I am thrilled, I must admit, at how this Residency has given me an opportunity to improve my already formidable photography skills.
The photo above, titled, "Trying To Take A Picture On A Fast-Moving Bicycle" is an an example of the dynamic, avant-garde sort of photography that, as an artist, I am constantly trying to push myself toward.
Plus, it didn't even hurt when I fell off my bike.
One of the requirements of this Residency - and one I was delighted to undertake - is that I need to visit the local elementary school and make a presentation to the entire student body, grades k-8.
All 27 of them.
Waterville Valley School is a small school. This entire school population is smaller than some single classrooms I've visited at other schools.
I have visited the school a couple times in the past. The principal pointed out that I was there 13 years ago, which made me feel very old. Very, very old.
Ancient, in fact.
|This is the school.|
|They had made a delightful bulletin board in the bright, cheery lunchroom.|
I visit a lot of schools each year and I always enjoy it. I have a different presentation each year and it's always a bit nerve-wracking trying out new material and sharing new work. The kids were terrific and seemed to really enjoy themselves, but that may be because I was getting them out of math.
Whatever the reason, it was a fun time.
After I finished at the school, I headed home for some lunch and got some work done for the big Open Studio tomorrow. I also cleaned up the place a bit because - hooray! Kerri and Alex are coming up tonight. Victoria opted to go to the county fair, convinced in her 13 year-old mind that rides and food and friends will somehow be more exciting than driving an hour and a half, having dinner and going to bed. Kids are weird like that.
It's been very nice having the time to live and work at my own pace, with nobody else's schedules to consider at all. But it will be great to see them again, too.
After I had neatened up a bit (a fact that Kerri totally missed upon arrival - she and I having very different concepts of "neat"), I went out exploring on my bike.
I stopped briefly at Waterville Academy, where freestyle kids were once again hurling their bodies off a jump in a vain attempt to defy gravity.
While there, I stumbled upon (nearly literally) this piece of temporary installation art, constructed in the middle of a sidewalk.
|It looks vaguely pizza-like. It did not taste as good as it looks.|
After spitting out the twiggy bits, I headed off to see what I could see.
I found a few fun places just outside of town.
|A tasty spot on The Mad River just off route 49.|
|I really wanted to sit in here, but the very real fear of frostbite on my nether-regions stopped me. That water is COLD.|
|More water. Because it is a river and that's how river work.|
|As I was biking back to town, this tiny, unmarked road beckoned to me.|
|I followed it through the cool, dappled shadows for a hundred yards or so. And then it abruptly ended. Thanks for nothing, mysterious road.|
|I also saw this sitting right alongside Route 49, just outside town. It looked exactly like some Disney artist's concept of "hillbilly". I kept expecting Goofy to pop out of the barrel. I'm glad he didn't, however. that would have been terrifying.|
|Coming into town, the speed limit goes from 50 to 30. I decided to play it safe speed-wise.|
|I was also confronted with this confusing set of directions. Can you read the sign in the background? It says, "No stopping per order of selectmen." Not knowing how to handle this, I slipped away to get some work done.|
This is what "Getting some work done" looked like today:
|Please note that I elected to sit on the other side of the pond, lest I get in a rut and stagnate.|
After working on a few drawings and starting a story with the line, "Salmonella Greely was a horrid little girl." I returned to my place to await the arrival of Kerri and Alex which, as so often happens in life, occurred later than expected.
They did arrive safely and we had a delightful dinner and went to bed.
Victoria doesn't know what she's missing.