Residency: Vermont Studio Center
I spent a week in residence at Vermont Studio Center, for Vermont Artist Week in the spring of 2017. Having just moved from the Maine Seacoast in September, this was a nice little perk to being a new Vermonter. They offer a weeklong residency to Vermont residents for a significantly reduced rate, so how could I resist?
Since my residency in 2013 at the Golden Foundation, I’ve wanted to continue my explorations in acrylics, but space/time has always limited me so I’ve had to leave my acrylics packed up for 4 years. Now, I have a larger studio in Vermont, a week to play with acrylics and nothing holding me back…except that I’m an oil painter at heart and these are nothing like oil paints!
Why acrylics? I finally landed on acrylics because I love fabric. I wanted to work on raw fabric in a manner that blended my watercolor and oil styles…that was my initial goal before diving head-on into my residency.
After a few days I realized that this would not work, I didn’t want to paint the same way that I paint in oil or watercolor, except using acrylics… I wanted to truly embrace what acrylics are and paint in a NEW way.
So, at day 5 I started over…I focused on what I love about acrylics and raw canvas: staining. I explored staining and after meditating on the stains, IT just started to happen- using the stains to develop forms and compositions.
One of my aesthetic goals has been to channel Motherwell’s strong independent forms that dominate the canvas without a lot of detail; they are so powerful and simple. Well, this just started to happen on my stained canvases, I saw the forms and lines emerge and they held strong to their simplicity and I had the good sense to stop and let them be, which a lot of artists will say is the hardest thing to do…and it was hard.
I’m very happy with the outcome of this residency; I learned a lot that I hope to continue.
© Copyright Rose Umerlik 2020.