Cooking in the kitchens of others

This month I was invited to Lunenburg to have some drawing time. Although the planned studio wasn’t ready, another pair of artists (Hangama and Andrew) generously opened theirs up to me. It took some time to get drawing, but in line my previous post, this time I recognized the value of the time in preparation—being in the world, and feeling grounded. The first afternoon was spent making a small drawing in a storefront of an old merchant’s house. This was followed by a supper club at the Fairbanks, a beautiful house with quite a lot of buzz thanks to Doug’s openness. A Sunday morning walk along Rissers beach, preceded an afternoon letting a drawing pour out of me like champagne uncorked. That evening’s dinner guests prompted a critique of the drawing. We sat talking around the drawing, unrolled on the floor, which highlighted its pelt-like qualities.

The drawing and critique happened much more quickly than I’m used to. And yet, with so long of a build up and energy ready to be spent, in retrospect I’m not entirely surprised. Despite months of typing, the gesture of plucking still filled my hands.

drawing for site

studio for site

Another lesson. I used to feel uncomfortable in spaces that weren’t my own: unable to cook at friend’s houses, or garden in their gardens, and needing to take what felt like ages and a million furniture arrangements to settle into a studio. With so many residencies in the last few years where I’ve had to feel quickly at home, or times when I never got there, despite everything I tried, plus house sits, visits and potlucks, I now seem more able to assert my own belonging. I guess where new friends keep their utensils or where the bowls are hiding. I cook to feel at home.

In Lunenburg I applied the same lesson. Turns out, if I can I cook in the kitchens of others, I can draw in their studios.

Without a studio at the moment, the possibilities are wide. I may travel, like the gallery I work for, to studios that will host me, keeping a base of work at home. Lunenburg again, likely. Other places, hopefully.

Now open to studios, whatever form they come in. All I need is a wall.