Artist Residencies and Stuff

I finished a small painting early this morning. It’s one I started last spring when GroundworkArts came to film me for their artists in classrooms project, which you can see here.

I titled the painting Gratefulness Ridge. It’s only a 10 x 10-inch piece on a birch panel with oil, paper, and bolt fabric. Finishing it has been on my list of things to do for eons, so I figured I’d whip it out. I guess the inspiration finally hit me. Here it is:

I’m also waiting for a different painting to dry before I can attack it again. It’s been haunting me to finish it, but every time I touch it, my finger still smooshes in the wet paint. Gah! I paint too thick. Yet, I like painting that thick. I’ll get that one done eventually.

Before the end of this month, I will get word back on three of the many artist residencies I applied to in recent months. I should hear back from Headlands any day now. That is in Northern California. Then, the one I’ve truly been after is MacDowell, which is in New Hampshire. I’ve been after that one like I’ve been after Yaddo in NY, but I couldn’t apply to Yaddo this year since I already applied last year.

I also applied to the Bemis Center in Omaha, NE. That was the first time I ever applied there. Their program seemed very cool, so I submitted a proposal and an application and am crossing my fingers for that one too.

There are four more besides these if you can believe it. All those results come before April of next year. Not to sound like Eeyore, but I’m guessing I won’t get any of these residencies. I’d be fortunate to get one. The closest I’ve come to getting any of these in all the years of applying was landing a couple of short lists—one for Yaddo and one for Joshua Tree National Park. And I was once considered for Headlands many years back. These things are incredibly competitive. Additionally, I have no formal education.

However, in 2004, I got a fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center. I was surprised, and it changed my life. I was so scared to go at the time, but then I didn’t want to leave when it was over. I loved it!

I was also offered a residency from the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist’s Residency in 2015 (I think), but it wasn’t the same type they typically award other artists—a whole other story. I went, but then I left after finding out some disheartening news regarding the residency, which my mental health couldn’t navigate very well.

Such is life. I’m built a lot better these days. I am who I am, and I’ve accomplished what I’ve accomplished, be it luck or hard work; here I am. I can only control what art I make, not what people think of me.

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