In two days, a month-long artist residency at Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming will end. A diverse group of interdisciplinary artists--composers, musicians, painters, printmakers, multimedia artists, and myself, the only writer this time--will pack our books and supplies, clean out our studios, and say goodbye. Each of us will return home with the products of our work, and also with a month of marvelous memories of creative time spent with new friends. I'm grateful to them for their inspiring company, and especially to Director Sharon Hawkins and Assistant Director Caitie Taylor, who made our time here go perfectly, and allowed each of us to focus on our work. Huge thanks also to founder Beth White whose vision and support gives eight plus artists a month the space and environment to create. I leave with many new essays and poems, plus sketches, photos, and even a woodcut, all of which I will use to inspire more works. Brush Creek, both the residency and the site, has been a dream. I will look back fondly on time spent in the Rancher's Daughter writing studio, snowshoeing Brush Creek Trail and Bison Bridge, "moose-hunting," hiking to the Taylor Homestead, coffees and meeting locals at Lollipops in Saratoga, open studio tours, and most of all the friendships made here.
And to any artists reading this, I highly recommend applying to Brush Creek for your own artist residency. It's an inspiring and beautiful place.
Jill McCabe Johnson's research and writing practice follow the tradition of the French Medieval poetic form, the "chanson d'aventure" or song of adventure, where a writer walks into a new environment for enlightenment and inspiration.