Wednesday, August 26, 2020

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” -Laozi - Shannon's thought's before the big adventure

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” -Laozi
We depart Sunday before dawn, Carl and I. Headed for the Dry Tortugas and a month off the grid, on the uninhabited island of Loggerhead Key. I wanted to leave you all with thoughts on first steps.
It is time to cast off our lines and sail for new unexplored territory. For me personally, taking chances is one of the most rewarding parts of life. This is not the first time I have been at this exhilarating place. In 2006-2007, I left Lake Worth Beach in a travel trailer having sold all of my personal possessions, save a few essential and sentimental things. I traveled widely across our beautiful country. In New Mexico I painted my first serious landscape while snowed into my trailer and accompanied by two evaporating bottles of Cabernet. It was the first step on this unexpected journey. I have realized what was then an inconceivable state of being….living as an artist in an everyday sense. Thousands of miles have indeed passed and I will be honest, I was scared at the onset of that road trip that would change my life. I slept the first night in a Publix parking lot, somewhere in the Florida pan handle. I was scared I’d break down. I was scared of crashing. I was scared about not having a friend, should I need one, to call upon. I was in reality, scared of myself. I had never driven with a trailer before, so when I drove away from my three closest friends they only saw confidence.
I don’t have any of those fears or misgivings heading out to an uninhabited Island, 72 miles west of Key West, to live off the grid for the entire month of September. I feel more alive than ever! I couldn’t put my finger on it until now, but something in my life has been lacking. I can see now that I have been separated from what makes me my most authentic self, nature and being immersed in it, whilst letting my wanderlust take me. Like that year long road trip, I expect this journey to hold enlightenment and profound surprise.
Stepping away from this manicured modernity of misplaced priorities is already giving me a great sense of ease. My soul has been malnourished for too long. Maybe its just me, but possibly we are all lacking some vitamin or mineral that only nature can provide for us. I want to be fresh, I want my work to be fresh. I want my love to be fresh, I want to be, the best me. Imagine what a healthier soul can do.. in all facets of life.





Here is that painting from Santa Fe, as well as, the truck and that trailer. A.K.A. The Escape Pod. I look forward to sharing my experience with you. Many of you have made this dream possible and I cannot thank you enough for your gift of support. 

Peace and Love!
Shannon

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

6 Days and counting Carl's last pre trip post

 Hi Friends!

Well here we are six days away from Shannon and I heading to Key west for the start of our residency at Dry Tortugas National Park.  We will arrive in Key West on 8/30.  We will stay in Key West two nights while we shop for provisions and go through orientation from the NPS.  On 9/1 we board the ferry to Fort Jefferson and then take a National Park boat for the last 3 miles to Loggerhead Key and our home for the next month.  The time since finding out about our selection for the residency has dragged and flown by at the same time.  We are eager to get to Loggerhead key to start creating the art and the movie we have been dreaming of and taking about ad nauseam.  This week we have had to sit and watch as two tropical storms took paths near but thankfully not at the Tortugas.  Fingers crossed that is the closet we come to hurricanes.  We look forward to days and days of exploring and creating.  I have had a bit of a hiccup that almost jeopardized the trip.  I broke my big toe taking the garbage out.  After a trip to urgent care and a podiatrist and two sets of X-rays I am cleared to go albeit wearing a boot style walking cast.  It has given me new appreciation for how lucky we are and how rare this opportunity is.  I will need to adjust my goals and expectations for myself as to how much work I get done in the first part of the trip.  I'm thankful this trip is a month so I can work at whatever pace my foot allows.  I'm currently downloading a few more books to my Kindle for times when I decide I need a break.  I want to thank again the folks who donated to our go fund me!  That was very kind of you and helped make the trip possible and Of Course I'd like to thank My wife Wendy ( and Shannon's wife Deana).  Without their love, support and patience with the starry eyed dreamers they married none of this would be possible.

We will be off the grid officially on 9/1 and back on 10/1 during that time you will bot get any new posts from us.  We will of course be making new art and content but have no way to share it.  We will start sharing our experience with a live cast from Gallery on Green in Key West on 10/2 at 3 pm.  I will send out an invite to the event for this right before we leave for Key West.

Peace and We'll be back to regular podcasts and posting in October with lots of stories to tell about our adventure.

Loggerhead 2020

Flying Tortuga Brother Carl,

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Left Brain Artist Podcast

 We are guests on Suzanne Redmond's Left Brain Artist Podcast today.  The link to the episode is below.  Suzanne interviewed us last week and will interview us again after we get back from The Tortugas.



https://suzanneredmond.com/176-carl-stoveland-and-shannon-torrence/

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

In the Blink of an Eye

 And in the blink of an eye we have gone from 33 down to 12 days until we leave for Key West and the jumping off point of our residency in Dry Tortugas National Park at Loggerhead Key.  What have we been up to?  Lots!  We have done some interviews some for now and some as party of two part before and after interviews to come out after we get back.  There has been a lot of list making and double checking that all items will be packed and will fit in my Suby for the Drive Down to Key West where will board a National Park boat and head off for our home for 30 days on Loggerhead Key.  

Currently on my nightstand.  Ia dreading up about things for the residency and dreaming about the art both Shannon and I will get to create over the course of a month.


It is getting so very really.  We are down to making menus and buying the dry goods we willed for the month.  Wee will purchase perishables down in Key West the day before we head out.  I know there will be hot uncomfortable days and a lot schlepping of gear around the island and I will miss creature comforts and chatting with my friends over social media, but I am equally sure this once in a lifetime opportunity will be amazing.  I plan to journal everyday and hope the thoughts and ideas I get down on paper will do justice to the experience and prove as inspiration to other artists who are considering applying for this very special residency or one of the many others out there.

To our friends who have been following since we stated this journey with our application for the 2019 residency thanks for sticking around and encouraging us through the year plus of time and hard work we put it that had no guarantee would end with getting the residency.  It was a gamble that paid off.

Also to everyone who contributed to our GoFundMe.  Thank you!!!! because of your generosity we have a few items to make sure we are comfortable on the island,  GoPro cameras to film the adventure and a Satellite phone we rented for emergencies and to check in with our wonderful supportive wives!

Loggerhead 2020!

Tortuga Brother Carl