I came in and set up this year, at a new location but just as beautiful. I then just sat back in my chair and stared out the window for a few minutes. My actual working space is no larger or smaller than back home: a table, my easel, a chair. But the view out the window, and the nice clean air coming in...well, it promises to be another great week.
As work-weeks go, this has turned into my favorite week of the year. As I sat there staring off (something I don't do really), it occurred to me that though I live in my head most of the time, there is something very unnatural about living in a cramped studio apartment, my only windows facing into the entry courtyard, the neighbor's windows about 20 feet across the entry walkway. The window in my living room / studio never receives any direct light, and the air certainly isn't clean.
That I spend most of my time living in my head makes this more bearable than it might for others, I suppose. New York does have its share of cuckoos, after all. But really, faced with a nicer option, it was quite a relief to just sit and enjoy.
But even as I type, others are arriving. It's a genuinely fun and talented group of people, among whom I'm just another guy. We're all going to set up, and then get to work. And it's usually a pretty productive week, apart from the laughing, talking, eating and (for most) drinking. The cast of characters varies a bit year by year, but those here this year are pretty much part of the core of regulars.
Four out of five years, I've worked on uncommissioned work while here. It's nice to not do assignments (while some folks do or need to). The level of inspiration is so high that I find it very conducive to doing my own thing. Last year I did about half of "A Fractured Mind." The year before, "Exit Within 5." This year is a little unknown: I came with a mental map but not even a sketch. I have a model coming in tonight and we'll play with photos and I'll commence tomorrow. Seat of my pants. On a week like this, it's just how I like it.