1st June

Is it possible that I leave a month today? The time is flying past and there is so much more that I want to do while I am here.

This gives you a much better idea of the scale of the building and window.

     
 

The etching plates have gone round the walls and are now returning back on themselves....

.......and the studio is really getting rather full!

 

 

 
 

It has been great having Nick at the Foundation. Aside from being able to share my experiences here we have also been able to look at the new work together.

We had planned to go to New York today but wanted to spend more time at the Foundation. We had the opportunity to look at some of Anni's weavings and jewellery this afternoon and the subtle colours and textures really were so beautiful.

Back out on the lake together but storms were gathering. We had thunder storms like I havent seen in years and lost all power here in the early evening. It wasnt back on at 5am when we got up to head off to New York and was still raining.

     
2nd June

Arrived rather weary at the Royalton in New York, allowed an early check-in and given an upgrade so fantastic start! Freshened up and it felt like we were starting the day all over again. Off for a good breakfast and then down to the galleries in Chelsea.

The Paula Cooper space really is spectacular and the sculpture by Mark di Suvero is extraordinary. The scale is so impressive.

 

Tony Smith at Matthew Marks

Really good seeing some of these shows again and, this time, with Nick, who I love having with me as he always opens my eyes to something which I would otherwise miss.

     
 

Interesting re-visiting the Serra's at Gagosian,

having been to DIA.

 

Then off for a really great late lunch at "The Park" (thanks for the recommendation Sara!). Had just finished when it started to pour with rain. Really monsoon weather.

 

     
 

So back to the Hotel and a very welcome, but quite unseasonal, fire!

 

(Thanks to Victor and Dimitrius for fantastic service!)

     
3rd June

Another wet day. Left Nick at Newark for his journey home (having packed up a full load of suitcases with things for him to take back from the studio). Very sad to see him go and sorry that he didn't have longer here at the Foundation. It is such a special place and I wanted to share it with him so much.

 

 

Back in to New York to make my way home (albeit temporary!) at the Foundation.

  Drove into the Foundation, exhausted and there, in the headlights, were two sets of eyes shining back at me......well camouflaged deers in the trees. A very welcome sight!  
     
4th June

Well, I'm still up and it's 0535. Loud birdsong and light transforming the woods.

Gloomy day so in the studio....suspect lack of sleep hasn't helped!

     
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it's still raining!

     
5th June

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, the nitric acid for the etching has arrived so time to think about a test plate! I am a little nervous, to say the least, as I need to get it right so am going to take my time.

     
 

Off for a walk to see how the land has changed while I was in New York and with all of this rain. It's funny, with all of the green around me this is what I am seeing...............

 

 

 

 

 

     
 
     
     
 

 

     
     
 

 

     
     
 

Really fell for this piece of wood.....

.....such beauty in its surface and soft form

     
 

 

 

     
 

 

     
     
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Nick.

     
6th June

Eating breakfast outside and looked down....amazing what catches your eye.....

 

 

 

 

     
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

........he is really quite small. Incredible how the stripes run across his body.

     
 

So, can't avoid this any longer.....it's time to get the acid out....

 

......and, after yet another coat on the front, back and edges, in goes the plate........and fingers crossed.

     
 

45 of the zinc plates ready to go.....I have a bigger tray so aiming for six plates at a time.........just as well, as they take around 5 hours to etch deeply enough.

one of the plates prior to etching

 

     
7th June

Plate was fine! Now to deal with the larger tray but weather too terrible to start today as working with the acid outside on the covered veranda. Forecast for the week doesnt look great.

So, today I'm carrying on with a new series of large ink drawings.

 

 

no 13 in the series, 21" x 18"

     
 

no 8, 21" x 18"

 

Went out to the post office but really stormy conditions.

     
 

Road down to the Foundation flooding

     
 

Glad to be back at the studio!

 
     
8th June

Wet and dreary again. Time to start etching the plates.

Need to feather them every 20 mins or so.....

 

 

...a good opportunity to prepare some more canvases.

     
 

Stepped outside for some fresh air

but couldnt leave the plates for long.

Big thank you's to Peter Abraham and Jason Hicklin for providing "UK technical support" during the initial etching stages!

     
     
9th June

Back to the etching.

     
     
 

But managed a quick walk at the end of the afternoon between feathering! Some sunshine at last.

 

 

     
     
 
     
     
 

Really lovely by the lake.....the lily pads are spreading like mad.

     
     
 

So good to get outside. The plates are going to take some time to etch and you just can't leave them for long.

The wild roses smelt amazing.

 

     
10th June

Up very late again (painted until about 5am) so a slow start. Another day spent primarily in the studio.....and watching the etching plates closely. Did take advantage of some sunshine to put yet another coat of stop-out on the plates.

 

 

 

 

Managed to escape towards the end of the day for a walk. So good to feel some sunshine on my face.

     
 

 

     
     
 

So many funghi...........would love to know which were edible.

     
     
 

This one was nearly 4 inches in diameter.

     
     
 

Have had some bad storms and this is just one tree that suffered. Branches and twigs strewn around everywhere.

     
     
 

I love what the light does to the tree trunks.

     
     
 

By the time I got back something very strange had happened to the light.........some of the tree trunks really did appear blue.

     
     
11th June

Late afternoon and off to the lake to take advantage of the sunshine.

The chipmunks really are quite sweet.

     
     
 

So, thought I might venture out on the lake.

     
     
 

     
     
 

 

     
     
 

 

 

 

 

 

Really was good to be out. Not as much fun on the lake without Nick but really lovely........just the sound of the wind in the trees and birds singing while the canoe drifts along.

     
     
12th June

The etching continues..............but, again, I did manage to escape between putting sets of plates in the acid.

 

 

 

The brightness of new growth.

 

     
 

Re-visiting that favourite spot ........

 

     
 

........and these two trees.

I have been fascinated by them for some time, with how, as you walk around them, the relationship between the two changes so dramatically.

 

 

     
     
13th June

In bed around 5am again but a productive night. Sunny morning!

 

 

 

More etching (these are all done)........but, after today, no more until my final week (all too soon).

   
Sadly, just no time for a walk today so going to start tomorrow with some time for me by the lake.
     
14th June

Great intention but another late night..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to dispose of the acid using vast old wine bottles, perfect for the job (not my bottles I hasten to add but from the recycling centre!). Then this gets taken to a hazardous substance collection point.

 

     
     
 
  Did at least sit outside by the studio for a short while.  
     
15th June

Down to the lake, a beautiful day......

........and lots of fish at the edge of the water.

     
     
 

It is so glorious walking around the lake.......so full of life.

     
     
 

   
 
  It has so changed since I have been here. Wonderful to have experienced this.  
 

 

     
     
 
     
     
 

 

For Nick

   

 

     
16th June

How time is passing. It is difficult to avoid getting very stressed about how little time I have left. This time has been so important. I simply cannot say how incredible it has been for me.

There are also loads of practicalities to sort out, like organising the moving of the work back to London.

I am also very tired. Mad, long, working hours are now taking their toll, but it was so worth pushing myself.

I am keeping much of the work secret.......all will be revealed at the show in October. More info about the show in the News section on the website....

 

So, off for a walk. The studio has almost disappeared from sight.

     
     
 

Such a beautiful evening, I couldn't resist taking the canoe out.

 

     
     
 

The lilies are looking great......so waxy!

     
     
 

And now the white lilies are appearing.

Sorry that you are not here to see them Nick. It is going to look incredible in the next few days as they all open up.

     
     
 

 

     
     
 

 

So, there I am, sitting alone, quietly thinking about my time here..........

 

..............listening to the birds and the sound of flies landing on the lily pads and fish snapping.....

 

.................when I hear a strange noise........

 

......and I am no longer alone!

     
     
 

This is the first time I have ever seen a beaver in the "wild" before..........

     
     
 

 

.........and he came within about 6ft of the boat.......

.........so wonderful!

 

He was having a great time munching the water lilies!

     
 

How incredible was that! He was around for a good while and I just sat, watching him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then back to the studio and continuing to work on the paintings.

     
     
17th June

And there I was thinking about the beaver and wondering what could follow today............went out to the basement to put some washing on and, on the way back, nearly stepped on this little guy!

 

Difficult to spot.

     
     
 

     
  Have been assured that he isn't poisonous but still wouldn't have liked to step on him, so will be more aware in future!  
     
     
18th June

Very hot today. Worked on the series of drawings.

Spraying them with endless coats of fixative outside.

     
 

Then, off for a walk late afternoon in search of a hint of a breeze.

 

 

     
     
 

 

Great to be outside. It was so stuffy in the studio.

     
     
 

     
     
 
     
     
 

Change of clothes and off to New Haven, with Jessica from the Foundation, for an evening of opera in the Park!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the studio to continue working.........very mindful of the time I have left.

     
     
19th June

Another long night, but productive.

Having to sort out the practical side of things in terms of getting the work home, which is pretty stressful, and I am desperately trying to not let this interfere with my last days here.

 

 

            Very hot and humid in the studio today so down to the lake in search of a breeze!

     
     
 

The lily pads have really taken over half of the lake.

     
     
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They look like golden discs with the sun shining on them.

     
     
19th June

Another busy day with an astonishing ending......my first sighting of a luna silk moth. He was flying at the studio window for a while and then disguised himself (very successfully) as a leaf.

 

 

 

 

 

The Luna moth is reportedly one of the most unusual and beautiful of the North American moths. They are well known for their green-yellow colors and long tails. Although they are common throughout the eastern U.S., their night flying habits and short life span as an adult moth, only about 1 week, combine to make them a rare find. The luna moth, with a wingspan of 4.5-5.0 inches, is one of the largest moths in North America.

     
     
 

 

     
     
 

 

     
     
 
     
     
  Truly, quite extraordinary!  
     
     
21st June

 

Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS to the Final Year Degree and Postgraduate students at the

City and Guilds of London Art School. I am really sorry to miss your show but know you understand why I can't be there.

Definately worth a visit and open this

Thursday and Friday from 10am to 7.30pm

and Saturday and Sunday  10am to 5pm.

124 Kennington Park Road, London SE11

Good luck and, again, congratulations to all of you!

 

 
     
     
 

Well, the other exciting news is that the moth is still here! It seems that "he" may be a "she" and has picked this spot to lay her eggs! If so, she will be here for between 8 and 13 days.

 

 

 

 

     
     
 
     
     
 
     
 

She is so beautiful! I cannot believe that she is here.....I keep checking out of my window (she is in a small bush just below it) to see if she is still there.

The sad thing is, once the eggs are laid, she will die.

 
     
     
22nd June

Well, woke up and the moth was gone. Had breakfast outside, wandered around and then, suddenly spotted her on the ground, doing her best to look like a leaf (top of picture)!

 

 

 

     
     
 
     
     
 

Off for a walk in the afternoon.............down to the lake to do some thinking.

 

 

     
     
 
     
     
 

Out to a lecture, reception and dinner, hosted by the Yale Centre for British Art, to launch the opening of Searching for Shakespeare. Great evening, met some really interesting people and thooughly enjoyed having a meal with some company!

Back to the studio and carried on working.

 
     
 

It gets to a certain point in the night, or early hours of the morning, when your eyes are so tired but you can sense that something is going to happen.

So, I kept going.

     
     
 

 

     
     
 

     
 
At 0630 I called it a day!
 
     
     
23rd June

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, no surprises....pretty tired today. So much I still want to do. Weather overcast and then wet so no chance for a walk this evening.

 

 

 

     
     
 

 

Spent the day working on two large pieces and adding to the series of small books...........

 

ink on Somerset paper

overall size 20" x 4 1/2"

(images on both sides)

     
     
24th June

The first of the last Saturday, Sunday, Monday etc. Simply cannot believe how quickly my time here has gone. Such an incredible time.

So, a busy day. Had planned to spend some time on the lake but, as you can see, monsoon conditions again.

 

 

 

 

 

The mist rising from the ground is breathtaking.

     
 

Small break in the rain so off out for a walk. Wonderful smells. Got well and truly caught by a downpour on my way back but it was well worth it.

 

 

 

 

     
     
 

 

     
     
 

 

     
     
 

And then to revist one of my two favourite places...

 

 
     
     
25th June

Not planned but, still working at 5am this morning.

 

     
     
 

 

 

 

 

Kept on working until my brush was no longer doing what I wanted it to!

     
     
 

 

Wonderful mist, fresh air, and birdsong. Felt so alone, but wonderfully so.

     
 

It's going to be another late night. The shippers arrive on Thursday afternoon and everything needs to be ready for them.

The second stage of etching is also about to begin and, of course, I need to start packing, so a great deal to be done over the next few days.

 

 

 

 

Determined that I will also manage to walk each day.......it is one of the most magical aspects of the residency. The ability to step directly from one world into another, literally.

     
     
26th June

A funny day.........film crew at the Foundation in the morning..........

and a chance to see two series of amazing screen prints of Josef Albers

 

     
     
  Then a visit from the Yale British Art Centre in the afternoon and another late night. Plus the etching to watch over. No time for a walk today, despite my best intentions.
     
     
27th June

In bed at 1am but couldn't sleep. Up again at 5am as have a meeting in New York in the morning. On the 0640 express train into Grand Central.

 
     
 

Have no idea what this is but the colour screamed out at me and, funnily enough, there seems to be an abundance of yellow around today.

  Again, have no idea what this is either....some sort of funghi....

     
     
 

     
     
 

 

    And then down to the lake.
     
 

 

     
     
 
     
     
 
     
     
 
     
     
 

 

 

 

 

For Nick

     
     
28th June

Well, now into serious countdown and it is impossible not to feel stressed. I am still working well into the early hours of the morning, wanting to make the most of every minute left.

129" x 198" charcoal on raw canvas

 

One of the two Albers crates arriving, which I have been given to use!

     
     
 

 

     
     
 

A great deal still to do. Shippers arrive tomorrow. The Foundation have loaned me Fritz to help with the packing and wrapping (thank you!). Even so, there is still an unbelievable amount to deal with.

     
     
 

Out for a quick walk.....not to be taken for granted.

 

 

     
     
 

This was really astonishing.....so beautiful! I have never seen so many varieties of funghi before. The wet, warm weather is obviously perfect.

     
     
 
     
     
   
     
     
29th June

Really struggling this morning. Had about three hours sleep and almost not able to function. Incredibly hot and humid in the studio and Fritz and I have all of the larger canvases to wrap before the shippers arrive at mid-day.

 

 

 

And they arrive early!

 

     
     
 

Crates for the larger work are being made in New York and I have the etching plates in one of the Albers crates and small canvases in the other.

Can see it properly now without everything else around.

     
     
 

Stressful moments as it comes down.

     
     
 

It will have its own crate back to London.

     
     
 

 

     
     
 

     
     
 

 

 

 

 

 

A big moment as it all leaves.

     
  So off for a walk...some strange sights!  
     
 

Difficult to spot but, bang in the middle, is this strange funghi ( I must buy a book so that I can identify them).

     
     
 
     
     
 
     
     
 
     
     
 
     
     
 

 

It must look like I am obsessed with the mushrooms!

I guess the weather condtions here are perfect....every day I see new varieties.....some are tiny and some so huge it is astonishing. I am returning to the UK definately wanting to find out more.

 

     
     
 

  This one suddenly appeared right by the studio...it really is quite extraordinary.  
     
     
30th June Well, it was going to happen. My final day.  
     
     
 

Incredible to think how much the land has changed in the thirteen weeks I have been here.

     
     
 

Off for a walk.......

     
     
 

 

     
     
 

     
     
  Down to the lake. It seems right to draw the last etching plate here...........  
     
 

..........and take some time to think about the last thirteen weeks.

     
     
 

 

     
     
 

So glad that I was here to see more of the white water lilies appear on the lake.

     
     
 

 

And then, all too soon, time to come back to land. A lot still to do today.

     
     
  Taking some time to visit my other favourite place......  
     
 

 

     
     
 

and the two trees.

     
     
 

 

 

 

Back to the studio and the etching of the final plates.

See you tomorrow Nick.

     
 

My heartfelt thanks to the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation for giving me this most extraordinary time.

It has meant so much to me.