Truro Art Residency 2019: Day 7 (Sun)

I awoke early at 5am this morning, woken up by the need to use the restroom. Since I had gone to sleep much later than I wanted last night (because as I went to take my before-bedtime shower, I noticed some black stuff coming up through the shower drain, and then had to deal with that whole situation, throwing off my anticipated bedtime), so I went back to sleep until 9:30am. Then I sprung up realizing that I had to get ready and also touch up last night’s new painting before Martha and I headed off to Easter Sunday Brunch at 10:30. I knew I wouldn’t have time to start a whole new painting, but I did touch up my existing painting, after examining how the drips turned out from moving overnight. I was overall pleased with the outcome.

Martha and I met up and drove to PTown to have Easter brunch at Fanizzi’s Ristorante, an Italian place right on the water that apparently had a broad Sunday brunch every Sunday, but an especially extended gamut for the Easter holiday. When we arrived around 10:45 the hostess asked if we had a reservation (which we didn’t), and she said that all the tables were booked up, with no open reservations until 1:00pm. She said she could let us know if someone didn’t show up for their reservation or if we wanted to put our name down for the 1pm slot. We were disappointed, because we had both skipped a normal breakfast and coffee/tea to be able to save our appetite for brunch at this place. We conferred and said to hold our 1pm reservation here because we were both really looking forward to it. But since we were both still so hungry, we got in the car and decided to go to the Purple Feather (which would be my 3rd time this week) to see what they had for a light breakfast while we dallied our time before our 1pm reservation.

There was zero wait for a table at Purple Feather, since I guess everyone else in town was already in line at Fanizzi’s. We got a table right away, as we were only the second party to arrive in the whole place. We ordered coffee and tea and agreed on trying the pancakes, with Martha getting the blueberry and me getting the chocolate chip pancakes. I ordered a mimosa just for our trouble. The service was prompt, and the fare was delicious. The Purple Feather pancakes pass my quality standards of approval as far as pancakes go. While we were ordering our breakfast, I got a call from Fanizzi’s saying someone dropped their reservation and if we would like to take it, say around 11:30am. By then we had already ordered our coffee and were in process of ordering the pancakes, so we declined the sooner reservation and instead opted to keep the original 1pm later reservation.

We still had about an hour or two left after finishing first brunch (as we referred to it), so we went to the Artist Loft art supplies store in town, and I bought some 18×24 canvases, and Martha got some paint. I also was distracted by a couple of extra large bristle brushes, which would be perfect to upgrade the size brushes that I currently use on my rain painting smear technique. Then we walked around town a bit, stopping into a boho-chic shop, a souvenir shop, a jewelry shop.

To fill in the time, we also stopped over at the little jetty by the has-been Provincetown Inn, noticing that at this time the water was at high tide, and the marshes looked a bit different with water filling in the estuaries, rather than the mud and muck of low tide. We snapped photos of the marsh and water, and took a rainy selfie together, as it had just started to rain lightly.

By then it was around 12:45pm, so we started making our way towards Fanizzi’s to arrive in time not to lose our reservation. We parked and walked and made it in the doors right at 12:59. We could barely walk in the door and narrow waiting room hallway because there were so many people lined up, waiting for their turn at Easter brunch. The hostess asked if we wanted an immediate open table or to wait for a table for two by the window: by this point we had been waiting so long and were still digesting a bit from our first brunch that waiting wasn’t much of an issue this time around. We waited maybe an extra 20 minutes and then the hostess brought us to a quaint little table, right next to the window, which was literally overlooking the water! We both ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the incredible view, snapping photos and taking it all in. Our waitress came and gave us the low-down on the brunch buffet options.

We went up to the brunch buffet –which is up stairs, down a long corridor, and through another wing– and surveyed our options. They really make you work for your brunch! We each made our decisions to go with more egg-based protein options over the french toast and pancakes (although I took one triangle of french toast just to sample how it was). The selection was broad and it could be easy to be paralyzed by so many options. We each chose a few and brought our plates back to the table to eat. We conversed and laughed and observed the sea birds and ducks directly outside of our window’s view. Our waitress came over to ask if we wanted anything to drink, so we picked a pretty pink goblet looking drink that we saw people having a few tables down. As it turns out, the cocktail is simply sparkling prosecco and crushed strawberries. We gave a light toast to our first- and second-brunching experience. Side note: I tried eating Eggs Benedict for the first time ever — they were pretty good! What have I been missing out on? We each ended up going up after a little bit for half of a second plate that we ended up using take-out boxes to take home.

Before heading directly back to campus we stopped at Angel Foods Market, a small boutique market and bodega with organic and locally sourced speciality foods, along with a coffee bar and deli counter. We got what we needed and then was tempted by the amazing aroma of freshly ground coffee, so we each got a coffee to go. I almost forgot to mention that we also stopped into a couple of galleries that we open on this quiet Sunday morning, checking out some interesting contemporary artists’ work. We returned to the car and drove back to the residency campus, coffee and new art supplies in hand. I returned to my studio, where my studio mate still had not yet returned from visiting friends or family for the Easter holiday, so I blasted my own music to be played around the studio without the need for wired earphones or bluetooth earbuds. I looked around at the blank and in-progress canvases and got to work art-ing.

It was around 3:30/4pm by around the time we returned to the studio, so when I was tempted to start in on a large (30×40) canvas, my logic returned to remind me that starting and raining an 18×24 canvas this evening/night was much more practical and achievable. I wired up a canvas of that smaller size and placed it on the new H-frame easels that the program director had brought up to my studio the day before, adjusting the easel to make sure the canvas shelf was level and even, etc. I decided that I needed a brief break from working in neutral browns and umbers to take a color burst departure into blues and greens. I set up my computer on a stool so that I could view my reference image, inspired from a photo taken from the dock by where we had brunch this afternoon. I placed a clear vinyl tablecloth over the stool with my computer, so as to protect it from paint splatters as I began work on the painting. I also decided that it would be nifty if I could record a time-lapse photo of this painting process from beginning underpainting to the raining technique applied. I took my guerrilla tripod, a flexible three-prong cell phone tripod and affixed it to the top mast of a yet-unused easel and adjusted it to an angle so that the paint application, canvas, and artist could all easily be filmed from the jerry-rigged apparatus.

I first covered the canvas all over in green-blue tone before I applied the first paint strokes of a roughly smooth horizon line, much like how an open ocean horizon would look from shore or from a boat at the opening of the bay out onto the Atlantic Ocean. Then I mixed up a whole bunch of blues and greens and blue-greens to apply as thick paint daubs to the canvas, working vigorously over the next several hours to get all these variations of ocean colors and sky colors applied. Then in one fall swoop I started applying the “rain method” to m painting, drizzling it in stand oil followed by pressured vertical strokes from top to bottom of the painting, mixing the dragging the oil paint colors behind it on the canvas. Once I applied this rain method I used a big brush to help smooth out the initial drips so that they get a solid start before they drip all over the canvas. You can see the time-lapse video here (below):

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After applying this first phase of starting drips, I took some time to clean out some of the oil paint bristle and synthetic brushes that I’ve used over the last couple weeks, to ensure that the last week of my art residency would be accomplished using clean brushes without weeks’ worth of paint gunk still on them. After I washed my brushes I walked down to the print shop where artists Martha and Sarah were sharing studio space. We had agreed to gather to share chocolate and bread and wine to unwind from a long day, despite it being a holiday. We had a fun time just laughing and talking and exchanging stories of our adventures around Provincetown and Truro, including talking about baby squirrel rescues, coyote-wolf sightings, turkey troubles, and more. We sat and chatted and laughed for maybe an hour or two, then I returned to my studio to give this blue-green ocean-sky painting one last once-over feathering and blending of drips before heading to sleep. My goal tomorrow is to start a large (30×40) painting in the morning so that I’ll have all morning and afternoon to apply the meticulous paint daubs and dots, and then have the evening and night to apply the rain effect, so that I can hopefully get to bed before midnight (that’s my new goal).