art residency

Spain Art Residency Revisit Part 1

It's been a year since I spent a November in Cádiz, Spain for an art residency. At that time, I thought I would write about it here, but it ended up that I preferred to spend my time exploring the city or working in the studio rather than be on a computer.

I thought this November would be a good time to share more about this trip in detail. I can't tell you how much I've thought about this time in the past year. Going through the photos actually makes me pine for going going back. Throughout this month, I will be sharing the time I spent in Spain and Morocco.  

From San Francisco, I landed in Madrid. Shortly after, this tiny plane sent me from Madrid to Cádiz, landing me at my destination on November 1st, 2014. From the airport, the landscape looked a bit like the farmland in close by areas of California. The feeling of driving through and wondering what I was in for is the magical thing about travel. 

These are the city walls of old Cádiz. Arriving here and seeing this beautiful old place was the most exciting thing. 

The Gran Catedral along the promenade. Residents walk, run and bike this route around the city. I had many quiet moments wandering along it.

Cadiz cathedral sketch.JPG

I sketched this painting of Cadiz before I left. You can see the Gran Catedral in the background. 

My welcome tote bag, button and postcard that highlights where I stayed during my residency. You can see the location is right on the Atlantic Ocean. The Espacio de Creación Contemporánea was a former military barrack and now a gorgeous marble-filled museum space. The residency is on the top floor. 

This is the map of where all the Linea de Costa artists came from. You can see that artists have been selected from just about every continent. You can see my flag on the West Coast in California. 

This was my kitchen of the apartment for the month. There was hand painted tile, a washing machine and all the basics one would need. The bathroom also had similar hand painted tile work. 

Studio window blue sky.JPG

And the studio view I had everyday. I couldn't ask for anything better. 

More to come next week!

Linea de Costa Art Residency in Cádiz, Spain Pt. 2

I had started writing some blog posts while I was on my art residency in Spain. I ended up only publishing one of the many I had planned. I was too engrossed in the moment, whether making new work, talking with new friends, eating good tapas or quietly meandering. This series of posts will cover my time out there. There are a lot of photos and experiences to cover, so I had to split it up into easily digestible amounts. You can read the earlier posts on my first week in Cádiz, Spain and on texture and pattern inspiration. This one will focus on what a residency is.

While I was out in Spain, I kept getting questions from my friends here in the States about why I was out there in the first place. It seems that the concept of an art residency isn't much known outside of artists, and even then, not all artists know about them. Many people just thought I was going to school out there. 

Art residencies are meant as time and space for an artist to create and think about their work. Residencies are application-based, so you have to submit a portfolio or images and write a statement and bio. They usually provide housing, a studio and support for your work or a specific project. You may or may not end the residency with an art show or specific project, it depends on the program. Residencies operate worldwide and vary in their amenities. Some have kilns and printmaking equipment, others are much more simple. It just depends on what you are looking for. Residency costs vary from being all expenses paid to subsidized costs to very expensive. You have to do your research when finding one. 

Last February/March, I had a small list of residencies in mind to apply to. I was mostly interested in a couple in Barcelona, as well as one in Joshua Tree National Park and another in the Caribbean. During that time of the year, I am usually working on Valentine's Day orders, taxes and planning, so I missed the deadlines on all of these. I found one in Cádiz, Spain and was instantly mesmerized by the location after looking up photos online. I had to go to this one and this one only. Cádiz is on a narrow strip of land, almost like an island. It looks out on the open Atlantic and resides south of Portugal. 

The esplanade near the Gran Catedral. 

The esplanade near the Gran Catedral. 

We Have Overcomplicated Things , paper, ink, chair, bulb, 2014.

We Have Overcomplicated Things, paper, ink, chair, bulb, 2014.

I felt like the happiest person on earth when I was accepted to the Linea de Costa residency. It was the first residency I applied to. I received an email three weeks later stating "we find your proposal very interesting for Linea de Costa's goals." They later told me that the program is very competitive and receives many applicants. This, of course, made me feel honored and thankful to be one of the selected. The image above of my installation, We Have Overcomplicated Things, was one of the artworks I applied with. The program director really loved this one. 

One aspect of a residency is how many artists you will be there with. I have heard of some residencies hosting a single artist at a time, but I believe most are small to larger groups. Linea de Costa hosts 3 artists at a time with myself, Amy Podmore a professor of art at Williams College in Massachusetts and Juyoung Lee, a South Korean artist, there for the month of November. Both artists turned out to be amazing people. They were creative, fun and super inspiring to be around. I felt very lucky to have been there with these two. 

The view from my work desk in the studio.

The view from my work desk in the studio.

The location was really something else. I looked out on this view everyday, though sometimes it was overcast and stormy. It made me feel like I was working on a boat. I can't tell you how much having the sea this close makes me happy. The apartment I was set up in was very nice, but just did not compare with this view. For more on the studio space and apartment see my first post in this series

If you're interested in an art residency, you can look them up on the following sites:

For some great articles on finding, preparing for and funding your residency:

One of the biggest things I took away from this residency was letting go of old habits and stale ideas. There's nothing like a change of location to reinvigorate your senses. If you have any questions about residencies, feel free to ask me in the comments below. 

Stay tuned for the next post in this series!

31 Days to Spain - Week One Wrap Up

This post is jam-packed with goods! Daily art from the last week AND a link to the big studio clean up to prepare for my sale next week. If you haven't heard about the studio sale, you may want to sign up for my newsletter so you can hear this kind of news directly in your inbox AND get the extra special discount on my studio sale. You can sign up at the bottom of this page.

Let's get to it!

October 1st

The first day of my daily art project was featured in my previous post on what art supplies I will be bringing to Spain. They may change, but it was good to get started thinking about it.

Art supplies for my art residency

Art supplies for my art residency

October 2nd

For Day 2, I completed a montage painting of Iceland. This is something new that I am offering. You send me photos of your most memorable trip and I create a group of images for you to remember it by. The art measures 11x14. You can find the listing in my shop

Scenes of Iceland 

Scenes of Iceland 

October 3rd

I wanted to come up with a personal way to thank my customers when they order from me online. I decided to carve this block print "From the Studio of Frances Marin" so I can include it with every order and handwrite a thank you on the back. Usually, I write a note, but I like having this stamp on the other side now. I love personally thanking all of my super customers! I just sent off my first order with one in it!

From the studio of Frances Marin

From the studio of Frances Marin

October 4th - Studio cleanup and Dream Studio Sketch

My last post covered the start of my studio cleanup AKA Studio Redo. After spending all day working on it, I went home and sketched up how I dream for this studio to look when I'm done for Day 4. Of course, my real dream studio would probably be up in the mountains or by the sea or a lake, but I am quite grateful for this awesome little space for now.

The gold brick wall will remain for now.

The gold brick wall will remain for now.

October 5th

I am struggling working on a painting of my old bedroom/studio from age 23, so instead I painted the first bedroom I moved into after moving out of my parents' house at the age of 19 for Day 5. It was a single mattress on the floor with purple sheets, stacks of books everywhere and a Bob Dylan poster above my bed. The room was really tiny, so that's about all it could fit. 

My modest little first adult bedroom. 

My modest little first adult bedroom. 

October 6th

I am working on a painting for a show about your favorite place. The concept can be from childhood or now. My first thought was the sweet white fringed hammock in my backyard. I may not stick with this theme, but for Day 6, I thought it was just fine.

Ah, the old hammock

Ah, the old hammock

October 7th 

You may have heard the news: David Lynch is bringing back Twin Peaks 25 years later. Us rabid fans are thrilled with this news. I sketched out his wonderful face and some snippets of the show for Day 7. So looking forward to the return of Twin Peaks in 2016!

David Lynch and imagery of Twin Peaks.

David Lynch and imagery of Twin Peaks.

That's all for this week! 





31 Days to Spain - Week One

Agh! I can't believe it. Today is October 1st and that means 5 weeks or, a one month countdown to my departure date for Spain. I decided that I would post more frequently during this time as I get ready for it for two reasons. One, I decided that I would make a new piece of art and post it everyday until I leave (31 pieces of art!). Two, I will post a weekly checklist to prepare for the residency, since if I publish this list publicly, maybe I will be more organized and actually follow it! 

The daily art will be posted on Instagram, Facebook and then I will post the week's images collectively in weekly blog posts. The art might be related to what I am working on at the residency, a sketch, a completed painting, etc. The hashtag I'll be using is #31daystoSpain on Instagram and Facebook. The blog posts will happen every Wednesday until I leave.

And heeere it goes!

First off, I am starting to think about supplies. Originally, I applied to the residency with my project being a 3D Sumi ink paper project. Initially, I thought that I would just bring white paper and Sumi ink. I soon realized that I would likely be wishing I had color, so I decided to bring watercolor and gouache paints. I am not going to be using oils or acrylic since I don't want to even think about dealing with the wood I would be painting on. Too heavy! The residency where I will be also includes the following:

Projector, screen, printer-scanner, two monitors (small and large), DVD player, stationery equipment (craft knives, self-healing cutting mat, staplers, rulers, felt tip pens etc.), jigsaw, drill, Dremmel multi-tool, tool set (hammers, screwdrivers, hacksaws etc.), extension cables, electric stapler, two portable halogen lamps (500 watts), airbrush compressor, potter’s wheel, option of firing small ceramic pieces (the kiln is located off site), plastic buckets and utensils, glue gun, two easels, whiteboard.

After reviewing this list again, I realized how exciting it would be for me to work on ceramics while I am out there! OK, onto the list.

This week's checklist:

  • Supplies to buy
    • Sumi ink - purchase new large bottle of Sumi ink
    • paper - research what kind of paper (Bristol, watercolor, etc.) will be needed
    • gouache paint - price and order Holbein Acryla Gouache
    • watercolor - assess what I am running out of and order
    • brushes - order a few extras
    • Bamboo pens - order a variety of sizes
    • pencils - order a variety of styles
    • palettes

I'm happy to have found a great art supply shop called Piccolita in Cádiz. I'm sure I will forget something or I will be inspired to try something new while I'm there, so it's great to know there's an awesome shop there!