Brush Creek Artist Residency..oh so sweet!

October 5, 2012 | Filed in:

I  just returned from two weeks at the Brush Creek Artist Residency, which is a residency amidst  the Brush Creek dude ranch-a beautiful dude ranch in the platte valley near Saratoga, Wyoming.  I must say, it was a life changing experience.  I was fortunate enough to be with 7 other amazing, supportive, engaged artists.  It is such a gift to have time to focus on your work away from daily life.  It gave me the needed room to explore some new ideas and flail around, which is an uncomfortable but necessary part of the artistic process.  To get any good work, often we must make a lot of bad work.  And in daily life when we are trying to meet deadlines and sell pieces, often what falls away is the exploratory nature of creating.

Brush Creek Tress

Brush Creek Trees

Old Brush Creek Ranch Sign

Old Brush Creek Ranch Sign










Those two weeks gave me time and space to try some new things, struggle with some old work, and most importantly, connect with other artists doing the same thing.  I learned so much from the other artists.  It is such a treat to be able to eat family style dinner together with a group of artist after everyone worked all day in their respective medium.  We had many enlightening discussions about process, the struggles and gifts of being an artist, and above all else just connected about this strange life we all live.  A few days into it I felt as if I landed in a country where everyone spoke my language, but I had been away so long I forgot I wasn’t speaking my native tongue at home.   I have many artist friends and colleagues I am in touch with in my daily life, but we rarely have large chunks of uninterrupted time to really discuss our daily work and process.  This can be an isolating career at times and that isolation sneaks up on you, unawares.

View From Artist Camp

View From Artist Camp

What is Meg up to?

What is Meg up to?










I had been working on painting series of Contemporary Life in Wyoming and planned to continue that at Brush Creek.  But once I got there I had a really hard time painting at first.    I just wasn’t feeling the “magic” about this series anymore.  One day I decided to stop struggling in the studio and to go outside and play around with my outdoor installation series again.  I have wanted to pick this body of work up again, but I wasn’t planning on doing anything with it at Brush Creek.  But once I let myself go in that direction, it came together.   I ended up doing two temporary installations at the creek with willows and bones.  After that, I was able to return to the paintings with more success.

from "Fishing For Our History" Installation

from “Fishing For Our History” Installation


from Installation #2

from Installation #2 (unnamed so far)








Above is  sneak preview of these two installations.   I have done a prairie series before, for which I am still doing more pieces, but this is the first water installations I’ve done.    I really like to incorporate found materials and movement, like wind or water, into my outdoor installations.  They are so far always temporary, as I take them down after the initial showing and capturing a lot of footage.  Then I go back to the office/studio and attempt to assemble a movie and photographic show out of the pieces.  Stay tuned to see more when they are ready to show!

I would like to sincerely thank Beth and Bruce White and the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, it’s wonderful director, Katie Christensen and the other artists I was fortunate enough to get to know there:  Bill Haskell, painter; Anh-THuy Nguyen, conceptual artist; Kristen Martincic, printmaker;  Carolyne Wright, poet; Anne Guzzo, composer; and Jardine Libaire, writer.  All do really amazing work– look them up!  I was honored to be one of them.  Thank you all, Strange America. 😉


1 response to “Brush Creek Artist Residency..oh so sweet!”

  1. 2012/10/07 4:37 pm Jill Bergman said:

    I’m glad you had a great time, Meg! And your installation looks really interesting- I’d like to see more. 🙂

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