Monday, February 1, 2010

Artist in Residence!

February is my month to be an Artist in Residence!

I love the whole concept of being an artist in residence. Residency programs vary quite a bit. Some are for just a few weeks while others last for months. The main features of a residency are things like studio space that you can work in any time of the day or night, access to a creative community with open studio evenings, presentations and readings with visiting artists and writers, and most importantly time to work.

If you are not familiar with residency programs do check out the Vermont Studio Center. They have the largest international residency program in the U.S.A. hosting 50 visual artists and writers each month from the U.S. and around the world. I get inspired just by watching the slide show of pictures on their homepage!

Remember last fall when I started snarling, baring my fangs and declaring that 2010 was my year to run with the wolves? Click here if you would like a refresher. :-) Well, February is my month. Mine, mine, mine...I have decided to give myself the gift of a residency! Yup, a residency here, now, in my studio! (My studio is located above our garage, see picture above, where the windows are. There are windows on the other side too as well as large windows on the end. It is a wonderful space.)

I spent time last week setting things up so that I can be in my studio as many hours as I can this month. I have meals in the freezer, the house is spotless, the laundry is caught up and so is my email and desk mail. You would have to do all of this before you went away to a residency right? I have the benefits of not having to be away from my fellas (hubby and dog), I don't have to live out of a suitcase nor do I have to pack up all of my studio stuff either. I shall lots of exposure to art and artsy events this month and I don't have to leave home for that either. But, truly the most important thing is that I am determined to focus and create for as many hours as possible.

My main priority is to work on a couple of pieces that might be worthy of submission into the Colored Pencil Society of America's 2010 international exhibition. The work has to be finished and scans submitted within the next two months. I had better get to work!

I haven't had much artwork to share lately so I am showing an oldie but a goodie...This sunflower was done in coloured pencil on Stonehenge and is 14 1/2" wide by 10" high. In this instance I was captivated by and wanted to depict the underside of the plant.

I think this idea of creating a custom residency for oneself is a good one and is worthy of catching on. Even artists who work at day jobs could determine to schedule in some special hours on a few nights or weekends. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing deal. The main thing would be to make arrangements with family and friends if help is required at home. Set a specific time line (it doesn't have to be a month), set some goals, look for some artsy things to attend (phone a friend you never get to spend time with and go out to visit a local gallery) and most importantly get to work on your art. If you like this idea feel free to pass it along by tweeting or emailing or whatever you do. :-) Let's get everyone doing a residency!

I hope to provide updates as I go but I doubt I shall be posting often. Oh and if I am a regular commenter on your blog, I shall apologize now for my absence. This month is about studio time not computer time.

Now you know why I was cleaning my Borco and checking my art supplies. In case you can't tell, I am very excited about my residency! Now I am off to create...