Day Eleven at @BrushCreekArts

Yes, it's quite sad. I am nearing the end of another two week residency. Time flies much too fast for my taste and I've bonded with these amazingly talented and kind artists. It's weird being here for only two weeks while the others will stay on for another 10 days and other residents will fill in the space left by me and one of the composers/performers when we depart on May 20th. * sigh * Well, as I mentioned before I had nine things (9 points) I wanted to get done while here. And progress has been good. I have focused on one item a day for the most part, a couple extending to two days. My mornings have been more about sleeping late, going to the fitness center with one of the other residents, and/or hanging out. Initially I got work done in the mornings but that has transcended more to the afternoons mostly.

What I find funny is that I can get enough of what I need done in a few hours here with no other disruptions. But at home I have to set aside a whole day for myself to write. No hanging out or freelance work or anything else can interrupt that time at home. But here I can accomplish a good amount in 3-4 hours. Crazy.

It's funny the divide here. At Jentel everyone was so focused everyday it was like we went to work from 9a-5p and that was our routine. At Ragdale many tried the same thing but for some of us we got wrapped up in convo for hours during breakfast and/or lunch and after dinner. Here there are several of us who get work done on our own clock and that can be late at night or early in the morning or in the afternoon. I find that in the evening I am spent and may just talk to other artists over a drink or camp fire.

So how's it been here at Brush Creek? The weather has been chilly and warm. This past week was more warm than anything but changed on a dime once hump day came along.

Much like Jentel Presents Brush Creek also has a reading/presentation with the visiting artists. This happened on Tuesday night at the Saratoga Community Center and was super cool. Those that visited were very attentive and kind and turns out that Saratoga/Laramie has a booming artist community. They were sweet and kind and spoke with us at length about what they're working on being excited to meet other artists outside of WY. I was invited to one of the local writing groups that meet every other week and sadly had to decline since I'm leaving soon. The whole presentation enforces the idea of artists helping other artists and really encourages them to pursue it. An older man had told me that while criticism could hurt it was helpful and I couldn't agree more.

What else can I say? The food is mighty lackluster here. We get fed by the chefs at the Brush Creek Lodge and it has been lots of carbo loading thus far. The desserts we got, which seemed an after thought, were not that great as well. And y'alls know I am picky. I have baked two desserts for the residents which was much appreciated and the elevation didn't alter them, which is why I specifically chose to make snickerdoodles and dulce de leche chocolate bread pudding since I knew I wouldn't have to worry about whether they rose or not. I may make one last item before I go. And it's super nice to bake for people who appreciate it so I'm glad to do so for the residents, especially since the rest of the food we've been getting "lacks love" as one of the residents mentioned.

However, as soon as I started baking (and guests arrived at Brush Creek Lodge) don't you know we got a several layer chocolate cake (super light in texture but super rich in taste) red velvet cake (with buttercream icing not cream cheese), and a rhubarb/strawberry tart (with a heavy dough crust that needed more butter). The treats were fine but if you've had some of the highest class desserts in the world they just don't compare. Yet, it was a nice treat to get.

The new director of Brush Creek Arts Foundation, Sara, is awesome. She's vibrant, friendly, efficient, and just plain cool. Love her to death and am glad I got to meet her before I left. She seems like she's really going to re-establish good relationships here at Brush Creek and make it a bigger part of the Lodge and get better food!

Outside of working and chatting it up not much else to report really. Two of the visual artists and myself have become addicted to the game room and playing Horse, Hoop Fever, NFL 2-Minute Drills, Ping Pong, and Buck Hunt. The games are free in the game room so you can play as much as you want and there's complimentary Gatorade/bottled water. Awesome.

Needless to say, I'm going to miss it when I'm gone for sure and am looking forward to keeping in touch with these artists and learning more about what they do and where their projects go.

So, with that I'll end with lots of pictures!