Sunday, November 18, 2007
Elodie Farm Barn
We arrived at the farm around 9:30 -- yep, it was cold -- but somehow with the sun shining, the eager enthusiasm of the gathered group, it didn't FEEL so cold! Having been to the farm several times (see www.flickr.com/search/?q=elodie%20farm&w=46959178%40N00) , I took a few folks around the property and pond (with a bit of water in it but sure could use some rain!) -- and to another old barn I've begun working on.
Folks tended to settle around the house and I returned to the large barn that's scheduled to be redone for a larger meeting space/conference center/reception area. I know that Dave, the owner, was hoping the artists would capture the barn before it was remodeled. How I wish my abilities for barns (and plein air) matched my grand hopes! SIGH
At any rate -- about 15 of us braved the weather and by 10 am with the wind down and sun shining, it was really quite pleasant. Nancy and Harley had made the arrangements for us, and so provided cookies, salty things, fruit, water, drinks, and Dave provided some much appreciated HOT (and DELICIOUS) coffee!. Easels were set up, and work began in earnest.
As I said, I settled in front of the old, large barn, on the side of the farm and gate containing the herd of goats. They were feeding down pasture so I didn't give it much thought. (grin!)
Architectual subjects ALWAYS give me a fit, and for some reason, this time, THIS particular barn didn't drive me to give up sketching -- though I know there are portions where my perspective is off -- still I managed to sketch it without too much angst. I pulled out my watercolors, brushes, even managed to take my gloves off ... when company arrived.
Stewart, one of the many gentle and friendly cats, arrived for a pet. My own cats have been gone for so long, I was thrilled to have another cat by my side -- ah .... even in my lap! LOL I nuzzled Steward and resettled him around my feet, sat down again, and after a few moments of concentration, felt another nudge -- behind my neck -- on my arm, at my feet -- and here was the curious goats! The herd!! Oh my gracious -- they made me laugh so hard! I don't think they liked what I was painting, though, as they were eager to taste the paper, paints and water! LOL The hilarity of the situation made me giddy and I couldn't help but pet each of their sweet heads -- I had to shoo them off to even 'think' about getting anything on paper. Ever try to 'shoo' a goat???!!! LOL
Anyway -- I was truly enjoying myself -- my sketch was done, I put in the cast shadows, and figured I could finish the rest at home if need be -- the company was just too much fun.
Before I knew it, though, Harley rang the lunch bell -- and we all trooped into the large farm house --for the biggest surprise yet --- a SIT DOWN LUNCH of the most awesome soups and ---and this is my husband's favorite -- home-made apple pie!!! OH MY GOSH!
Dave and Anne (owners of the business) made large pots of butternut squash soup topped with their goat milk Chevre, French Onion Soup topped with their own cheese, and Moire (Dave's wife --I think she was responsible for the home-made bread ) -- OUT OF THIS WORLD!!
The laughter around the table was infectious as was the feeling of good will and friendship, art, discussion of Dave's plans for the conference center, reservations for their famous dinners on the porch ...
And then to top off all of this -- Moira's incredible apple pie -- topped with goat milk cheese ...!!!!!! I'm salivating as I remember!!! Oh yes, we did get to Harley's sandwiches, too -- so each of us, sated, satisfied, supremely overjoyed and grateful, waddled out of the farmhouse to 'finish' our work! LOL
I returned to my chair (moved safely BEHIND the fence during lunch! LOL) -- and worked for a bit of time. Charles and Moira and my friend Don entertained us all with some incredible music ...
WHAT A GRAND, GRAND day!!
By 2:30, the sun had retreated behind the clouds and the wind came up, folks, me too, were getting a bit chilled -- so by 3:00 we all regathered around the house to share our work with Dave, Anne and Moira ... and plan for the next get-together -- a party for the artists before Christmas! YAHOO!
This group, yesterday, the incredible feelings of friendship -- make me tear up as I write this --- We were all so overwhelmingly grateful for such a gift ... and such a day of splend, and deeply appreciated -- joy!