Posts Tagged ‘c-scape’

Self Portrait in Pink

Today is a big day. New Year’s Eve and I have chosen a very special outfit to wear at the shack. Nowhere else can such a glamorously hot pink number be found. You can witness the whole wood gathering pink robe performance on my flicker link to the right. With that said, I now need to address drawing for a change.

I have been working on a variety of sketches and trying to figure out what I am doing. This is typical at a residency; I am away from my studio working in less than ideal conditions, in a completely different landscape. This is the precise reason that I do them, to get a new prospective on my work and kind of force my drawing to evolve into a different form. And that is exactly what is happening. Normally I would never show “clunkers” or work that is so different from sketch to sketch, but for this post it illuminates just what happens in my process of working away from home. As I am drawing I can’t help but to think about a quote I heard on the radio when I first got here, ‘habit is a great deadener’ from Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot” It is easy for me to keep making the same kinds of marks, just switching the palette, scale, and thoughts about what I am making. But going to a residency is my way of throwing out all the habits and letting my surroundings inform my work, no matter how arduous that can be in the beginning. Certainly a change of routine helps. If I had been home, I would stop by the deli for a bagel and coffee and take the subway to the studio. Today, I made a fire, carried in wood, made coffee, and then repaired one of the steps with wood I found under the shack, before I started drawing. These kinds of chores I really enjoy and they get me thinking. For now I am putting away all my watercolor and stripping it down to pencil and paper for a while. I have four more weeks to work out my ideas before going home. Once I am at home in my studio I can retain this experience for the whole year, and freshen my objectives by reading my journals and referencing my photographs.

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Yesterday was a big travel day. Lisa and I left the shack early so that I could charge my computer at the airport and she could take a shower. We made the 40 minute walk on the seashore with the winds almost blowing us backwards it was so strong.  Lisa went on for another 4.5 miles to the gym to take a shower, she was on a mission, she had not had a shower in 4 days and she was scratching like a dog. Me on the other hand, oh, who needs a shower, I will take one when I get back in NYC in anther 4 weeks.  I thought it would be nice to pick her up so that she doesn’t have to walk another 5 miles back in her nice clean body but instead we went to have coffee in town and she stayed there to walk home, putting in over 10 miles. Perhaps the shack was getting too small with both of us. I stopped at the Thrift Store which is full of treasures, I bought a nice Italian made ceramic bowl to use as a wash basin and two hand made crystal glasses from Poland, coffee mugs, books, plates, knives and folks all for  $5. I walked back to the shack and saw two people which is amazing since I have not seen any people, but the day was beautiful and warm. They came out to visit the shack because one guy had stayed here in September. I put on my running clothes, went for a run to Herring Cove, 5 miles away. This after already walking 4 miles back and forth in the soft sand. I met Lisa on a bike path about 4 miles into my run, ran past her to complete my distance, then ran back to meet her. I found her resting on a log with water and potato chips, a welcome sight. Animals we saw yesterday; heron, sanderlings, and seagulls. I started a new drawing, they are more like sketches since there is only so much I can actually do here.

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Sunset on Life Guard Station

Wednesday, December 26
I love the Provincetown Airport! It has everything you need. Okay this is why. I went to the airport to meet Lisa who was coming in on Monday night. I dragged my laptop and satellite down the sand fire road and arrived about 4:30, which was way too early because her flight did not come in until 6:30. The truth is, I did not want to walk in the dark with all the coyotes to meet her so I left the shack before sunset. When I got to the airport a sign in the door said “back at 5:15.” So I hung around, walked to the ocean and when I came back “Kevin” was unlocking the door. The Ptown airport is very small and only one person was working, Kevin, who had to fuel some of the other planes in between checking people in – though there were no people but me. I started working on my laptop, which has enough battery for about 5 minutes and casually ask if I can plug it in, though in reality every place I go I feel a bit desperate to take some electricity. Well within minutes I had my computer, satellite, and camera all plugged in while eating cookies, chocolates, and drinking coffee. Kevin and I chatting away, I told him that I was living in the shack, but he like many people here have never walked “way out there” to see the shacks. He showed me this awesome giant RV that he and his partner rented for vacation, the thing is bigger than my apartment, 42 feel long. We had a great time, he told me the names of the two other employees and said Lisa and I can come anytime to use the bathrooms, get electricity, use their wireless connection, what ever we wanted. Just before we left he gave Lisa a card for Jody Taxi just in case she changed her mind about the shack. But afterwards we had a moon lit walk through the howling coyote land back to the shack and I knew she was going to like her stay.

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My morning coffeeBeginning December 16, 1007 I will be living in an isolated beach shack on Cape Cod’s National Seashore at the Atlantic Ocean in a primitive shack without electricity, running water, cellular or wireless service for a six week winter artist residency. The project I will work on titled, “Tracing Nature” is a series of drawings and prints that will visually translates the physical and visceral experience of living in remote landscapes. Thanks to the corporate support of Martijn Blok at Galaxy 1 Communications in the Netherlands I have a satellite terminal which allows me to share my daily adventures of making art, foraging for wood, and fetching water, all the while training for the Boston marathon on the frozen coast Cape of Massachusetts.

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