|summer field, county road 5- monica lacey 2011|
Even as a little kid I always carried too much stuff with me. It used to be bits of paper, rocks, sticks, little treasures, all stuffed into shopping bags, and now it’s a computer, a camera, sketchbooks, novels, art supplies, magazines, clothes, a yoga mat, several pairs of shoes…I haven’t really learned how to travel lightly yet, but this trip is certainly motivating me to master that lesson. Getting on the train in Belleville yesterday with 4 bags was a bit much. All the Via posters proclaiming ‘a more human way to travel’ in reference to the train, and I was thinking, “one bag - that would be more human(e)”.
So yesterday marked the end of my 4-week residency at Spark Box Studio in Picton, Ontario. I went there almost immediately after graduating in June, and my assessment is that, for art students, a residency is an excellent transition aid when you finish school. I really had time to reflect on my studies and experiences, and to process where I had come from and where I wanted to go next with my work and my life as a professional artist.
When I was deciding where to go to do a residency, I looked at places all over the world. With the funding I had for it, and because of some other scheduling constraints, I knew I would have to go in July or August. Due to my inability to cope whatsoever with temperatures above 30 degrees or so, I automatically eliminated large cities and anywhere south. I then began focusing on what my goals were, and one of them is that I would like to develop an Artist Residency/Arts Centre in PEI and I wanted to learn more about that kind of operation. During my seemingly endless Internet research this little printmaking studio in Ontario kept popping up. :)
|the 'mediterranean courtyard' at Spark Box|
Spark Box was a really excellent choice – selected mostly on intuition and affection for the atmosphere of their marketing; I just had a feeling it was the right place. And it was. The owners are exceptionally kind, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and generous folks who I shall certainly miss and hope to see again before long. The landscape is serene and uplifting, the studios spacious and well-equipped, and the house comfortable and beautifully decorated with care and a keen eye for antiques and unique details. Despite not usually liking dogs of small stature, I even fell hopelessly in love with Rico, the Chihuahua/Corgi little dog who won me over with his wacky personality and big brown eyes.
In the month I spent at the residency I managed to complete all the work I set out to do, visit with my sister and a family friend who came to visit, spend quality time with my fellow residents and the studio owners, go to a film festival, explore the towns of Picton and Bloomfield as well as 8 different beaches, maintain daily yoga and exercise, experiment with new techniques and practices, go on several photo shoots, and write this blog. Great success! Now I have a day in Toronto and then home to my island and all the joys ahead. :)