One of the things I have to keep reminding myself of is that art residencies are not about cranking out production work, but about the generation of new ideas and new directions. Studio production isn't normally a steady trickle at home either. My ratio of research to production is heavier on the research side; I spend a fair amount of time on genesis, after which the artwork sort of gushes out all at once.
Here, alternating research-days with making-days has been a good strategy so far. This morning I'd planned to spend at the Coast Overlook, fine-tuning bird sculpture forms. Yesterday I was at the Mingei Art Museum Library doing research. I managed to squeeze in a bit of painting, too, but didn't feel much accomplishment. The other half the day was spend shopping for and making risotto, for a potluck send-off party honoring a couple of NPS folks moving to other parks. (And I'm kicking myself for not bringing any of my handmade ceramic serving dishes to San Diego. While I don't consider myself a potter, I certainly can make pots and have a collection of wood-fired serving dishes. And it's a traditional point of honor among ceramists to put on a good show for potlucks: a homemade dish, served in a handmade dish.)
So I was looking forward to a day of production today. Instead I spent the better part of the day learning all about commercial lobster traps. Which I'll write about in a later post, and until then you'll just have to trust me that lobster traps ARE related to art-making. In the meantime, I have nothing concrete to show for the morning's work except notebook pages and the glimmerings of ideas. And I am all about the concrete stuff, objects, things...the time spent on research really does pay off in the work. I'm also one of those people who, when I say I spent the better part of a day doing something, I really mean the "better" part. Morning is my favorite time to get things done, because almost everything feels like more of an accomplishment if it was done in the morning. Totally irrational, I know. At least I'll get a few hours at the park this afternoon working on actual art-making. Anyway, a big thanks to Don of C & M Wire Products for spending HIS whole morning educating me about the materials I'll be using in one of my sculptures!