Friday, March 28, 2014

Quiet Zone, Green Bank, West Virginia

Thanks to everyone who attended the Spring Open House and Weekend Exhibition last weekend!  The weather was lovely and a great time to get out.  I had a big bouquet of rubrum lilies that filled the studio/gallery with it's fragrant perfume. 

Spring continues to be very late this year.  I've only seen one or two crocuses in bloom.  The daffodils are just starting to push up through the soil and none are in bloom yet.  The temps have only topped seventy degrees once so far this year!  Mostly staying in the thirties, forties, and low fifties.  Yesterday was rainy with a cold, stiff wind and thunder and lightning - just as I was heading out to walk the dogs, of course!  Brrrrr.....

Just got sidetracked with a call from some folks wanting to come visit the studio/gallery.  They found a painting online and wanted to see it in person before purchasing.  I have been working on the online marketing over the winter and it seems to be paying off.  I set up my website in 1997 - I saw the writing on the wall and the direction the wind was blowing - but was then left twiddling my thumbs for the next fifteen years, unable to get any high speed internet out here in the sticks.  

Most people seemed to have no concept that there is NO INTERNET service out here.  Try cable, DSL, wireless, and on and on, they would say.  I tried a satellite company - twice.  Neither time worked.  I tried Verizon wireless multiple times but never got it to work.  I even had a technie friend accuse me of intentionally not "letting" it work and he vowed to get something up and running for me.  Six months later, he gave up and apologized to me, agreeing that nothing would work out here.  

To be honest, I am secretly happy there is no wifi penetrating my organic farm.  I heard of a place called Green Bank, West Virginia that is a "Quiet Zone" where no cell towers or wifi or radio are allowed so as to not interfere with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.  They still have phone booths in town.  People are not connected all the time like the rest of the world.  Cell phones simply don't work.  I think I would like Green Bank.  I am beginning to feel like I am the last person on the planet without a smartphone, still using a landline to make and receive calls.  And I really do not want one.  I am not even sure it would work out here but I guess they keep putting up more and more cell towers so it might work by now.  The shows seem to expect the exhibitors to be online 24/7 and send last minute emails I won't get until I arrive back home later in the week. 

Anyway, a new satellite service came out about a year and a half ago and it works beautifully out here!  I LOVE it!  But I am way behind the curve and have been playing catch up ever since.  I guess it would work with a "hotspot" but I really don't want the wireless wifi in my home.  I worry about the effect of all these electromagnetic waves have on the bio-electricmagnetic human body.  I read somewhere once that the trees resonant at the same vibrational frequency as the natural human body.  I think that is why I love being in and painting the woods so much.  Deep in the forest, there are no electromagnetic waves or radiation waves and it just feels so good.  The trees help realign our bodies with our natural frequency.  Even in the house, there is the electric smog and I won't even get started on the smart(dumb)meters.  Save that for another day.

I am afraid that someday - soon - finding that Quiet Zone is going to be impossible short of a trip to Green Bank, West Virgina.  I may be packing my bags. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Woodlands Arts Festival is ranked #3 in the country by so I am thrilled and excited to be invited to participate!   The Woodlands is just north of Houston, Texas so please stop by if you are in the area.  I have never been to Texas so am looking forward to finally visiting the Lone Star State. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Last evening I fed the ponies about 7:30 p.m. and then went out to do some work in the garden next to the barnyard since there was still some daylight and it was a mild, balmy day.  But after a few minutes, Missy, my 31 year old, came out of the barn and was making some odd, squeaking and coughing noises.  I went over to examine her and saw mucus and saliva coming out of her mouth and nose.  She sat down.  Stood up.  She was clearly uncomfortable.  I checked her feed bucket in the barn and saw she had not finished her dinner.  So I immediately went into the house and called the vet.  I was told that she had "choked" as older horses sometimes do, with their food getting stuck in the esophagus.  I have been feeding her Senior Equine and will need to soak it in water from now on.   

The vet said he would come right away but it would still take an hour before he arrived.  In the meantime, I ran an electric line down to the barn and set up a bank of lights so he could see to work on her.  The barn is a good 600 feet back and it took three extension cords.  I used the lights I use in my booth at shows so the barnyard was lit up bright. 

The vet gave her a shot of banamine and then a tranquilizer.  He rammed a long plastic tube down her nose and pumped a gallon of water through her.  The clump choking her was dislodged.  Blood dripped from her nose after he pulled out the tube.  My poor baby!  Her head drooped and her eyes were closed.  But at least she was doing much better. 

I stayed back at the barnyard for another hour putting away the lights and cords and keeping an eye on her.  I didn't get back inside until 11 p.m. when I finally was able to sit down and eat my own dinner.  This morning, Missy was off her feed a bit.  She didn't clean her bowl but I noticed in the past, when having their teeth floated and being tranq'ed, the ponies didn't eat too good for a day or so.  

The hardest part about having animals is when they get old and start declining.  So hard to see a beloved animal start to fail.  Same for people. 

Here is a picture of Missy with her winter coat.  I brushed her out yesterday morning and the fur came off in handfuls.  And she is still shedding!  Her eyes have shrunken because she is now blind and they have atrophied.  Luckily, she has her son to help lead her in the field and she has lived here since 1996 (18 years!) so she knows her way around pretty well.  Still....she bumps into stuff.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Today I got a call from Bob Reiner, the founder of the Shawnee Summer Theatre in Bloomfield, Indiana now going into it's 55th season.  Yep, the founder of a 55 year old organization.  So I paid attention.  He wanted to know if I would be willing to exhibit my paintings in the theater during a two week period where they would be putting on two different plays.  This is a theater that hires professionals to put on a new play every week for the duration of the summer(except for one play that runs for two weeks).  Luminaries such as John Belushi, Ken Kercheval, Leo Bermester, and Marie Masters have all performed in the theater.  

My summer schedule gets pretty hectic with traveling to the art shows, keeping up with the gardens, and, of course, the painting, especially the plein air painting, and I could have easily bowed out saying I was way too busy - because I am.  I will need to select the artwork, pack the paintings, load in the van,  deliver to Bloomfield, and then hang the work.  And do it all in reverse at the close of the show.   I really don't expect to make any sales and there are certainly no awards to be won.  

But I just felt like someone with this kind of vision, drive, and ambition to open this theater in a rural setting and keep it thriving for 55 years was someone pretty special.  And this must be a pretty special theater.  I have heard about it through the years as soon as I landed in Bloomington as a student at Indiana University but, must admit, I have never ventured out to one of their plays.  Bob said there is a very loyal following of people that attend the performances, many coming from Bloomington.  

So I agreed to exhibit my paintings in the theatre during the run of the two plays, "Shawnee Theatre World Famous Melodrama" and "Death of a Salesman", July 17-27, 2014 and hope to take in a performance while I am at it.  Bob had wanted me to exhibit during the kick off shows in June but my schedule is already impossibly hectic and I just couldn't take on one more project in that time period.  

In fact, I was excited to be notified this morning that I have been invited to exhibit in the 59th Annual Boardwalk Art Show in Virginia Beach, Virginia June 12-15, 2014!  I have never done the show before but the reviews indicate it should be a good show for selling paintings.  Reproductions are NOT allowed - originals only - which I really like because I don't do reproductions.  I find "originals only" shows attract people intersted in buying oil paintings NOT merely cheap prints spit out of the computer.  The show runs along the boardwalk with the beach as the backdrop so I am really looking forward to hanging out at the beach on the ocean this summer.  I haven't been to the ocean for awhile!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Well, this post was supposed to publish on Monday, March 10, but for some reason,  I must not be doing the "Schedule" function properly.  Grrrrr....  When I posted the recent blog entry, I saw this one still in "Draft" format, unpublished.  So....I'll publish now.  I don't mean to inundate anyone's Inbox with too many Blog posts in one day!  Sorry!

Monday, March 10, 2014:

The reception at the Venue Gallery was Friday night in Bloomington, Indiana and I loved seeing old friends as well as making some new ones.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by.  The weather was just gorgeous and it was nice to get out and enjoy a taste of spring!  Sorry I forgot to take my camera so I didn't get any pictures from the reception.  I need to get better about that!

While I don't have any pictures from the reception, I do have a picture of a recent painting of some lovely rubrum lilies.  

For details and to purchase, please click here:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Suited up ready to paint!  I have my Kelty backpack and wet panel carrier box.  Snow still on the ground so I have on my snow pants, wool long johns and multiple layers.  I have a large shirt I pull on over my coat once I get out into the field.  I have to be careful not to over dress before hiking out otherwise, I get over heated, sweaty and end up in wet clothes. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Yesterday I delivered the paintings to the Venue Gallery in Bloomington, Indiana for my Featured Artist Exhibit which opens tomorrow, March 7, 2014.  The gallery is located in a large Victorian mansion that has been converted to a gallery so it has several rooms on the first floor for exhibition space.  My show will be in one of the rooms.  There will be a reception Friday night starting at 6 p.m.  The weather is looking great - sunny and high in the fifties -so we can shake off the cabin fever blues and get out and enjoy the evening!

The days are warming a tad to where I can finally paint out on location again.  When the temps are below about 28 degrees, my paint freezes too fast on the palette and I cannot even mix the colors.  So I am thrilled to finally be able to get out and paint the snow "en plein air" before it melts.