Artist In Residence Narrative
“I was so grateful for the residence opportunity at MacArthur Place because I was feeling energized by the idea of a change of scenery, especially in Sonoma. I asked as soon as I got to the property about hikes. Leading up to the trip, I was daydreaming about the nature Sonoma had to offer. My partner (Mike), my pup (Junior) and I hike everyday here in LA. I am finding a lot of peace, within the confinement of quarantine, in taking deep breaths in front of expansive views. As we hike, I am always collecting bits of nature that inspire me because of its shape, color, or symmetry and bring it back to the studio with me.
So… everyday, we went on a hike within a few miles of MacArthur Place. I collected “souvenirs” — I was drawn to the wild fennel, its concentric yellow mini blossoms like sunshine and was mesmerized by the way the light hit the golden wheat grass and fell head over heels for the pink flowers that were popping up everywhere the way tulips do in the spring. I had in my mind, Agnes Martin and her thoughts on inspiration… She believes that inspiration isn’t something that comes and goes; it is there all of the time waiting for us to be untroubled enough to notice… (in other words: present enough to notice). I felt very untroubled at MacArthur Place. I had the space in my mind to soak in the views and nature of Sonoma Valley.
Something I immediately was drawn to… the red clay color of the Sonoma Overlook trail. I thought it was beautiful and started seeing it everywhere, the trunks of trees, dried leaves, the groovy upholstered chairs in the bar! This color will be used in the final piece of work. It’s color is used throughout the bar area (where the final piece will hang in front of). This was my favorite communal room on the property. It’s the kind of setting you want to order a martini in…and I DID! although it was to go 😉 It was thoroughly enjoyed by a fire pit.
It was an interesting time to stay at a hotel. It was very quiet which I loved for the purpose of the residency and absorbing my surroundings. Walking through the main building, I could imagine the hustle and bustle of people through the space. People arriving, leaving, catching up or collaborating. I got the sense that this main building was the pulse of the place which is what inspired me to make tiles that connect across edges and feel as if they are pulsating, connecting, coming, and going. The shapes feel like trails, rows of grape vines, paths through the property.
Attached is a photo of the sketch for the final piece on a MacArthur notepad :)” – Cheryl Humphreys