Arches 140#CP Rough
Though a bit late for Memorial Day, it still seems fitting to post these poppies! We had the opportunity last week for a short visit to two gardens last week - both filled with wonderful poppies. From red to purple, pink, blue and California orange - the poppies were plentiful. Even along the highways of North Carolina, poppies dress the landscape ....
Poppies often represent beauty, magic, consolation, fertility and eternal life. The Egyptians included poppies at funerals and in burial tombs. The flowers were used by the Greeks in the shrines of Demeter and Diana. But more than anything, the red poppy has been associated with Flanders fields as an emblem of those who died in World War I. The tradition of poppies to memorialize our fallen soldiers continues as we remember the sacrifices of the men and women who have kept our country free. May we continue to remember and to honor them ...
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Arches 140#CP Rough
It's been a fast six months since we saw our granddaughters last -- and already the two have grown INCHES -- and are reading, counting, singing, dancing, playing junior monopoly, painting, performing! Where does the time go? It seems only yesterday that they were as tiny as these ducklings -- and now, they are well on their way into childhood ... cuddly babes no longer.
My thanks to my dear friend, Fossibear, for allowing me to use his photograph as inspiration for painting these ducklings. His fabulous photo,www.flickr.com/photos/fossibear/7229144766/in/faves-linfrye/ was of a precious gathering of baby swans … I turned these beauties into baby ducklings and painting them in the marshland I love. Thank you, Lutz for the inspiration!!! Please stop by his photostream to see some incredible, beautiful work!!
We’re off to the recital with our own precious grands ….still as cuddly and adorable as ever!
Hope you have a great weekend!
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The days, though longer in sunlight, seem to be fleeing with as much speed as lightning and are as filled as our ponds these rainy weeks. I can hardly find time lately to breathe let alone paint, and I can tell it's taking a toll of my tranquility! I painted this earlier this spring .... and though I am painting larger images more frequently, I'm finding it harder and harder to get to the painting table as often, or as long, as I'd like. Life, as they say, has a way of moving one in other directions.
Still, each day I do put paint to paper, but can't get to finishing a work for several days .... then something else pops up before I have time to post it ... ah well, this will pass ... I just hope it passes quickly, I am missing that 'zone' I am able to get into when painting that really helps me relax and dream.
This weekend will be another busy one. We'll be visiting my daughter and grands and take in a dance recital for both of them -- adorable!! It will be a quick visit and I'm looking forward to seeing the girls since we haven't seen them since the holidays. They're growing so fast!!! Our phone conversations have taken on that 'adult' tone that seems to move children from simply "Hi Nonna" -- to real "Guess what I did this weekend" chats! Wonderful -- but will be even better to see them.
Hope you have a great week... stay dry...
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Thank you for all your kind wishes.
It was a FABULOUS festival with good sales, incredible music, a variety of wonderful offerings for the more than 1500 people who visited, a terrific selection of food items, fun things for children to do and a really FUN, FESTIVE, FESTIVAL atmosphere.
The Granville Art Council did one heck of a job advertising and putting things together -- one of the best shows I've participated in -- professionally done --THANK YOU all involved!
I've met some other artists in the Granville area, met some potential art and workshop students, and met more folks in my hometown -- something living and working out of town for 11 years has made very difficult. What a joy to meet such wonderful neighbors!
I return to work tomorrow - pretty tired - but gearing up to teach art classes for the Arboretum during the month of June and lead a number of trips to area gardens for more garden classes. So much to see and learn and do!
We'll be preparing for our next festival on June 2 - The Lavender Festival - and I'm looking forward to Chocolate Lavender Ice Cream!!! YUMMMMM!
I'll be on and off the the Internet with the demands of work -- so I hope to catch up with everyone as I can ...
Meanwhile - have a great week -- and walk around the gardens!!
We simplified our framing so that it was easier to put it up quickly. I was still able to hang 20 framed paintings - including 4 24" x 28" frames... and I had (you can just see it by my right knee) dozens more matted paintings.
I sold framed paintings, matted paintings, bookmarks, postcards, greeting cards, mini-art pieces and had folks sign up for potential art, craft and gardening workshops.
Friday, May 18, 2012
The hay, tall, golden, incredibly beautiful, is starting to be cut and rolled, and scenes like this (a combination of Oxford farms and fields) are my ride home companions. Each and every one thrills me to my soul, touching some core element of my being that, having been raised in the city, cannot be explained. I like to think that some of my family's earlier generations, growing up in rural parts of Italy, tended such farms, and their love of the land and working with its elements has somehow been passed through time to me.
This week, my housemate delighted us with a Netflix movie that took place in Italy (the name escapes me at the moment). Toward the end of all the action, the camera panned fields of hay - and as tired as I was after another too-intense week, I was immediately seized with emotion and an overwhelming sense of 'homecoming.'
I don't understand it ... but I do embrace it.... and try to capture a bit of that emotional bond I sense by painting hay bale after hay bale.
(Yep, even the folks around here find it unusual that someone carries on and on about their hay bales! LOL)
Work continues its intensity as does home activities. This weekend is the Granville Art Festival. Charles and his jam group will be performing and I'll have a tent and exhibition. I've been preparing for this over the last few weeks - so today we'll do a trial set-up to make the 10' x 15' area more attractive, and I'll bring my paints to try to get in a bit more time at the easel. It's been so busy that my Internet time and painting time has been squeezed .. and I truly miss the relaxation of visiting friends, being inspired by the incredible photographs and artwork, and using my painting time to unwind and rest.
I hope your weekend is terrific!
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
9" x 12"
Gardening --- oh yes, it's time to get out there once again and show those weeds who's boss!!!
The weather this weekend was perfect for an afternoon in the garden, and I spent some time putting in flats of flowers --- and then - thank heavens, the rain followed behind my planting and has been steadily giving all the plants a good, solid soaking. The wee tomatoes, blueberries, persimmon and squash are really benefiting from all the good rain.
Here at work, we are in the throes of trips and tours and working hard to keep our gardens weed-free. We've designed another couple of beds that will finish up the Southern Garden (a long, long project), and will begin cleaning the greenhouse for the summer. Even though the students are now gone for the summer, Arboretum work is at its peak busy season.
Hope your week is terrific!
Saturday, May 12, 2012
10" x 13"
To all the mothers - the aunts, sisters, grandmothers, nonnas, daughters and those whose role is that of 'mother' - a most joyous and wonderful 'HAPPY MOTHERS DAY'!
The celebration of mom, for me, always brings me to flowers. My mom and dad had a small garden, barely more than foundational plantings. But of those, dad planted roses and lilacs - my mother's favorites. These field roses, painted to celebrate the beauty of less cultivated plants, are dedicated to my mom -- for her beauty, tenacity, strength and love. And more, for that bit of 'non-domesticated' wildness that enchants, surprises and manages to thrive in all manner of conditions - a celebration if you will, of the unpampered that is in all of us.
I came late to gardening, learning first to appreciate the wild species of things - enjoying the surprise of flowers and plants that grow without human intervention. The plants that make the roadsides, ditches, woodlands and fields a riot of color, fragrance and unquestionable beauty. I love too, how 'nature' provides 'wild' edibles without cultivation as well as provides the progeny of many of our domesticated food plants. I love how she provides such bounty of utilitarian plants for medicines, music, vessels, clothing and almost every other human need. Such effusive variety and abundance is motherlike in its selfless giving.
This weekend, we recognize, appreciate and celebrate - all our moms - including the mother of all of us - Our Good Earth.
May we remember to honor all our Moms!
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
I am back home - and what overwhelms me most is the incredible quiet. That rich, peaceful, serene stillness that is in the very air I take into my lungs. The PEACE of it is so rich, so magnificent, that I am brought to tears for the very serenity it brings.
I unpack my bags and walk through my now-bursting colorful garden. The breeze is rich with honeysuckle and privot. Birds twitter and sing their nesting songs. Insects buzz. And the sun warms my skin and makes each flower a blaze of color.
I am home - and this peacefulness is as much a gift as seeing my mom doing so well.
The yellow fields of spring are fading and the hay in the fields is turning from green to bronze. The farmers have begun baling... and I am in my glory to see hay bales once again!
Feeling this 'home-coming' -- from the air to the flowers, to the fields to the bird song - is a salve. The miles between my mom and sisters and my home are many, and I miss seeing those I love more frequently. Though mom is so much better - with health issues prominent, one lives from day-to-day. Thus, this sense of serenity is even more of a blessing.
It's a funny thing the types of places that give us a sense of peace and 'home.' My sisters and daughter love the city - the 'availability' and 'conveniences' of having stores and events close by. My son, like me, prefers the quiet life and the feel of soil beneath our feet instead of asphalt and concrete. Different strokes indeed.
Somehow the rural life has become "home"... and it is here I return for the exquisite gift of quiet, peaceful moments shared by the rounds of seasons and the flora and fauna that join in its celebration.
Sunday, May 06, 2012
10" X 13"
I am still visiting mom -- one more day then a long journey home. It has been such a joy to see her doing so well. Her mind is sharp, her appetite good, mobility, though limited, is still so much improved. I am ever grateful for the tremendously good care she is getting at my sisters' hands and the medications that are keeping her symptoms managable.
To take advantage of my being with the family, we will celebrate Mother's Day a week early and all of us go out for a quiet dinner. The last time all of us got together for a meal was last Thanksgiving, so tonight is mighty special.
The weather in New York has been cool and rainy, but the company has been fabulous!
Hope to catch up with painting and commenting next week ...
Have a great Sunday!
Thursday, May 03, 2012
10" x 13"
Another busy week behind me - sales, tours, trips, classes - and I'm heading out for a few days to visit my mom. She's been doing so well -- thank you all for your prayers and thoughts!
I'll be offline until next week - so I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and I hope to catch up with everyone sometime mid- week!
It's very hot here already - mid 90sF yesterday -- so stay cool!