The Gift of Days: An Artist Residency

Episode 227 · October 29th, 2022 · 41 mins 19 secs

About this Episode

We’d like to begin today with some words from John O’Donohue, the Irish poet, author, priest, and philosopher--who wrote in his poem, For the Traveler:

May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you

O’Donohue’s poem-- from which this excerpt is taken-- reflects on the impact of travel that is done in an aware and thoughtful manner. Taking part in an artist residency program is one way to experience a new place on this deep level and to experience its influence on your work. In today’s episode, Rebecca reflects on her recent 3 weeks of residency at the Obras Foundation in Portugal, and the challenges and rewards of this experience.

We talked last week about the duality of familiarity and novelty that you can experience when working with the idea of place and in your response to unique aspects of an environment. There can be novelty in what is familiar, when you tune into your daily environment, and there can also be familiarity in what is new, as you seek out what you know and are comfortable with even in a completely foreign environment. When working in a truly new and unfamiliar place, it can be a challenge to find focus and continuity with your ongoing work. Allowing your responses to being on a residency to evolve organically in your ongoing work may be the best way to integrate your new experience.

website for Obras Foundation:

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What's new at Cold Wax Academy?
Rebecca and Jerry have just launched their Fall quarter of live, online sessions with a special focus this time on member participation, plus informative sessions on a variety of other topics such as photographing your art work and using Procreate. This month also marks the beginning of Cold Wax Academy's 3rd year of teaching sessions, meaning that the member library now has over 80 recordings and other instructional documents available for members. To access this wealth of information and to take part in upcoming live sessions, please visit the membership page at and sign up for one of the two levels of membership available.

Please visit for more information.

Also-- stay tuned for information coming soon about Rebecca and Jerry's newest project, Espacio, dedicated to providing beautiful living and working spaces for artists and writers. Espacio's first offering is Casa Clavel, a modern, fully equipped house opening this September in the beautiful cultural city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. You can learn more and make a reservation by emailing [email protected]. A dedicated Espacio website is coming soon!

Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience with Cold Wax Academy:
"Rebecca and Jerry have presented the most professional, authentic and structured approach to a creative activity I have ever come across. Their selfless sharing of all their knowledge and encouragement is a gift in my life unsurpassed."

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