Waking up early each morning, I often heard the last loon's call and its mate's response off in the distance, marking the end of their day as I was just beginning mine. It was always a fitting start in this near magical place in the middle of the Adirondacks called Blue Mountain Center. The setting, surrounded by forests, mountains and lakes, provided the perfect place for writers, artists, filmmakers, musicians and actors to unplug, reflect, rejuvenate and to work. The thread binding the 15 of us was reflected in our work which was rooted in social justice in some form or fashion. We added our names to the long and storied list of others who had gone before us since Blue Mountain Center opened in 1982. This was a very special place.
I came to begin the last series of three around the issue of healing sexual trauma. This series, The Body as Talisman follows She's Come Undone (2018) and Terrible Beauty. (2016) I worked daily in my own private, very large studio with the woods right outside my door. I moved all my things in (which I had shipped) on my second day like I was going to be there for years. I spent the first week thinking, writing and doing drawing studies in preparation for the work. The rest of the time was spent doing both printmaking and painting with 11 new 14"x 17" pieces and two 3'x 6' scrolls. It was heaven, having the luxury of time, space and quiet to work.
Although I was so grateful for the full days in the studio I had another equally important intention to aid closure to my particular journey to healing. I challenged myself to do things I had never done or had stopped doing since the time of the sexual assault when I was 10. It was time to let go of all the smallish residual fears which had followed me since that day. I had a list and I went for it. I went bike riding every day, hiked in the woods alone several times, swam in open water daily and went canoeing. So, although my time at Blue Mountain Center provided an incredible opportunity to work on my art and to meet the most amazing people, it also left an indelible mark on my soul and for that I am forever grateful.
View from my studio, woods to the lake
Presentation night at the halfway point of the month long session.
Presentation in the main house. It included poetry readings and showing images from Terrible Beauty and She’s Come Undone.