Artist In Residency: Inside the Artists Studio

When I was younger, I loved drawing. My creations consisted of doodles and stick men mostly, with some odd shapes and colors that didn't match thrown in there for good measure. I have masterpieces such as this to show for it: familjen-fridhed

Last night I attended Artist In Residency: Inside the Artists Stuido, an initiative presented by the Arts Council Wood Buffalo and RMWB where you got to meet the four artists; Reeny, Ruddy, Ruth and Luke (which, with alliteration like that, I really hope will start a band). They invited us into their studio for an opportunity to ask questions, have a look at their creations and - of course - make some art of our own. We got to try our hand at making a 'zine, painting an acrylic sunset on canvas, playing with texture and creating our own fabric print. .

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. As soon as the group of eager artists had settled down by the long tables, you could sense how excited everyone was to be there, how we were all itching to play with the various paints and pencils scattered around the table - whether you were a seasoned painter or simply a qualified doodler such as myself. The atmosphere was a positive one, around the room I could hear "it looks really cool", "that's beautiful" and "I never thought to draw it like that" - encouragement and excitement and nudges to keep trying. .

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I started off tentatively, unsurely, without any purpose or deliberation to my strokes. My thoughts and focus were scattered, leaving me with an... interesting first piece. I think Hanna, 5 years old would have snickered. As we moved on to the next project, I let the surroundings and 'what if's' go. That zone - something akin to extreme focus without much conscious thought - is one of the most liberating places I know of. It happens sometimes on stage, we're I'm not even present as myself anymore. It's not as if I have 'become my character', but as if there is an awareness of every single molecule present on stage, buzzing and tingling through my body. It's probably the closest to zen I have ever been. Last night I got engulfed with the process of creating something, even though I hardly know how to hold a brush, and thoroughly enjoyed the gentle guidance of the artists in residency. I left with a few new pieces to scatter around the mansion and a new boost to keep on painting and try new things.

AIR

. .The Artist In Residency initiative has three open houses left of the season (July 25th, August 8th and August 22nd) with the final exhibition An Indefinite Short Period of Time; AIR opening on August 27 at the MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery. I warmly recommend paying these artists a visit before autumn is here.

Photo borrowed from the Artist In Residency Facebook page.