Taratories Blog

Residency Recap


Now that I made it back to the United States from my residency in Wales, I wanted to reflect on my time there.  Being back home is great and strange at the same time.  I am still jet lagged because only 3 days ago I was in England boarding my plane, but I am hoping to get back on schedule soon.  It is so great to be with my husband and 4 boys, but I am also missing Wales and trying to adjust to my life. This residency was an unbelievable experience and opportunity to get me out of my normal environment and into a place full of inspiration and creative freedom.  I can't wait for my next residency!  Until then...  

10 Things I will miss about Wales:

  1. The incredible nature at my fingertips in any direction 
  2. The slow pace of life in the Corris community
  3. The simple life with no distractions
  4. Being able to work on art for extended periods of time on my own schedule
  5. Being in community with other artists 
  6. Talking to people who are from different countries and learning about the world
  7. The time and space to think clearly and deeply
  8. Having a studio attached to my bedroom where I can't escape my paintings
  9. The scones with clotted cream and jam and also the welsh cakes
  10. Working on my art when inspiration comes instead of when it can fit it in my schedule

20 Realizations I had in Wales:

  1. It is confirmed that I want to be a full time working artist  
  2. I will never know what it feels like to be bored because I always have my art
  3. I was getting a little lazy in my mothering and homemaking because I was more mentally consumed with reaching my artistic goals
  4. Being authentic in my art is more important to me than making money 
  5. I love my husband and children more than anything in the world
  6. I love nature more than I thought I did
  7. There are other artists in the world who think like I do and I need to be around other artists more
  8. I have been too consumed with social media and the internet and I need to scale back
  9. It takes very little to just take care of myself without others in my life to take care of
  10. About 90% of my time at home is used to care for others
  11. It is so healthy and refreshing to take time to feel like an individual and an artist outside of being a mother and wife
  12. I love travel and adventure but I don't like figuring out public transportation or carrying heavy rucksacks
  13. There are things I still have in my brain from growing up in England that are brought to mind through experiences in Great Britain
  14. I actually do like to cook, but I was just burned out from having to cook so much at home
  15. I am very introverted when I am consumed with my art, but enjoy interactions with people outside of it
  16. I am definitely a wanderlust and want to see as much of the world as possible and make connections with people across the globe
  17. I need very little to be happy
  18. I want experiences more than material things
  19. I want to keep doing residencies to use as spring boards for my art and time for refreshment and refocus
  20. I am want to keep growing in my art and I'm excited to see where the road takes me next!


Lovely: Wales Residency

Today I went to Machynlleth today and went into a few shops. An art supplies shop, flower shop, and grocery store. I just love all of the quaint buildings here.  I love the age of everything in Europe.  I feel like there is an authenticity in the way the buildings are.  There is no trying to be anything they are not, they just are. And they are just LOVELY.  Lovely is a word I don't use often anymore like I did when I was a kid but I find myself wanting to use the word more while I am here.  Today while we were out I was talking about a time to meet up and my English accent slipped out!!!  I couldn't believe it was surfacing already and it has only been 5 days since I arrived.  It caught me by surprise and made us all laugh!

This afternoon was studio time and I was doing more researching on folklore and did a lot of drawing my mock up for my next painting.  I am enjoying taking time and putting thought into each piece and I am finding that visualizing these tales have brought me so much joy!  It is fun to be inspired by where I am and feels like a natural thing to be painting.

Yuki and I took a great walk this evening and the sunset was just gorgeous and the photos don't do it justice.  


After our walk we stopped at "Slater's Arms" next door and had fun people watching.  There were people eating bowls of stew while the pub dog sat at their feet waiting for scraps.  People chatting by the fireplace, a young girl making a tower out of coasters, and some others playing pool.  I ended the day with more studio time.  Man, this is the life. It's so lovely...

Journey: Wales Residency

For three months I have been planning and anticipating this artist residency in Wales.  There was so much to get ready for this trip and I was exhausted before I ever began!  So many mixed emotions were swirling around in my head... excitement, sadness, nervousness, questioning the unknowns, etc.  It was hard to say goodbye, but I knew deep down that it would all be worth it in the end.  

When I got to my gate in Newark, I saw the sign at my gate, "Birmingham, England" it said.  All of a sudden, I got an unexpected lump in my throat and I started to realize that this was really happening- I was going back home!  As I sat down in the plane a conversation started up immediately with the two sweet women next to me.  When the words, "rubbish, jumper, and wellies" came out of their mouths i could just taste how close I was getting to England.  I told them that I hadn't been to Great Britain for 28 years.  We were in the same kind of situation because they hadn't been to the States for over 20 years and they were just returning. I found myself wanting to let my English accent surface as they were speaking which was unexpected for me!

I landed safely but then had a little situation soon after.  I went to exchange money at the airport and found that they couldn't take any of my bank cards because they didn't have chips in them.  Europe has gone to all chip cards.  My husband ended up sending money to me through Western Union and saved the day!  Needless to say I was in a panic and almost missed my train.  I then boarded a train for Machynlleth, Wales.  As we left Birmingham, England and drew closer to Wales, the hills became higher and the sheep grew in number, and I grew in excitement!

Two and a half hours later I arrived.  I had just enough time to stop at a local pub to get some fish and chips and pick up some groceries before I had to catch the bus.  The pub was everything you would ever picture to be in Wales.  Low ceilings with wood beams, a big stone fireplace, and the sounds of chatter at the bar in unique English and Welsh accents.  I had a little time to pick up a few snacks at a local shop which included cadbury's chocolate and crumpets of course.  By this time my luggage was really starting to feel unbearable to carry.  I had an entire suitcase filled with art supplies, a HUGE hiking backpack filled with shoes, clothes, and other things, and a backpack I used as my purse.  I was sweating, shaking, beginning to feel like I couldn't make it another step.  But I was so close I had to keep going!!  I arrived at the clock in the center of town and waited to board my bus.

The bus took me 5 miles down the road to a little town called Corris where I would be staying.  I was dropped off at the top of a big hill and made my descent like a mule in Mexico.  At last I spotted it, "Stiwdio Maelor" and knocked on the door.  A sweet volunteer, Yuki, greeted me and took me for a tour of the place.  I wound up the twisty staircase until I got to my room and attached studio.  The views from the windows were amazing, all I ever imagined.  The stone houses with the slate roofs and flower boxes, the forests above and the wet ground below.  

After I loaded all of my luggage in my room, I flopped on my bed in exhaustion... and cried.  The fatigue from losing a night of sleep and all the travel left me in a strange place.  I didn't know what to do next.  My body didn't want to move.  I was processing everything and was in a weird place of transition.  I unpacked and put on some music.  Then I grabbed a cup of hot tea, nutella crumpet, a hot shower and a warm robe.  As I stood looking at my neatly organized table of art supplies, I dreamed of what the next day would hold...