For creative types with demanding day jobs and hectic lives, an artist residency can offer much needed sustained break in which to work.
When my daughter asked me to visit her in Cochrane, Alberta this summer, a Do-It-Yourself Artist Residency was born. I miss the days of being an-Artist-In-Residence at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. The residency gave me a regular and scheduled escape from the chaos of life. At the Living Arts Centre I was given a small painting studio on the 3rd floor, and access to a photography studio. I dived into a two year creative stretch producing several works about my late father. I have wondered if I could recreate that kind of physical and psychic space at home.
We recently moved to Port Colborne, Ontario in south Niagara. I have big dreams of recreating a creative space at my new residence. But life happens, teaching work piles up. I don’t even have time to apply for residencies, even if I were interested in them.
But one of my children recently moved to Alberta; it’s been two years and I am visiting for the first time. I imagined a retreat where I could research, write, create, talk, walk, and sightsee. I have several ideas for a new body of work. The truth is I have been too busy with teaching to give it concentrated, uninterrupted attention it requires at this point.
So, here I am. It feels good to have a much needed break and focus on my creative side.
My plan for a DIY 7 Day Artist Residency:
Read: short story, poem, essay, chapter in book, etc.
Research: watch documentaries, youtube, learn a new skill or technique
Practice: experiment and explore materials and new ideas
Create: refine work
Since I am surrounded by beautiful forests, trees and breathtaking landscapes this week , I decided to start reading the second novel in the series by Peter Wohlleben " The Hearbeat of Trees." I saw this book in the store at Algonquin Provincial park when I visited a couple of years ago. Sadly, it has been on my bookshelf waiting for the right time to immerse myself again in the world of nature and trees. So excited to share my findings with you.