Monthly Archives: May 2021

Cicadas and more, spring 2021

I love perennials. Nothing much to do except enjoy their beauty year after year. Azalea and irises.

All is not art.  Spring on the ninety acres has arrived and so has the work.

This beautiful red/pink rhododendron is right outside our kitchen breakfast nook.

The past several weeks have been devoted to getting my big show up and running.  Framing and delivering, shipping, some marketing, some public events.  Exciting but exhausting.

Now, to tackle my three page list of things to do this spring.  Yes, I still make extensive lists for almost everything.  It just relieves my brain from having to remember everything.

We’ve had beautiful, rain-free weather this past week.  A little on the chilly side but make hay, etc. etc.  Weeding the flowerbeds.  Seems as if we are beset by bedstraw this year.  Or as I like one of its other common names sticky willie. Grrrrrrrrrrr.  I hate this stuff.

A few of several pots of plants on the patio. Full sun. My favorite Provence memory.
Flowers waiting to be transplanted to pots. A couple of perennials, too.

Bringing out all my pots, mixing large batches of soil – potting soil, manure, peat.  Planting about thirty of them for sun, shade, large, small.  Oh, my back but I just divide the job up to smaller pieces.

Peppers, tomatoes, herbs and more.

Then a big push on to get the main garden planted.  It’s a serious garden of about 25 x 40 feet.  The sweet corn was planted a few weeks ago and is making a good showing.  The peas finally came up in the spring garden (a whole different garden area), and we have been eating fresh lettuce for several weeks.  The asparagus patch is nearly done for the year.

Just a small part of the garden. I planted fifteen various tomato plants and about the same number of peppers. Many varieties. PLUS….we have more in the small spring garden. I remember one year planting 64 tomato plants! Last time I did that.

Yesterday meant planting tomatoes, peppers, beans, eggplant, herbs, more corn, and lots of flowers for cutting.  It’s not very interesting at this point but in a few weeks, it should really start growing. 

So, let’s talk about cicadas.  It’s the widely touted seventeen year emergence.  And they’re HERE!  At least emerging.  They do not have mouths or stingers so they’re harmless to handle.  They feel kinda creepy as they crawl on you with their little claws.

A cicada emerging. I’m finding these in the grass, the flowerbeds, just about everywhere outside.
Slightly creepy feeling, this is what the cicadas look like when they first shed their brown shells. It will attach itself to something – twig, trees, side of house – while it pumps up it’s wings, then takes off to find a mate for a day. No mouths or stingers.
A cicada hanging on its discarded shell which it attached to a plant. After it pumps up its wings, it changes color and then flies off.
Holes in the ground from the emerging brood. I’ve actually observed a flicker listening and diving for the emerging beasties.

I remember the last time they were here, the air was a cacophony of a high pitched sound, like something you might hear on an old sci-fi movie.  I guess we’ll deal with it or stay inside.  And remember, the birds and especially our chickens love these things and go after them like candy.

I’ll pass.

Gallery opening….and more

A wall of paintings.

Wow, what a week!

My Intimate Spaces exhibit opened this week.  It was so inspiring to see two and a half years of work on display, instead of being propped against my studio walls or in boxes.  Due to the virus restrictions, there was no opening reception but other events did pop up.

Visitors are allowed to take photos.
Part of the exhibit on opening day.

On Friday, I held a brief discussion about my work with a group of high school students.  They asked some very perceptive questions.  They were also later allowed to choose a gallery among the three to spend some time sketching.

The students were very attentive and focused.
About 35 students attended my presentation. Great questions, too!
Two high school students sketching parts of my exhibit after my presentation.

On Saturday, I held a free public demonstration. I began a painting in my contemporary impressionist style.  I got about half way through and will post photos of the completed painting at a later date. Several people I know stopped by to chat and see the show. I was happy to have a friend whom I haven’t seen since before COVID come over and visit, spend some time at the new cultural center with me, and share dinner with later.  Miss my old friends terribly.

Set up in the gallery on Saturday to begin my demo. I’ve already applied the color outlines. The color doesn’t necessarily match the objects. The red-toned canvas works well as an underpainting for landscapes and greenery.
After laying in the outlines, I usually begin with the background and darker areas. Plenty of time to tweak later.
About half-way done on the painting that I started earlier. Lots of visitors so I was chatting and seeing old friends.

This was also the week for running around, buying plants for the garden and flower beds.  They are still waiting for me and sending guilt vibes until they’re in the dirt.

Shipped a couple of paintings which I sold online. This always entails packing and paperwork, then actually posting them. 

And I sorted and delivered some new work to one of the local shops.  I feel so guilty for neglecting my friend but there’s only so much time.  Somewhere in all this chaos I updated my website and did some posts.  Whew!

So, today, Mother’s day, I’m going to take a break and do nothing.  Well, that probably won’t happen as I always have something going on, but at least I have several bigger projects completed.

What’s next?!  How was your week?

Cinco de Meowo

Cinco de Meowo. Leo at a year old. Quite a bit of difference from the little fluff ball he was last spring.

Our cat Leo is now a year old now.  We got him as a tiny kitten from our son.  He was born a barn cat in the cellar window well.  Now he is a big, slightly pampered feline.  Would rather spend the night outdoors and sleep in his chair during the day.  I worry but what mom doesn’t.  He has plenty of places to hide, some very sharp claws, is a great climber, and a big scary dog who chases away other critters.

Funny how we become owned by our pets.

Leo at a few weeks old. Ready for adventure.
Leo begging to sit in my lap while I paint. Not happening. But look at those eyes!

Delivering the Exhibit

Visual Arts Coordinator, Emily Colucci Peak, helping to unwrap the paintings.

After a week of final framing, I packed my exhibit of thirty paintings into two vehicles and delivered them to the new Cultural Center in Jasper on Friday. It’s always a little more difficult than one would think it should be.  How to layer the paintings without them scratching each other, damaging the frames, or poking through.  Also, so they won’t shift while driving. 

First car loaded. These are mostly the Breaking Bread series so they’re all the same size. The important thing is to not have any movement of the paintings while transporting.
Second car, side.
Second car back. This is the Beach series. A greater variety of sizes, some framed and some gallery-wrapped. Again, prevent shifting during transport.

The Visual Arts Coordinator, Emily Colucci Peak, helped unload and move the work into the gallery.  We unwrapped everything and sat the paintings around.  Then moved them into position for hanging later this week.

Wow, so exciting to be in this new space.  I still can’t believe that the whole building is the final culmination of ten years of work by many many people. 

Laying out the exhibit before hanging.
Another wall of the exhbit layed out.
Third view of the gallery layout. It took a while to determine the order of the presentation.
Final wall of the layout. I can hardly wait to see the actual exhibit hung.

So, for those of you who are interested, the show opens on Thursday, May 6th.  Although there will be no reception due to COVID restrictions, the galleries are open to the public seven days a week.  Free admission and plenty of free parking in the rear of the building.

I will also be doing a demonstration painting on Saturday, May 8th from 10 to 2.

If you’re in the area and would like a private tour, let me know and I will meet you there.  But the staff is very helpful and each painting will have an explanation next to it. 

Thyen-Clark Cultural Center, 100 Third Avenue, Jasper IN 47546

812-482-3070

Hours: M-F 9-5, Sa 10-2, Sun noon -3