From March 17-22, Nicky and I spent 5 days in a lovely little cabin at The Sou’wester in Seaview, Washington for their artist residency program.
We collaborated on 5 large watercolor and ink paintings on paper. Nicky added fish stamps, brush strokes, and chaos. I got meditative: painting line after line and thinking about the way water is always moving and the ocean rolls in and out. We were there during a full super moon and Spring Equinox. We used the lid of a pot in our cabin to make suns and moons on our paintings. We listened to many many podcast kid’s stories. We didn’t kill each other and I only freaked out once or twice a day, sometimes the chaos just got to me. Nicky freaked out a little more often, but he’s 4 and a half and it’s still usually about food and sleep.
Nicky would run around the house all morning talking and ride me like a horse while I was painting. Then he would cry and whine the whole 6 minute walk to the beach. It felt like- seriously dude? You have the energy to run circles round the house, but not walk to the beach.
There was an amazing paved trail than ran parallel to the ocean, Nicky rode his bike and I rode Cat O’dell’s skateboard. We made some epic sandcastles. I found myself often thinking how much more I could get done without him, but I would not have taken these kinds of breaks at the beach or built a single sandcastle.
The Sou’wester has a teahouse, an art trailer and a vintage shop to escape to. There is a sauna we both used, Nicky didn’t think it was too hot, but he skipped doing it a second night in a row.
Part of collaborating with Nicky was finding a way to embrace and sometimes argue with his need to destroy. I wanted to keep a “moon” on a certain drawing and he really couldn’t stand it. He agreed to not mark in the moon but did cause other chaos lines. I have to let some of that in because look at all these beautiful fish he drew!
He left me alone later on because he spit chocolate on a white bedspread and I kicked him outside. I cpuldn’t be too mad because he gave me a hug and I heard him explaining the situation to his stuffed bunnies.
I feel lucky to have had this experience and to share it with my kid. I love the work we made together and the time and place this will hold in my heart.
These pieces were made using Bombay India ink and Dr. Martin’s liquid watercolor and a little walnut ink. The paper is Arches watercolor paper and Fabriano printmaking paper. They are "Golden Moon" & (in the middle) "Grey Moon" are 39" x 27.5" (3'3" x 2'3.5") "Red Sun" is 40" x 26" (3'4" x 2'2")