Notes From my Fair Oaks Artist Residency
I spend as much time as I can painting at Fair Oaks. I try to go about twice a month, on Sundays, my only day out of the studio. I learned how important a week long residency is for growth as a painter. When you live in a place for a week or more you learn so much more. There is a rythm to the land that isn't possible to understand when you are there for a few hours. To really understand a place you must spend time there without stress, pressure, or timelines. A residency allows you to settle into the land and begin to notice so much more.
During my time, I saw a King Fisher trying to catch his dinner, a Red Tailed hawk, listened to the owls at night, and saw lots of animal tracks around the back fields. Flowers began to bloom and trees began to bud out in the week I was there. I settled into a routine of drinking my coffee on the porch in the morning, painting until noon, taking a break for lunch and then heading back out into the fields for afternoon painting each day. Late in the afternoon I would shower and dress and head down to the pond to feed the fish and enjoy the birds. The little pond is stocked with all kinds of fish and turtles and I enjoyed seeing the big cat fish come up for their evening snack. Some are Albinos. There are lovely benches where I could relax and read my emails for the day, listening to the birds, and enjoying time with Shane, my canine friend. About six PM the Sandhill cranes would pay a visit. Days started early and ended early. I never slept better than I did at Fair Oaks. I left all of my cares at the end of the driveway.