Granary Gallery 2019

It has become a tradition to unroll the new paintings for the annual Granary Gallery show here on the blog. The work flow has evolved along with the technology and I now use the time spent focusing on each painting, loading them individually onto my website, as the time I also write their accompanying Painter’s Notes.

So, for the next fifteen days, picture me in the studio office, sitting in a comfy chair,
this is my view…

And let me say right off the bat…
the best part about this view…
this week…
is that it is air-conditioned.

I wrote in the last blog post about adding the photographing of each painting into that aforementioned work flow. After shooting, the files get brought here at the mothership to be processed in Photoshop. That tech part I am comfortable with and once I have an archivally satisfactory image stored on my hard drive I can begin getting them up on my website.

So, with no further ado…I give you…

GG 2019

Captain’s Log  –  18 x 24

This painting is all about the mitten.

For the featured summer shows, the staff at the Granary Gallery do something a little extra to bring each  artist’s work to life. They masterfully reflect the essence of the art work by arranging  antiques, props, artifacts and flowers subtly positioned to add depth and often whimsy to enhance the patron’s experience.

They stay late on the Saturday night before the openings and make all the decisions about hanging and arranging with a keen collective eye to design. So it is always a fun surprise to walk into the show on Sunday afternoon and see, for the first time, what they have created.

On one such occasion, tucked amongst a pile of some wooly and maritime artifacts which were displayed under one of my paintings,
I remebered it being one of the sheep
but it may have been the spinning loft
or quite possibly the black Irish horse Macy
anyway on this occasion…
I spied the mitten.

All of three inches, it was held to a tiny ball of yarn by four shiny steel needles thin enough to put inside the stem of a spring violet. I was in love. Honestly, to hold this gem in the palm of your hand and see the impossibly small stitches took this knitters’ breath clean away.

They said it had been found in an old sea captain’s chest. OK well there you go…I’m hooked. I begged to take it home to show the Muses and, now leaning against the window frame by my easel, it has become a powerful talisman. My imagination soars when I ponder who worked those triple ought sticks, who spun that finest of wool, for whom was it stitched, and on what fateful voyage.

Because it is what I do, I have begun to work some of these scenarios out… in paint.

There are two in this year’s show. So that probably means the Muses have a series in the cards.

The Captain’s Log let me play with some old favorites among the prop shelves. And I found some of my earliest homespun yarn which was almost as thin as that used by the captain…or was it his wife…or perhaps the harpooner…with which I tried a tiny ribbing stitch to get the feel of the needles.

Ouch. Those babies are surgically sharp. I had spent this last winter twiddling size one needles around while knitting socks, and my fingers had the callouses to prove it, but the Captain’s sticks are wicked barbed wee deevils. I have a new respect for the men and women of the Aran Islands shown in old black and white photos flying those same steel shafts around at high speed while simultaneously tending their flocks and seeing to supper and minding the bairns lo those centuries ago.

Ah…when idle hands…
and magical gallery moments
meet on the easel…

whatever will come next…



Knitting news…

Ahhhh voting day. They pulled a fast one on me this morning and moved the polls across the street. The only thing in the firehall was…fire trucks. And 8am in Strinestown is not exactly bustling with passersby to ask where the election day excitement was happening. I saw a sign at the entrance to the Brethren church parking lot and my blood pressure spiked. Getting my separation of church and state speech revved up I drove in only to find the tiny Strinestown Community Center bricked onto the back of the church hall. Still a little close for my comfort but I did my duty and was #84 in our community to vote. The day is young …your turn.Now to the real blog news…

Before I left for the show in July I stuck a post-it up on my computer with a list of things to “buy” after we came home, IF we had a good show. I had to wait until September to start crossing things off because I put them in order of need not want. But today I got word that one of those items…which was in both categories…has come on the market.

Beth Brown Reinsel’s new DVD Knitting Ganseys is now available !!!

And I just sat down last night to start a guage with the new yarn that I spun all summer…to make a gansey with !

If  you know of Beth already you were certainly in line clicking that buy button before me. If you haven’t run across her yet please at least give yourself the treat of checking out her website and blog. Beth is a knitter’s knitter. She pays the kind of attention to detail in her patterns that I do in my paintings. She makes the fine tuned techniques easy to understand and her joy of all things knitted is boundless and contagious.

Here’s a link to her website…sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy…

Follansbee Folly

A calm between the storm of fun as the Follansbees make their pilgrimage to Country Workshops where Peter will be giving a workshop in joinery and box making… it is our great fortune to live halfway between MA and NC and so we get to be the watering hole at both ends of their trek.

Rose and Daniel are blossoming into spectacular little humans and as much as I want to stop and document the magic… I would rather not have the camera stopping my eye…there’s simply too much going on to capture.

I did get a couple shots and in between finding long lost fairies amongst the zinnias they planted the last time they were here…and swimming all morning in the lake…and drawing pictures of Finn and alligators on the porch…and telling story after story…Papa and I brought out the spoons bags to compare and take notes and see what each other’s spoons look like now that we’ve been a’ carvin’ for almost thirty years. A fair pile of shavings gathered at the foot of our rockers and mingled with the sidewalk chalk and our conversation seemed to pick up right where we left it …with three year old stories woven through the thin bits…while Mama sat near by knitting and Pat smiled on.

Now this artist heads back to the easel and waits to catch them on the way back through in a few days… ahhhhh.