It is hard to believe how fast a year goes by. As of today, it was one year ago that I first visited Cynthia Packard in Provincetown to paint the figure. I was so captivated by the experience that I returned in May of 2014 to paint with her again. I am officially hooked on the Northern Cape and on Cynthia!
I left Charlotte the day before school was out, having survived the craziness of May with kids. The journey to Provincetown has a unique way of leaving it all behind. At the very small gate for all the very small planes to leave Boston for several Cape destinations, I begin to unwind. Once aboard the 10-seater Cessna and cruising over the Cape Cod Bay on a gorgeous sunny day, all stress and to-dos begin to fade away. It takes a total of maybe 45 minutes to take off in Boston and be at my hotel on the Cape. That includes collecting my bag off the plane and jumping into a cab. It is about as easy as it gets. Although, I am not sure what that tiny plane would be like on a stormy day. But we won't think about that.
I love the familiarity of returning to a place and especially one I love so much. I dropped my bags at The Anchor Inn and Beach House and headed off to Cynthia's studio and to reserve my easel and unpack my many boxes of canvases and supplies that I had shipped the week before. Then off to rent my bike and look around a bit.
The workshop officially began on Friday, a group of eight students and Cynthia in her studio at 9 a.m. She was as dynamic and energized as the trip before. Watching her paint is very inspiring. It is almost like a dance combined with a work-out. She energetically approaches the canvas, makes a mark and get's off the canvas. She assesses and she might scrape it away or move on an make another mark. Her marks dance around the canvas. Never ignoring one area of the canvas and never working in one area very long. The painting reveals itself over the journey. The process off adding paint is equally important to knowing what to remove. She often scrapes the whole thing down and what is revealed can be the unexpected magic.
As I listened and watched her, I was determined to paint differently, to dig deep and really open up. She is a very intuitive and expressive painter which I really admire. Every painting is a journey and expression for her. I have found that my best work comes from this place. Unfortunately, deadlines can pull an artist out of this magical mindset. Cynthia pushed and pulled me to take risk and to be much more expressive. I really appreciated her honesty and passion. I hope to keep the fire burning until I can return to Provincetown to paint again. I love the series I started there and look forward to stepping in to the unknown a little more often.
We painted for three days and I stayed on for a couple of days to bike and explore. Provincetown is amazing and I really look forward to returning as soon as it warms up in 2015! I was lucky once again to have a sunny day to fly back to Boston on the tiny Cessna.
I am back in the Studio working on opening up and look forward to sharing my new work soon.