I had the great pleasure of hand delivering my painting Bread to my friend Miriam. She was so delighted to be able to buy this. “Making this bread was the best experience of my time during the COVID pandemic.” Miriam used my bread recipe for no-touch sourdough bread. I heard back from so many friends and blog followers that they loved this recipe.
July Fourth has always had a special meaning for me. Far beyond the picnics and bands, the fireworks and family gatherings. There is just something about the holiday here in the United States which makes me proud and excites my sensibilities.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a marching band in person or even a fireworks display, although I love both of those things. The big booms reverberate in my chest all the way to my toes.
And I love the family gatherings. In our case, not quite reunions but a group of friends and relatives who show up to spend a pleasant day in the country. This year is especially poignant since we haven’t seen many of these folks for over a year.
The kids will run around, sneak blackberries from the bushes, and whine about when they’re going to eat. The adults will swap tales and events. And the young men will regale everyone with some awesome fireworks. (Fortunately, we’re not in the super dry western states where fireworks are banned these days.)
But I often reflect on the meaning of the day. Independence Day. The declaration of our split from our English heritage and ruler, King George. What a chance our founding fathers took! What moxy! What great beginnings, too. I wonder what they’d think of the form of government they started nearly two and a half centuries ago. Would they be proud? Astonished? Perplexed? Maybe all three.
I hope that you have a great day, an enjoyable day, and perhaps can reflect on the meaning of this special day here in the United States. Be kind. Be safe.
SUPER SUMMER SALE, JULY ONLY! 40 – 70% off! Normally I have a studio sale every autumn and invite friends and locals out to my studio for some super sale items. Feed them my famous minestrone soup, desserts, wine, etc. A real party for everyone plus they can get some great bargains. Since I couldn’t do that last year, I am offering a SUPER SUMMER SALE of select items just for JULY. They will be priced at 40 to 70% off and new items will be added every day. Some items will even be reduced over the month. Check back often for new SUPER deals. As always, FREE SHIPPING.
Life out here on my 90 acres has been so busy this spring. Making some progress tackling my three page list of things to do (yes, really!) but there are still plenty of things left to do.
We got a late start planting the garden this year on May 15th. I did manage to plant the first crop of corn on April 27th. It is now as tall as I am. The freeze in early May delayed planting but we got to everything else in one day. Then we had about a week and a half of hot, dry weather so I had to haul water.
The past few weeks have been pretty wet but at least not gully-washers as sometimes happens. I planted really wide rows to allow my husband to get down them with the rototiller. This is after I hoe around the individual plants. As you can see, everything is really established now.
The cicada invasion has been here and gone. Finally! Hundreds of thousands of the bugs. The birds, toads and lizards are full. A week and a half ago, the noise was deafening. Today, barely anything at all. Wait another seventeen years. And, no, I did not eat any. Blech!
Other chores which needed attention. Trimming out the lane (1/3 mile) both on the sides and overhead. This is a several day job, particularly during the extreme heat and humidity.
Then I started on other tasks: trimming bushes, digging flowerbeds, potting flowers, etc. And those are just the outside chores. There are many other tasks, cleaning the greenhouse, attics, closets, preparing for company. Taking the grandkids on road trips or to art classes. It’s always something.
But, I am still able to get out to the studio, mostly in the afternoons. (Outdoor work is reserved for mornings when it’s cool.) Recently I created a small series of sunrise paintings. Who doesn’t love a beautiful sunrise? Every one is different. And contemplating my next big series. Just some ideas rolling around but I’ll get there.
How’s your summer going? I hope you’re having some fun, seeing some friends and family as things open up now. Still cautiously keeping safe but a little freer.
One more week to view my solo exhibit at the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center. I must say, the number of visitors has been terrific and the comments in the guest book are so touching. Thanks so much for coming out.
If you would like to have a personal tour, just contact me and I’ll meet you there if I’m available. Otherwise, admission and parking is free. And the exhibits are open seven days a week. M-F 9-5, Sa 10-2, Sun noon – 3.
Only two more weeks to see my exhibit at the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center in Jasper, Indiana. It has been such an awesome and inspiring experience to show my contemporary impressionist paintings in this brand new facility.
The number of visitors and the flattering comments made in the guest books are humbling. As my son told me, Mom, although these paintings are large, this gallery makes them look small. That is just how beautiful and large the gallery spaces are.
The show closes on Friday, June 25th. If you haven’t had a chance to drop by, please plan to do it soon. I’ve met many friends and guests at the gallery for a private tour, not only of my show, but the entire facility. Just let me know if you’re going to be in town and I’ll be happy to meet you there.
We have been so busy with spring activities here on the ninety acres. The temperatures have exploded from the frost predictions earlier this month to near 90s this week. No rain so we’re doing lots of watering. Everything I planted last weekend – the entire garden pretty much – is up and looking healthy. I’ll post photos later when there’s more to see.
The air is a flood of beautiful scents, roses and peonies, honeysuckle, too. The locusts are about done. The strong perfume seems to be the only redeeming value of the multiflora roses and the wild honeysuckle, both which are fighting it out in the scent category.
The farmer who rents some of our fields has been working until way after dark these days. You can see by this monster disk how much time it takes to prepare the ground. Not counting that “other” natural odor that was spread on the fields. Well, that’s called soil improvement.
And the cicadas have emerged in ever-increasing numbers. They don’t bite or sting, just climb out of the ground and then hang onto anything they can while they emerge from their shells. They can’t climb on vinyl or metal but they do like wood or just about anything else they can attach to. My husband uses the leaf blower to blow them off the porch. I use the broom. And now they’re starting to sing to attracts mates. Not as loud as it will be but it’s already beginning to sound like that weird alien noise in a sci-fi movie. The birds and frogs and toads seem sated but I watched two little lizards stalking the same bug today. I think they both missed.
Of necessity due to the heat, studio time has been limited to afternoons. I did manage to finish the painting which I started as a demo a couple of weeks ago. The Reader is a lovely piece, not in any series of paintings but just because I like the subject. I’m already scouting around for the next topic.
Posted onMay 9, 2021|Comments Off on Gallery opening….and more
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'm a professional artist, retired director of a performing arts center, bona fide book addict, and enjoy the quiet life...most of the time. I'd love to hear from you or get your ideas for future posts. Come back soon!