In the Studio #28

Its my third day in Vermont here on my residency at the Vermont Studio Center and I thought it would be a good time to give a progress report on my developments and impressions so far. I’m loving my time here and I’ve set an ambitious program of works to do, so much that I’m a little afraid of all the things that are popping into my brain at once. I think what I love most about this place so far is being surrounded by what I feel are my people. These artists and writers are diverse in experience if not in appearance, but they all share a strong thirst to create and they all lead artistic lives. They’re exactly the kind of people I wanted to meet. I’ve already met one or two artists who have shared possible connections or techniques with me that I believe will prove nourishing in the future. Here’s a shot of the grounds and my of my studio:

The residency center itself is laid out in the downtown area of the small village of Johnson Vermont. Its picturesque and charming without being too rural in attitude – which being a city person I appreciate. The living quarters and meals are basic, maybe more than I thought they would be; but they provide all that  I require. This being Vermont, the food is all organic and heavy on veggies and fish. I’m sure to lose a few pounds because of the simple fare, which is certainly not a bad thing. I do wish my room was a little warmer and my bed a little larger. But I have two awesome housemates and we became fast friends already. I think by the end of the month we’ll be planning visits to each others cities.

My studio is very large, so much so that it’ll be hard to return to the Banana Factory.  The facilities that the studios are in appear to have been old churches or maybe school houses in the past and they’re equipped like a facility you might find in the average MFA program: slope-sinks, saw-horse-tables, easels, old desks, fold out chairs. The raw blank walls and simple equipment made me feel almost desperate to dirty up the space. They ask that we not play music which I’m having a hard time with, but my neighbors are cool so I’ve already broken that rule along with a few others (they don’t like indoor spray-painting, fuck that shit its cold outside, lol).

The projects I’ve decided to pursue are all as I said before, ambitious. I came here prepared to do three main projects: two prints, three paintings and a large wall drawing. I’ve increased that to two possible other projects, a small series of paintings based on that racist sheet-music I wrote about several weeks back, and an encaustic series made from the woodblock plates used to make my prints. I think if I get half of all these things done I’ll have had a successful month, actually that’s enough for the summer. I’ve made good progress on the three main projects thanks in part to the fact that I prepared for them back in PA. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

 The wall drawing is proving to be a challenge. I’m liking it but the paper isn’t flattening out like I want and so I’m having to draw around bumps and creases in a way I find annoying. The paintings are moving along marvelously, and the prints, well I still have some carving to do. I also have to convince the administration here to let me use the press since I did not register as a print artists when I first applied to the program. Access to the shop is restricted to printmakers only, the only shop in the whole center with such restrictions. That’s actually the only major draw back I’ve experienced here and so all in all I’d say I’m well pleased.

I just got the Radiohead CD, “A Moon Shaped Pool”, and its lovely and haunting just like I expected. I particularly  like the song “Ful Stop”. In addition to the two songs I liked last post I’d say the CD is solid, the best since the last which is in keeping with Radiohead albums. May we all have such consistent artistic success. Here’s a YouTube video of “Ful Stop”.

I’ll try to write again soon as I move forward with these various projects. I think I’ll finally blog about the main body of paintings I’m doing here next time. I’m provisionally titling the set “The Hotness in Concert”. Until then be well!

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