Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Here I sit, broken and rejected.

Ok...repaired and rejected. My torn menicus (go ahead, ask me about knee anatomy) has been neatened up and my knee should be unwrapped and crutches tossed aside soon, but I'm still not going to Juneau Alaska this year to climb glaciers and hang out with the rangers as artist in residence. I know, I've already got the AIR in Petrified National Forest this September, but now I'm getting greedy and want TWO residencies a year. And the Tongass National Forest residency sounded really awesome.

But there's always next year to try again, and my rejection letter was one of the more thoughtful ones I've received. It actually referred specifically to my application, which feels better than the generic rejections that tell "Dear  artist " how tough the decision was and how many wonderful artists applied. So I will try again, even though I already have an application in for 2012 at Grand Canyon National Park. But I can do two a year, can't I?

So, I can concentrate on looking forward to the incredible color and cool rock formations of the Painted Desert even though September seems so far away. As any New Englander knows though, our precious summer goes by in a flash, and while I wait to go to Arizona I'm gearing up for a more local exploration at the Rhode Island Natural History Survey's Bioblitz. We've got a great response from artists of all media, and are teaming up with RISD's nature lab to offer things like microscopes and flower presses just for the artists, as well as expertise in specimen gathering. We also have some members of RISDs natural science illustration program, so it should be very interesting to meet this year's team. And next year we have an exhibit scheduled at the Warwick Art Museum to showcase the work of the 2011 Bioblitz artists. 

Once I can stand at my easel again I'm close to finishing some paintings I've been working on in the studio as part of my next series which I hope to post soon. Until then, I may just hobble into my backyard to take advantage of the first dry spring day we've had in about 2 weeks and do a little "plane ear" painting.


  1. Oh, BUMMER! Sorry to hear about your knee. Hard to believe, but it could be worse; mine took 2 surgeries and 1 year of rehab. Do what you gotta do to make it to the Petrified without your limb getting petrified.

  2. Sorry to hear about your knee -- to echo: "Bummer!" The good thing about PEFO is you can do a whole lot (almost all) from roadside viewpoints. There was only one trail that I decided not to try, and that was because it was muddy and slipping down it didn't seem like the best idea on my new hip.

    And good for you to try again at Tongass. That's one I know I can't do. I am thinking of applying to the Badlands, where you've already set a very high bar. The Bioblitz sounds just the thing for the New England summer; plane ear is approaching here on the wet Left Coast. We've had at least 4 days of sun in the last two months; they are promising more Saturday. Promises, promises.

    But I'm off to eastern Oregon for a workshop on a ranch that I never could get to otherwise. The workshop, alas, is in watercolor, with which I can honestly say I paint perfectly dreadful stuff. But I'll sneak off in the evenings, which are getting nice and long, and do an oil or two, just to keep my spirits up.

    Take care of yourself, and let yourself enjoy the bit of downtime.

  3. Hi June, I've thought about how you were able to cover so much ground in Petrified with your recent hip surgery so was not too concerned that doctors poking around in my knee would limit me too much. I figure there's plenty of flat desert to explore, but I'm planning on scaling some of the more rugged terrain, and certainy by September should be able to.
    I was more concerned about Tongass, but guess I don't have to worry about that this year anyway. I would encourage you to try for Badlands, there is a lot you can see from the road, and you can walk into the drainages from below the dropoffs, or over the prairie above. Just remember, it's a lot harder climbing down the formations than going up!

    I know what you mean about watercolor too, it's hard for us oil painters. I've kind of given up and switched to gouache, which is just as portable but easier to layer. Enjoy Oregon!


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