Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Art critics

Not only are my chicks all grown up - rooster crowing, hens laying eggs - but they also have a taste for painting.  This past Sunday my dad and brother were laughing at me from the kitchen window because my chickens kept hopping up on the picnic table to have a look at the watercolor I was working on :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A beautiful week

I have two wonderful grandmothers, and the one who lives closest to me was able to go with me to the art show at Firnew Farm last Saturday.  It was a gorgeous day, and we enjoyed the car ride through Madison's rolling hills, with the mountains glowing purple blue in the not too far distance.  The art and live music were in the milking parlor you can see in the background (photo below).  The exhibit was full of excellent work and the atmosphere was magical inside the old wooden walls with the music and such a large gathering of caring, talented people full of creativity and appreciation.  In addition, there were three alpacas to visit with.  My grandma, who had never seen an alpaca before, fell head over heels for them.  In the picture below, she is petting the little baby named Prince.  I think she would've tried to get me to load him into the back of my Subaru if his owner (the man in the background wearing the hat) had turned his head for one second.  If there had been any sort of raffle to win one, I think she would've bought at last 25 tickets.  It was so much fun watching her enthusiasm and touching their soft, soft fleece.  Afterward, we went to a little cafe in Madison and ate homemade pie.  I had pecan and my grandma had blackberry.

 The mushrooms from my previous post continued to flourish and this clump opened to be an extra-vivid shade of tangerine.
 And this hand-painted sign charms me every time I pass it on the highway on the way to and from work, especially because I know it won't be long before it will be packed up for winter.  I took a picture of it while traffic was stopped for roadside work.

And lastly, on Tuesday, I spent a really good day with my mom and sister.  We all found treasures at an antique store in Ruckersville... my mom an old, old rocking chair, my sister some vintage earrings, and I found some linens - including a beautiful tablecloth (at an amazingly good price)  in perfect condition.  But before the treasure hunt, we ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  In the little and very dingy bathroom, there was a poster for the pregnancy center, with the familiar slogan 'Late?  Worried?' written in Spanish.  And I realized for the first time that 'worried' in Spanish is 'preocupado'.  And I thought, preoccupied is the perfect adjective for what it means to be worried, because it describes exactly why being worried is such a terrible thing to do.  It overshadows your thoughts in such a way that you  are previously occupied and completely lose the beauty and the gift of the present moment.  When you are worry-free, the present is illuminated.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Art Show!

The Studio at Firnew Farm: Feast in the Field - September 10 & 11, 2011

I've entered three pillows and one watercolor.  All the art  is hung inside the farm's old milking parlor, plus the special exhibit in the silo! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

September morning

Today the sky was low and grey.  This morning I went out in the misty damp, prowling around for wild mushrooms.  Not to eat.  Just to admire.  It was a still and quiet morning, except for the rallying of the crickets.  They've been magnificent lately... I think their song has taken the place of the frogs... it's so nice, like a constant ringing glow in your ears.  I'm not ready yet to think about when the population dwindles down to one or two lonely crickets creaking in a corner before the real onset of winter.  But there's no sense in thinking about that now.  For now, we are right in the magical end days of summer, and this morning, I remembered what it was like to spend countless hours exploring outside alone, like I used to do so often when I was 'little.'  There's something so good and simple about hunting for things outside, which also reminded me - other than feeling a little bit guilty and awkward when people ask me what I do, I am very happy being a waitress at this time in my life.  I don't have a job title that carries much weight for people who like to weigh titles, but I have a schedule that allows me to wander around in the woods getting serenaded by crickets while looking for beauty...  while other people might be stuck in traffic wearing pantyhose.  I'm privileged!  After finding and photographing these mushrooms, I painted a couple I picked while I drank licorice tea and listened to a recording of Jane Eyre. I read it for the first time in 6th grade and loved it for some reason.  While this morning I could clearly remember why I loved roving around outside so much when I was in elementary school, I cannot for the life of me figure out why I enjoyed Jane Eyre. Is there any drearier story?  But I will finish it.  Books on tape from the library are an invaluable resource for someone who likes to work on projects and does not have a TV.  I can listen to stories galore (for free!) while I sew and paint.

PS - Does anyone else have the feeling that this year has been an extra-productive one for the mycelium around here?  I've never seen so many kinds of mushrooms in person!  But then again, I probably neglected to look.