Day 1 - Tuesday July 31, 2018
After a month on the road, traveling almost 3,500 miles total from AZ to OR, to complete work on the winery building, as well as delivering a painting in-route, we happily arrived on a sunny last day of July to perfect weather in Wyoming, a cool 83 degrees! A welcome change from 110+ temps of Arizona. We look forward to saddle sores over Dodge Ram sores.
We were greeted by Sharon, the delightful Arts Foundation Director, and show our studio spaces and sleeping quarters. The Artist Residency location is set about 1/2 mile east of the main lodge area for privacy reasons so the artists can work peacefully away from the activities of the ranch. Of course, for Steve and I that wasn't exactly a benefit as we thrive on activity but can be easily distracted by them as well. Just like the "Bachelor/Bachelorette" show, Steve and I immediately wanted to forgo our individual sleeping quarters, by creating a joint "sleeping room" and a joint "storage/workout room" in the abandon sleeping quarter. We stared making plans to do the same with our individual studios as we both enjoy the almost constant company of each other (well almost may be a stretch!) His half was larger however for his easel and panels while I sacrificed (smile) and tucked myself in a corner with my computer, printer, and camera images.
The other artists arrived late afternoon so we met up, had a quick meal, and shared a couple of bottles of wine around the campfire area where we were welcomed by our first encounter of Whistle Pigs and well-fed Prairie Dogs that seemed to be as comfortable around the campfire as we were! It's always fun to meet new people, but we're not much the "artist" types so it will be interesting to see how we mix. As we sat around the dinner table, with meals provided family style daily, each artist shared about the work they do or hope to complete while at the ranch. which was fun. The amount of food here is overwhelming as I guess they're use to preparing food for the 250 staff and working hands on the ranch with I'm sure much greater appetites than "starving artists". (Smile)
Our group consists of two musical composers with us at residency, one from Boston and another from Montreal, Quebec. Their studio spaces are in historical buildings complete each with a Steinway piano. Its fun to hear them composing and playing onsite as we walk to/from the shared artist lounge area. There are two writers, one from South Dakota who describes her work as fantasy mixed with comic book like characters and robotics. and another published writer from the NY area that describes her non fiction work using characters or "con artists" that have set the precedence of our US economy from generation to generation. It's been really great to learn about the other art forms and how their business works vs the visual arts world. There are two other visual artists, one from Chicago that describes her work as "dark subject matter" such as death and the beauty that death can bring and the other from the NY area who says her work is "nasty - depicting men in power". Again quite different from our story.... "we photograph and paint beautiful horses"! It was a quick good night, leaving us to wonder what the weeks ahead might hold as much of this was new to us.