Martha's Blog

leaving on a jet plane

I am very excited to be given the opportunity to visit Australia for a month for an artist's residency.  During this month, I will be doing drawings that focus on the natural world, which I imagine will be familiar and yet very different than home.  I will be going with my good friend and fellow artist, Keaney Rathbun.  He and I have very different styles and genres of art, but we both use the natural world as the background of our inquiries.  We will visit  both cultivated gardens and natural areas there, and of course museums when we are in Melbourne and Sydney.  While there we both plan on doing a lot of drawings, in fact mostly drawings.  We will be hosted by a couple who have 7 acres of cultivated gardens so their property will be our main focus.  I know we will find a lot to draw just on their property!

I have never done a residency like this.  Most residencies take place in a certain locale, and you work on your chosen medium in that locale.  They are usually self-directed but don't involve a private home, and aren't as wide ranging as ours will be.  I plan on doing drawings but want to zero in on shapes I can make stencils from when I get home.  But of course, the residency will create its own energy, and I'm sure I will be making work that surprises me,  I can't wait to see what happens, while there and afterwards!  


Usually I include photos in my blog posts, but since I haven't taken this trip yet I am including an image of a print I did at a residency in printmaking 13 years  ago.  It was an experience that really moved me along in my desire to work larger and in color.  As you can see from this print, I was only just beginning to try out my color wings, but what has come since then has changed forever the way I make art.  That residency moved me along.

I will create a blog post after I return to report on the experience.  Stay tuned...

Have you ever done a residency in a foreign country?  What sort of experience was it for you?  Do you find it influenced your art?  Or did you continue doing the same work after you returned to your studio?