Week Four: Residency at Beatrice Wood Center

This blog is for my final residency week at the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, however the beginning of life-long relationships. 

Ojai has been in a heat wave for the past couple weeks and with no air conditioning in the studio, this Alaskan body is feeling the energy drain.  I am still putting in the long hours in response to leaving a cohesive body of work, however it is definitely weighing on my mind this week.   There is no time for getting weighed down in the details, as Kevin is always quick for solutions and getting it done!  He has been a phenomenal supporter of my work and I will forever be grateful for this opportunity and his support.

I was video interviewed this week by Kevin for the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts

Interview questions were mostly ones that we should be thinking about as artists.  Why art? What are you trying to say with your work? What does your body of work mean? You get the idea.

I also threw another 50 lbs of Soldate

He says he has a "great eye" for art..hahaha

After a 3 hour dinner conversation between Richard, Kevin, Sharon, and myself about art, life, and artist's voice in their work, it was agreed Richard would come give me a critique and clay demonstration on Friday, my last day of my internship.

A wood artist arrived at Beatrice Wood Studio this week, Sharon Doughtie.  Sharon is a wonderful person and I am a new fan of her work!  Check out her work at https://www.instagram.com/sharondoughtie/

Sharon making a quick wood base for one of my sculptures the last day of my internship - Thank You, Sharon!!!

The "hockey puck", as Sharon calls it can be seen here as the base for my sculpture.  Thank you, again, Sharon!!!!

My official last day of my residency was Friday, June 30, 2017.  I was in the studio early checking the temperature of the kiln and hoping for a quick cool down with our hot temperatures.  It was not happening!

The morning began with a visit from Richard Flores, who recently retired from being a Fine Arts Professor, instructing courses in all levels of ceramics, sculpture, glass and 3-D design.  This visit involved showing and discussing my work.  Richard also included Rex (my husband) on the discussions and critiques of my work, including his opinion.  This was awesome!  Over several hours we discussed every question I came up with, plus Richard's questions.   We also had an in-depth conversation regarding my work, processes, and listening to my own voice.   There are times when we know we are in a defining moment and I knew this throughout our entire conversation.  He also gave me quick demos pushing aside common processes and possible other options.  Mind blown!  I have a new attitude and am ready to own my work.

Richard Flores and I after our morning discussion.

Thank you!  I am grateful and feel blessed having you in my corner!

I had a back-to-back discussion with Kevin regarding my latest blog (Week Three) and posted it.  Then, the discussion about pricing began and this is a deep complicated emotional process.  Actually to simplify this multi-paged notes discussion, here are the highlights: you need to be consistent in your pricing - complete consistency!  If your item is priced less than $1,000, it is okay to publish the price online.  Also, your pricing comes out of marketing, including the cost to make it, time involved, and how much you are getting for the item.  Does your plan work?  We worked through each of my pieces that I am leaving at the Center for sale of which I will get half of the selling price.  Please feel free to buy them all!  This was an eye-opening process, as we also discussed the gallery involvement with making these decisions.  Phew!

Kevin, Sheryl, Maryann, and Richard have all supported me and my art during my internship, not to mention they have fed me so much wonderful healthy food.  I miss you all!  Thank you!

I am still processing all that has happened during my residency and will continue to integrate this experience probably for the rest of my life.   I met you all on this journey and feel like I have known you forever.  You have all changed my world and I do not have the words to express my gratitude.  You are all a part of my heart forever.  Seriously, Thank You!  I also need to thank all my family and friends.  I have the best support network ever!  Rex, an extra thank you for you.  We have never been apart like this in our 22 years of marriage, however you pushed me and supported me to do my best! I have the best soulmate and friend ever! I love you.  I think it is important to recognize that artists do not do these journeys alone, we have phenomenal support systems that help us to grow and achieve.  Also, a shout out to my work - ASF - you have also been my cheerleaders - Thank you.  Thank you all!

Rex and I saying goodbye and Thank You to Ojai from Meditation Mount

Reflections from this residency: I chose the best residency for me.  I chose to apply for this residency because I felt that it would be worth leaving Alaska in the summer for, plus Beatrice Wood and Richard Flores were two artist inspirations I chose in my beginning ceramics class.  I got to focus on my work and had a team supporting me.  I will continue to absorb this experience for the rest of my life, however I can say that this has been a life changer.   As I finish up my residency, I will return to Alaska with a confidence and belief in myself and my art that I did not have before.  I will also return knowing that I have a whole team in Ojai, CA, that have my back and also believe in me.  Beatrice Wood Center of the Arts, Kevin, Sheryl, Maryann, and Richard you have changed my life.  Thank you for giving me this opportunity, embracing me into your community, and believing in me and my work!

Extra Non-Art Blog Piece Here:  This portion is to keep my Mercury Maryann Friend happy and to assist myself in expanding my artistic license, Thank you, Teal! ;-)

There have been many discussions about this chain of events, so I am going to share this journey with you and you can choose what you think is real or not real...

Driving down the mountain to Downtown Ojai, Sheryl and I see a man walking alongside the road.  Olena exclaims, "Oh my God, that was Johnny Depp!"  Sheryl's response is priceless, as she cannot believe we have just passed him, but also shocked that I did not know that Johnny Depp lives in Ojai, CA.  This is where I should probably confess, he would be my "bad boy" crush.  After Sheryl and I finish the errands that we had driven into Ojai for, she drives me directly to the gate of Johnny Depp's house.  Of course, we get out and explore.

Johnny Depp's Home has the car from "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" movie

Facts: There were security beeping sounds and cameras were on us.  Also, Johnny Depp now has selfies of Sheryl and I.  :)

Gates to the entrance of his property from Edward Scissorhand's movie.

Several times up and down the mountain this same day, I see the same man walking, who eventually makes it close to my cottage.  After getting groceries, I was headed back up the mountain when I saw this man again heading back down the mountain and before I knew it, I was swinging around to offer him the bottle of water that I had no idea why I had purchased.  He said, "No, but thank you anyway", with a tilt of the head.  I drove away knowing that it was Johnny Depp.