Gstaad, Switzerland is 7,000 km from Haiti, and this is where I am.
I came to Open Spaces on 15 September, and I have been here a month and a half. The art residency is in a school house — Schulhaus 139 — in the village of Feutersoey, which is less than 20 minutes by bus, from the main town of Gstaad.
Gstaad has several villages on its outskirts, and, apart from Feutersoey, I have visited Gsteig, Les Diablerets and Saanen, taking the local yellow Postbus number 180. The bus stop is 2 minutes’ walk from the schoolhouse, and the bus arrives on time. The cost of each bus trip from the schoolhouse to Gstaad is 2.60 CHF, about the same in US dollars. It would cost more if I did not buy a travelcard, which gives me 50% discount on bus and train travel anywhere in Switzerland. So that is a good idea.
This is the schoolhouse in Feutersoey, where I am at the Open Spaces artist residency. Every day is different: one day there is sunshine, and the next day, clouds, rain and even snow! The art studio is on the first floor and it is large enough for 3-4 persons. It has a beautiful view of the mountains which are sometimes covered in snow. Here I am stretching canvas and preparing to work.
The second week here, I participated in a traditional market in the next village, Gsteig. The residency had a booth, and I painted next to the river. I also went on a cable car to see the glacier at the top of a mountain at 3,000 metres. There was a lot of snow! I finally got to touch snow.
I have travelled to many places on the train: within Switzerland, and from Switzerland to Italy. It is easy and efficient. From Port au Prince to Brigue in Haiti where I have my little studio, it is over 7 hours to get there and I wonder why Haiti does not have train service, to reduce the stress and the time to travel between the capital and my home village.
The schoolhouse is surrounded by mountains and farms, and there are many cows! So I decided to do a series of paintings of the cows. In two weeks there will be an exhibition of work done during the residency. See the flyer below.