Teton Artlab Residency Blog – April 2016
The Weight of Expectation
A long “to do list”. I’m sure I knew, in the back of my mind that it might take some time to feel ready to paint but if I did then I’ve just batted those thoughts away like a pesky flies. I’ve been looking forward to all the great things about the month, that my patience for the less enjoyable “to do lists” has disappeared at the moment I need it most. I’m reminded of the first day of a holidays when you spend every moment wondering if you’re having a good time yet? Then I’ve got the internal monologue telling me that I really need to get out to the mountains and at the same time fact that I’m here to paint as well.
I mentioned the empty studio in the last post and I’ve had to raid Jackson’s thrift/charity shops to make it feel a bit more homely. I got a few books with the intention of taken the pictures out for the wall but then just couldn’t do it, so I have a little library. There’s quite a list of materials I need too, that weren’t allowed on the plane and getting those involved quite a hunt. I got everything in there sat down and played Frank Sinatra on the iPad and realised that was probably all I needed to to do to make it feel like my studio.
So a few days of frustration sorting things out properly will hopefully enable me to concentrate on what I need to for the rest of my stay. I’ve found a new palette!
From the Beginning to the Start
A Home from Home. The month ahead is a very exciting prospect. Teton Art Lab is based in Jackson, a town, just South of The Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and in the heart of the natural valley “Jackson Hole” in the state of Wyoming, USA. The Art Lab programme offers 12 artists the chance to work in their open studios, a different artist for each month of the year.
The application process, in October each year, is simple well organised and takes place online. Each artist is required to write a short proposal and enter images from previous work. I was over the moon to find out I had been selected and then the organisers asked which months I’d be able to make the journey over. I would have been happy to come at any time but had a faint hope that I might be here when I could experience something of winter.
I’m not sure if the girls Pirelli Calendar girls get so excited about their chosen month but I was very pleased with April. It’s a time when Winter slowly loosens it’s grip and Jackson has a well deserved rest, after welcoming tourists that flock here for the very busy Summer and Winter seasons. I like the idea of seeing everything at a quiet time for the town but when nature is starting to stir!
It will be great to meet other artists engaging with this beautiful environment and the community they work in. I normally work alone, in the studio, at my home but this will be a refreshing change and is very welcome, as I’m sure to miss the hub bub of family life. I think it’s the whole idea of something like this the space, the difference. Inviting circumstances which challenge what feels like the norm.
After three flights and a night in a local hotel, I arrived at the studios today it’s great to settle in to what will be my new home. I didn’t realise it but the accommodation is directly above the studio spaces and the whole building is an old engine workshop with a beautiful old gas/petrol pump outside. I’m tucked away in the very cosy roof space apartment. The studio space is an unfamiliar blank canvas and I just wish I’d brought a role of posters and some of the various bits of clutter I use to make me feel at home in Bolton. I’m sure it won’t take too long before Its in a state of creative chaos I prefer.
The jump in altitude will mean a few days to acclimatise, I can get my bearings and find out where winter will let me explore, where it won’t and the bits in between. In the meantime you can see my new abode in this collection of snaps.
On the Road Again
Another Adventure. I will be flying to Jackson (Wyoming) on the 31st March and The Art Lab residency begins on April 2nd. I’m looking forward to using this page to store thoughts, ideas, photos. sketches and film clips relating to the four weeks in Teton Country.