Week #2- Artist Fellow Residency @Ucross Foundation

by Nancy Lovendahl

IMG_9671Skiing started early here in Ucross,WY too!!  Barely enough snow to check out the far reaches of the river & ranch yesterday, but I made do sharing the track with deer, fox and more bunnies than I’ve ever seen.  Saw two large bald eagles, too.  Today it was 50 degrees, so most of this 3″ is gone.  Skiing in the moonlight was magnificent last night coming home from the studio.  No head lamp required.

Its been a fruitful second week… watching the weather change and the art work change.  Feel like these drawings and cast paper works are taking form.  I’m appreciating the uninterrupted time and opportunity to work in concentration with great support!  Forgot what day it was, which felt like a victory.IMG_9685

This cast paper piece is from a mold I made at home of a favorite small sculpture.  Seeing it here in all white and upside down hanging on the wall gives me more new associations to ponder in the vernacular.  Its better.IMG_9677 - Version 2

The rock formations are very interesting.  Many fossils and evidence of great landmass upheavals with composite rocks everywhere.

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Ranch life is centralized around the beautiful red buildings in the central compound.  This is a working ranch that practices environmentally sound land use methods, as part of the foundation vision.  They save about 60,000 gallons of water each summer season using these methods.  The old barn is a wonderful gallery now which features an annual show.  This year’s is a collaboration between former artist fellows and scientists from U of NM and Yale in land based works.  Quite beautiful.  IMG_9616IMG_9672 - Version 2

Above is the office in the old ranch house.  Before I came I was told it is bitterly cold, bring all your down EVERYTHING– yet in every old (and new) building I’ve been in has the heat  blasting!!  It may be cold outside but inside you shed your layers down to a t-shirt.IMG_9655

One of the highlights of Thursday nights in Buffalo is at The Occidental Hotel.  There are more dead animals i that bar than I’ve ever seen and yes, that is a wolf on top of the piano.  The owner hosts a community get together for a round robin “cowboy a’thon” with some amazing players. ( The guy who’s back is to the camera was the former lead guitarist for Johnny Paycheck (sp?), who was that by the way?).  The owner is always looking for Ucross Fellows to add into the mix.  This week was very special as Eddie, seen at the piano, is a young composer preparing his PhD. dissertation here in the residency.  He blew them away!  Several Ukeleles have been bought by my fellow colleagues so that the music continues here at The School House after dinner now!  I’m warming up my vocal chords.

I best get to bed as my 3rd week begins tomorrow, four weeks in all.  This being the tipping point, I took time to evaluate what I’m making to refocus for the next half to come.  Feeling like I’m mining this vein of an idea deeply.  I’m drinking deep at the creative well and loving every minute of it.  More next week.  Happy Thanksgiving to all.  I have so much to be grateful for.