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.


More on hubcaps, and more…

Hubcaps-preview-9-6-14---010-sbe_480

Looks like that Hubcap show, Second Time Around, at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is a huge success. They have had well over 2400 people through just on the first weekend.

The Exhibit will be up through March 1, 2015 and it would be a beautiful day trip around this time of year. They have produced a new video which I found interesting so I’ve made a link here…Click for Video

Meanwhile, my days are filled with wrapping and shipping two groups of paintings headed out west. The Sugarman Peterson Gallery show opens in less than two weeks…oh my…and Gallery 1261 is having a new show which opens later in October, more on that soon.

Then, I have a large batch of panels in mid-prep in the garage workshop. The electricians have lit up the place, and it has been wonderful to throw the big carriage doors open to the beautiful fall weather, turn up the tunes, and work the day away.

So, though I will not be picking up the brushes for at least the next month, I will be working just as hard at the “behind the scenes” business of making art.

Stay tuned and fire up those rakes.


Radishes, Radishes

The first handful of handgrown handpicked garden treasure.
Today I met the early dew and weeded another patch to throw in the next crop of radishes.
After reading this somewhere, I first put a spoonful of jello mix, I believe it was cherry, in my hand and then added the seeds before planting. I know… who knew. Whoever “they” was swears it will add nitrogen and other good stuff and make them even more delectable.

We shall see. In the meantime, this morning’s haul included…well was exclusively…one French Breakfast Radish and one Cherry Bell.

cherry  bell

And the taste test results…Cherry Bell comes out on top.
A tad sweeter which holds the spicy bits longer on the buds.
Plus I love the deeper true red.
They both have a place in my garden and we shall see what the next “Jello” batch yields.

In the meantime, I do have an art-radish related announcement…

Gallery 1261 has a new show opening June 6th… Group X-2
I admit that I am clueless as to the origin or concept for the title, but they are still letting us old farts in on the fun. And, in honor of the current harvest…

french breakfast radish
French Breakfast Radish   Oil on Panel   24″ x 20″

Hope you can find a bunch of these springtime wonders to help welcome your morning…ta for now.


A Season of Greetings

Skating on Thin Ice

The Studio is alive with dancing muses…
The Teacups are dividing up into twos and threes
donning their mittens and warmest scarves
and the props have been hears whispering of yuletide mischief and cheer.

Our best and our brightest…
are wishing you and yours
a season of clear frosty nights,
with morning cups of steaming tea,
and afternoon walks amongst the snowy pines.

Be well,
stay safe,
and maybe we will catch up,
grab an elbow,
and walk a little ways
down the path with you.

Yours in hibernating brushes and winter wisps of Darjeeling,

Heather and Herself,

AND Finn !

 This painting is currently featured in a new CyberShow…an online exhibition hosted by Gallery 1261 …which does exist as a brick and mortar gallery in Denver, Colorado…by day…but, as with all things worth taking a second look at…
there are many layers of mystery awarding the curious “mouse” clicker…
(click on this link to view… http://gallery1261.com/html_shows/13-small-works/neill-heather-skating-on-thin-ice-12×16-oil.htm#.Uq20EXZ3vGg )

 


fixing old things

It has been a wonderful week around here.

The weather is saying…autumn is here…get out your flannel shirts, brew a pot of organic coffee, take a mug and that little woven basket, and head out to the sky chair
for a morning of spoon carving !

Spoon Carvers Tea

Galleries are calling…wanting…NEEDING new work ! And I have spent the last month doing just that. New paintings will be arriving on the Vineyard, in Denver, and the one on it’s way to Santa Fe sold even before I put the frame on it !

chamber music

So why, you might ask, is this artist sitting around sipping coffee with a knife in her hand instead of a brush ???

Well, I’m in the final countdown before I go in to the hospital on Monday to get me another of those bionic knees. The last hiatus of healing kept me out of the studio for a couple months and I’m aiming to beat that record. I have a renewed sense of purpose, and focus, and a pocket full of positive feedback and kind thoughts, that have filled my creative coffers to the brim and I’m eager to be on the other side of the hospital gown.

The order of the next few days is…. R-E-L-A-X…and the best way I know of to do that is to carve a spoon.

many spoons

And in keeping with the theme of the week, Fixing Old Things, I picked out this old mess of a spoon to start with…

old spoon frontold spoon side

It must be twenty years old and I can see why I never finished it. Been hanging around in the spoon bag for so long it has a rich dark patina and is hard as…well a hardwood.
Here’s what difference a couple hours made…

new spoon frontnew spoon side

It’s more difficult to measure what those hours did for my peace of mind, but my blood pressure cuff might tell the story.

So you all enjoy this fine weather, and the coming of the colors as the leaves and the air and the apples get good and crisp. I’ll let you know when I get back to the easel.
Meanwhile…grab someone you love and take a walk for me !

Lots of Love,
Heather

 

 

 


Disappearing Purple

green bean tea

The other day I was talking with my friend Katie and we got to comparing our gardens this year. She was excited to be growing purple beans but disappointed to discover that they turned green after being cooked….hmmmmm ?

At the time, my beans were just beginning to grow…

beans beginning

so I had to wait…and wait…

beans 1

This week they are ready to pick !
And Zoe is here to help,

zoe and beans

funny zoe and beans

So we filled up the blue box,
with purple and green beans,

picked beans

and threw them in the boiling water with the pasta…
(which I forgot to take a picture of …)
and YES, the purple ones DID turn green.
But not to worry, Zoe reports that they both taste the same and she should know because the entire box went into her belly.

It’s been wonderful to have an assistant in the garden and we have lots more to do before she leaves so I’ll sign off now…

Yours in red wagons and gummy bears…

wagon

 

 

 


Boomerangs…

An arc
Something thrown out into the world
Where it spins and bounces off of life
Then comes sailing back to where its journey began

In this case, two people
brought together by chance…by hazard
then launched into the world
to follow separate paths
in search of creative truths
and now reunited and returning …

Rex Wilder and I started our fling in the late 70’s when we met as students of life attending Connecticut College. He, with ambitions to be a poet. Me, the fledgling artist. On the road to masterpieces, we both carried around sketchbooks and filled them with earnest, if early, scribbles and thoughts. We scoured the streets of New London in search of authentic souls to gleen for signs of intelligent life in the universe. I, the Sancho Panza to his Don Quixote. And many a windmill did we tilt.

Then our trajectories divert and almost 40 years of pursuing our separate arts flies by…Rex becomes that poet and achieves fame and book royalties…I become that artist and get to paint every day.

And now the story comes sailing back to home and we, the seasoned artistes, have collided in one act of creation…

rexs bookThis, his second published collection of poems, is poised to be launched on its own journey…and humbly holding all those precious treasures in place…if you’ll forgive me…Suspended.

suspended

On so many levels this is magical. For us both, the circles within circles are joyous and stunning to celebrate and sitting back in my easel chair and pondering how far we’ve both traveled and being reminded of the youthful ambitious dreams that we shared finds me smiling alot these days.

I’m sure there will be much ado surrounding the official book release and I will keep you all posted about that. For now, you can access more information and even pre-order the book on Amazon via this link…click here.

And the original oil painting is currently on display at Gallery 1261 in Denver and you can visit it via this link…click here.

I’m waiting until I have book in hand to read all the poems but I have peeked at a few and they are delightful divertissements… I think you will enjoy.

Now, back to the brushes.