Three days of inquiries later…she’s back up and running.
Apologies to anyone out there, at least one of you is out there,in case you were looking to for some artwork to browse through while sipping that steaming mug of tea.
Another snowstorm is collecting energy in the wings and poised to bounce around the east coast for the next couple days. They want a blizzard on the Vineyard, already see that high tides have flooded major roads there so stay home you islanders !
Around here they want a modest 8+ inches which, as I look out of the studio windows now almost three weeks after our blizzard, would just about double what is currently left and clinging to our little patch of the planet.
The muses have been particularly pushy this week and, after fighting and fussing and generally whining Herself’s ears off…I have given in and changed course.
I threw out days of work and dozens of sketches and notes and am following their lead. They are tapping into a deeper place in my soul and, now that I’ve stopped fighting, I feel the energy shifting.
Did I need this website glitch right now ? Maybe I just needed to check in with my external guides…you all. So, the spinach pie has cooled while I’ve been writing, and after a quick lunch, and a check to see where the snow shovels ended up after the last storm, I get to head back to work.
Happily, but holding on tight. Be safe out there my friends.
That’s the note I found this morning, on the studio kitchen table, written on a scrap of cardboard, with a sharpie, found beneath the pile of framing tools, which were left untidied, after a long day of framing, and print making, and general mayhem making.
The Follansbee arrived just after I put out the lanterns last night, stopping for a pallet on the studio floor, as he made his way home from a week of teaching woody things down at Roy Underhill’s place in NC. So, the note was all we got to see of him this time, but we had a good visit on his way down south last weekend.
His hair is long enough now to tie in the back and a good bit whiter. But the sparkle is still there in those eyes. Gonna catch up with him and the family in the fall, so that’s ok then.
The day dawns, a little later for my own self than the master carver, and Herself has left to ship two new paintings out to the Sugarman Peterson Gallery. There is an opening for that show on July 3rd, in Santa Fe, so today you get the first peek at them…
All Her Eggs – 16 x 20
Scape – 12 x 13
From the sharply pointed pen of Mark Twain…
“Put all your eggs in one basket. And watch that basket.”
Eggs courtesy of Dru and Homer, who farm a CSA just over the hill. They are as delicious to eat as they are to paint. The eggs.
And just out that window and a little to the right is the little wren. Always. When Zoe is here, she relies on the wren’s first trill of the morning to signal that it is ok to get her giggly self out of bed and start her day. In the early summer she has a different job. This summer she has built her nest in the birdhouse just above the garlic bed. I wait with lusty anticipation all year for the garlic to send forth those gorgeously delectable curly scapes, and this season, her babies hatched on the very same day they appeared.
She spends her busy days now bouncing from Ted and Polly’s wind chime, to dancing from scape to scape. So, there ya go. Ted is having a blast, directing the muses every which way I turn around here.
Look for these two garden graces to be winging their way out west this week. And if you are in Santa Fe, please stop by to visit Michael and Christie Sugarman and say hey for me.
Now it’s on to more framing… stay frosty out there.
I’d much rather be sitting next to him on a bench carving spoons, but this promises to be a classic tutorial and I know he’s been practicing so mine’s in the mail.
Here’s the link to his website where there is a video preview. Click Here
Be prepared…if you go down this road you will have more fun than a human ought to have and you will never need another session of therapy or artificial mood enhancer.
While you are on his site, which he has just updated, there are tons of other Follansbee items of interest including other videos, his workshop schedule and some of his very own spoons and other woodworking projects for sale.
It doesn’t get any better than that.
Please share with your friends, woodworking pals and otherwise.
From 2003 – The Whipper In This one has only been seen once in a show at the Granary. I think it is providing insulation in our bedroom at the moment. It’s our log cabin living room and, if you’ve been there then you are in a very special group of friends and family. The painting upper left is a reproduction of one I did for the Follansbees of their front yard. Kinda fun to see that again. As of last night, that fireplace is still keeping us warm…
2005 – The Flyer Boy did I love painting that red. That mail bag was a victim of the major flooding we had a few years ago. Loyal friend Susan Douglas took it home and lovingly cleaned it and I just unearthed it yesterday for a new painting idea. Then I went up to the old studio, which is now my prop room, and found that jacket too. It wasn’t quite right for the new painting, but it was a solid yes for The Flyer.
It’s a wonderfully dreary start to the day before Thanksgiving in central Pennsylvania, the perfect weather for painting.
We, like so many in this land, have a large plucked bird in the fridge and are planning to roast it with most of the trimmings and be thankful. And I am, for many things. But today, I thought I’d concentrated on…the birds.
Watching them, feeding them, learning about them, painting them, and most of all the delight of coming upon the treasured gift of their feathers.
The studio is full of them. Collected over the years, their beauty astounds. With my new bionic knees I am back out on the trails, and the muses are back as well…
After finding this beauty, I decided it was time to get serious about identification so I got this book…
Which I highly recommend. I’ve been pouring over it for days now. And the first one I spied was this one which recently made a supporting role appearance in this painting you might remember…
if you zoom in on the Jorgesen, that would be the clamp for you non-woodworkers, you will see the feather, which…every single one of the avian enthusiasts mis-identified. I have four of them which have been floating around here for years. But right there on page 91…
we see that it belonged to a Chukar ! Further research, at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, reveals that the Chukar is…
A native of southern Eurasia, the Chukar was introduced into the United States from Pakistan to be a game bird. It lives in arid, rocky terrain across the western United States and southern Canada. And then it hit me…I already knew that. Insert fading memory comments here as you will, but it all came back to me. Years ago, I’ll say 4, I found one perched on my studio garage roof. As you can see, it is a stunner of a bird so it caught my attention, but it is also not a local gal. I also seem to remember that, when first I googled this creature, there was mention of raising these smallish sized birds to release for hunters to take down with big guns, ( picture me here shaking my head in dismay).
The memory of finding the feathers is lost but, when I decided to take the leap to add that little bit of whimsy to Peter’s painting, it was after all a painting of Peter, the birdman of Plymouth, I didn’t have to look far to find the perfect candidate as these four feathers have been tucked into a little blue teacup behind my easel for lo those, I’ll say four, years now.
Above that easel is this display of painting and sketch and original model…
And yes, the muses are right there over my shoulder of late…
Cardinal Wolsey. The ever present window slammer of a bird, is still with me. I now believe she is more than just a disturbed bird. Pat and Finn met a woman at the park last week who, after hearing the story of the intrepid one, immediately suggested that she was someone who I had known who had “passed on” and did I know anyone in the clergy. Well I sat back in my chair at that one. Seriously, my father, the Presbyterian minister, returned as the slammer ?
Possibly ? I’m still pondering that one. But this bird is definitely trying to tell me something. She now follows me from window to window and watches me all day long. Hurling Herself at the panes seems to diminish when I settle in at the easel. Then she just flies up and stares at me…the rubbernecker.
Well, ok, that part could be Ted. He is definitely nudging me to focus on painting…probably as I write this…which is taking time away from what I began this blog with…
that perfect painting day.
Well, the dreary rain has turned to our first snowfall of the season. The promise of a winter wonderland, a bird in the oven, one at the window, and two dozen at the feeders…that’s all I need of Thanksgiving.
And, this…to all my friends and patrons, whose support allows me to do the work that is so meaningful to my soul…
It was a stellar time on Martha’s Vineyard. A magnificent gallery opening with wall to wall kind and generous patrons of the arts, bookended by two amazing weeks on the wildly changed and stunningly brilliant Chilmark bluff.
I’ll have more to say about that and this, but for now, I have to kick the studio up into high gear to get ready for the next show…stay tuned.
Here are just a couple pics of the exhibition and smiling faces of dear ones who shared our island hearts…
4 Featured Artists, Wendy, Don, Heather and David, as we get ready to shake some hands.
Wendy, Herself and David making everyone feel welcome.
Mr. Morse plying his trade.
Ted, wouldn’t have missed it.
Family traditions …
The gallery’s next generation…
The Follansbee Family full of fun.
And a wonderful whirlwind reunion with Goddaughter Emily.
Notably missing are photos of the rest of the Granary Crew, Sheila, Adam, Sara, Nancy and Adam, the second, who were far too busy working hard to keep that place hopping. We are deeply grateful for everyone’s support up there…both humble and proud to be a part of their stable…as it were.
More to come as I sort through the ten thousand or more photos taken. The camera is still smokin’. For now…I gotta go hit the brushes… Be happy all.
The thread of our friendship has been weaving itself for nigh on to three decades now, and lately I believe my little studio wren has one end and his beloved cedar waxwings up north have hold of the other…drawing us ever closer… in spirit if not in miles.
After a hearty breakfast of sausage and French toast, Herself and Finn have left the building to give me some of that concentrated painting time that has been my bliss this winter. But a quick look at this morning’s missive by Himself encourages a quicker note here…passed along for your pleasure.
We have been lobbing these musings back and forth via the blogosphere but I sure would prefer to pull up one of those fancy pants chairs he carves next to his window and spend the day carving a spoon alongside the master and listening to Rose and Daniel telling stories about squirrels and pirates in the background.
Here’s the link to read how he is spending his creative snow day…