Monday, April 01, 2013

Vermont, Day 2: 6:20am in the Studio

The reality that two weeks of writing lie ahead of me, hit me yesterday about the time I saw the artist’s studios on our tour. The large, white, empty rooms with easels, tables, and light streaming in from windows and skylights seemed to promise productivity. At the end of the month, these artists’ studios will be full of color and canvases.

Our writing studios hold the same promise. While not as large and spacious as the artist’s studio spaces, ours fit the writer. As promised, we have a desk, desk lamp, bookshelf, cork board, desk lamp, and unexpectedly, a plush reading chair and lamp right next to the window overlooking the Lamoille River running past at a good clip. Then, the empty studio soon became mine as I unloaded my books, journals, and binders on to the bookshelf. I pinned my genealogy photos to my corkboard last night and will print up a bunch of new ones this morning. I have a cup of hot tea next to me in my new Vermont Studio Center (VSC) mug, and my journal and snacks on hand as I wait for breakfast.

Yesterday afternoon and evening were full of introductions and artist talk. Who are you? Where are you from? What’s your artist medium? What projects will you work on during your time here? What materials do you use? As Jon, one of the founders said, we are all in a place of peers, where everyone appreciated and validates the meaning and purpose of our work.

Todd and I also felt again how fortunate we are to be able to do this together. 48 other people here had to negotiate their 2-4 week absence with partners and families. While we had some work pieces to prepare for our absence, we get to enjoy this space together. I think we looked like starry-eyed kids yesterday walking around the campus here in town. Wow. We really are here. I held Todd’s hand a little tighter and maybe gave him a kiss or two. But that’s a different kind of post J

The VSC owns many buildings around and about town, and our writing house, the Maverick Studio, is the only building that they have built. The other buildings are old homes and even old barns. Our bedroom is in this great old home with an eclectic mix of new and old furniture, creaky floors, and a pillow on the bed that says, “Earth Without Art is Just ‘EH.” Seems like a blessing. 

Across the street is the writing library in Mason House, with two rooms of books, comfy chairs, and a long table for writing talks. There are 12 writers here a month (of the 50 people here at VSC), so there’s a strong core group. There’s a visiting writer coming this week, Eamon Grennan, and he’ll give a craft talk and do individual workshops with us for a bit. On Sunday, a few of us writers will give a reading. 

Throughout the next two weeks, many artists will give studio talks, which I’m really looking forward to hearing. Most of the time is unstructured and devoted to our own work. We can come into the studios, library, tv lounge, kitchen, 24 hours a day, every day, so we can work at any time the muse arrives.

For today, right now, at 7:10am, it’s sitting in my comfy chair, downloading my new printer driver, watching the river carry occasional pieces of ice, feeling grateful and eager to start.

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