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04.28.14 ~ the devil’s in the details…of a day’s unfolding

by | Apr 28, 2014 | art studio, artist residency, Oregon Outback, Paisley Oregon, Playa, Summer Lake Oregon

The sunrise frosted boardwalk the crosses the north end of the pond at Playa. Our film-maker resided in the cabin in the upper right corner.

The Playa lodge.

A friend commented recently that my posts about my experience at Playa have been “tantalizingly short on details.” Here then are a few details of how my days there unfolded.

I was there for 5 weeks, with 7 other residents: 3 writers, 2 sculptors, and 1 filmmaker, from places as diverse as NYC, The Netherlands and Port Townsend. We were each provided a private cabin, as well as a studio/workspace. My cabin had a small living room, a kitchen, full bath, a loft bedroom and an attached studio with high ceilings, big walls, and large windows looking out for miles to Summer Lake and the distant high desert mountains beyond. We each cooked our own meals, except for twice per week when dinner was provided in the Lodge—a beautiful soaring communal 

Thanksgiving at Playa was a blessing indeed.

The Summer Lake Hot Springs

space with a huge stone fireplace, an enticing library, dining area, large kitchen, yoga studio, theater room, and offices. [Playa was an inn before becoming a creative residency program]. Here we gathered for relaxation and conversation by the fire, or otherwise take a break from our work. If not in the Lodge or our studios, we might find each other at random times of day out on the paths rambling across the countryside.

Awake each day by 5am, I’d fix tea and spend the next hour writing letters or in my journal, or else reading. [5 weeks = 5 books]. Eventually I’d wrap myself in a blanket by a large east-facing window and meditate by the light of the breaking day.
Then a walk: camera in hand, heart soaring, eyes dazzled by the staggering beauty of the Oregon Outback (see my slideshow here.)

Return, radiant, to my studio.

My studio work table. I faced it east so that I could watch the changes and colors in the clouds and pond and lake.


Each day dotted with breaks here and there for coffee or conversation in the Lodge.

Once per week or so, a group of us would make an excursion to explore the surrounding area: groceries in Bend or Lakeview, a soak in the Summer Lake Hot Springs, a tap of cold brew and plate of tatter tots at The Pioneer Saloon in Paisley. Mostly though we kept close to Playa, hesitant to squander the gift of this magical place, a place made sacred by the friendships fostered and creative dreams nurtured in the midst of extraordinary natural beauty. 

Five months later and still I’m inspired by my time there.

Looking back across the pond to the lodge.