I have never gone away JUST TO PAINT. I have gone away, and painted, but it has always been with others, and I have never gone somewhere alone, where the main focus is my art.
I came close this fall when I went to a four day Art and Mindfulness Retreat at the Blue Cliff Monastery in Pine Bush. But there was really very little time that we made art. Much of it was meditation, yoga, dharma talks, community work etc. I loved it, I learned much from it, it has taken me to a new spiritual level, but I need something where I can just get away and make art.
I am in the process of looking at what residencies are available in the northeast. I don't want to travel far just yet. Something close to home would be great, but also something far enough away that will enable me to concentrate on my work. Besides, I have a passion for the Hudson River, and want to focus on the beauty of the valley in which I live.
I have already found one residency, however, it does not have any running water. I can handle an outhouse, and there is a camping ground with facilities nearby for a shower. If I get really gross, I can take the hour trip home for a shower, but somehow I think coming back to my hometown will defeat the purpose of a retreat away from home.
How exciting this all is, this adventure.