It is my last week at Elsewhere and I cannot believe it is already coming to an end. It feels like it was just last week I first stepped foot in Elsewhere Studios, exhausted from a long days trip and trying to pull myself together long enough to be somewhat presentable when meeting my fellow residents. From that very first day, I have felt completely at home here at Elsewhere and the town of Paonia, completely taken by the beauty of such an amazing place.
My first few days were spent getting settled, unpacking, and organizing all my supplies. (As an oil painter, I have many supplies I had to ship in.) I also spent a lot of time in those first couple of days exploring the town and realizing Paonia's breathtaking beauty. October, like most months I am sure, is an ideal month to spend here at Elsewhere. The beauty that surrounds you automatically influenced and seeps into every work of art you make.
Having never created art outside of an academic setting or at an artist residency before, I was at first very anxious about my production process while at Elsewhere - I wasn't quite sure what to expect from myself. I set a goal to always be working on at lease 2 pieces at a time and come away from Elsewhere having created 5 paintings - a reasonable goal. I left that goal in the dust. Elsewhere, within Paonia, is an artistic haven, an ideal environment that feeds creativity. Within the past three weeks alone I have produced 9 paintings and still have 2 more in progress.
I have enjoyed every minute spent at Elsewhere. The other residents are amazingly talented writers and I am so glad I got to share this experience with them. Not only did we have fun whenever and wherever possible, but we got to share with and influence and critique one another, making our time spent at Elsewhere that much more productive and beneficial.
Thank you Elsewhere for this amazing opportunity. You have helped me realize my dreams are feasible and that I can enjoy every minute of my artistic journey.
- Melanie Reese, painter, Oct. 2013 artist in residence