Visions revisited…

Last year at this time,
I was polishing up the tiara,
and mirror ball,
for the opening of …

Since then, the dynamic creative production duo of David and Barbarella Fokos,
aka Salt and Sugar Productions
have been dividing their time between studio work, filming and editing of new productions for TAO, The Artist’s Odyssey (check out their updated website),
oh…AND enjoying awards ceremonies at International Film Festivals.

Indeed, news that Visions of Home
was an official selection of NOVA Fest — the Northern Virginia International Film & Music Festival (http://www.novafilmfest.com), came across the airwaves back in March.

Then comes news this week, that TWO of their films will be included in the
Oceanside International Film Festival 2017, next month !!!

Yep, that’s me at the easel again…still painting that blue door !

So, as I am in final production for my next show, at the Granary Gallery in only a couple weeks, I have been given the opportunity to provide my readers and viewers with a special chance to see the movie, Visions of Home, in all it’s seaside glory, here from my website.

For anyone who might have missed it the first go round,
or who may be new to this site because they saw it at some film festival without knowing beforehand who that old woman with the paint all over her shirt was,
and for the rest of you who just simply cannot get enough of watching paint dry,
and do not let me overlook Finnegan’s fan base…

Anyway, David has made a lovely page dedicated to the movie where you can see the trailer and watch the full film and get some backstory, with the wonderful blog post that Barbarella wrote about last years’ debut screening and some of the process behind their process, which alone is worth the read…and he’s included the article which The Vineyard Gazette published around the time of the opening in which they interviewed Barb and David about the making of the film.

So grab a bowl of popcorn,
pull up your lawn chair by the kiddie pool,
put a straw in some cool beverage,
set your favorite viewing device to this link…

Visions of Home

and Herself and I will welcome you into our lives…
and our hearts.

 


Sisters and the Muse

This falls under Ted’s favorite category of “sorta fun”.

A while back, one of my master muses, John O’Hern, sent a query asking about the painting Sisters. He was writing an article about florals, and botanicals, and Albrecht Durer, and naturally…thought of moi. (She wrote with a grin)

The article came out in this month’s American Art Collector Magazine, which Pat brought in from the mailbox last night.

As I read through and found it today, I see that an image of Sisters did not make the editorial cut. I can see why as the others make a wonderful bouquet of floral still lifes, and my little garden painting is of the more humble vegetable variety.

But, here’s the fun part.
What John wrote about the painting Sisters is…in his most inimitably magical way…delightful.

And I quote,
“Heather Neill observes a helpful symbiotic relationship in her own garden between her tomato plants and a volunteer scarlet runner bean that self-seeded the year before. Sisters refers to the ancient practice of “sistering” or “growing companion plants to, in this case, literally, support one another”, she explains. “Native Americans would plant corn to support the beans, which would shade lower growing lettuces…all in the same patch.”

The subjects are shown after dusk plucked out of the dark by a porch light. Neill’s saturated color and hyperreal painting along with the dramatic light suggest a more sinister role for the vine when the light is extinguised.”

Only John would imagine such sinister designs, plucked after dusk by a porch light.

Brilliant, and ta.


Bon Voyage

We want to send huge love to Jane Slater, as today she celebrates her 40th year at the antique shop she and her husband Herb have operated in Menemsha. Someone else will be sitting behind this desk next season, but for me, I shall forever see her smile looking back.

Jane will step boldly into a new chapter and we wish her full speed ahead.

Our Ladies of Menemsha


the budding young artiste

So, you who fall under Stephen King’s classification of “constant readers”, will remember that the team Fokos, ( husband and wife team of creative artists, writers, photographers, emmy award winners,etc.), and executive producers of TAO…The Artist Odyessy  have been working on an episode featuring…yours truly.

They are now in the production/editing phase and sent along a request for some background images, stuff from the archives, waaaaay back when the dream of being a full time artist was taking shape.

Those archives are slim but I did find a few pictures and boy do the belly laughs when viewing make up for the sparsity. Thought I’d share a few here, in a generosity of humor.

crayons

The personalized label is funny, since my stealthy younger brothers certainly couldn’t read back then.

first painting

This one I remember, but the realistic doctor kit, stage left, was what I remember most fondly from that birthday.

budding young artist on location

Oh the hair…think I need to put this one up on my refrigerator now.

the model

From a summer program at Cornell while in high school. For all you tender readers, I blurred the tender bits. Funny because what I remember most about this pic is how much I loved that shirt.

In the interview that Barb and David did here in the studio, we talked about how my college days were awash in… black and white. I found an etching whose subject matter somehow percolated through the decades and carried over as an echo into a painting from 2009…dipping into a few teacups full of color along the way…

egg etching

the-night-crew72

And I’ll leave you with one of my very favorite snaps of Herself, and myself, photographed by Beth Larson Willoughby, back in my chairmaking days, when I had a small show at the Smithsonian gift shop in DC. We sat and shared a bottle of champers across from the White House. Very chic, and oh so young…

PH 92

Team Fokos tells me that Pat will be a main feature in their film, and that makes happy because she is the ENTIRE feature in my life.

We have just come through one of those rougher patches, after years of caring intensely for aging loved ones, where it feels like a twister has reached down into the core of your world, this one was a cat 5. Though most days we just held on tight and surrendered to Dorothy, we made it through together, in tact, in deeper love, and as we take the first tentative steps out of that storm shelter, look around and see the house still standing, it feels so good just to turn in the sunlight and see that smile back on her face.

 


Down to the wire…

I am not looking at the calendar.But, un-like the light bulb in the refrigerator which may or may not be on when the door is closed…I know that the days are definitely still being crossed off…and the march towards the summer shows has become a sprint.

As mentioned in an earlier blog, when the snow was still falling, the Granary Gallery show is two weeks earlier this year, JULY 12th. Seemed like a doable time frame back in December but whoa Nellie here we are and it’s almost J-J-J-J-June. And, just to keep the old heart ticking…the Sugarman Peterson Gallery has added a special group show for the first week in July out in that art mecca of Santa Fe. Nellie needs another gear !

You will be getting the details on those venues, as well as a block buster of a show at Gallery 1261 coming this fall, but in the meantime…I’ve got to double down on the brushwork.

The 20 or so finished pieces are now working their way through the production pipeline. Fully dried, they now can be varnished, then Herself hauls them up to John to photograph, then I order frames and the folks at Artworks join them up, then we haul them back here to the studio and I turn me on some Suede tunes and pop them into frames and wrap for transport to MV or SF and beyond.

Just to let you know that I have actually been pushing some paint around for the last few months, I’ll give you  a sneak peak at one of the new works.

The Citadel72

The Citadel – 60 x 30

Now back to the easel… and I mean it !!!


I love a craze…

This is Phyllis’s fault.
One photo shared on social media and now look…

back bales

Straw bales upon raised beds begun

And then there’s this…

potatoes

Future site of Potato Farm

And this…

home base

If you build it…

Here’s the manual…

bk

And the link to do your own research…click HERE.

This all seemed like a good idea in February. And Pat is now best buds with the farmer over the hill who has loaded up every one of the 40 plus bales we absolutely needed.I have had great fun experimenting with fertilizer and have replaced over 40 washers on the old rugged hose. And, despite our efforts, things are starting to grow…

straws

beets

peas

Most of us on the east coast are experiencing the slow to warm up  spring which has been a good thing for us old lady gardeners who have day jobs to which they should be attending. But I’ve already made use of the wisps of straw which collected in the back of the truck  in two paintings…so…the bales are props !

There is new life in these old bones and the extra weeks of cooler weather has allowed this gardener to pace herself. I had time to add a new bed dedicated to blueberry bushes…

blueberry

and build a better lid for the cold frame and an annex to the raspberry bed…

frame

and …weed !

As of yesterday, all the bales are conditioned…read the book…and I’m ready to install the drip irrigation system. The back beds, with the strawberries, were started a month or more ago. There is good growth there and the row cover system allowed me to save the tenders from all three frosty nights.

We got a good rain last night, though it wasn’t enough to wash the poo off of the eagle cam…ugh. And Saturday is the SHEEP AND WOOL FESTIVAL …YEAH !!!!!!!!

So that means today I will have to knuckle down at the easel and limit my outdoor putterings. Seriously. I have a LOT of painting to do.

So, this is Phyllis Disher Fredericks fault !

 


Fiddly Dee

Fiddlehead-Primavera

It’s almost, almost that time of year again…

This morning my favorite mystery writer, Laurie R King had a post on her facebook page about the fiddleheads that she scored at a market in San Francisco and tried for the first time. It reminded me, among other things that I wanted to let readers know that her latest Mary Russell novel,

image

is a fantastic read. I usually save her novels to listen to when I paint especially complicated paintings because she is similarly in love with detail and I get swept away with her thoughtful prose. Makes the time fly at the easel and I always learn something new.

So run to your local bookstore and add this to that pile by your favorite chair. And then go take a walk in this fine spring air and hunt for fiddleheads. Warning, not all ferns are edible so do the research, or trust your local farmers market.

I am working too hard with the brushes to walk amongst the woods, but I am yours…

Dreaming of Fiddleheads


Bucket List

Bucket List

The recent powerful solar flare got me thinking about the aurora borealis and that got me thinking of this painting which is at the Sugarman Peterson Gallery in Santa Fe. They get some pretty fine skies out there at night…

but those northern most colors are still number one on my list…how about you ?

 


In a light filled stable kinda mind…

Stable Light

Immersing myself in the world of Bill Copperthwaite with the arrival of Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow’s new book, A Man Apart.

Picture

The earth is shifting below my studio feet…
and I suspect it will be life altering.

More to come…