I decided last year that I would try to write a blog entry every month. I can't imagine doing this every day, and even once a month seems too often; if I look the other way, focus on something, or forget to check the calendar, the month is gone.

But, it's still March, so this entry can squeak in. I'm just home after a short self-directed residency at the Banff Centre. I spent nearly two weeks thinking (with my hands) about worm-shaped books. I also did some of the preliminary printing towards an editioned artist's book about an encounter with a worm.

I was in a group of 16 artists from across Canada and Europe. It was amazing. Just being at the Banff Centre is like inhabiting an alternate reality where anything can happen to your work. A conversation, an insight from the mountains, access to new tools--transformation is always hovering in the wings.

As I folded paper and made worms, people asked: does your practice consist of a lot of paper folding? The answer is no. They asked, is this like origami? No. But are my answers the same, now that I'm at home? No.

Residencies (I'm beginning to understand) are less about producing work, although that happens too, and more about creating a special environment in which to ask questions about practice, aspirations, expectations. Sometimes these questions are asked with the hands, or are asked of the materials. Sometimes they are answered on a mountain top, or over lunch, or during sleep.

Sometimes they are not answered, but carried back to normal life...lighter-than-air, making it seem like your stuff, your self, is not the same as when you left home.

Am I the same artist I was before I left? No.