A close-up of a poem-painting which will be part of an installation I am working on here at OAC. One of the most wonderful parts of my residency has been the freedom- and the encouragement to do so- to explore and experiment with new ideas and ways of working. I applied as a painter, but during my stay here have also been working on poetry and integrating that into my paintings.
This is one of the pieces I did for an online editorial piece about bargain shopping in Chicago (link below) with my collaborator Alanna Zaritz. They followed her around as she gave out tips for the fashion conscious short on a budget.
The leaves are falling. Or rather, they are being driven from the branches by a steady and merciless wind and rain. I am in the later stages of my residency here, and the falling leaves and shorter days have brought to the forefront of my consciousness that this residency, like the season, shall end.
I arrived here in late summer and its days of high heat and intense sunlight. Autumn brought cooler temperatures, and I began to venture on long, meandering walks down county roads, where each turn brings beautiful vistas and intimate encounters with livestock. The mind expands to accommodate this new world: an image enters, a memory flashes, and the two stream into each other, perhaps remaining vividly present through the walk, perhaps submerging, to be recalled at a later time. And somehow I am left feeling both intensely transported and deeply rooted to the earth.
Today, however, I watched from the window in studio as the yellow and red leaves streamed downwards, framed on either side by two paintings I am working on. The past two weeks have been especially productive as I consider my goals for the second half and end of my residency. In the first two months, I worried that I wasn’t getting enough done in the studio- so many inchoate works leaned against the walls. Now I am glad that I spent so much time wandering outside, reading in the nearby cemetery, just thinking- I can see how it has transformed my work and entered it in unexpected ways. And grateful that I could have the time to do so in this beautiful place.