I’m finally getting settled in at my post-CCA studio.  At the end of the spring, at the advice of Nathan Lynch, I met with Lisa Cooley to talk about my being the first artist in residence on her property on the southern rural edge of Petaluma.  We discovered over lunch that we had some pretty compatible ideas about art and life.  Then I drove to her property to visit the studio.

cooley_barn_in_field

This is the barn that sits outside of one of the windows of the studio.

Tucked back into the hills near Olompali State Park, her home is a wonderland of nature.  When I first came to the studio, I startled the two spotted fawns that were sleeping next to the back door.  On my walks, I have seen eagles, hawks, coyote, deer, and the elusive tail of a fox, not to mention field mice and rats and song birds and a hundred thousand lizards.

cows in a field

Cows that move into the field for grazing in the late spring

Having such a quiet rural place to visit just a quick drive from my urban home has led me to think more about the context of the animal — human and otherwise.  To see a rat in the city means to call and inspector and exterminator.  To see one in the country is to put out a trap, maybe, and let it go.  I carefully shoo any and all moths and flies from my house, while I feel totally comfortable working around the frogs on the internet router in my studio.

If you know how much I love duality, you will see that this is probably going somewhere.  More on that in the coming months, I am sure.

studio view

My shelves and images are up in the studio!

Meanwhile, I have covered the tables with new canvas and tested the kiln to make sure it goes to ^6.  I’ve got a sketch book full of ideas, and feet that are longing to carry me over the trails and through the trees and into conversations with turkey vultures and wandering cows.

I am deeply grateful to Nathan for making this connection for me and to Lissa for offering up this studio to me.  It’s going to be an amazing summer.  Stay tuned on my instagram for photos as the work progresses!