The best outfit for the occasion

Saturday I head off-island to the city of Truth of Consequences, New Mexico to attend Starry Night’s residency program!  I’m very excited, this will be my first residency experience.

In preparation I contacted a number of seasoned artists to ask them what worked or didn’t work for them with residencies they’d attended.  Apparently the main thing is that one should arrive with few preconceived notions.  Open mind.  Let the experience and the environment make it’s impact on your work.  Otherwise might as well stay home and work out of your studio as usual.  Okay, got it.

But the time, the time, how to manage the time?  Recently writer Gigi Rosenberg blogged about the “Pomodoro Technique”. Apparently this is where you set a timer and work for 25 minutes then do something else for 5 minutes.  And repeat.  I did  the math: an 8-hour work day would yield 80 “something else” minutes.  If a lady were to do some spirited cardio during those minutes then it stands to reason (and science!) that a lady might find herself wonderfully THIN by day’s end!  I was 100% in when confusion regarding footwear dampened my spirits: would I change into sneakers every 25 minutes? Obviously this method is riddled with holes.

Then a girlfriend alerted me to this perhaps nameless method whereby one begins working even before waking up completely. You just slip out of bed and over to the work station. The hope is to sneak in a couple of hours of unrestrained creative work before the left brain has a chance to become fully alert and realize that it’s being left out and that a lot of unrestrained creativity is occurring.

The downside of this method is that it assumes we all sleep right next to our work modules. Whereas my daily reality is that by the time I reach the studio I’ve been up (and most likely trembling with nerves) for hours. Maybe since before sunrise.  In fact I’ve already (half) dressed myself, calmed/diapered/fed my 3-month old, woken/breakfasted/dressed/packed a lunch for and dropped my three-year old off to school.  There are no drowsy hours.  There is complete unconscious and there is screaming, high-alert.

The daring of this method is that it calls for foregoing even coffee. I’m always up for a dare and so will try this method at least once and report back.

But questions circling what I’ll accomplish while at residency or how I’ll accomplish it are basically secondary.  The real question: what will I wear? teaches me that Truth or Consequences’s evenings can dip into the low 30’s.  Coco Chanel teaches me that The Little Black Jacket is always the best outfit for the occasion.


This photo is taken from a portion of one of my paintings in progress: I’ve added a casually slung surgical mask + fun face-hoodie to keep the look young and fresh.