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Without a Net

Daring Starts From Within

Tag / travel

Home From Hambidge

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I spent a two week residency in the breathtaking mountains of north Georgia, writing, painting, hiking, playing guitar, and interacting with other writers and visual artists. This was my first residency. In my long career of making and selling and teaching art, I’d never indulged in this most luxurious of retreats. I will be feeling its effects for a long time.

(The photo above is my studio table.) See my other blog for more images from hikes and such.

A residency is applied for and awarded. I was humbled to be among the other talented artists who enjoyed this time at Hambidge Residency for Arts and Sciences. There were nine artists total, and each of us had our own house and studio, all tucked away in the woods with enough distance from each other to have total privacy. Four evenings a week we’d gather for dinner, where a chef had prepared us a meal. After dinner we would talk about art and writing and sometimes animal horror stories.

I got an enormous amount of painting done. Not that output was my goal. I would have been satisfied with any amount of work, as long as I felt like I was following my creative impulses. But as it happened, I felt compelled to spend up to 12 hours a day at the easel, absolutely ecstatic to have weeks to paint without distraction. I finished a first coat on ten paintings.

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Hambidge Residency

I leave Tuesday for an artist residency at Hambidge Creative Residency Program in North Georgia. A residency is applied for and awarded. For two weeks I will write and paint without distraction due to lack of internet or cell service. I’ll write about my paintings/cards and work on my new body of paintings (to be […]

My Wild Adventure at a Buddhist Monastery

A couple weekends ago I was invited by a friend to spend four days at Magnolia Grove Monastery, a Buddhist meditation center under the auspices of the famous Vietnamese Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh. My friend comes to the center regularly, and had been wanting to share one of her favorite places with me for a while.

Tucked away in the woods and fields of Mississippi, it was a bit like going to another country. The community of monks and nuns (with shaved heads and long brown robes) speak Vietnamese with some broken English. They are gentle and friendly, and make visitors feel peaceful just to look at them.

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New Skill, Sore Fingers

  I took up guitar this year, and have been reminded that being a new student of anything is a good builder of patience, self-acceptance, and courage. This weekend I went to the Alabama Folk School for a guitar workshop with incredible musician Herb Trotman, and came away with a wealth of music theory that […]