July 2, 2008

Laurie Fendrich: jetlagged visiting artist

For the next few days, Laurie Fendrich and husband Peter Plagens are the visiting artists at Painting's Edge art colony in Idyllwild, California. They are among the 17 artists and critics scheduled to give lectures and critiques during the two week residency, which, unlike others, is exclusively for painters. Fendrich writes about the experience on Brainstorm, her blog at The Chronicle Review. Here are her entries from Day Two.

5:45 a.m. Wide awake for at least an hour. Desperately hungry. Cafeteria doesn’t open for breakfast until 7:15 a.m.
7:15 a.m. First in the cafeteria line. Sheepishly smile at server standing behind scrambled eggs. Experiencing Hans Castorp’s ravenous appetite — is it really the altitude? Greedily stuff in a breakfast twice the size I normally eat.
9:00 a.m. Hubby begins the first of his ten critiques for the day. His lecture will be in the evening. My critiques don’t start til Tuesday, but since I give my lecture (it’s supposed to be about my paintings) tomorrow night, I plan on writing it today. (Problem: I selected the paintings I want to show during the lecture a long time ago, and they’re ready to project on a screen; but the lecture itself is only roughly formed in my mind.) Say goodbye to hubby and set off in already hot morning sun, through scrubby pine trees, to write lecture in cool of campus library.
11:00 a.m. Stare at my notes for two hours while chomping my way through one complete pack of gum. Realize I’ve been transformed into a David Lodge character — the one who’s always breaking out in a sweat whenever he remembers the rapidly approaching lecture he’s supposed to give — the one he’s had months to write, but for which he hasn’t yet penned a word.
Noon. Gratefully leave off working on lecture (now up to three sentences) to rush to cafeteria to meet with Painting’s Edge residents and fellow visiting artists for lunch. Inhale lunch. Talk about painting and painters. Somehow still vaguely hungry. Swig down cup of coffee. Read more.

Read about Day One at Painting's Edge here.

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