Posted by: jeanne | July 30, 2010


well, i’ve started packing.  more than a month before i’m due to leave.  i’ve got my sister’s old suitcase, which rolls, and she’s left a spare suitcase that jim will be bringing over, and she’s left me with a bunch of empty shoeboxes that she wants us to bring.  jim’s laughing at the request (partly because he’s already got to schlep a gallon of prepared french mustard in his bag), but i’ve started packing my stuff into empty shoeboxes.  i’ve got six so far.  it may be all she gets.  importing empty shoeboxes, how interesting.  you just can’t get this stuff in ireland…

i sent my sister home with all the things i thought security might confiscate, such as my powdered dry pigments, my citrus oil, and two jars of prepared beeswax with citrus oil.  now that they’re safely there, there’s not much left in my luggage that they might not want on the plane, so i’m going about getting various things that i can pack away without digging them out later.

two reasons for sending them home with my sister.  the first is that she’s going first class.  the second is that she’s a shopaholic and takes all sorts of crap with her when she travels, like everybody else.  whereas all i’m taking is art supplies – which is reason for suspicion.  so to avoid unwarranted suspicion, i let her take these perfectly legitimate items with her, because they’d take one look at all those powders and gels in my luggage and start screaming for backup.  you should have seen it when i went to europe back in 2003.  i had all my art supplies, and that meant a few million lead-lined tubes of paint, which the security guys wanted to see, touch, smell, and smear all over the place.  so i’ve vowed to avoid all lead-lined articles except for the bag i’m taking my film in.

one shoebox has cosmetic odds and ends.  one has sewing notions.  one has all my fabric dyes, one has all my paper including notes and printouts as well as watercolor paper and two hot water bottles (i’m expecting guests).  so we’ll see how much i can pack into it.   because i’m hardly taking any clothes, everything i need to make art should fit in one large suitcase that i can check, and i can put only odds and ends in my carryon.  jim’s just packing a backpack (i’m prepacking it for him) and bringing that stuffed into susie’s bag.  and i’m taking a couple of empty bags for the excursion to amsterdam, because i’m sure as hell not taking my art materials on the plane any more times than necessary.

i’m not sure if i’m going to be doing much fabric work.  i’ve lost the desire to paint silk scarves for the moment, so i’m thinking i won’t do any silk dyeing, but that doesn’t mean i don’t want to dye my linen or cotton fabric.  i’ve got a few projects to do with the linen especially.  like a set of placemats and napkins for my sister…

the residency doesn’t want wearable art for their donation.  jim drew me a pattern of puffins on the rocks, two views, and i was going to make them a set of silk scarves.  i wanted to give them something they wouldn’t have to frame, but they want paintings, so oh well.  i’ll do them something, but i wanted to make it easy.  maybe i’ll give them an encaustic painting.

during the time i’m getting ready to go, i’ve got to come up to speed on several things.  i’ve got to make sure i can dye the cotton and linen fabrics, and i’ve got to make sure i can use my oil paints, and my watercolors.  it’s pretty certain i can use the dyes, because i’ve done it lots before.  but i’m using a new method of oil painting and watercolor – mainly mixing everything by hand instead of using prepared colors – and i need experimentation before i can be confident of my materials.  i was very disappointed when i was at the beach that i couldn’t use my oils.  but i didn’t have everything i needed, and no experience using it.  it’s a good time i had the first run thru at the beach, because i have a month to actually learn what i’m working with.

i’m getting in touch with all my friends that i want to catch up with, sending them my itinerary and contact numbers, trying to figure out when we’ll be meeting up, penciling in show-up times for certain pubs, etc.  i have so many people to see.  my sister and her husband, walter, kay, diarmuid, renee, francis gail, marleen.

all this a month out.  busy busy busy.

map of cill rialaig

getting to cill rialaig


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