I’ve had month-long artist residencies four times in the last seven years, each in a different country. I wasn't sure in the era of Covid that we’d actually get here (my wife, a journalist, joined me for the first ten days here.) Artists love travel and encountering new landscapes, meeting other artists, and discussing new ideas. Genius does not spring forth sui generis.
For me, a month like this offers time, not just to produce new work, but to adjust and refine the focus of my work and my working process. I'm primarily a traditional representational landscape oil painter. But it’s not convenient traveling with wet oil paintings on transatlantic flights so I work smaller, in watercolor, during a European residency. When a new watercolor excites my interest I’ll almost certainly develop the idea in my studio back in New York into a larger oil when I return home. One such example is shown here, a little beach maintained by Renja’s neighbor and made available to AARK artists. Perhaps here i should add that the Renja Lieno, artist and residency director together with the residency co-founder, her husband Bennku, seem to be doing everything in their power to make my stay here as stimulating and productive as possible. I’m planning the larger oil to be approximately 36 x 24 inches back in New York. This watercolor is a mere 16 x 12 inches.