While Virginia-based photographer Leah MacDaniel specializes in wedding photography, she has always had a passion for landscape work as well. As part of our Artist Fellowship Program, Leah recently took to Getaway Shenandoah for some uninterrupted time with her camera.
Leah, who owns and operates Flit Photography, she starting taking photos after she inherited a set of antique 35mm film cameras from an aunt who passed away.
“For a long time, those cameras felt too special to use, so I kept them carefully packed away and dutifully moved them with me from place to place,” Leah said. “However, when I started my journey with minimalism, I decided that I could no longer hold onto these cameras just as a sentimental token – they either needed to be useful to me or they needed to find a new home.”
Once she took the cameras out for a spin, Leah started sneaking around at night to search for new places to photograph. She began experimenting with portraiture after one of her friends let her photograph them.
“I am a firm believer that every person should have at least one portrait of themselves that makes them feel amazing,” Leah said. “I would love to be able to use portraiture in an affirming way to help trans youth feel comfortable and beautiful.”
In the short term though, Leah’s been dreaming of photographing a styled bridal shoot in a swamp. First though, she’ll have to find a client with the same vision.
While Getaway allowed Leah to be both bored and uncomfortable, it also allowed her to grow and enjoy the space she needed to create. Leah frequently craves solitude in nature, so our Outpost was the perfect place to escape to.
“As an introvert, my internal batteries get drained pretty quickly,” Leah said. “I don’t have to do anything fancy. I just need a quiet space where I can be alone with my thoughts and tune in to what I really need.”
With the hustle and bustle of city life, we know it can be hard for artists to find uninterrupted time to create. That’s why we created our Artist Fellowship Program, to give creatives a space in nature to work on their projects. We love seeing what our artists come up with and we’re excited to share some of our fellows from this past month.
Illustrator Fabiola Lara is inspired by a combination of pop culture and her own feelings, whether they are obsession, happiness, anxiety, or sadness. Fabiola has been illustrating since she was young, but she began sharing her work with the world in 2013.
“I’ve been creating since I was a kid,” Fabiola said. “I can remember spending hours drawing Spongebob and making elaborate paper Christmas ornaments.”
Fabiola, who recently spent some time working at our New York Outpost, hopes to one day create the illustrations for the next teen Netflix series.
Samantha Testa, who recently took to our DC Outpost, first began painting and drawing as a little girl with her grandfather. It’s a story that particularly resonated with us, as all of our cabins are named for grandparents.
“He was a phenomenal artist who taught me how to be patient with my work and find joy in creating things,” Samantha explains. “I still have a set of his old rickety brushes that I pull out from time to time.”
Since then, Samantha has drawn her inspiration largely from architecture and vast landscapes. Her dream would be to travel to different cities and paint the structures that represents their history, culture, and vibrancy.
“I love searching for symmetry, angles, ornate details, and color palettes that make me feel inspired to get them down on paper,” Samantha notes. “Aside from the tangible inspiration, there is sometimes just an abstract feeling that compels me to make something with my hands.”
Interested in tapping into your own creativity in nature? Escape today.
With the constant hustle and bustle around us, we know it can be hard for artists to find quiet time to create. That’s why we created our Artist Fellowship Program, to give creatives a space in nature for uninterrupted time to work. We love seeing what our artists come up with and we’re excited to share with you some of our fellows from the past month.
This Month’s Artist Fellows
It’s been a little over two years since Samantha Reuter decided to paint full-time. She says she’s been an “art-room kid” from the time she was little and she fell in love with studying the female form during her time in college.
Samantha recently took to our New York Outpost to spend some time painting. As someone who loves to see the world, Samantha says travel is imperative to her process.
“The world is the greatest form of inspiration,” Samantha said. “My sketchbooks go with me everywhere. I often record whatever stands out on the trip- just recording little moments for fun. I’ve recently found that I love traveling solo as well, and plan to push myself to do more of that.”
Photographer James Corbett rarely goes a full day with taking a picture. His love of photography began in 2014 when he began shooting mountain bike races.
He finds inspiration in pursuing technical excellence, as well as the search for a unique angle or a special moment to capture. Recently, James says he’s been finding more inspiration in portrait photography as well.
“I am working on a project concept around challenging gender norms and stereotypes,” James said. “I plan to explore in portraiture how individuals would express their true self without restrictions.”
Stephanie Harvey has dabbled in everything from photography to print making to graphic design. Now, Stephanie runs her own greeting card and giftware company, exit343design.
“My goal is to create work that is both fun and functional,” Stephanie says. “I draw inspiration from everyday circumstances, a love of color, typography, textile patterns, flora, fauna, and a penchant for junk food.”
The artist, who recently spend some time creating at Getaway DC, says she dreams of one designing packaging for a brewery, a fabric line, or a mural.
Interested in becoming an Artist Fellow? Apply here.
We know that with the hustle and bustle of city life, it can be hard for artists to carve out time to create. That’s why we started our Artist Fellowship Program, to give creatives uninterrupted time in nature to work on their projects. We love seeing what our artists make during their time with us, so we’re excited to share with you some of our fellows from this season.
Photographer Albert Groshenko knows how difficult it can be to find balance in his life. As an economics student at Columbia, Albert says he is lucky enough to draw inspiration from every street corner of New York City. He believes the sidewalk has become our culture’s “runway,” and loves seeing how artfully people choose to present themselves to the world.
Despite his love for the city, Albert still enjoys escaping to the woods. During his Getaway in Epsom, N.H., Albert took photos, cooked on an open fire, and slept amid the trees. While he loves working with his camera, Albert says he would love to one day create his own line of menswear, in addition to the finance career he aspires to.
Sophie Calhoun has been drawing for most of her life, but she had to take a hiatus from her art when life got too crazy. Once she graduated college though, Sophie rededicated time to her work and says she’s happy creating visual art again.
Sophie says she loves escaping into nature and gaining a fresh perspective, so she was able to spend some time creating illustrations while at Getaway Boston. Sophie says she usually gets her inspiration from a desire to visually represent complex concepts, like emotions. She loves storytelling and world-building and dreams of one day using her skills to create a graphic novel or video game.
Interested in becoming an Artist Fellow? Apply here.
Disconnecting and recharging can mean different things for different people. For chef and blogger Jacob Trinh for instance, it means concocting new recipes. As part of our Artist Fellowship Program, Jacob escaped to Getaway Boston, where he had the space to think about his culinary creations.
Jacob was kind enough to share his recipe for the Cambodian street wings he made right at his own campfire at Getaway Boston. Jacob says these wings take him back to his childhood when he would wander around a Cambodian open air market in Philadelphia.
Pro-tip: Jacob recommends that these wings are cooked over charcoal. However, if that’s not possible, a gas grill or a grill grate on top of a two-burner will suffice.
Cambodian Street Wings (4 servings)
What you’ll need:
2 lbs chicken wings
2 tbsp garlic (minced)
2 tbsp lemongrass (minced)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp annatto seeds (grounded)
What to do:
Remember to preheat the grill either during or after marinating. For a gas or charcoal grill, heat to medium-high heat, with one side at high heat above 400 degrees, and the other side can be left warm. For a grill grate over two burners, heat the grate to medium-high heat. If the wings are larger, you can preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Put all marinade ingredients into a bowl and mix until it’s a loose paste.
Soak chicken wings in marinade for at least 1 hour. The longer the chicken sits, the more flavor it will soak up.
Soak wooden skewers in hot water for 30 minutes so they do not char or fall off.
Place skewers into wings.
Place wings onto grill and cook 3-5 minutes on each side.
Either place the wings on warm side of grill or pop into oven if chicken isn’t fully cooked yet.
Make it pretty- throw on some scallions or add a side of pickled carrots and daikon.
To follow along with more of Jacob’s cooking, follow his blog or Instagram.
Our Artist Fellowship program was created to give creatives the space they need for uninterrupted work in the middle of the woods. The hope is that artists can use the quiet and the natural beauty around our cabins to inspire their creative projects. We’re excited to feature several of our fellows from the past few months and the work they have created at Getaway.
Hayley Tanasijevich has been drawing for as long as she can remember and even studied graphic design and illustration at the University of Michigan. After college, she realized her passion for travel drawing and has found a place to sketch everywhere from Scotland to Southeast Asia. Most recently, Hayley escaped to Getaway New York for some creative time. Drawing her inspiration from a treasure trove of children’s books, Hayley says she one day hopes to make her own.
“I hope someday to have a little studio where I can draw animals with eyebrows wearing funny clothes as much as I want,” Hayley said. “For now, I take each day one at a time and keep drawing and improving to never stop creating.”
Ali Williams has been passionate about public art ever since she created her first mural in art school. Her dream would be to create a mural abroad with a mission she’s passionate about. In the meantime, Ali draws her main inspiration from her fellow women artists and celebrating their accomplishments.
She took to Getaway DC this winter to focus her creative energy and work on some sketches. When she’s not on a Getaway, Ali says she likes to escape to the ocean.
“I’m fortunate to live near the ocean, and I work remote, so for a quick get away I walk to the beach as much as I can,” Ali said. “Unplugging is still a challenge, that’s why I like yoga so much! But with good people around it makes it much easier to shut all that down and enjoy the present moment no matter where you are.”
While Joanna Guest has been artistic for most of her life, she says her current work is mostly driven by the deep love of art her parents, who met in art school, have always had. In 2017, Joanna began collecting all the notes her father had written to both her and her brother. Since then, she has been creating collages to pair with her father’s words and has been sorting them into a book set to publish in 2019.
Joanna recently took to Getaway New York to inspire some of her canvases. However, the Brooklyn-based artist tries her best to find ways to disconnect even when she can’t get to the Catskills.
“I like to go to Maine. If that’s not in the cards, I love to cook, with good music in the background and a glass of wine,” Joanna says. “There’s nothing ‘away in nature’ about that, but boy can it make this Brooklyn-born kid feel free.”
Kuzu Creative was born out of an artistic collaboration between Sera Boeno and Fredric Freeman. After completing their first project together back in 2017, Sera and Fredric knew that if they combined forces, they could unlock so much more creative potential. Thus, the creative services agency was born.
Drawing inspiration from their environment, Sera and Fredric took their skills to our Artist Fellowship program at Getaway’s DC outpost. Our Getaway cabin and surrounding foliage became their canvas for elaborate projection mappings. We were totally in awe of what they were able to create using such simple surfaces as inspiration.
We sat down with Sera and Fredric to talk through their creative process and how they get away.
Hi Fredric and Sera. Please introduce yourselves.
Fredric: Hey it’s Fredric. Pleasure to meet you. I have a pretty varied background. I’ve been everything from a reputable underground music artist, to award winning agency animator, professor of virtual reality, and pizza delivery professional. My current professional endeavors have focused on exploring more augmented, extended, and virtual realities.
I grew up in Maryland. Born in Baltimore, only a few hours aways from our Getaway stay near the Blue Ridge Mountains. I can remember visiting this area a few times as a kid. Flying along Skyline Drive losing my mind from how beautiful it looked.
I’m currently based in Philadelphia, working as an adjunct professor of animation at Jefferson University. I also do non-profit work serving as the President of the Philadelphia Area New Media Association, a tech agnostic organization that promotes diversity through education.
Sera: Sera Boeno here. Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey and currently residing in Baltimore, MD, by way of Hanover, NH. I am a sculptor, installation artist who also dabbles with digital design and curatorial work. I just earned my M.F.A degree in Sculpture from Maryland Institute College of Art’s Rinehart School of Sculpture. Currently, I am an artist-fellow at the Hamiltonian, DC, and I work as the Asst. Creative Director of KUZU Creative. The KUZU title is a broad-spanning type of hat, having a broad spectrum of expertise helps with that.
How did Kuzu Creative come to be?
Fredric: At the end of 2017, a fashion school in Philly approached me to do a projection installation. I was in need of a person who can wear many hats from research and conceptualization of creative projects to organization and production to help out with the project. At that point Sera and I had been acquainted, and knew of each others work; I approached her to see if she would be interested in co-creating this installation. The work was a huge success and was followed by inquiries of more work, which was a sign to institutionalize our working relationship. We wanted a flexible structure through which we can leverage, and provide for our individual creative networks. This mindset turned out to be a great way to work, as we now have the opportunity to curate a specific team of contracted creatives that we trust according to the specific needs of any project from projection installations for children to animated music videos to product design.
Where do you go or what do you to to feel inspired?
Sera: I either do something completely unrelated for inspiration, like going swimming. Or I go to art spaces and museums, visit other artists’ studios or peruse a good book/documentary around a subject I am thinking about.
Fredric: I agree with Sera. Positive distractions.
How do you recharge?
Fredric: Nature. It’s the easiest way to recharge. One of the things I love about the Getaway is its ethos- the idea of unplugging and enjoying the space you are currently residing in. I’m a strong believer of taking walks in the woods. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that nature provides all the stimulation we need.
Sera: Agreed with Freddie, nature is a good way to come back to ground zero. I also find it really important to make space and time for self-care routines; mine are, in no particular order, exercising, reading fiction, making and eating good food, baths, meditation, and Skype dates with friends on the other side of the Atlantic.
Can you take us through how you created these incredible projection mappings? Step by step if possible.
Fredric: We started with a concept: Lost Digital Civilizations.
Sera: This is how we usually start, we muse about the possible response to a space/prompt we are given. After the concept is loosely set, we start collecting “assets”; in this case, zoom-in photographs of micro-chips, stock photos of archaeological artifacts, etc.
Fredric: We then created digital imagery and animations infused with these photos of ruins, microchips, cultural icons, etc. to create images of, say, Digital Gods Descending or something like that…
From there we did some test projections in Sera’s studio. We also took some time to build concrete objects to project on. Then we packed everything up and hit the woods. From there we scoped out a few areas we thought might create a nice composition and mapped our images on to these spaces. A huge reason things came together was the fact that we just went with it. We projected onto everything from tree trunks, to branches, to rocks, to even the front of our cabin.
Sera: I agree. I think most of the time our concepts are starting points but chance happenings have a big part in how the end-result is shaped. We welcome such opportunities to end up with things that we did not necessarily foresee. I personally believe it’s best when the work is one step ahead of you.
Where do you go to get away?
Sera: It’s tough to get away when you are in the creative hustle, because most of the time that means you are juggling multiple jobs/contracts while also trying to maintain an active studio practice. The two strain each other quite a bit. My solution is finding art residencies away from the city. For example, I spent some weeks in Steuben, WI, at ACRE residency where there was barely any cell phone reception. The surrounding area was so isolated that the moon shone bright enough to create shadows. I committed to making work here away from urban life, and while practicing to focus on doing so without thinking about to what end. That was my get away. Though, when I am able to travel, spending time in Istanbul, at home with family, usually serves as the ultimate getaway.
What is your dream creative project?
Sera: I would love a client to come to us with endless budget, space and time to commission an art project.
Fredric: Currently I think it would be to direct a music video for the Turkish rapper, Ezhel.
What are you most proud of?
Fredric:The journey Kuzu Creative is on.
Finish the sentence. At Getaway…
Kuzu Creative House made some pretty cool projection installations in nature.
Anna Tullis has been all around the US. Born in Colorado, she moved to Kansas City to work for a non-profit before relocating to Los Angeles to attend college. These days, she finds herself in New York City, recently having completed a graduate degree at The Juilliard School of Drama.
As an actor, writer, and photographer, Anna enjoys crafting anecdotes about the people, passersby, and surroundings she observes. Informed by her photography, these ideas morph into short stories, vignettes, and poems that feed her expression on the stage and screen.
After four rigorous years of graduate school, she is mindful to allot time to escape it all. To get away from the bustle of New York City, Anna enjoys traveling upstate, visiting her home in Colorado, people watching in Washington Square Park, or sitting at home in her room and rediscovering serenity.
As an Artist Fellow, Anna integrated the solitude and peacefulness of our New York Outpost with its opposite: the constant, taxing presence and pressure of the crowds in New York City. One of her goals was to find inspiration and quiet in nature, to be still, listen, observe, and nurture her innermost self and refuel.
She produced a series of photos and written pieces formatted on her typewriter, capturing nature’s expressiveness through the stillness, aromas, animals, and colors of the Catskills and her tiny cabin in late fall. Enjoy one of her ethereal creations here.