Ginnie Cappaert's Blog

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

"Know where you want to go and be READY to go." - unknown

Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for being allowed to be here on Mackinac Island at Mission Point Resort for my first Artist Residency.  This is an experience that every artist should have, the time to step away from your household chores, your own studio, your every day routine and be inspired by new surroundings and the time to focus on your artwork.
I've been using this time to do many things, all of which are art based or ME based.  These include getting around the island to 'absorb' the beautiful winter scenery via snowmobile; snowshoeing and xc skiing - the trails are wonderful; long, uninterrupted hours of studio work; journaling; picture taking; blogging; reading; popcorn and art movie nights; time for just sitting; time for just be-ing; journal-making; healing; sculpture/encaustic thoughts and prep work and more reading, writing and painting.
When I return from my residency, I will be one of the artists in a group show at the Miller Art Museum featuring artists working with wax.  As part of the 'healing' aspect of my quiet residency, I have started what I hope to be an encaustic/sculpture.  I started the other night by ripping up old journals that contained some heavy-heart thoughts and formed them into little 'bundles' which I then painted and will eventually 'seal' with encaustic wax (to never be opened again) and then form into a sculpture.  Sometimes you just have to 'bundle' up some thoughts and put them away for good (easier said than done)!
This image is the inside cover of a 'new' journal I started here on the Island.  New as in...new thoughts, new attitude, new days.
Forever inspired.  About 20 years ago I  belonged to an artist group in Iron Mountain.  As a young mother of 2 babies at the time, it was a real treat to 'get out of the house' one night a month and meet up with some very talented U.P. artists!  I'll always remember our handmade journal making sessions - I still have those journals in my 'stack'.  This summer I was inspired to make myself some new journals using the Coptic binding stitch - just like I had done years ago.  I dug out some old instructions, painted up some crazy, swirly papers and have spent a few nights 'sewing' the bindings on these journals...for ME!  A great winter evening pastime...I think I have enough to get me through the summer!
Well of course I painted while at my residency!  Here is a shot of my painting 'studio' in Johnson Hall, a light filled room reminiscent of Cezanne's studio in Provence that I visited a few years back.  The natural lighting was extraordinary and I can't wait to share with you some of the new paintings that developed but are not completely finished while here on this island.   February, 2016.
Ginnie Cappaert, Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island, MI

Monday, February 15, 2016

"The best things in life happen to you when you're alone." - Agnes Martin
Artist Residency, February, 2016, Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island, Michigan

I had every intention of updating my blog posts on a daily basis while on my artist residency, however, there is just too much art to be made, so here I am on day 3.
I arrived on one of the coldest days of the year which only means that for the first time this year the ferry was 'frozen in'!  Luckily, there is this great little air service which shuttles people back and forth to the island via a tiny plane!  All went well. 
I arrived on the island and was escorted by the resort via snowmobile...here on the island there are no cars, in the summer it is horses or bicycles, but funny thing is in the winter it's only a few horses (taxi, mailman etc) and mostly snowmobiles.  The resort was kind enough to lend me a snowmobile to shuttle myself around in.  They are so accommodating!  Yesterday I rode around the entire island, it was a beautiful sunny day and I got some great photos for inspiration.
So what does one artist, me, do upon arrival to the Island...meet up with friends, go to the local 'chili-cook-off-contest', join in the local Saturday night cooking class sponsored by the island and featuring a different chef each week - you know these islanders know how to make fun things to do throughout the year!  Then we capped off the night by a very beautiful, meditative piano concert at St. Anne's church by a local pianist.  What a great day!
Valentines Day came next and I celebrated by going to the local little grocery store on the island to treat my self to some chocolate!  I spent the day just how I like it - painting!
My studio space "aka Johnson Hall" is the most amazing space!  Years ago I was in Provence and visited Cezanne's studio.  I remember the walk up the hill, the large windows that reached from high ceiling to floor, the amazing views and the natural light.  I can honestly compare my 'studio' space here at Mission Point to be similar to Cezanne's studio in Provence.  I am perched at the top of a hill overlooking the waters off the Island, the windows span from high ceiling to floor AND the light is phenomenal!  Todays work in the studio was a complete day of doing 'studies' of the winter skies...stay tuned to see what else I'm working on during the week.  If you would like to see pictures, please go to my Facebook Page, Ginnie Cappaert!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

"Remember, as artists, we don't know diddly.  We're winging it every day." - from the book THE WAR OF ART by Steven Pressfield

I agree!  I feel everyday is a learning day, sometimes don't know what I'm really doing and just want to start over, but one thing I do know...that I LOVE my painting/studio time!  The solitude to work on paintings and bring forth a feeling that is inside of you and portray it onto a canvas or piece of art is true magic!  and again...I know diddly...I don't really know how that happens, but it does!  It certainly happens to those creatives that actually go to their studio everyday!  Although not every day feels like a painting day, sometimes it is just a 'thinking' day or a 'meditating' day or a 'bookwork' day.  These are all part of the artistic process and some we like more than others but they are all part of the big package.
This winter I'm taking some time to play (I'm getting better at that) but I'm also focusing on my art.  Making some strides on some new pieces, preparing for my first ever artist residency in 2 weeks on Mackinac Island, MI, as well as taking care of the 'business' side of my gallery in Door County!  Somehow this all works and I am grateful.  So for now I will get back into my 'winter' studio because we truly are 'snowed in' here and again grateful for that!
Gratitude for the simple things in life!
Enjoying some winter studio time!
Winter in Door County - quiet!


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