From Judy Pilarczyk

3 Aug - 1 Sep 2018

7.01-  my eyes are wide open. I can hear the cow bells through the open window in my room. I walk to the kitchen in my pyjamas to make fresh coffee. The sun comes in through the big kitchen’s window to tease my not fully awake yet body. It’s gonna be another sunny day in Trelex.  

8.03- Sally and her son Theodore are up. I can hear Theodore running down the stairs to let the chickens out. There are 2 of them and we are lucky to have 2 eggs layed in the morning .  

8.47- Sally and Theodore are having their breakfast while I am enjoying my second coffee at the desk. My laptop is in front of me so I can look at the pictures of Trinity taken the other day. By the time she gets up I should have chosen at least one to draw from  

9.30-Sally starts doing her watercolor painting in her side of the studio, there a wall between us so I can’t see what she is doing but I know it’s the watercolor painting as she’s been talking about it. Theodore tries to do his homework in the open area of the studio, he is only 14 but very clever and chatty.  And we both love Toblerone !  

10.07- ok, I’ve chosen the picture. I use the paper that is in the studio. I have brought my own pencils, oil paints, brushes but there are plenty of art materials left by the previous artists.  I have also found lots of interesting books! I start the drawing.  

11.32- Trinity is up. She stayed up till late last night trying to write a poem. She makes her coffee and sits next to me to do some colorful drawings. She likes the drawing I am working on.  

13.45- lunchtime! I share my lunch with Trinity, we make pasta with veggies that we got from the nearest supermarket. Switzerland is pretty expensive but you can get really decent products. And cheese and chocolate is a must!   

15.00- I go for a walk and take my camera with me. Trelex is a small village but very beautiful with large fields of sunflowers around. I am trying to capture small details that will remind me of Trelex, something I will be able to use in my drawings and paintings. Sunflowers. Clouds. Nina’s garden. The house. My god the house is like from a fairytale; big, mysterious, beautiful. Everytime when I look at it from the outside I get butterflies in my stomach.  

16.54-I get back to the house to do more work on my drawing. Sally is still painting, Theodore is playing in the garden, Trinity has locked herself in her bedroom to do more writing. She has brought her own typewriter from Brooklyn! How amazing is that?!  

20.01- it starts to rain. Sally is preparing dinner for Theodore, some lovely seafood. Sally and Theodore live in Antiqua, Sally owns an art gallery there and a massive garden full of the goodies like banana, avocado and black pineapple (yes, I am jealous!) Trinity and myself take a bottle of wine and go to the garden to watch this spectacular precipitation called heavy rain in Trelex. There is a small porch where we sit and talk about our lives.  It gets really windy and we see clouds passing through the garden, we have never seen anything like it! The rain gets so heavy that we barely can see the closest trees. I love it.   

22.59- we get back to the house. It’s very quiet, seems like Sally and Theodore have gone to bed. Trinity goes to her bedroom, I will see her in the morning. I put the light on in the studio. I love this place. I love this freedom. I feel that I am finally getting wings.

Judy Pilarczyk

From Trinity Tibe

1 Aug - 11 Aug 2018

Trelex must remember the sonic tyranny of my typewriter, the leadheavy weight I carried from Brooklyn in a backpack, stopped twice by TSA.  The house must remember the nail, the percussion of each letter. Maybe my staccato of thought remains in the bedroom as an echo or a ghost.  Trelex remains a spirit around me, the bells of the church still ring on each of my hours.  The vaulted attic roof is a synonym for the creative space of my mind, the yellowplums turn to jam on memory’s stove.  I pray for the chickens and the fox of their trauma and the symbol of the eggs’ return.  

I thank Trelex for the luxury of time, for the mornings when I woke just to make art all day.  In New York, and I imagine in most people’s everyday lives, art can feel less like play and more like work I must get done in a set amount of time.  During my residency, I didn’t feel pressed into a productivity marathon.  I slipped into the hazy hot slow roll of countryside creativity.  A notebook and a pen at the ever-open window of the small kitchen in the morning, basking in the sweet scent of a fresh bouquet from the garden.  A big breakfast with my fellow artists.  An afternoon of heavy paper and chalk or maybe a train ride to a swim in Lake Geneva.  Evenings editing poems in my bedroom as fireworks flared in the dark sky.   No time felt wasted.  Thank you, Trelex, for the sprawling conversations with my newfound artist soulmate, Judy Pilarczyk, whom I drew a portrait of (and she also drew and painted some stunning portraits of me!).  Thank you for Sallie Harker and her lovely son, Theodore, who sat as a model while the three of us artists sketched him in our unique styles.  Thank you for the sudden thunderstorm that cut through the humidity as we sipped wine and watched the sun’s gold shine, unrelentingly brilliant light bouncing through the prism of downpour.    

My time in Trelex helped me recover from a hard winter depression that had stalled my usual extreme productivity.   I felt a bit estranged from myself as an artist (and maybe as a person), but the time I had in Trelex helped me reconnect with myself, my art, and the muse.  I submitted massive amounts of work while I was in Trelex, and since I’ve been home, some visual art I made in Switzerland was selected to be published as the cover of a prominent literary magazine (they also accepted a couple of poems!).  Now that I’m home, I’ve kept myself connected to the spirit of creativity I tapped into in Trelex.   I sit on my back porch in the mornings and fill my notebook.  I may get distracted by work and tasks and the demands of the city, but I am keeping the practice of drifting back to a book or a crayon or a pot of paint or my trusty typewriter to create a little bit more.  

Trinity Tibe