Posted by: jeanne | March 2, 2009

7 months to go before my residency

it’s not like i haven’t done this before, you know.

i’m all jumping up and down and giddily fantacizing and obsessing on it as if i’d never gone away to paint before, or as if it were only a couple of days before my flight.

so i guess i haven’t been on a residency for awhile, since 2004 and this is 2009. i have a studio downstairs and another one right behind the bedroom, so why do i need to go away?

there are so many awful things about leaving home to paint. why don’t i paint at home? what’s stopping me from being as active as i’d like, not answering phones, for instance, and email things. there goes the morning.

and packing up my studio to go. condensing everything i own, a considerable mount, into absolute essentials and project supplies. can’t take my sewing machine, for example.

when i was on residency before, i had a car to use as transport and storage. for this residency i have one bag.

okay, i already have decided i’m not bringing any clothes. my sister the outfitter will do wonders in that department. and i can’t take anything flammable or otherwise suspicious, meaning i’m going to have to get local supplies of turpentine, linseed oil, beeswax, vinegar, syrup.

today i took a few dozen little tiny jars with lids, like for model paints or paint by numbers. paints in pots. i cleaned them out of what they held before, which was mixed up watercolors or acrylics, and made up tiny little jars of all my pigments, from white to black thru the spectrum. it’s so cute. it’s so dinky. it weighs about a pound and is smaller than a 900 page novel.

those are my paints. all i need is binders and i can paint anything (insert evil laugh clip). the dyes will be four pots several times bigger than the dry pigments, full of powdered primary colors plus black.

last time i had to go thru security and customs, i had my stuff x-rayed from here to tuesday, and we had a conversation while the guy went thru every article of art material we could discuss. turns out he was an artist himself, only working at tsa for the money.

tubes of paint look inviting under xray. lead tubes. in various colors with various labels, all standard manufactured brand. the poor guy had to open them up and make sure. what do you think canvas stretchers look like when seen on xray? they only confiscated the solvents, but they messed up a few paintings that weren’t quite dry when i had to leave.

this time i’m only taking pigments. no lead anything.

pigments and brushes and palette knives. oil and watercolor and wax brushes, oh yeah and dye brushes too.

i think most of my art supplies for this three week residency will be fabric. in all varieties. silk. canvas. ready-for-dyeing cotton. muslin. paper. panel. you might argue that panel isn’t exactly wearable fabric, but it’s made like paper, pulp and glue, so i include it. but i consider that anything you can put pigment on is fabric. and define color as anything you can do to put a design on the surface.

a watercolor block. silk yardage for scarves and paintings.

something for stretchers. that’s going to take some thinking about.

lengths of cotton for dyeing, for clothes later or for quilts and hangings, raw materials really.

canvas to either stretch or paint as smaller pieces without stretching.

i guess i can get stretchers when i’m getting the solvents and other liquids.

doesn’t sound like much.

my film camera and a bunch of film. i don’t like digital cameras. plus which i’m borrowing my sister’s laptop and camera so i can go out and take pictures and then come in out of the rain and paint them displayed on her screen. cool, eh? if only they had a wi-fi connection up there, i could spend all my time blogging too and not get a tenth the work done. so, no. glad it’s not that urban yet. you shouldn’t be able to get strong internet access in the back of beyond.

i’m sure there’s more to go in my checked luggage single allowed bag (or do i have to pay for them now?) might as well check. well, since i’m going out of the country, i get two 50-pound bags. free. too cool. i can never take that much.

checking out the flight with delta, i want to go to dublin at the end of september, and come back from amsterdam, where i’ll spend a week with jim, staying at marleen’s studio and pigging out on the museums.

this means taking a ryanair flight from dublin to eindhoven and catching the train to amsterdam, where i’ll pick up jim from his flight from atlanta, and we’ll both go home together.

so what’s the baggage allowance on ryanair?

but first, the flight arrangements quoted by delta, this far out. $1131. ugh.

turn to ryanair. 38 euro. that’s better. checked baggage costs 10 euro for 3 bags, 15 kilos total, which i haven’t done the math. no size specifications.

and the train from eindhoven to amsterdam? 17 euro.

but, thanks for the hint, susie, aer lingus’ rates are as cheap and they go to schiphol and never mind taking a train for 2 hours. for my dates, they’re charging a fare of 0 euro, with 30 euro in tax. i’ll do that.

jim’s delta ticket from atl to ams will cost just over $1000.

museum admission, train fares, cash to spend at open air markets and grocery stores for food to prepare in the studio. those are our expenses. we travel dirt cheap. it’s a virtue. that way, all the money goes into art supplies and food. the necessities. the rest we can do without. and the kindness of strangers, of course. miracles.

but it’s still going to cost a pretty penny. and this isn’t including the expense of silk cotton and maybe wool who knows some irish linen. and food for three weeks. and feeding our heads in amsterdam. and this’ll be jammed into coach seats eating gelatinny food all the way. maybe i’ll pack a lunch from the tenkatie straat markt on the way back. some sliced meat, some yummy cheese. some nice fruits. some wine for me. we’ll feast like it was first class, and then either watch movies back to back all night long with our personal dvd screens, or sleep right thru to atlanta.

i’m so excited. it’s as if it weren’t the beginning of spring and we didn’t have all spring and then all summer and then the beginnings of fall to go. not like it won’t be gearing up to be the kind of winter we’re just ending with when i get to ireland and come back again. it’s more than half a year away, but i’m on top of planning efforts, with a significant handle on how much i can take.

now, what am i going to do with it, that’s the real question. do i make a lot of raw material, do i make a lot of paintings. do i work on something altogether different than what i expect?



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