The days have gone by quickly here at Farwell House, and in spending the last day here I'm intensely grateful for the gift of time and space the Plank Road Artist Residency has provided me. I've been free of most demands on my time or attention so I could spend them as I wish, while remaining in touch with family and friends.
Maybe I should have completed more paintings -- Rachel Mindrup's work ethic is nothing short of impressive -- but in addition to painting, I saw landscapes around the Illinois River valley from my van and my bicycle, explored Beardstown and Rushville, read at length, wrote some, did a little yoga and practiced playing my guitar. Jason and Christy Ackman have hosted two dinners for us where we met art lovers and supporters from the area. We saw work by fellow artists and artisans at The Hub's Night Market. We talked to a good number of visitors attending our Sunday afternoon open house to see what we'd been making during our first week here.
I took photos of an old Texaco gas station that someone is carefully restoring and maintaining. We enjoyed the new patio at Rick and Rich's and checked out Toad Stool Pub across Rushville's public square. We spent an afternoon at the modern Rushville Public Library and found the Carnegie building where it originated in the 1920s. We drove through the Schuy-Rush park and along its lake shore. We were interviewed by a reporter from the Rushville Times and look forward to seeing the story published in the weekly newspaper.
I'll head home with a dozen new pieces on paper feeling refreshed and renewed, ready to re-enter my "real life" with more focus.
It's been a great 12 days.