I’ve pretty much settled into my studio by now, and am finding my way to the stores and eateries in Feijiacun that carry the odd supplies, fruit and Chinese food that I enjoy. I have a bicycle – one speed, and with a low seat that means I must pedal with my knees high. Usually that is uncomfortable and annoys my arthritic knee, but bikes move slowly here and so it isn’t a problem.
The other artists in the program are good company, and we share many meals, trips, and activities. Here we are at the MAAN Café in Beijing to plan for our Open Studio event on March 29th. The MAAN is fabulous, specializing in fancy sweets and breakfasts, a sometimes welcome break from the local fare.
Matthew and I continue to stay in touch and hang out with each other.
It has taken me much longer that I anticipated to get any art work underway. One of the big problems initially was just that I was not sure how I wanted to start or what to do. And then, the art supply stores are about 45min to an hour away, using public transportation which is a challenge in itself. My list of essential supplies has been substantially modified as I find new ways and work-arounds that I can use to adapt the way I usually work and make them mesh with my situation here. Still, a workable paint medium is essential, and on my first trip to the supply stores, I got a set of supplies that don’t work and I can’t use. The problem is that most of the materials and their labels are Chinese with only a few cryptic words in English, and the terms don’t correspond to what I’m used to back home. Some supplies just aren’t available. I wanted a big pad of cheap Newsprint, but big pads of paper, cheap or otherwise, don’t seem to exist here. Neither do tablets of canas pads, or disposable paper pallets.
Fortunately, on my second expedition I did find materials that will work for me. Whew! And I’ve gotten back into the swing of painting again. Have completed a couple of initial paintings, and am working on several more, now.