Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

I arrived here a week ago, three more weeks to go. Time seems to slip away when I am so absorbed in my work. It is awesome. I took some time off on Saturday and visited a local winery with some of John's cousins, Susan and Rupert from DC and Karen and Tony from Springfield VA. A couple of the wines were lovely and they were plentiful, 17 varieties and the sommelier poured us a taste of each one, (some abstained from tasting each one) a good size portion, no charge! Needless to say we did not visit any other wineries and I took the remainder of the day and evening off.

I showed the cousins around the Sweet Briar College grounds, the VCCA and my studio of course. We had dinner in the dining room and then one of the composers and one of the writers welcomed us into their studios. It was incredibly interesting and I think that everyone left with a sense of this place. I had a great day and I feel honoured that John’s cousins took the time to visit me.

I'm in the company of some amazing people from across the US, from Ireland and from Malta. I'm working long days, painting 12 to 14 hours a day and it is blissful! I am exhausted but it is a good exhaustion. I get out of the studio most afternoons for a swim in the lake with some of the other fellows. Other than that I have been walking the forest trails on the VCCA grounds and doing some yoga. Nevertheless I think that I’m gaining as Rhonda, the new chef is a top notch gourmet cook. We had Indian food last night and it was every bit as good as Vij's.

We have some evening events to look forward to this week, Joelle, one of the composers will play some of her music tomorrow evening, there is a studio dedication and poetry reading on Tuesday and a dinner for guests from the neighbouring golf club on Wednesday. Some of us will open our studios that evening for any of the guests who are interested. There is never a dull moment here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

It’s been difficult to blog as I’ve been painting until I’m ready to drop into bed. I’m loving my studio and am developing some new ideas. I’m working with images of trees again in my current pieces. I’ve been wanting to do more tree paintings and I’m sure that the large and varied trees on the grounds here and at Sweet Briar have influenced me. I am completely wrapped up in it all and am learning a lot as my work progresses.

Tomorrow afternoon will be adventure time. Some of John’s cousins, 2 from Richmond VA and 2 from Washington DC are coming for a visit. I’ll show them around this amazing place and we will do a winery tour. Yes, there are several wineries in Virginia. I will try to post some photos of local scenery in the next few days.

I hear that the weather is lovely in Vancouver. It’s a good thing that it is warm here so I don’t have to be envious. It is 11:02 pm and I’m running the air conditioner! It’s a little muggy but I’m not complaining. Oh there is a cricket in my studio! Last night a black snake found it’s way into the hallway and caused some excitement. There are also some lovely small black lizards with bright turquoise tails hanging around the studio barn. It’s a good thing that they are small creatures. I have a fairly long walk back to the residence and it is very dark here. Cheers!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday September 10, 2008

Here are a few pictures from my first day - the lake is our swimming spot at Sweet Briar College. My studio is V8, a nice space with windows looking out behind the barn.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The returnee fellows whom I met in ’07 were absolutely right on. As I entered the gate to VCCA yesterday I felt like I was returning home.

My trip here was grueling and sleepless, leaving Vancouver airport at 7:04 pm on the 7th, flying to San Fran, then to Charlotte, North Carolina and from there to Lynchburg, Virginia. I took the taxi to the residence in Amherst and arrived at 11:30 am on the 8th just in time to walk to the studio barn for lunch.

Even though I’ve been feeling a little shell-shocked I managed to unpack, set up my studio and prep my surfaces. I’m in V8, a lovely space looking out into the yard behind the studio barn. I have soft natural light all day until late afternoon when the sun casts a golden glow through the windows. The weather is quite warm and humid with a few showers today which I really enjoyed as the raindrops were warm. I found a cure for jetlag today when I joined 6 other fellows for a swim in the lake at Sweet Briar College. I was in my element and returned feeling blissful and energized at the same time. After a great dinner I was able to return to my studio enjoying the sunset as I approached the barn. My return to the residence was slow paced as I breathed in the warm country air that was vibrating with the sound of crickets, cicadas and other night creatures. It is so easy to be inspired here!