Thursday, July 11, 2013

Nantucket Adventure: Wrapping Up

... All too quickly.

It is a sad, gray morning on the island of Nantucket. There are rolls of thunder off in the distance as I drag out my suitcase, happily tucked away for two weeks, and begin to pack for the trip home.

There has been a surge of creativity and feverish painting over the last three days. Today is our last in class time to paint before our critique tomorrow morning.
Our final assignment has definitely been an adventurous undertaking, especially given the amount of time we've really had to complete it. In fact, feeling the pressure, our professor will allow us to continue to work for a week or two when we get home, so our crit tomorrow will be more of an in-process.

Over the last two weeks we have been immersed in the history of Nantucket. We have gone to the Whaling Museum, Sankatay Lighthouse, the Athenaeum, a home called Greater Light, the village of 'Sconsett, and the Coskata- Coatue Wildlife Refuge and Nantucket National Wildlife Refuge. Not to mention a couple of lectures provided by the director of the field station (Photographer Tony Wu (!) who had two sold out lectures at the Whaling Museum) and our own adventures into and around town, including the ghost tour. I also attempted to read a book called A Way Off Shore, which is a history of the island. Last night I even watched (or had in the background while I painted) a Ric Burns documentary filmed with the Nantucket Historical Society.

Our assignment has been to take in all of this and find some inspiration for a series of paintings connected by a theme. How can you not find inspiration on such a beautiful, thought provoking island!? Our landscapes and plen- air experiences last week were just the beginning.

The four days we have had really isn't enough time to fully develop a concept, but I am doing the best I can. I have been going back and forth between four paintings and through the coaxing of my professor, have attempted to bring in more of my drawing style. When I draw, I start with a ground, pull out highlights with an eraser, delicately blend in some places and hash out lines in others. Its all very "sketchy" and I have attempted to do the same with painting... We'll see.

Knowing we have had an incredible amount of work to do by tomorrow, the girls and I stayed overnight at the field station on Tuesday. It was a wonderful idea, but by early afternoon yesterday, we were all anxious to leave.
After about eleven or twelve, the bugs got a little rough.

Where ever there was a light, there were millions of these little, black bugs. Each of us had one or two clip lamps or exposed light bulbs near us in the studio and once we realized we were surrounded, we couldn't help but feel itchy.
I attempted to sleep on a couch. I may have slept for a few hours. Plus, being only feet away from the ocean, having all the sliding doors open made me feel like I was swimming in humidity.
We all got a ton of work done, but it was a long two days.

Today we wrap it up and celebrating the opening of our professor's gallery show this evening!

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