Last month, I was granted the Getaway Artist Fellowship — I had the opportunity to hole up in a tiny cabin in the Catskills in upstate New York and make art for a few days. I went by myself, which was a new experience for me (usually I travel with friends and loved ones). Turns out I absolutely love being in nature by myself. I had an incredible time, and I’m proud of the work I created while I was there. And it made me realize I need to carve out more solo time for creativity and rest.
Some highlights of my time there:
Sleeping eleven hours without waking up. I didn’t know my body could still do that.
Being totally mesmerized by a little shaft of light in the cabin, and watching shadows of leaves dancing in the wind.
Doing everything slowly. Brushing my teeth slowly. Drinking my tea slowly. Heating up food slowly. Taking a break in between those mundane tasks to lie in the window and watch the light change in the forest.
Bringing only the tools that were absolutely necessary — not my full studio set-up. As any backpacker will tell you, there’s a beauty in bringing just the bare bones equipment you need to survive — or in this case, make art. I loved having just my most beloved tools: x-acto blade, bone-folder, tweezers, bookbinding glue, pencil, etc.
Building a roaring campfire — and enjoying it — all by myself. One of my secret skills is that I can build and maintain a crackling fires. It’s one of the great pleasures in my life.
Cooking a full-on feast for myself over the fire! I roasted sausages and veggies over the fire, and then cooked some cheesy potatoes on the electric stove in the cabin. I finished it off with four s’mores. I take my s’mores very seriously. (Golden brown, no charring, melted chocolate, and open-face. Fight me.)
Having no agenda other than to be a human, rest, and make art.
Having no one to talk to. I’m an extrovert, so I rarely carve out solo time on purpose. I was surprised by how much glee I felt at being able to create all of these beautiful moments just for me to enjoy.
And here are the finished pieces I created during my fellowship! I’m proud of these little babies. If anyone feels especially drawn to them, they’re available for purchase through my online shop.
Thank you to Getaway for this incredible opportunity. It was such a treat to be able to disconnect from the world, rest in a way I haven’t rested in a long time, and make art in a beautiful place. I need to do this kind of thing at least once a year! Thank you for that lesson!