Taratories Blog

Confliction: Wales Residency

Today I spent most of the day in the studio except for my morning coffee at Adam and Andy’s when I blogged and researched.  I think that no time outside walking or with people was not a good idea.  Today was one of those days that seemed to be a little puzzle piece to my artistic journey.  Although nothing eventful happened today, I feel as though I had activity going on in my heart and in my brain that counted for something.  As I was working, I had thoughts that started to mess with me while I was working and threw me into a weird state. 

I find that there are parts about being an artist that can be quite challenging.  It is so hard to find the balance of doing what you love and being authentic and true to yourself in your art, and making art that other people with enjoy and ultimately end up buying.  Making art for art’s sake is something that I find is hard to do sometimes.  Usually I am working on a commissioned piece for a client and there is someone who has in a way already accepted it and has agreed to purchase it.  Doing art the way I am doing it in Wales is very different. 

I haven’t worked like this in a long time and it is a very vulnerable thing to do.  Art is so personal and there will only be a certain percentage of people that will get my work and appreciate it for what it is.  I am struggling with letting go of what people’s opinions will be and if I will ever sell any pieces that I work on.  I know that these are thoughts that I need to disregard while I am here because the whole point of this trip is not to make work that I will be guaranteed to sell or that people will like.  The point is doing art just for the sake of doing it and being true to myself.  If people like it, then great, but I know I shouldn’t worry about that right now.  It is a sacrifice of time with family, money, and extra work for my husband, and I want to know that what I am doing is worthy of all of it. This is self inflicted so I know that I just need to work through it and just do what I am called to do here and the rest will work itself out. I have been reading Proverbs while I am here and praying for wisdom.  I want to find wisdom in the way that I create while I am here and I know that the Lord is near and that He will guide me. I need to trust in that…


Inspire: Wales Residency

The time change had me up until 3am last night!  I still haven't adjusted.  After I got ready in the morning I headed over to the little cafe in Corris a couple doors down called "Andy and Adams" and it was the most quaint little place!  It was like a general store and cafe in one.  There is no wifi where we are staying so I was finally able to connect there.  Having to venture out to get wifi actually is a great way to get out and meet locals... and acquire a hot cappuccino.  


 I sat in a cozy corner with the rain pouring down outside the window next to me.  I just love listening to the locals chat, it is my absolute favorite!  I want to bottle it all up and take it home with me.  "Could you please pass the marmalade?" "What are you doing for boxing day?"  "How lovely" "Cheers mate!"  Everyone is so friendly and kind here.  


After coffee I went with Yuki, who is a volunteer and artist here from London, to Machynlleth to run few errands.  She has a car which is handy so we drove back to where I started on Saturday on my trek to Corris.  As we drove, I took in everything around me, the winding roads leading to the stoney bridge we crossed over, the water below, the sheep ahead, the traffic signs and old cemetery... everything stands out when you are the foreigner.  

I went to the grocery store when I was in town because I was down to one banana.  What a fun adventure it was going grocery shopping!  There were so many types of food I'd never seen or heard of.  I went with a few familiar items that I loved as a child in England such as Cadbury Flake bars, Ribena, and chocolate croissants as well as your typical groceries as well.  I do feel like such an American when I am with the other artists.  When I popped in my pizza for dinner, someone else was cooking turnips and potatoes on the stove and another had sardines on a salad.  


After we got home I got to work in my studio.  Having this time to only focus on my art and my mind and my stomach (teehee) is so refreshing!  I went downstairs to the dining room to see if I could find some books to use as inspiration.  I found a really cool book on Celtic Mythology and a huge bird book that I leafed through.  I didn't really get quite the inspiration that I was looking for so I just kept working.  One of my favorite things from this residency has been seeing what the other artists are working on in their studios and talking the language of art with them.  It is so comforting and exciting to talk to people who understand the same things as me!  Being in community with other artists is also such a resource and learning opportunity.  I can never get enough of this kind of relational learning from fellow artists.  It is really invaluable!  

A couple of the artists came into my studio to see what I have been up to and we started talking about the idea of trying to use Welsh folklore in my work.  To read about that I needed wifi, and when you need wifi in the evenings you go to the pub next door... "Slaters Arms."  

A dog greeted Yuki and I at the door and when I stepped inside I felt like I just stepped back in time.  It is the exact scene you would picture in Wales if you had to dream one up.   

A few people standing at the bar, while a man with his grey coat and newsboy hat sits by the fire while he holds the leash to his two dogs sleeping on the floor. I chatted with him for a minute about Welsh folklore and he told me a fun story about how he acquired his dogs and where their Welsh names came from.  There is something about Welsh people that I find so endearing.  I feel like I could sit down and have a chat with any of them.  I love it here so much.  

 Turns out that the hunt for inspiration was the thing that was actually inspiring...