Sunday, December 18, 2016

Favorites, 2016, part 1 of 3

post #316
       Hello to all during this mid December with its extreme cold weather in so many places. Here in eastern Kentucky, we have not yet had more than a few snow flakes, and schools have been able to meet every day this month. Who knows what lies ahead! Hey, that weather comment sort of mirrors our election, so I should add "and who knows what lies are ahead." (That is just how my mind works. It doesn't mean I think the current political transition is funny.
       My plan for this week, New Year's weekend and the first full weekend of January is to do a review of favorite photos this year, ones I have made. I won't be posting on my blog next Sunday, mainly because it is a busy time for everyone and who would have time to read it!  And, quite frankly, perhaps my loyal readers need a break as well!

        Today I have pulled some of my favorite portraits in 2016, and they will be showing up  chronologically. My apologies if this turns out to be confusing in any way. I don't like to give full names of anyone, unless they are used to publicity, because we all know who we are and there's no need for anyone else to know someone's full name, i.e. I'm a privacy nut in a world that can feel trusting and way too transparent. Anyway, enjoy!

Peg's rescue donkey

Bonnie and her trucks and garden and wonderful sense of humor

Jamie at work in our hay
    Both children who follow were at a rally for equality, held at the Rowan County Arts Center in Morehead.

my grandaughter, waiting for her teacher dad to be dunked, at a school fundraiser picnic, not sure if the whole thing is OK

up close and personal with a pre-schooler

Bill and June, both looking like their wonderful selves

the featured artist at the Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead last summer: MARK FRANCIS

my poet friend, Melva, with her chocolate, at the Fuzzy Duck in Morehead

another skilled artist, only 5 years old, my grandson, Will

Will's dad, my son, Eric, and a repaired ankle that barely slowed him down at all

one of many photos I like of Will's sister, Audrey, in school

the beloved and incomparable doctor, Ed Scott, because he was about to retire
   This last photo was taken of Will and Audrey and their maternal cousin, Avery, by their dad, who commented on the family Instagram that grownups seemed now no longer totally necessary! Avery has been staying with them for a couple of wonderful weeks while Avery's young brother had some surgery.  
     Actually, it's family that is wonderful. I find a good way to end this post is by sharing a Christmas moment on this blog. And with all best wishes and thanks to my viewers, no matter where in the world you live.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

visual companions, part 2 of 2

post #315
        Back again, with several more views of my recently reassembled visual support companions in this sweet new home place. I ended last time with the B&W photo of the stairs at Wells Cathedral, in England, saying that this week I would show the placement of the piece as part of the stairwell where it now hangs. I call the next two photos "information images", i.e. not necessarily fine art, though any camera time for me is part of the whole effort.
going upstairs (I left the step ladder up for space awareness.)
headed downstairs

     Then, in what I am calling "the book room/guest room" are two artworks by friends. The poster is from an early exhibit John Flavell had here in Morehead.  The second, an oil painting by John Folinsbee (whom we called Jack), was a wedding present to my parents by the father of one of my mother's college roommates. He happens to be a well known member of a group of impressionist artists working in the Bucks County area of Pennsylvania in the early and mid 1900s.

in the book room, on the west wall

view from the book room, looking west

Living art -- looking south through the fern I fuss over every summer so that it can last through the winter in time to go back outside.... The orginal plant was passed on to me when a neighbor moved, years ago, and it amazes me that I still have the pleasure of its loveliness -- and its memories of Ronnia and her family!

       Another friend -- this one an Appalachian icon -- is author and poet James Still, whom many of us revere and miss. I have had the photo of his house for a long time; the signed poem was a kindness from Clara Potter Keyes, who is also greatly missed. It is the first time I have had a place to hang the two pieces side by side:
James Still's poem: Those I Want in Heaven with Me / Should There be Such a Place

a shelf of journals, mostly spiral bound, my sanity self....

a beautiful Vietnamese present to my mother from Tuyet, a long time extended family member

      I will probably be the only one who finds this last photo beautiful! These are EMPTY boxes, some of them having been filled more than once as the transfer from "the farm" to "the Gallery" continues.  (By Christmas the box part of moving will be completely OVER and DONE.) Anybody need some boxes??? Lovely as they are, their potential as scupture is, I suspect, fairly limited. However, if I continue to leave them in my Gallery section, maybe they will take on a life of their own.... (Just kidding!!)
        Again, I hope everyone has a few visual companions which can add a precious and grounding dimension to daily life. I am grateful for a warm, dry place to live, but also I am honored by what is on my walls and by what I see through my windows.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Do you honor your visual companions?

post #314
       I took a big step along being in a new-to-me house -- with the help of Bob and Carolyn. For two hours on Thursday we hung what I call my visual companions. These colors, shapes, images, words, are from my life so far. Along with my joy in them, each has a story and a history. 
       I am putting my own photo work on the first floor, especially in the Gallery area, and all are for sale. Then upstairs I now have my visual version of surround sound. I am so happy  these images are back to being an integral part of my daily life.  I want to share these this week and next, since a few more will be up by then. However, I do hope that moving homes isn't the only way to bring together your own visual companions to be there for you every day! I know George Ella, for example, is an ace at keeping herself surrounded.
        So, without the full stories for now, here first is some color in the downstairs. The Afghan was knit by my mother, its friend came from some airplane, and the red wool shawl was a present from my stepmother after her trip to Russia. They all keep me warm!

     Actually the primary decoration downstairs at the moment is piles of papers needing sorting.... Here is a stash that looks fairly tame and do-able. Not always the case. Thank goodness for cardboard boxes....

So, it's upstairs we go, with four treasures on two walls, across from each other:

we three sisters, in the mid fifties....

fern photo by my friend Mary Rezny in Lexington

a favorite Japanese print

an endlessly fascinating hanging quilt piece by Debbie Stephens, from Elliott County

 Two in the hall, the first a bulletin board from my childhood that will have family photos on it once I have the time/luxury of pulling that project together:

      This next treasure hangs in the stairwell.... I once fell in love with this photo by Howard Bond. I got brave and bought it, at a short-lived photography gallery in Lexington. I think I justified the cost by telling myself that if I was going to be a photographer, I had to do my share of supporting other photographers as well. It shows famous worn stairs from Wells Cathedral in southern England. I only discovered two years later that I once visited there as a 9 year old! I must have been amazed by them then, and I stay amazed now. My father and stepmother later drove to Wells with me. I always appreciated that we made that trip.

        By next week I will have time to make a proper photo of the stairwell to show how the photo now hangs in relation to the steps in this house. I also have those other treasures to share. I need to move on to other tasks at the moment, however, and I thank whomever is reading this for having joined me today for my introduction to several of my particular visual companions.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

post-Thanksgiving post

post #313
       Not able to let this season go. Still wondering if I should have had my small field bush-hogged this fall or whether a spring mow will catch the encroaching woods in time. Loved the huge moon week, especially driving all the way back from Lexington in the light of its glory. Knowing next weekend is the annual Arts and Crafts Fair at Morehead State University, where I have shared a booth with the very talented and fun Jennifer Reis for years -- but not this year since I continue to work on my major move which has brought on a total review of everything I own, saved, or didn't know I had.  This is good. This takes a lot of time. This needed to happen. Anyway, I plan to go to the Fair, and I encourage everyone within range to go see what's showing. I hear that more artists/crafters than ever before applied to take part this year.  9-4, Saturday, at the Laughlin Health Building on the MSU campus. Tell Jennifer I encouraged you to go to the Fair to check out her art jewelry and knitted items!
       I know I said that last week's photos were the last fall ones for this year, but then I saw what I saw. ... So the photos today are from this past week.  The first ones are from our pond, and the dog is my daughter's:
Who cares if the pond is chilly??!! A pond is a pond is a pond!

same reflection from two vantage points on the dam for the pond:

During a walk near to where I am now living:

I could barely see the mist with my bare eyes, but it was brief in any case. 
SIDEWAY GALLERY -- my Gallery/home from across the road. I am so fortunate to have found this place five years ago, so close to where I lived until this fall.

 Then there was the walk in the woods while the Thanksgiving turkey was cooking:

Lots to be grateful for, lots to wonder at, and lots to look for if we pay attention. I want to give special thanks for all the friends nearby who have been helping me so far in this physical changing of places I've been experiencing -- Doug and Karen, Ann S., Molly, George Ella, Melva, and, this Thursday, Bob and Carolyn -- and especially Rebecca, Jeremey and T., whose patience and steady assistance have made it all possible. More on all this later - it is not over yet!  See you at the Fair, Saturday.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

hay rows and sycamores

post #312
        After posting last week's blog, it occurred to me how much I love that sycamore tree, almost as much as I love watching hay rows take shape on their way to being bales or rounds.  So this week I am going to pull more photos of these "themes" in my work, and see what shape I can give them by doing so.

our field, in progress

a nearby field, finished
 Then here are four different perspectives from the field I showed last week:

curving rows and road

Sycamore, more or less by the season:

        Maybe more another time, but this is a busy week - still processing the election, looking forward to Thanksgiving this year with my son-in-law as super chef, and appreciating all the help I am getting while I continue to move in  --- while giving away as much stuff as possible, including books.  Today I will say just one thing about Donald Trump -- there is one lie he was making that I hope he didn't believe at all. He proclaimed that he would win, but in the meantime he made no effort whatsoever to be prepared when he did win!  If he really did think he would win, and this is the amount of preparation he made, we are in for a lot of trouble just on organization alone. Instead there's not much forethought, and certainly no creative use of America's talent in the choosing of cabinet members. I for one don't see any worth in having a cabinet of only angry white men. All those egos will be fighting for dominance, and not for us citizens. I'd shudder even if I were just a fly on the wall. 
         Sycamores and hay rows bring me a feeling of some kind of harmony in the world. I hope everyone has such delights in the world he or she notices each day.