Follow your bliss in Our National Parks
June 19, 2015
I wrote a few blog posts with information about applying for the Artist in Residence programs at our National Parks. And I've blogged a bit while at Crater Lake and Acadia National Parks.
And here's a terrific time lapse by a young artist who worked for 6 months on this project: Downeast: Acadia National Park, Schoodic Peninsula. I share because I'm completely inspired. And part of any residency is to explore what others have created. Thanks Tade Yoder.
I thought readers might enjoy a bit of information about once chosen, what is involved in an Art Residency.
Following the Muse
More than anything else, a residency is a gift of time; time away from everyday distractions. Although much of my life is spent following my bliss, a typical day in residence differs from my life at home. The biggest difference is I'm solo. I enjoy solitude, as I hope you do if you plan to apply for Art Residencies. I see comfort with self-scheduling to be imperative and fun. For two to four weeks the immersion in the land, the connection with the light, the calling of the sea, the forest, the lake, the sky, and setting a pace that honors those connections is the primary focus.
I can't say there is a typical day, but generally, I wake up when ready, check email and social networks over a cup of coffee, evaluate the sky, write a bit, head to the studio, or on location, upload, develop and share images, and follow my bliss. What is my bliss? Responding to my inner artist, the voice that tells me where to photograph, hike, explore, watch rocks grow old, enjoy waves pounding the coast. Some days I head to my favorite (so far) trail, with my iPhone as my sketchbook. On other days, I walk to the studio, where I paint. And in the past few days I have played with drawing and made some watercolor and oil pastel sketches too. What would you do with a month with all your art supplies, journal, photo gear, macbook?
And as part of the residency, a requirement is to share with the local communities, to show work or to teach. I taught at a middle school and the young artists responded very well to the inspiration and lessons. I was thrilled to be in the classroom again. For those who are not comfortable working with children, there is a public presentation. Some artists set up a slide (digital) show, and talk to an open house. And at the end of many residencies in our National Parks, you need to agree to donate one piece of work within a year of the residency.
This week at Acadia National Park
To me, the most important gift at a residency is the ability to be at the right place, at the right time. Now, I don't always hit the mark, as living on the Coast of Maine gives me a new set of variables, like the tides. But a few days ago I woke up to fog, so quickly grabbed rain gear and headed for the coast.
I like to return to a subject in varied light to enjoy the moments and to create new images that speak to color, light, form and feeling. And when there are cumulus clouds in the sky, I chase the light.
And last night, as the sun approached the horizon, about 2 hours before setting, I scouted at Schoodic Point. Initially I was hoping to photograph the incoming tide, but instead, I responded to the pools of water left behind after a recent rain.
A favorite subject, working with reflections. Pools of rainwater reflect the pink granite of the Maine Coast.
Here's a link to some more work created while in residency at Schoodic Peninsula, in Acadia National Park.
Next blog: What I've learned, and giving back to our Parks.
And an upcoming blog about other Artists who are Residents in our Park.
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