I just returned a few days ago from a month long residency at Weir Farm Art Center in Wilton, CT. This friendly buffalo is not my creation but a symbol of the National Parks Service. Weir Farm National Historic Site, established in 1990, is the only National Park Service site dedicated to American painting. Since 1998 the Weir Farm Art Center has invited over 200 plus artists from the US and abroad to participate in their residency program.
When I arrived on March 1st, there was no snow on the ground. In fact when I was packing it was 60 degrees in Boston. I did throw a pair of shorts into my suitcase... silly me.
I had use of a very spacious studio (all to myself and a space one wants to take home with them) that looked east into the woods and west into the fields. The trees, sky, birds, wind, and the sun rising and setting was a constant source of inspiration as were the 4 northeaster's we had in March. Luckily the power stayed on even though all around the area large trees collapsed due to the high winds.
The cottage, steps away from the studio, is very comfortable and cozy. I loved walking out the door and having 60 acres of nature to explore by foot or snowshoe depending. Weir Pond became a daily jaunt as the water deep blue one day and glazed by ice the next called to me. Each of the four snowstorms refreshed the landscape in creative ways and being there by myself allowed me the time and space to witness the magic. I could not have asked for a better month from Mother Nature.
Below is an example of my art journal warm-ups. These continued each morning as a way to center myself in the studio and get ready for a day of painting, experimenting and exploring. I posted several of these warm-ups on Instagram along with the beginning stages of paintings and my daily wanderings.
My camera, a Nikon D80, was as important a tool as my paints for this residency. I photographed over 500 images of the natural world to capture not just the large scale but the intimate landscape. Many of these are paired with small paintings as diptychs. Some of my paintings are inspired by the landscape and other times the paintings found its partner in the landscape.
Here is one pairing.
12" x 12" digital photography and 12" x 12" mixed media/panel 2018
Now I just need to unpack, organize, photograph the new work and get back into the studio!