During the month of May, I did a stay-at-home artist residency when my overseas travel plans got cancelled. Watch the video summary here, or keep reading for details.
May 2020. Like many who had planned vacations during this time, mine too got cancelled. I had been accepted to a 2-week artist residency on the Greek island of Kefalonia and had planned some time before and after for a bit of independent wandering in Athens and other parts. Alas, this was not to be.
Although I was disappointed that I wouldn’t get to see a new country (and a beautiful, culturally vibrant one at that) or have the opportunity to share an immersive experience with other resident artists, there were advantages to spending this time off at home:
If the main goal of the trip was to create artwork, then home was an excellent location to do just that, for a number of reasons:
- At home, my entire toolbox (or TOYbox, depending on my mood) is at my disposal: I couldn’t have brought it all with me had I left home. I had 3 weeks and my choice of materials to create anything I wanted.
- My dedicated art studio of easel, drafting table and animation stand are located within mere feet of one another in our apartment: Absolutely no travel or setup time required.
And last but not least, I had the company of my wonderfully supportive spouse and our 2 (equally supportive) cats to whom I no longer had to say goodbye for the duration – the dreaded downside to my solo travels.
Staycation artist residency: activities
- Continue working on my animation in progress, “Costa Rica’s creatures” – a short, handmade work about the wildlife and geography of Costa Rica, based on my travel there in 2018.
- Create illustrations and short animations inspired by fashion and nature.
Other activities – the joys of Montréal
I also had the chance to watch our beautiful city blossom, day by day, from spring into summer on multiple running/hiking jaunts to Parc du Mont-Royal, walks through our Plateau neighbourhood, and (socially distanced) picnics (for two) in Parc La Fontaine. All this, plus a bonus sighting of 2 Great Blue Herons who graced our park with their presence for a few days while the pond was low and inspired some artwork (see illustration at the top of this post).
Although my work does not speak directly to world issues (for now), I believe that nothing is created in a vacuum. Had it not been for COVID-19, this report would have been completely different.
As I write this, the world is being transformed by two incredible forces: one a pandemic, and now a global uprising against racial inequality, calling for change that is long overdue. I am humbled by the magnitude of both, and their impact on life as we know it.
I share the hope – and belief – that our world will emerge from this period a kinder, stronger and more just place for all.
Thank you for reading – wishing everyone safety and good health.