I have a few NEW PAINTINGS to begin posting…the one above has headed out to Gallery 1261 in Denver.
But it reminded me of today since I spent the morning making an addition to the Ruth Stout bed.
It is mostly Matt’s fault because he keeps texting me about how well his “undercover” veg are doing and because he is my go to garden buddy. It’s so nice to throw ideas and new gurus back and forth and he is a witty soul who takes his garden very seriously.
Here are the rapid fire pics of the process begun early this frosty morning…
A chance to finally use all the cardboard I have been saving for the entire year.
Even threw in the Quarantine Box…awe Finn
Then it was time to haul all the leaves I had corralled into a bin on the other side of the yard.
I filled the spaces in with the stash of Vineyard Gazettes…minus the crossword puzzles. It was heart wrenching to track the Covid headlines as the island has joined the nation with the out of control surge heading into the winter. These aren’t in order but they give you an idea…
Herself arrived in time to lend a hand and it took two bales of hay to cover the new 11 x 14 foot annex. The Ruth Stout bed now boast 960 sq feet of gardening space.
So, as I feature the “Last of the Season” it feels good to be laying the foundation for the season yet to come. May we all stay safe and healthy to be here to enjoy it.
They have a powerhouse collection of artists featured in this show and you can preview the work by clicking on this link…Click Here.
As we settle back home, after a whirlwind week at the Granary Gallery show, the studio has a bit more room to move around in and the muses are taking full advantage. No rest for the artiste…I am being given short spurts of time off to harvest the tomatoes, and pluck the odd green bean or two…then it is right back to the easel.
So watch this space…
Now that this new website is blazingly fast, it will be a pleasure to send out blog posts in a more regular and timely fashion. Thanks as ever, for coming along on this ride.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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 Oil on Panel 24″ x 20″
Hope you can find a bunch of these springtime wonders to help welcome your morning…ta for now.
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,
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 !
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 !
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.
And in keeping with the theme of the week, Fixing Old Things, I picked out this old mess of a spoon to start with…
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…
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 !
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…
so I had to wait…and wait…
This week they are ready to pick ! And Zoe is here to help,
So we filled up the blue box, with purple and green 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…