Monday, 10 September 2012


In around 72 hours I'll be in the air, and on my way to Riga. I am running around doing last minute jobs, terrified I'll forget something. There were lots of unexpected, extra expenses (when are there not, when travelling?), and I have been sorting my husband's travel arrangements too, as he is not computer literate. All of this has meant little time for painting - but the exciting thing is that soon I will have plenty of studio time!

I'm staying overnight at a hotel, near Riga airport. A minibus will collect us the next day, then it's a 280km journey to Daugavpils. We will arrive there sometime after 9pm. The next day we choose our materials and get to see our studios.

It is a big responsibility, as we have to do a presentation, and paint two canvases, but I work well under pressure. There will be lots of art discussion, conferences, lectures, and total immersion in art. I am looking forward to meeting the other participants and have already contacted a few of them via email. I am very impressed by their paintings, and can't wait to exchange ideas.

I have been asked to write a description of the residency, and my experiences, for The Jackdaw, (November/December issue) and also have just been interviewed for an artists' blog, so the residency has already sent out ripples.

It's a world away from that dark, wet January night, when I found my Axis membership had been cut. I was trying to renew my subscription to this artists' database, and found a note saying that I'd failed the review (in spite of being a member since 1999). Tears rolled down my face, and my husband rushed over to see what was wrong. He was, and is, very supportive. Since that time, I've produced a whole new body of work. So my advice to any artists reading this is: Don't be defined by rejection!
('Untitled,' black paint on paper, 29 x 21cm - 'Symphony of Choices,' oil and acrylic on canvas, 80 x 40cm)

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