Sunday, March 16, 2014

Invisible progress

Don't be fooled by the fact that I'm not posting much artwork. This I swear has been the most creatively productive time of my life. 
Here's a typical day here:
6:30 Wake up to sunshine streaming in my window and a symphony of birds singing nearby.  Amazing. 
Lie there for half an hour contemplating the day and feeling so lucky to be here. 
7:00 Get up, go get my art toys  and head outside to carve lino In the sunshine and wait for the breakfast feast I know is coming. 
8:30 Feast on amazing fresh local fare, most of it from neighboring farms, drink freshly brewed coffee and make plans for the day. 
9-1 Carve carve carve. 
1-2 Make some kind of collaborative feast with my fellow artists in residence and eat it at the sunny table we've set up in the open barn/studio drinking local organic wine and talking about how our projects are going. 
2-4 carve carve carve. 
Some undetermined time in there: sneak away for a nap.  Or two. 
As I'm carving I keep seeing Sarah pass by dragging various woodland finds and ephemera off to where she's making her incredible headdress pieces. Our Finnish poet Sami can be spotted standing in the garden scribbling in his moleskine. Hye Weon is busy in her outdoor studio sculpting clay, Marina and her mother are busy making everything lovely, and the two black cats, both of whom we are calling Neroni because we can't tell them apart and we like the name are wandering and lounging in sunny spots around the property. 
Late afternoons we go on some fantastic excursion together, like going up to the neighbor's farm to buy fresh eggs, discovering new picnic destinations, exploring Assisi, making the pilgrimage into town to the art supply store, whatever is going. It's always something.  Today it was Assisi and Saint Francis's tomb, tomorrow it's mass at a centuries old church in a nearby village. 
In the evenings we watch italian movies or we sneak in a little more work. 

It's perfect having all this cup-filling exploring to do. Even with all the time we spend eating and doing 'Le Gita Scholastica' ( my new word of the day, means field trip) I know I'm carving as much as my hands will let me. I'm constantly aware of them and what they can do, and when they're about to give out.  Thats the price of having broken them I guess, and having screws and plates in there. When they're tired I can feel all that stuff. I'm riding the edge of what I can do in a day. I'm deep into 10 linocuts, and I figure I can finish carving them all ( and possibly one or two more) by Wednesday, print Wednesday afternoon,, let them dry until Friday, paint them Saturday, and be ready to head to the coast Sunday. 

One of the things we did in Assisi tonight was go and see the gallery where our group show will be in November/December. It, like everything else in Assisi, was totally beautiful. If you're an artist and you've ever thought of doing a residency I highly recommend Arte Studio Ginestrelle.  They take amazing care of us. The house is beautiful and comfortable. It's just the right size for getting to know your fellow artists but never feeling crowded or lacking privacy.  There's lots of studio space, and great outdoor space for working on projects.  Marina and her parents nurture us,  constantly stoking the wood fires in the different rooms, making sure we have what we need but leaving us free to create at our own pace. Everyone is having an amazing time. I can't imagine a better artists residency experience. 


Sigrid Albert said...

I am trying to take notes from you. It all sounds wonderful: doing art. In Italy. I've been to Assisi and have stayed in small hilltop, stone Umbrian village for a week back in 2006. It was amazing, but I wasn't a regular sketcher then. Still, I did a bit of drawing. Enjoy!

Sue Pownall said...

Sounds amazing.