Imagine flying to a Hawaiian island, then driving up to a small house on stilts and setting up a studio for 2 weeks. That's exactly what I did earlier this month.
I had a dream--to create a 2 week artist's residency for myself, free from the distractions of daily life. I planned the retreat back in January and looked forward to it with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Would I be able to make it work? Would I be able to come out of it with any work that was worth putting on the wall?
I thought about what kind of a series I would work on, what materials I'd need for the artwork and how I would set up a working space. Once I'd answered those questions to my satisfaction, I ordered supplies and packed them in my suitcase, coming a scant pound short of the 50 pound baggage allowance.
When we arrived, I headed straight to Walmart to purchase a folding table, a printer and a shower curtain. Once at the hale, I rearranged furniture, put the shower curtain on the floor for protection and set up my table. Voila, I had a studio.
I began to work. I'd imagined I would continue the series, "Botanical Dreams," I'd begun in Kauai in January. After a of couple days, however, my enthusiasm flagged. There is a Sanskrit word rasa, which literally means "sap" or "juice," and refers to the essence of a thing. There was no rasa in the scattered bits of paper on my table.
Time to reboot. No time to worry about or regret the money I'd already spent. Fortunately, I'd received a gift certificate to Blick's, which allowed me to order the gelli plate and brayer that I knew were calling my name.
I also discovered that 2-day delivery works even on the tip of a faraway island! While waiting, I checked out the Helen Matsui Shared Blessings Thrift Shop and a library book sale securing several great books of text and images to work with. Marvelous!
Ripping open the box, I removed the contents and set to work. I'd gathered leaf materials on a walk and I was ready to print. What emerged in the next 2 weeks was a series that I'm playfully calling Taro Cards, after the beautiful fields of taro plants that grow on the island. The series has the quality of a journal with each "card" reflecting the colors that surrounded the mountains, my primary reference point as I worked.
I look forward to sharing the series on my website as soon as it is photographed, or you can see them in person in my studio. I'll be open October 15th and 16th during the Davis Art Studio Tour and I'd love to share the work with you. Check out this link that allows you to get a taste of my work.