Topic: residency (4 posts)


Those of you that are steady readers of this blog: there have been a run of posts over the past couple of months that were based upon my being local, with access to all the files necessary to write about work, to write profiles, etc. and to address concerns about new work as well.

All that's about to change because today I leave for Iceland on a one month residency at the Baer Art Center in Hofsos. This is an artist in residency I applied for last winter. I was awarded a slot in the second of the two periods that residents are at the Center each summer.

For more information about Baer in Iceland go: here

For those that don't know what a residency is I suggest you go here for more information.

The best work I've been able to find from Iceland is the photographs of Andre Ermolaev, a Russian photographer. His work is here.

     photograph by Andre Ermolaev

My plan, hatched before I get there, is to post what I am up to during the time I am in Iceland, with frequent pictures showing what I am working on. I hope to make aerial photographs while there. I will photograph on the ground as well.

Topics: residency,Iceland

Permalink | Posted July 6, 2013

Residency 3

I left rural Dillard, Georgia at 6:30 yesterday morning, in the dark and in pouring rain as my time there was finished. I spent the night in a motel near Washington, DC and made it home today.

Night before last was our final dinner at the Hambidge Center. The six other residents and I ate with a group of twelve "VIP" women, they  had bidded for an "evening at the Hambidge Center" in a fund raising event last fall. Last night was the night. They were very interested in hearing where we came from and what we were doing during our time as "fellows" at Hambridge. It was a fun evening and a nice way to close out my time there.

What's next? I will work on files and make prints over the next couple of weeks. I think there may be two or three series that result from my time in the South, including one from the town of Spruce Pine in North Carolina made when I was teaching at Penland.

Here are a few made in Spruce Pine before I left for Georgia:

Then these from Georgia: 

which aren't really about ferns sticking out of the embankment on the side of the road.

And a few  kudzu pictures:

and these trailers:

It is  very good to be home.

Topics: residency

Permalink | Posted May 6, 2013

Residency 2

Residency 2

I’ve been here in Rabun Gap, Georgia for about a week, have been photographing every day, have even photographed for two days in a row in the rain, enjoyed the other residents I have met and find I am partly dreading all this coming to a close but also looking forward to heading home.

A good residency completely disconnects you from your world and puts you in another. Hambidge is a very good one. I shared with you earlier what my studio looks like. No phone, no internet, no one knocking on your door, no noise, nothing to pull you away from being creative, if you you're able. I don’t know about you but I make a routine of wherever I am if given a few days. Here it has been: get up, make breakfast, get clean, get dressed, do the dishes, make the bed, get my gear together (formatted card in camera, batteries fully charged), load car, head out on the day’s adventure. Adventure? Absolutely, as that is how I feel about this life I lead when photographing. Early light is almost best so early I go. The other morning I got about ¾ of a mile before I came across this on the same road as my studio:

OMG this was so beautiful! This had me thinking of, in this order, Ansel Adams and then beauty in photographs, cliché, then, that part of the role of art is to make new statements (which this is not), then color, and lastly, and this is something I do quite frequently these days, 8 x 10 verses present day digital.

But other things I find to photograph are often farther away. One day last week I drove north to Franklin, NC, southwest towards Hiawassee, Georgia then back to Clayton, then back home. Took me most of the day and I had a gazillion photographic adventures along the way, a great day. I even stopped by outside of Hiawssee at something I’d shot in 2004 when last here. Back then I came across a housing development being built and almost finished nestled up against a lake and made a series of black and white pictures there using the Hasselblad Super Wide. I don’t have it on the site but will put it in when I back home. This time I gave it a nod but did not photograph it, now almost ten years later.

Here are some pictures made over the past week:

This one above I just made this morning along the edge of Lake Rabun.

I have made random pictures but some series too and will share the series in blogs to come soon. One called “Lakeside" is of buildings that rim the man made lakes in the area. I have photographed at Lake Burton and Lake Rabun. Another is a black and white series of an abandoned car wash on the drive here from Asheville. And another is so far unnamed but of an amazing embankment on a curve high in the mountains.

I love the way the two yellow lines on the road stop before the end of the frame on the right side.

This above epitomizes my current obsession which is to put these incredible trees  with their leaves just now coming out up against the mountains in the background. I wish I had an easier obsession as it is very difficult to 1) find the right tree, 2) to find a tree with the right background behind it, 3) to find a clearing in the road so that I can shoot through it from the side of the road along these mountain passes and 4) to get above these trees so as to place them in the frame with the hills behind, meaning with no sky and no horizon line. No wonder I tend to scream when I find one.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking why is he so interested in these trees in this way? Because I know something you may not. I know what these are going to look like 37 inches across. They will be spectacular.

Finishing up for now a few more:

This last one from the top of Black Mountain in the rain over the weekend.

Some advice about residencies (sometimes they are called retreats): if you're thinking of applying, do your homework. One good way to start is to get the bible of books on residencies: Artist Communities. This lists all of them and is updated every few years. Don't apply to a residency if you can't do it if accepted. Apply to ones that are placed where you'd like to be and that will give you the time you need. Be careful for what you wish for. Most residencies cut you the time and space to work. Don't like to be alone? Not for you. Don't have a project in mind? Likewise. Does being in an empty room for 8 or 10 hours with maybe some image files, some paper and a pencil, perhaps a camera, or a computer or a book seem like heaven or hell? Figure that part out.

I remember when I had my residency in Syracuse, NY in September right after 9/11 at Lightwork. There they pay you, give you your own apartment and let you loose on wonderful digital facilities and darkrooms, with the best person ever to help you, John Mannion. I arrived, got settled in and then went to Jeff Hoone, the director, and asked him what I should do. Did I need to meet with students, give a lecture, show them work? He said, just work, that was it. This was a time for me to concentrate on making art without distractions. The good ones are that, there are others that will require commitments from you, perhaps some teaching or some duties. Again, do your homework.

Topics: residency

Permalink | Posted April 29, 2013


I have just moved into my studio for a two week residency in northern Georgia in late April, up in the hills where spring is going a little crazy with colors and everything is busting out and the leaves are this very light iridescent green which looks like it might last a couple of days before the leaves are fully out.

This is so good I am going to invite you along for a little vicarious residency and show you some pictures of my place perched above a stream and a meadow.

What do you do on an artist-in-residence? Pretty much anything you want.

Days stretch on with no real plan or pattern. No one will bother you unless you seek contact. You can work, or not. Read, wander the trails here, get in the car and go somewhere. But there is a subtle pressure in that someone has actually awarded you this huge gift and you might want to make good use of it.

I will probably do mostly that, load up the gear in the car and drive until something seems worth stopping to make a picture. I have been here twice before, first in 2001 and again in 2004. Here is the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, in Rabun Gap, GA about two hours from either Ashville which is north of here or two hours south to Atlanta. (Hambidge)

While in the past I worked here in mostly 8 x 10 and in black and white and I do have one series on the site that I made the last time I was here, from Atlanta.(Summerhill) We also included it in the “American Series” book.

Here's  what my studio looks like:

The room in back is set up with track lights to be a gallery or a resident could paint or draw there.

Residents are here for varying amounts of time up to about three months. This time I am here for just two weeks.

Like some time away from your everyday life to work on your pictures? Got a project that you just haven't completed because you're so busy? Every time you start in on something the phone rings, the bills have to be paid, work intrudes? A residency solves this every time. There's a catch, though. Isn't there always? You have to actually get the residency. This means applying, it means having a track record to establish you are the real deal and often a few prominent people to recommend you.

I am doing another one for five weeks this summer in Iceland with the Baer Center. Shoot aerials in Iceland? You betcha....

Topics: residency

Permalink | Posted April 24, 2013