I applied for a residency whilst on my last residency in Camac, Marnay-sur-Seine, France. It was one of only a couple of major planning things that drew me away at the time focusing on what was in front of me in my studio. And I’m glad I did as I have been notified of my acceptance – no doubt I’ll let you know more on that one later. I hope that amongst some meaningful art that comes from this new residency project, some connection grows with the group selected too. One thing that I took from the residency in France was not only the learning that comes by being surrounded by a group of artists but the bonding too. The six portraits shown here, were created during some intense days at the end of the residency, of those who were left and who hung out together in the studios at the top of the 16th century monastery. These paintings were created ala prima in quick sittings. I didn’t know but I had been priming myself to do them, as they came on the back of over 40 pencil drawings I had also created, on the old French literary cards from this place, of the artists and locals in this place. Looking at them now remind me that constantly drawing as well as placing limits on your work can be a good thing – these portraits were painted in just hours in one sitting each, because that was all there was. And in fact a half of them didn’t exactly sit. For I painted them as they worked too.
And of bonding, one of the artists in residence with me at this place was Katherine Grace Bond. Her studio was next to my living quarters and her warm heart made me calm from the beginning in this new place. She is a writer, and was the only one amongst the plethora of visual artists at the residency. One of her gifts to us was her generous writing and reading of this piece to all of us at our open studios event …
Thankyou Katherine and thank you too to Carlos, Sandra, Daehyun, Daniela, Ana, Christian, Jakub, Charlet, Augstine, Mathilde, Laétitia, Karine and Melanie.