December 6  THE BOAT TRIP

Just returned from an exhausting six hour boat trip with the group. Instead of working in the studio today we took Matt up on his offer of a tour around Captiva and other local islands in a boat. Wow, six hours in a boat in 80 degree temperatures with a little breeze, looking at flocks of birds, dolphins, stuff like that, will wear you out. When do we get to go again!?!?!? [Darn, I think that was it.]

Here’s Captain Matt at the helm.IMG_3805

We passed this sign early on…

Resume safe op

I don’t know  how they knew about the Residency, but obviously this says we can no longer act like artists when out on the water.

We went looking for dolphins and we found some—but they don’t seem to predictably surface for folks with point-and-shoot digital cameras. Stephen was gathering sounds with an underwater microphone, seeing if he could grab some dolphin sound.

Steven dolphin sounds

Taylor Deupree arrived yesterday to work with Stephen for a few days. He’s staying at our house. Unfortunately for him, on the first day here he had to go out on this boat, but as you can see, he’s making the most of this trying situation…


Here’s Linda with Laurie hard at work on documentation…

Laurie Linda boat

As it  moved on toward lunchtime Matt picked up the speed and it got breezy. That turned out to be too much of  New York winter feel for Laurie.


We made to Cabbage Key Restaurant for lunch. Good food, good view. Wild interior papered with dollar bills—real ones!



Two rooms like that. Walls and ceiling. And as with many outdoor eating areas, there’s a pigeon (as usual the local versions of wildlife are somewhat different), he’s a regular and they’ve named him Floyd.

Pigeon Cabbage Key

Yes, it is real, not plastic.

One thing that I really enjoyed, beyond the wildlife and the ride itself, was the ever changing light on the water (and the sky). Samples:


The painter Brice Marden has talked about how the colors of his monochrome panels in his early paintings related to experiences of nature and I seem to remember him saying something in an interview about the sea of Hydra (Greece). I understand how that could work.

I made a lot of attempts at wildlife photography today with my little Canon Powershot and had very mixed results, but I like this one:


Back to the studio on Friday.


December 5


I received this pic from Yassi. Shows me hard at work, doing what artists do—standing and staring at stuff.

Laurie Lambrecht is a photographer who arrived on Tuesday to begin documenting what is happening here. Here she is documenting a conversation between Carrell and Yassi.


I got some work done. I hung all the color work in progress so it can tell me what to do (and I can stand and stare at it). I think all of the smaller squares are done.


As I left the studio the setting sun was lighting up the Fish House (where Laurie is staying).IMG_3722

While we believe that we are the first lucky group to be “residents” here, I found something lurking beneath a work table that indicates that some other artist had been working here recently:


Tuesday Dec 4

Birthday notes

Happy Birthday to Dr. Jan Dabrowski, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Marylhurst University. I believe he is 39 again. He likes broccoli.

And if my mother was alive she’d be 104 years old today.

Tuesday stuff…

On a walk from the studio to the Weeks House I noticed this convenient nature study. Look at this cute little plant that some bird planted in this nook in a palm tree:

Fig baby IMG_3665

Well it grows into a monster, a strangler fig. According to Wikipedia, “Strangler fig is the common name for a number of tropical and subtropical plant species” — so I don’t know exactly what this plant is, but nearby are a couple of its relatives:

Fig pair


And elsewhere on the property are huge strangler fig trees with the original host buried within. Maybe I’ll post a pic of one of those later.

Here’s a view of the dance studio, taken during our orientation tour back on day one:



On the left, not in the reflection, is Carrell Courtright (studio technician for the Residency). In the mirror, left to right, are Matt Hall (facilities manager for the Residency), Ann Brady (Residency Director), Carrell (again), Maria Elena Gonzalez (sculptor), Stephen Vitiello (visual and sound artist), and Monica Marin (Residency Coordinator). Oddly enough, the artist who is now working in the studio, Linda K. Johnson, from Portland, arrived later and wasn’t on the tour. This space was Bob’s original studio on the property. Beautiful room.

I got some work done in the studio. Rehung the small square works to give room for the larger color works. Worked on the squares a little bit, but the five in the middle horizontal row still need tinkering. I like the way the color pieces are evolving so far, but the three I’ve started have a long way to develop.


Monday Dec 3

Began Monday by blogging about the weekend and then around lunch time we went over to the Weeks House (purchased, as I understand it, from Mrs. Weeks), the house that serves as the central kitchen/dining/social area for the place. Here’s a view looking toward the deck and then the view of Pine Island Sound if you turn 180 degrees:


As we arrived, this guy was right out there in the water…


…maybe 50 feet from the shore. I went to the shoreline and watched him (or her).  Eventually he walked over to within 20 feet of me and then walked off into the bush.

Got an excellent day in the studio. Late in the afternoon Yassi Mazandi came in to utilize some comfortable floor.


Yassi is working in the ceramic studio which is just downstairs from the main studio.


OK, at end of workday there are 15 pieces on the wall and I’m reasonably sure that the 10 on the left are done. (But I might find something about them to tinker with.)


And after putting about 6-8 coats of Daniel Smith “World’s Best” white gesso (yes, plug for Daniel Smith, love the product) over the bright colors that I put onto the larger panels on Friday, I randomly splotted (autocorrect didn’t like the term “splotted”!) some colors onto the panels to give me starting points to work with. I’ll see how that works out. Yes, the bright base colors are buried, but they glow through just a bit which must be what I want because that’s what I did.



Began Saturday morning as usual sitting on the little front deck/porch having coffee and watching the funny little squirrels they have here.


They are a lot smaller than the ones in Portland, Oregon and have no hair, but they scurry and jump around just the same.

Didn’t do much Saturday. My brother-in-law, Rick, arrived and we did a lot of touring around the property and just sitting around talking. Went out to dinner at the Key Lime Bistro. Sat outside, there was a jazz guitarist/singer. Very pleasant. Here’s Rick:


Happy Holidays!

The Xmas lights are up!


Fun to see the snowflakes on the palms.


And the “douglas fir” garlands at the local strip mall…



I hadn’t planned to work in the studio on the weekend, but when Susan and Rick went swimming in the pool (I’m not a swimmer) I decided to tinker around in the studio just a bit. Five hours later I’d had a really productive day. I got the last five of the small panels started (maybe 50-90% there) and began layering coats of white gesso over the bright colors I put on the larger panels on Friday. Also adjusted the lighting and while I was up on the rolling ladder took an overhead photo of my work setup:


I think maybe five or six of the small panels are done, and hope to get working in color on the bigger ones soon. End of day Sunday:



Had a great dinner with the group last (Friday) night, but then too tired to update, so here it is now.

Began the studio day with the idea that I needed to get five new works going before lunch (remember I have 15 more works to do than I planned for). I began by dabbing japanese ink randomly on the five panels, sorta the old abstract expressionist method of getting something to work with/against. Started to get some refining done and then off to lunch. Here’s where it was left then:IMG_3511

The five on the right are the new ones.

After lunch we received the shipment of 16″ x 20″ panels.  These panels are basically masonite with thin plywood strips cradling around the back edge. The front surface has a matte clay coating. Each panel is shrink-wrapped.

They came in two boxes. After opening the boxes I could see why several panels in the first shipment had dinged corners—that is, maybe a sixteenth, or up to an eighth inch triangle was broken off exposing rough masonite . The panels were stacked in the boxes with no corner protection! Just some air bag packing randomly filling the box. So if you want to try these panels from Dick Blick, try to buy them at one of their stores! I don’t know how you can tell them to pack them carefully as I saw no evidence that they would know what that meant. [End of rant.]

I gave the new panels a quick coat of color as I have planned to work on these in color. I just want some “given” to work with.


Maria Elena Gonzalez has begun to hang some photos in process on the wall to the right of my workspace.


Right behind the wall where I’m hanging my stuff is the computer/printer room. Maybe I’ll get a pic and info up about that later.

So, the state of my work as of Friday is: 10, 12-inch sq works in progress, actually I think three might be “done.” And 15, 16×20 panels with a coat of color.

I don’t plan to work in the studio this Saturday and Sunday as my brother in law will be visiting.

Here’s the starfruit (grows right next to the studio!) upside down cake that Terri made to cap off another lovely dinner (must click on this pic so you can really see it!):