BBQ grills for sale. Interesting. I continued walking down Commercial Street, noting the quaintness of everything.
I didn’t really have an agenda, it was just a nice Saturday afternoon and it seemed like the village was finally coming alive with crowds and crowds of people. I went to a coffeeshop called The Wired Puppy and ordered an ice blended chai, sitting and doing some people watching while I was there.
I continued my afternoon stroll, ducking into galleries that were finally open, along with shops and stores, seeing what they had and getting a better sense of the retail in the town. At the Four Eleven Gallery, I met and chatted with a Provincetown artist that I had met on a few occasions from visiting residency artists and from my own last residency in Truro. We talked about her artwork and commisserated on the artist’s struggles in life. She was very pleasant and wonderful to talk to. She even offered me a band-aid for a small scrape that I had on my hand. She asked me about my work and checked out my website for a little bit, giving her impressions of my work. It’s always nice to talk with another artist. She said she’d come to the open studios this coming Thursday afternoon.
I realized that it was getting towards late afternoon and my earlier bowl of cereal just wasn’t cutting it, so I went to Box Lunch and ordered a chicken pesto “rollwich,” their version of a pita wrap. Just as I was sitting by a patio table eating my late lunch, it started sprinkling rain. It had been threatening to rain for most of the day, with gray skies and turbulent seas, but nothing so far. Of course the rain would come just as I sat down outside to eat my wrap.
I returned to the studio, a bit refreshed from my afternoon jaunt. I put on my apron and wired up another canvas. Right around then Kate, the program director, arrived at the studio with two metal H-frame easels, in response to my inquiry if they had them on hand. I already had few other easels, but noticed that their setup left the paintings vulnerable to falling off when I was aggressively applying the dots in a drum-like motion. I set up gutters and hanging wires for a 30×40 blank canvas, and another smaller 16×20 canvas for me to work on tonight.
I wanted to work on a smaller canvas today because it was a little more achievable in one day, and because the last painting I created had an unexpected result from not raining the painting before going to sleep for the night. I started mixing up variations on browns, umbers and sienas, intending to re-do a variation on last night’s painting composition but with far less upper gray to overpower the canvas upon dripping overnight. I went with a simpler sort of gradient of brown, red and ochre mountains receding into the distance.
I took a brief dinner break to talk to my parents on the phone and check in with their dog. I also looked up and booked up train tickets from Rome to Florence and back for our trip to Italy this summer to attend the 2 person art exhibition that I’m working towards. Once those were all set, I continued applying dots to the canvas. At some point Martha visited my studio and we chatted a bit, realizing that the other two artists had gone to stay with friends or family for the Easter holiday, leaving us as the last two artists on campus, so we made a plan to do Easter Sunday brunch tomorrow late morning.
Eventually I got to a point where I finished applying dots and moved onto dripping stando oil all over the canvas to lube it up for the rain technique, and then I used a broad brush and dipped it in the stand oil and used it to apply pressure from top to bottom of each section of the painting. I left it to drip overnight while I wrote up my day’s blog post, then I checked on the painting one last time before leaving the studio to go to sleep. Tomorrow’s plan included starting a new 30×40 painting in the morning before we head out for brunch.