Week one of the artist-in-residence is about halfway done and it's been quite an experience so far. I can't say whether or not it resembles what I'd pictured because I really didn't have much of an idea of what to expect going in. I mean sure, I'd been told a bit about it, but until you actually have the opportunity to spend your days working on your craft, doing something you love to do for more than just the love of it, it's something I couldn't really appreciate.
But that is exactly what I've been doing - creating something from nothing, in conjunction with my better half. When the weather's good people drop by in pairs and clusters, mostly to admire Marsha's amazing paintings but occasionally to ask me about what I do (usually on the heels of something like "Oh, you didn't paint these? Then what are you doing here?"). But the thing is, writing just isn't a very visually impressive art form. You see a guy plunked at a table huddled behind a laptop with notebooks and loose papers filled with frantic scribblings lying all around, and it doesn't exactly inspire a series of oohs or ahhs. I get that, and actually sort of anticipated that. Writing is a solitary act, for the most part, not much of a spectator sport.
But the real point isn't that, not really. At the end of the day, when I push back my chair and lock up for the evening, I can look back at what I've accomplished and see how it fits into the overall picture. I can, in my own way, paint a picture every bit as wondrous and spellbinding as the ones all around me on the walls. Marsha says it might be the best work I've ever produced, and given the fact she's not one to damn with faint praise, I take that as an encouraging sign.
We'll be there the rest of this week and next week right up to and including Labour Day. I've seen a few familiar faces so far, and would love to see anyone else who's in the area and feels like dropping in for a visit. For those who live too far away or can't get away during the day, I'll try to post more updates and maybe a pic or two here as time (and wonky internet onsite ) allows.
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Photo credits: Biff Mitchell