April 22, 2011, 6:21 am
Filed under: English, Resi-Do

Yesterday. Was. The. Most. Inspired. Day. Of. My. Life.

I was in the ‘zone’ from 7 am to 6 pm. Every piece I had in my studio fell into place right before my eyes.

I was at the center of my studio, a bear come mink, at the top of the highest of ladders, peaked, looking, admiring, with a wonderful sense of accomplishment!

When I asked Nate “do you think it is a ‘wow! what?’ or a ‘what? wow!’ he replied “it is more like a ‘yes. yes.’” Yes! It is done! It worked. I curated the work I made here and duly celebrated my awesome studio with the installation I made. I am happy.

Then Sophie said “it is like I am learning a whole different language”. Great!

It was the busiest day of my residency. I was tired. I still am.

Tonight we sent the mink off into the Gihon River. As agreed the dramatic mink launch happened. It was awfully romantic too. AND our mink video is on youtube!!!

Mink, I will always love you!

It snowed again today. How very appropriate : )

I packed my stuff (i.e., art and supplies) into a singular suitcase which now weighs like a dozen dead corpses.

We are four in my studio, chatting a little, having some drinks. Walls are white. Studios empty. Strange. Well, VSC was the best thing I did in a long time. This whole experience went beyond my expectations. Way beyond! I am very very VERY happy!!

Tomorrow morning I take the train to NYC with three other friends.

I am ready! I deserve my time in New York. Yep, I do…





April 19, 2011, 5:29 pm
Filed under: English, Resi-Do

Four of us had a dip in the river yesterday afternoon! The water was ice cold! Literally! I simply had to do it. I am River after all. This changed my mood for the rest of the day. Seriousness left me.

Our ‘collective consciousness’ project (our version of word magnets), a communal poem, is shaping up at the Red Mill.

My wonderful friend John gave me some of his wonderful poems with a wonderful note on the cover.

I made some quick paintings. I also accidentally painted a little ‘mink’ and then some.

Dinner was a full-fledged feast with barbeque ribs, Asian coleslaw, potato salad and macaroni and cheese. And then there was ice cream and shortbread. It was like some off-season Thanksgiving dinner party food fest eating frenzy-mania!

We listened to Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Dunn read some of his beautiful poetry at the Lecture Hall. Here is one his poem[s] for people who are understandably too busy to read.

Finally, we said goodbye to Heidi, who is leaving for New York City today, dancing, listening to Justin Bieber, again, and drinking way too many 90 minute IPAs.

Here is something I wrote on the communal board today:

in a minute there is time Yoshi

like cumulus fortunes in inksmell

Makes sense, right?

April 18, 2011, 1:48 am
Filed under: English, Resi-Do

We had our first dance party last night at Kahn. We had to wear costumes so there were handmade animal masks, bright orange feathers, ‘costume’ stickers, ‘awsome’ t-shirts and my goggles. There was beer shotgunning too. Ouch!

So, yes, I get up with an ‘ouch’ and ran to brunch. I had way too many sausages and barely made it to my meeting with Angelo Ciotti. He was very gentle with all of us I think. Ciotti immediately noticed my interest in two extreme scales. I showed him my older work as well. He was happy to see I used coal in one of my pieces. It turns out he does too. After my short introduction he gave me some very useful advice. He thought it was great that I was experimenting with different styles and techniques and reminded me that a time must come when one should stop looking and start consolidating. He laid down a strategy for me too. He suggested I started making series to see which ones I liked better and why. And then make more of the same until I get to a point when I know exactly what goes on when I paint. ‘Galleries like series’ he said, ‘because they like to see the progression in a body of work.’ He also said ‘don’t waste your money on MFAs!’ As if I had the money to waste…

I finally covered most of my ‘cubist mushroom’ with black paint and it felt good. I still don’t know if I can save it but at least its presence does not annoy me any more. I also started making a ‘tin can’ painting. Silliness just doesn’t stop!

Before dinner our poet friend John was typing (on an actual typewriter) fragments for a communal poem. Fun! Dinner was a disappointment for sure. Cous cous with weird-textured and unidentifiable, well, things.

There is another round of resident slides tonight at the lecture hall. I also need to write a thank you letter to the sponsors who funded my fellowship and made my day. Here “is better than dreaming!”

*    We listened to ‘Bossy’ by Kelis last night. Love it! And there was some bossiness at breakfast regarding attempts to get more orange juice from the fridge.

April 17, 2011, 2:25 am
Filed under: English, Resi-Do

Ray and Betsy drove up to see me on this coldest of days. In fact it just started snowing! Come on! Can I talk to the manager please??

It was so nice of them to come visit. Wish we could spend more time together but it is crazy busy at the center and they were thoughtful enough to leave me be. So, I finished typing my interview. It still needs polishing but that shouldn’t take long. I am now ready to attack my projects scattered around the studio! AND I keep coming up with new ones! I am such an ‘artstud’!!

Today’s main event was Akirash’s performance and his opening at the gallery. We banged a lot of empty beer bottles with sticks thanks to our crazy friend and shared a dada moment of sorts in the lecture hall. I was supposed to wrap a black ribbon (come yard) on his left side but John forgot to give the signal and things didn’t go as planned. Still, his performance succeeded in bringing everybody together to collaborate. His laboured sculptures in the gallery woven from cardboard and paper I especially liked. We also looked for titles that corresponded to our tribal make-ups. Face No. 22, i.e., my face, matched with the word ‘satisfaction’. Spot on!

Highlight of today for me, though, was my meeting with visiting artist Katherine Bradford. We had a heart-to-heart with her about my work AND her work and she had lots of nice things to say. We talked about scale, style, speed, a-politics… and of course boats and cars. I think I am just about ready to make my next car painting. She also suggested I look at Josh Smith who recently made headlines with his impulsive and quick paintings, all different in style yet brought together by a common scale. Duly noted. She inspired and encouraged me. She became my muse du jour!

I look out my window and it is now hailing! I said ‘Manager!!!’… (believe me it is colder!) 7.22

April 16, 2011, 4:52 am
Filed under: English, Resi-Do

I spent most of the day writing. I have been asked to write an interview with “myself” about the Vermont Studio Center for an art publication in Istanbul. I think I am almost done with my first draft, or as my friend Sophie calls it the “zero” draft. In the meantime I keep getting distracted by all sorts of ideas for making work and the idea of making work itself. As much as I love to write I would rather be making art right now. In any event, all this writing is for a good cause and I am pretty psyched about it.

There is another artist talk tonight by Katherine Bradford who apparently abandoned abstract art and went into figuration. I am told in one of her paintings she is in a car driving away from a grid painting. My friend Nate is worried. I think we all are. We just might be in for another episode. I am meeting Bradford at 10 tomorrow morning after bacon and eggs. Somebody stop me! From eating I mean…

Betsy and Ray are visiting me tomorrow. I am excited to show them the campus and the work I have made so far. There is a performance at 2pm by my friend Akirash at the Lecture Hall and he has asked me to help out so I will have to see if we can stay a bit longer in our happy village until we venture off to Burlington.

Anyway, I just want to say our residency is much like ‘seven minutes in heaven’ of making out with our own art, only longer!



April 15, 2011, 2:51 am
Filed under: English, Resi-Do

I just made a new mark which I fell in love with and I am afraid I might use it on everything I make from now on! Pity!

There is progress on the second wall piece. I decided to build it on paper so that I can take it back with me. Not sure it will be worth it yet. We shall see. There are a lot of different things going on in my studio right now which makes me think of Moyer’s thoughts on “the impossibility of style”. I am rather hooked on the idea.

There is another artist talk in about fifteen minutes at the “lecture” hall by Angelo Ciotti, an environmental reclamation artist. I think we are about to learn what that means. I signed up for a meeting with him on Sunday right after brunch. I can’t help but wonder what he will make of my un-environmentally toxic ways.

I am working quite hard these days since there are things to do on the writing front as well. I might have to go to bed early tonight though as my fatigue is catching up with me, fast.

I am excited about tomorrow with all the new work that I am making.

Oh, and I finally finished my oreo cookies. Whatever!

April 14, 2011, 2:00 am
Filed under: English, Resi-Do

Let’s see…

Touch down! Touch “up” rather (cried out with similar enthusiasm)… What I am trying to say is that I finally touched the ceiling today. Well, I made a piece that does. I have got several more ambitious pieces I would like to complete before Wednesday, next week. Haven’t got much time left so I am trying not to freak out. This newfound insanity during the second half of my residency is fun regardless.

Last night’s poetry reading was divine! I especially liked John M. Oliver’s and Adam Smith’s poems. I searched online for some of the wonderful poems we heard in the Town Hall but I will have to leave that for another time. I am by no means an expert on poetry but I can safely say that John’s reading made us all shiver.

My good friend Sophie took pictures today for my interview about the Vermont Studio Center. I am grateful to her. Thanks a million Sophie! When you get super famous (which I am sure you will) I will brag about you having taken photos for us. We have Jamil’s opening tonight at the gallery and his work looks really good. I think I like his chopped up and then painted tree trunk most. Last night he was kind enough to recommend some other residencies around the World. We agreed to make a list of them. I am not sure when I will do something like this next but it doesn’t hurt to know about these great opportunities.

Later, we have our second round of resident slides. That is, of course, after we have had our requisite bourbon at the liqueur holder’s, i.e., Nate, studio at Barbara White. Business as usual in our little haven.