Studio Build Site
After several failed attempts to sit down and write you a letter, I am finally able after three weeks to put down more than a few words before an interruption pulls me away. Complete exhaustion is the only way to explain my current condition but I am ecstatic with the progress we have achieved so far bringing the studio into reality from the visions I have carried for so many years. Addison is well versed in the local building practices and I have learned much about desert construction and renewable energy planning working with him in the last few weeks. The buildings on site are completely constructed from blocks made of the local clay and they use a curing process similar to the adobe bricks found in the southwest regions of the Americas. Since the clay produces a near perfect insulated structure once bonded, it is the material of choice here for the extreme temperatures. To an extent I was prepared for the heat but not for the drastic drop in temperature that occurs as soon as Proxima drops below the horizon. The site location in the high mountain desert creates an ideal vantage point to observe the Equine but promotes an environment of extreme temperature variations over the course of the day. Even now in mid-summer I awake to frost on the ground and clouds of misted breath as I hurry between my temporary quarters and the studio structure. Once inside the brick building and the door is sealed the temperature quickly stabilizes to a constant eighteen degrees centigrade. A narrow veranda is currently under construction that will completely encircle the studio and living quarters. Once completed this feature will provide an outer barrier against the temperature changes and allow the studio to remain at the optimum temperature and humidity for the delicate environment needed for the equipment. The veranda will be completed by the end of the week and I can complete the installation of the last pieces of equipment required to fully begin my work. There will be no need for additional environmental controls as the clay material acts as a constant control of the space within it. The walls are well over seventy centimeters thick with deep set thermal windows inset into the bricks themselves. Permanent window seats are built into the deep wall of the structure along the entire length of the east end of the building and i can imagine it will be my favorite seat for that first cup of morning coffee before beginning work. A large conservatory will be added at the west end of the building to allow for an art studio with unobstructed views of the Equine. Although it will also be enclosed using thermal glass similar to what we installed in your laboratory, the glass panel will be constructed for easy removal to created an open air room with unobstructed one hundred and eighty degree views of the surrounding countryside and the sky above. I have no time at the moment to think of such luxuries as sky gazing and enjoying a cup of coffee but it is a feature I look forward to enjoying. I hope to acclimate myself to this new environment enough that I am able to enjoy working outdoors in the darkness of night as I originally planned. Unfortunately I was deceiving myself in my dream to begin this practice as soon as I arrive. I will have to continue my practice so far of painting outside during the day and painting from the protected walls of the studio by night. At least until my body becomes a desert dweller.
My temporary quarters are not as nice as my future home. I am now housed in a canvas tent with just enough room for a bed and the few possession I find necessary during this construction phase. It has a small environmental conditioner to stave off the heat and cold but I am counting the days until my permanent residence is complete. The block shell of the residential section is all that is complete so far as the main focus has been on the work space. The use of wind and solar technology here is fascinating and the site will be independent of the need for outside energy sources once all phases are complete. At this time a small fusion generator has been installed for temporary use and from what Addison has told me it was not an easy permit to obtain even for a short time use. It is not the power source of choice here on New London as it uses a non-renewable energy core. Since it was exported with the rest of the equipment from Earth It was allowed under strict conditions. It can be used during the construction phase of the project and retained for emergency use if a future need arises but it must be monitored for emissions at all times and must be removed from the planet after the work here is complete or five years. Whichever come first. There is much debate here over nuclear material deterioration and this was the compromise made by Addison for agreement of its use. It places a time limit to my time here but it is within the deadline set by the Louvre contract so it does not deter from my plans.
I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the train station in Medici that the stark desert had gradually flourished into a green oasis as we neared the area. The village is built along the banks of the Theomine river which flows for many kilometers across the country separating the desert floor from the high mountain region to the east. A green belt flanking the river extends several kilometer from its banks and is the lifeline for this area. The village is built on both sides of the river with an incredible ornate bridge spanning the fast moving water connecting the two communities. Katryna informed me that over four thousand people live in the surrounding areas with the majority centered around the west side of the river. The studio site and the forty acres are located one hundred and fifty kilometers north up river from the village and half a kilometer from the river bank. The site benefits from the green belt surrounding the river and access to the water rights were granted in the land use permit.
Every day my appreciation of this new type of terrain grows and I begin to see beauty where before there was only sand and scrub brush. Each passing day there are new wonders to explore and the addition of the ever present Equine in the sky above adds to the mystic of my new life here. I put aside an hour a day as close to the coming of evening as possible to walk to the edge of the property and gaze at the darkening sky and the full splendor of the Equine. There is a total absence of sound and light during this special closing of the day as I watch the Equine emerge from the blackness of space. It is what I wait for every day and it never fails to take my breath away. I find it more difficult every time to pull myself away and return to my current task. The only reward is knowing that soon I will be able to place my full energy in this pursuit but for now this hour will have to be enough.
Although the construction of the site has encompassed most of my time I have made room for a bit of research into the surrounding area and what resources are available on my little slice of New London. The underground container that once held the construction supplies has turned out to be an ideal storage location for the materials I have gathered so far. There are natural mineral deposits near the edge of the property and I have collected several promising components for my study. Along with the minerals there are also many useful plants nearby including a variety of the pytherium plant that I spoke of earlier, This was a fortunate discovery as the first tests I performed on the sample I purchased in Newton have proved it has some amazing properties. I spent the entire day today installing the spectral scanning equipment for the material analysis as that will be the ultimate test to prove its value to our finished product. By the end of the day tomorrow I will have the first set of data in hand to outline my process and begin to plan for the needed schedule in the coming months. The final piece of the puzzle will be in place with the installation of the delicate equipment next week then I can concentrate on results. Along with the pytherium I have already mixed a few other plant materials with the acrylics I brought with me. The results have not disappointed so far and the completed end products show promising readings from the basic tests. An oil distilled from a relative of the sagebrush has produced the most vibrant green I have ever used and I have chosen this material as my first research victim after the pytherium. The historic distillation apparatus we studied during our research has proven easy to construct and extremely efficient. Using the ancient designs I found in the medieval section of the Louvre archives I easily replicated the distillation unit. The required construction material was obtained from the surrounding area including the large gourd used to collect the final product. Within a few days I had my first specimen in hand. I have altered the historic plans only slightly as the original was used for medicinal purposes but it has turned out to be amazingly operational. I have included a drawing of the finished design along with a detailed step by step procedure for the production of the oil with this letter so you can add it to your research material. As soon as I have correlated the data I have so far on the sage and pytherium I will also send it your way.
Love as Always