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So good to see those tiny swatches of terroir stack up...

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More when I venture further afield, I hope (ooh, déjà vu!)

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Dec 6, 2023Liked by Joumana Medlej

Your work is beautiful and your inventiveness is inspiring. I will be doing a residency next year and I have already been thinking about how to shape it, what I want to focus on. Thanks for describing your process of creating from a sense of place (with all the riches and limitations that place has to offer).

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Thanks! I hope you have a great residency. Because my work is usually super-planned, I came here having prepared nothing and not knowing what I was going to do (I only brought some basic materials). I wanted to see what the place itself suggested, even if it was very different from my usual work. It's nice that something already came together like this!

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Dec 6, 2023Liked by Joumana Medlej

I’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between Spanish oak woodland savannas and California ones from your pictures. Lovely and soothing landscape! The artist book colors are inspiring - I’m thinking earrings of lapis paired with a red-brown spessartine garnet.

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This could be because this doesn't give a sense of scale! I can't put the difference in words, but I've never mistaken a Californian oak for an olive tree...

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So delightful to read about your residency. It brought back memories of my artist residency at the Rensing Center in South Carolina in 2020. I felt like I should create something that was rooted in the place. But I struggled with feelings of not being productive enough with the time that was given, especially when I compared myself to what others had done while there. This was the first time I had ever stopped working to devote myself entirely to writing. In the end, nothing artistic came out of the residency. I learned that I was not an artist/writer...I only aspired to be that. I had mistakenly blamed my full-time job for preventing me from being creative. Sometimes I think that I should write about this beautiful, too real experience. The title would be Off Target, since I failed to reach the goal of the residency and landed somewhere else (perhaps a way more interesting place).

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Hmm, well, I am wary of goal-oriented residencies because time there is limited and inspiration just doesn't work that way for me. I applied to this one precisely because there's no expectation of any kind, so I didn't have any for myself other than be here and see what happens. I was surprised to see a piece take shape so quickly, and maybe nothing else will come out of it, other than me gathering and testing materials. Actually I find ideas come more easily when I don't even try to come up with ideas. So maybe you're just not *that* kind of artist/writer who can turn out stuff on demand.

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