Preparing For My Artist Residency

Still working on the turtle house, little by little, because I’ve been busy with other things lately. Namely, getting my whole world prepared for departing from my regular life for a whole month. I’ll be out of here in less than a week now and I have a lot to square away. I would like to finish this painting before I go, but I don’t know if that will happen. I’m busy and I’m lacking the motivation. I might end up bringing it with me to my artist residency in Joshua Tree.


I still have quite a bit of organizing to do to make sure everything will be taken care of while I’m away. I have errands to run and items still yet to buy. I actually bought a really cheap printer to bring with me. It was only $29 and it even has a scanner built in. You can’t beat that. I realized that I print a lot of stuff that I use for reference. But I wasn’t about to drag my huge printer out there with me. This is the Canon Pixma 2520 All-in-one.


I’ve also been trying to get to a good pause mark on my book. I just passed the 2/3 mark of the final draft, but I plan to get to 3/4 before I leave. I will finish the rest in the desert, then I’ll do a final read through and be done with it. I’m sending it to my editor on November 1st. If I want, I can still make tweaks in October, but I doubt I will do this…because all that being said, I am now having dark thoughts about publishing it (again). But, I might just be too close to it. I probably need some time away. Maybe I’ll feel differently.

And at least I’ve overcome many mental hurdles like these and have kept persevering. That’s something! But to be honest, I’m lost on whether or not this book is even well-written – I mean – if it’s up to my standards. Like in art, I have a standard to at least make art that I like – something I would like to see on the wall. And this is not a book I would like to read. Believe me, I’ve read it – over and over and over, and it’s bored me senseless. I think I can be more creative with my words and ideas, but it’s just a memoir. Alas, it’s not poetry. I imagined the whole thing to be crafted and a lot more interesting, but I stuck to a conversational style, the same voice I write my blog in. I got stuck there and now I’m kind of unhappy with the end results and wondered if I should have kept it as work of fiction.

In any case, I’m still going to get through this last draft and read it through one last time and see if it’s salvageable, but if it’s not, I will have to chalk the last six years up to a learning process rather than clutter the world with another shitty paperback. Sounds bleak, doesn’t it? I might just be feeling moody right now. But I swear, I’m not fishing for a compliment or anything either. I’m really just venting, so whoever reads this, please don’t.

In other news, I’ve been getting things ready for Joshua Tree. I recently bought a couple of linen canvases that I think I’ll bring with me. This arrived today:


The only thing is that when I pulled them out of the packaging, I found that they are clear primed for acrylic paint only. That’s what the tag says anyway. I don’t really get what that means however. If it’s acrylic based, why wouldn’t it be good to go for oils? I have to investigate further. It might need another kind of sizing because it is linen? I’ll find out.

I also got more of these porcelain nesting bowls for mixing gouache:


I only had like four of these and I love them so much, I got a bunch more. I specifically use them for gouache. I use a different palette for watercolors. It’s also porcelain, but it’s pretty large. I won’t be taking this one out to the desert.


Instead, I’ll be taking my new metal one and a couple of small porcelain flowered palettes:


I plan on working a lot on paper. I’m bringing a fair amount of paper with me. I’m bringing a lot of stuff with me actually, not because I think I’m going to get so much accomplished or anything, I just want to have plenty of options should the mood hit me. That’s why I’m going to be bringing some oil paints and a set of brushes, as well as fabric swatches, paper, polymer, etc. – in case I feel like making a collage piece or two. I don’t want to be overly ambitious, but I think I can’t help that. It’s in my blood.

2 thoughts on “Preparing For My Artist Residency

  1. Kate Riley August 27, 2016 / 3:14 am

    Love you Carol xx Please publish your book – We’re all waiting, bated breath, for it… Because I’m sure you have an amazing story to tell … about survival despite…. Be in touch some time if you want a chat, otherwise enjoy Joshua Tree and just let it happen. I look forward to the results. I’ve never known anyone so massively creative in all my life – I can’t keep up with you. You ARE amazing. I hope, one day I’ll get to meet you. All my love and very best wishes.
    Kate xxx

    • Carol Es August 29, 2016 / 3:46 pm

      Hi Kate. Thank you for your kind words. I am just having a down trend and I’ll see how I feel after the retreat. I am so sorry I haven’t written to you, but maybe I’ll have some time in September to write to you. I hope you’re not too disappointed with my lack of correspondence. I sure don’t mean to take so long to reply. It’s a bad habit of mine. Love you!

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