My social media feed is full of artist adventure posts. Friends posing near cultural landmarks or in unbelievable nature, arms outstretched in joy. Iceland! Italy! France! Japan! These lucky people are in artist residencies, programs that allow creative people to focus on their work, far away from the distractions of home and family.
The residencies might be near major museums or quite isolated. There’s the bonus of scenic travel through world capitals and great land masses. Photographers, painters and writers arrive and settle into campus life, eating meals together and working solo in white minimalist studios. These programs are markers in a creative life, transformative inflection points.
My personal obligations prevent this exotic travel for the time being. So it is with a great grin that I announce my upcoming residency 4.5 miles away at the Seattle Artist League.
Founders Ruthie V. and Lendy Hensley are creating a new creative community in the N Seattle neighborhood of Greenwood. There are classes and workshops nearly every day for all levels of artists, from newbies to intermediate painters to professional artists trying new media. It’s inclusive, with many ways to get involved including figure drawing, lectures and Ruthie’s excellent daily blog V-Notes. I will be the League’s first artist in residence. Because I won’t actually live there, we are calling me the Artist Not in Residence.
This is perfect! It’s maybe 16 minutes away without traffic, Google tells me. I don’t even need to get on I-5. Inside the spacious, friendly school space is a spacious, friendly bare space. It is there where I will create a twelve foot wide woodland painting inspired by an old growth forest at Mount Rainier.
And now I get serious, which is actually challenging for me when I’m around Ruthie and Lendy, two very funny people. I am sincerely grateful for this chance to create a large scale and ambitious work within an active artist community. The panel painting will be part of my January 2017 solo show at Smith and Vallee Gallery, in Edison, WA. Creating it will involve much of the same technique as my other work, but with much more planning and stamina to create the richness I’m seeking. I’m looking forward to sharing my process with the SAL students and Greenwood Art Walk visitors. I’m eager to exchange ideas with Ruthie and fellow artists. Look for our artist adventure updates starting in the next couple of weeks.
Italy can wait. Besides, Florence doesn’t have a Fred Meyer.
9039 Greenwood Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98103 (206)483-9749
Part of the Greenwood Artwalk, second Fridays
Smith and Vallee Gallery, Edison, WA in the Skagit Valley, Patty’s paintings January 2017