Now that the festive period is over, my life is starting to resume normal service.
It has been a while since I have been able to get to the studio as Life takes over as it so often does, so I have had very little chance to do any work, which I am feeling it. This means that I have not been able to process my time at the Stwido Maelor residency and to figure out what I have learnt and I have taken from it, so this is the topic of this post and the next.
I’m using these post to figure out what I got from being on the residency and later about the work I did and how it has influenced and where do I go from here.
Firstly the residency Stiwdio Maelor I would highly recommend, the village Corris is beautiful and the villagers are warm and family especially at adam and Joe’s cafe (which you cannot live without) and the Slater Arms, the pub next door, (the two only place you can get wifi). I did go in winter so it was a little cold and very rainy, I was told there are beautiful walks you can go on, which I tried a couple of times but the weather soon got the best of me, so may be best going in summer, if you like looking at beautiful picturesque scenery.
It is a great place for focusing on your work with your bed room adjoining your own separate studio. There was no distractions having no tv or internet leaving you just your work, and own thoughts which was great when your work is going well but no so great when it isn’t.
Better balance, time and focus
As I have mentioned in my previous posts about the residency, the thing that struck me the most was having time, being away from lives daily distractions and demands on your time and energy, I realised how stressed and tense I had been, I could feel it in my body.
This made me realise I need better work/life/art balance, which means I plan on having more breaks away/relaxing more.
Having limited time has made me realise I need to focus on my priorities both mental and physical, mentally focusing on the positive and physically focusing on my priorities. This means when I am in the studio to leave my worries at the door and focus on my work, (my morning pages – Julia Cameron,’s The Artist’s Way, should help me here. (Cameron, Julia. The Artist’s Way. USA: Penguin Group, 1992. )
Quality of presence, one step at a time
Having time and space allowed me to become present, I very slowly realised that a lot of the things I was doing in my work was out of habit, at one point they helped me be present but now I was doing it for the sake of it.
I realised that one small conscious drawing or daily insight was more meaningful than reams of “unconscious” work I was producing, also to naturally let my work evolve naturally rather than force it to being some thing its not.
I think this came down to panic that I had to make something grand and meaningful in the limited time I had. The two weeks I went for clearly was not enough time.
I chose two weeks mainly because of work and getting time off and thought this would be enough time, my mini residency in Arena Gallery was two weeks and I was pleased with what I accomplished. But here it took me the first week to settle in and by the time I really started to get into my work and form ideas it was time to come home, whereas other people on the residency where there for 3 months. People who organised the residency say with shorter ones it’s about the ideas they form while they are here and the work come later when they are back home, which I am begging to see is true, but shall talk about my work is the next post.
What I have learnt;
-better work/life/art balance,
-relax more, go on breaks, get away,
-focus on my priorities; being positive, art work (as well as personal one such as family and friend but this is not whats that is about)
-dedicated time in the studio where my art is my solely focus.
Note to self:
In the future I hope to do more residencies and take what I have learnt from here. I like to to go for a least a month and have a studio without distraction to dedicate to my work but also have a separate place to stay in civilization, to escape my work when it become intense.