not an island

First may I quickly introduce myself. Hi, I am Erica, I arrived at Better Farm a few days ago and am happily settling in for my month-long artist residency here. I am a painter, and my own blog can be found at

Sitting on a table in the yard at dusk, I'm happily anticipating the communal dinner that is done here several times a week. It's so nice to have dinner made for me and to gather 'round together to enjoy it and get to know the others, all creative, friendly, hands-on sorts of people. Eventually it'll be my turn to reciprocate. I did make apple-walnut-cranberry bread for the house today.

Yesterday afternoon I went on a ferry ride, with another artist resident and her 13-month-old, around nearby Alexandria Bay and the 1000 Islands. I saw enough of them to feel assured that there are indeed 1000. Just has to be one foot in diameter and capable of having a tree to be considered an island, and they ranged from tiny to grand: some had cabins, some had castles. We crossed briefly into Canadian waters. Just last month I was thisclose to Mexico during another residency in New Mexico (but was advised against popping in), and here I am dipping my toe into Canada.

We've had several bonfires so far, huddling sociably around the flames in the dark evenings, the sky overhead littered with stars in the style to which I have grown accustomed! How spoiled I've become in this respect. My paintings are coming along, though I must occasionally pause to evacuate from the barn an errant bee or dragonfly buzzing frantically inside the window.

I fearfully turned my computer on tonight and it seems okay but for a water 'stain'. Cautiously optimistic. I cannot overstate my relief.

I just got invited to exhibit my paintings at a temporary gallery in Cold Spring, back in the Hudson Valley, in July. More details to come. A friend and curator who supports my work is mounting several short-run shows in a small space on Main Street, and it'll be a nice opportunity to show some of the new pieces I've been doing, as well as less recent work.

Erica Hauser is a 2002 graduate of the School of Visual Arts in NYC with a BFA in Illustration. She also studied at Cornell University and the Art Students League of New York. She grew up on a half-dirt road by a reservoir in Brewster, NY and currently lives in Beacon, drawn after 7 years in the city by the Hudson Valley's abundance of natural beauty, creative inspiration and sense of community. For more information about Better Farm's betterArts residency program, click here.