Friday, April 11, 2008

Briony at the Vermont Studio Center

Since March 29th I've been staying at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT as an artist in residence. There are about 50 artists/writers staying for a full month at VSC. Basically we eat all our meals together (which are DELICIOUS. Yes, the meals are so good that they deserve both capitals and italics) and in between we scurry off to our various studios to spend time on our paintings/prints/poems. Everyone is incredibly kind and curious about each other's work. Last night the artists opened the doors to their studios and marched around to each other's spaces to see what had been produced in the last two weeks. The best part was matching people's work to what you knew of them already, matching their work to what you knew of their character.

So far I have been focusing on the 'Wicked Plants' project, an illustration project for Algonquin Books, written by Amy Stewart. The first illustration, to the left, is an etching on an 8" x 9" plate of Monkshood or Aconitum napellus. My intention is to make the illustrations look menacing or somehow a little dark and haunting. It's hard however, to make some of these beautiful plants look anything but delicate and sweet.

My studio is located in the Barbra White Building which used to be an old school house. There are about 5 studio buildings for artists and I think there are another 3 studios for writers. Upstairs in the Barbra White building there are about 8 painting studios and downstairs there are 4 studios, three of which adjoin the Printmaking room and are reserved for the three resident printmakers. There are also a few studios in the basement which are for resident staff members - residents who decide they like it so much that they work at VSC in exchange for room/board and a studio space.

The Print Studio is a lovely space to work in. There are two beautiful presses to work on, a Charles Brand press and the other is a Martech Etching press (a brand of press that I've never heard of before but works very well). The space has good light and my studio mates, Jacklyn from Wisconsin and Catherine from NYC, are very charming and easy to share the space with.

My personal studio is also quite comfortable. There's way more space than I would ever need but I'm quite content.

I've lined my walls with copper plates ready to be etched. It's a little intimidating to have them all stare down at me throughout the day, but I know I'll eventually get them all done. Tomorrow I will start in on an etching of Ricinus communis! Wahoo!

There is so much more to tell about this place and the awesome people I've met but I'll have to do it in future blog postings. This place is wonderful. I imagine it will be a time in my life where I look back and think, "Holy Cow, that was one cool experience."I promise to post more etchings as I make them.

Off to dinner. Cod with Red Pepper Pesto. Yum.

1 comment:

billy said...

every time i look at your stuff i get all ... how can i say this, ummm, like well, it's like butterflies, but not in my tummy, if you catch my drift. are you wearing your p.j.s right now? i am. the kind with footsies. no, but in all sincerity, your web page as a whole looks tight. and i'm duly impressed by your work.