Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Artist Residency

I just returned from an Artist Residency at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Pictured above is the Artist's Cabin, where I stayed. It was a fantastic experience! I did not have internet access there, so I will report retroactively.

First, some background... Whiskeytown was founded back during the gold rush. The story is that some prospectors were crossing a stream, when one of their mules slipped, and the kegs of whiskey spilled into the water. So, they named the stream, Whiskey Creek. Afterwards, they called their town, along the creek, Whiskeytown. By 1959, the town only had about 200 residents. They moved out, and the town was flooded, by the construction of a dam that formed Whiskeytown Lake. This was part of the Central California Water Project.
This is Whiskeytown Lake today.

I arrived on a Saturday evening, and met my roommate, Heidi Marshall, a wonderful pastel artist from Michigan. She had been there 2 1/2 weeks and had seen two bears! I never saw any... (Probably a good thing.) Normally, an artist is alone for their residency, but in our case, we overlapped by three days. Being alone, and without internet, sounds almost monastic, and I did find that I felt differently being there. At first, I slept 10-11 hours at night. I wandered around admiring everything on the first day and was not able to decide on anything to paint. My mind was just blank. Finally, I went down to the marina and started a painting, which was not working out at all. Then, Jim Milestone, the Park Superintendent came over, and introduced himself and took my picture, with the horrible painting! He was so nice, and I was so embarrassed. I was asking myself why I ever applied for this!!! What ever made me think I could do this?

(spoiler-it gets better tomorrow)

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