Studio Pleasures

The Pleasure of Chaos, 2018, Archival Digital Print

The question for all of us is how we give our gifts back. It is the sole reason we are here and while it would seem an easy mission, in truth, for many, a clear sense of purpose is never formed out of the fog of being.  There are always diversionary activities, and with enough of them one can fill up a life.  But to what end?  If we aren’t aware of gifts then we cannot discover our purpose and we will never live fully.

 

 

 

 

Another find

Pink Dogwood, 2018, Archival Digital Print

The discoveries continue on the Homestead. Walking in the back I discovered a tall pink Dogwood is full bloom. Last spring it was barely noticeable.  All my pruning has paid off.  It has sunlight now and can breathe and blossom.  Like all living things, we need air to breathe, nourishment and care.

Becoming Hens

The girls are growing up, 2018, Archival Digital Print

In a matter of hours, from the morning feed until the evening one, the six Claras went from adolescent chicks with pale beige feathers and lots of down showing to young hens with russet feathers, real chicken tails and the beginnings of combs. Now I wish I had been in there all day and snapped a photo once an hour.  What a transformation as life does its thing.

 

May Rain

May Rain, 2018, Archival Digital Print

Everything is muted in these spring mists, all values close and a general dreaminess about the land. I saw a social club of six Turkeys out for a walk in the mist as I was driving to the store to get, what else? bird seed. They ambled along together with full ruffled feathers so they looked like grade school bulletin board Turkeys there in the cornfield behind the homestead.

 

Reward for Enduring Winter

The Backyard, 8 A.M., 2018, Archival Digital Print

The Earth is awake and blossoming, full of new life and optimism. Persephone is freed from Hades and Mother Earth is joyous.

Up here everything conspires to give pleasure, sight, smell, sound.  I live in a paradise.  Yesterday a big Crow paid a visit to my front yard, a first.  There is a family of Ravens nearby but rarely I hear or see Crows, so this is the first time I’ve seen one land and hang around.  He was glistening, curious and a gift to me.  I have ground round in the refrigerator for him if he comes back.  I’d like him to be a regular.

I’m thinking a lot about watercolor and plan to set up a table near where this shot was taken so I can sit out and observe and paint.  In spite of my respect for the medium, I had a show of watercolors that went on tour throughout the United States in the late 70s, I haven’t touched them since then, preferring gouache instead.  I’m ready to see what happens.

 

 

 

Two Claras

Two Claras, 2018, Archival Digital Print

This was taken over a week ago and already the girls are the size of Bantams and much more curious about the world. Clara Christina Columbus now jumps on top of the water jug to consider where she might go. To prevent her giant leap for Chickenkind I’ve added screening. The Columbus chick is the most curious of the six whereas Clara Voyant, named by my neighbor, Betty Grindrod, is dreamier and in her own world.  And Clara Madonna, the bottle blonde, is just taken with her own beauty.  Their markings and personalities are all different and I continue to marvel at the wonder of growth, DNA wiring and individuation.  My brilliant former TA John Gross is coming up from New York this weekend to help me prepare the shed and soon the outdoor pen will be replaced with a varmint proof construction.  Then we shall await the eggs.

 

Weather again, always the weather

Westside Highway, Rain, 2018, Archival Digital Print

A mighty thunder and lighting storm rolled in last night. The sudden darkness was spectacular for its drama as it came across from the Catskills. I was out picking a few Daffodils trying to grab those beauties before I was struck dead.  Those blooms smile at me now right above the sink with a single white Geranium.  The Westside Highway shot from last week gives the urban version of rain from the train, but it is far less thrilling than the experience up here.

The rains are welcome now and good for all things growing.  I have two climbing roses ready to be set in and various seeds started for the back garden.  It looks like a Fox may be living under the foundation of the house and I hope to see kits soon if I’m right.

I’m thinking a lot about the abundance of empty decorative painting and what it means particularly now, and finishing the book on Hillary’s campaign disaster.

More soon on all of these.

 

Pits to Plants

Avocado Starts, 2018, Archival Digital Print

Avocados have been tasting so good lately I’ve arranged to have one at every dinner. So the pits/potential plants are lining up. Yesterday I started them to sprouting. There is something about that plant in the window, the quality of the plant itself, the leaves, even the Scale they eventually contract that is pleasing to my eye.  Here’s to new life and the start of Spring!

 

New numbers on the Homestead

Six New Chicks, 2018, Archival Digital Print

This morning, six Rhode Island Red chicks joined the Homestead. They are so pretty and innocent with the smallest of peeps. They will live under warming lights indoors for six weeks until they have healthy plumage. Then to the henhouse behind the studio. I’m growing Calendulas from non-GMO seeds for them as well as other nice greens. They will be free range during the day and protected at night from the hungry Others. All are named Clara.

 

Still snow, sleet and cold, but the battle is almost over

Two Hens on a Morning Stroll, 2018, Archival Digital Print

It’s hard to pick out these two hefty girls whom I saw ambling across the road on Friday. It took me a while to get my camera out and by that time — Turkeys move fast when they want — they were already going into the bushes. They are big animals and very confident as birds go.

This shot was taken just up from my studio.  My studio sits right at a favorite crossing spot they use going from my side of the road across to my neighbor’s stand of pines where they like to sleep at night.  Probably it’s because the creek is there that it is the designated crossing spot for so many species.