Unwearied fancie, the flowers, the books and the stew

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, artist book, artistic inspirations, comfort food, creative thinking, fine art, gift books, hopepunk, household surrealism, mental health, Odditerrarium, published art, recipe illustration, sketchbook, Sustainable creativity, writing and illustrating

Unlike ball obsessed dogs I get tired and need a break even from my most favorite activity in the world: making art. In my last post I talked of finishing most of the prep for my upcoming Odditerrarium exhibit a week or so early in order to give myself time to rest and recharge before the exhibit opens at Burnt Bridge Cellars via Caplan Art Designs.

Here’s one of my portraits for the exhibit titled “Unwearied Fancie”. It, like the others, is 10 x 8 inches created with ink, gouache and collage on board.

And here’s a closer look at what this dog is obsessed by er um I mean thinking about.

This week the massacre in Uvalde Texas happened. I’m so very tired of unnecessary deaths. I’m bone weary of gun violence. Generally I keep my comments about current events off of this blog but I’m very upset about all of the unnecessary deaths due to one word said by one political party in the U.S. One morning I grabbed a scrap of paper and wrote…

So more than just my hand and arm felt a need for rest this week…

Anyway, all of the frames have been filled with artwork now. Here’s some photos of just-framed works still on my work bench.

My dachshund has a bed near my work area. (See the photo below). As I finished framing the last painting I imagined…

“Is that number 20?” Asked my dachshund art studio supervisor.

“Yes! All 20 of the Odditerrarium series paintings are framed now!” I replied.

“Let’s order new artsupplies and then let’s go wander the yard, eat something, read books and rest.” says the dachshund.

“Great idea!” I said reaching for the phone to order new supplies.

I already have sketchbook notes (due to my almost daily sketchbook routine) and plans for other creative projects that I haven’t talked about on this blog – or anywhere on social media – because they’re in flux. But I know generally from these plans what art supplies I need to buy.

All of the Odditerrarium artwork is now packed in boxes ready to be delivered at the appropriate time. So it’s “all done except for the shouting” as I sometimes refer to the exhibit promotions. Tired ole me is very grateful to have help spreading the word about the exhibit from Burnt Bridge Cellars and the Caplan Art Designs gallery. I’m also beyond grateful to the fans of my work who share about it online. Your encouragement and support helps me a lot! Thank you!

The paperwork for the Odditerrarium exhibit has been done and already sent in to the gallery. I’ve also finished the webpage about the exhibit which includes images of all of the art and access to the printed artist book. As I get photos of the exhibit on the winery walls I’ll add them and other related things to my portfolio page. All of these things are my efforts to make sharing about my exhibit easier plus the portfolio page and the book make it possible for people to participate in my exhibit without coming in person to the winery.

My ultimate point is that you, my dear blog reader, besides seeing behind the scenes in my studio as I have worked towards this exhibit are also the first to see all of the Odditerrarium artwork together and have early access to the book!

I hope you like it! Here’s a few photos of the book…

Here’s the visit to the yard my supervisor dachshund and I talked about earlier. The Japanese Iris’s are blooming now and I really love the odd shapes of them! The other flowers in my wife’s garden are pretty too.

In my last post I told about our dishwasher troubles… this week a new one was installed! To celebrate having a dishwasher again I made one of our favorites and served the Coddle in the big mugs that are hard to handwash. Our new dishwasher did a great job!

Here are pictures of my art studio supervisors resting.

My reading stack this week: I finished Christopher Moore’s “Island of the Sequined Love Nun” and P. M. Carlson’s “Murder Misread”. Both of those transported me to a better frame of mind.

Being upset about current events also has me reaching back in history for a somewhat similar past era and the artistic responses to the issues of that time and how, these many years later, that turned out…

Now I’m reading Alan Watt’s “Zen and the Beat Way” alongside some of the Beat writers work in Ann Charters’s “The Portable Beat Reader”. (Here’s a good link about the history of the Beat generation aka hippies.) It occurs to me that many discussions of the 1960’s and 1970’s have focused on pooh-poohing the long hair, the beadwork, the lack of shoe wearing, the organic vegetable growing/eating habits instead of grappling with the ideas contained in the written works of that era. Many of that generation’s artist’s were responding artistically, critically, via literature, poetry, music, etc, to the Mccarthyism, the Vietnam war, the various conventional cultural cruelties of that time period. The conservatives, or squares as they were called in the 60’s, said “no” a lot back then too.

In reading about all of it I wonder is peace, love and understanding really so radical, so threatening that we must distract from those ideas by ridiculing the clothing and eating habits of those advocating kindness?

On the topic of 1960 era food: here’s a review of a book by Jonathan Kaufman titled “Hippie Food”. And here’s another article about the healthy food (brown rice, beans, organic whole foods etc) efforts that began back then. I’m now aware of very real kitchen table progress that has been made because of the ideas originating in the countercultural 1960’s, things we benefit from today such as more food safety, better quality, more wide spread availability of fresh vegetables and more diversity of vegetables and grains.

I have ordered another book, that hasn’t come yet, about the women writers, poets and artists of the Beat era. I’m impressed, by what I’m reading in the titles by Watts and the Charters, with how much work the women of that era did to expand the life possibilities for women living, working, cooking and being creative – things we benefit from today. (See also this tangentially related article) I look forward to reading more. It may be a cliche but we do indeed stand on the shoulders of giants. And I’m finding comfort and hope from what turned out to be the many Beat generation countercultural successes despite the frustration they felt in the 1960’s and 70’s.

As you can probably tell I spent more of my time just reading this week. I took a break from social media too. Here’s an article I read with ways to be aware of current events and still take care of your mental health. Here’s my sketchbook page where I gave myself permission…

I hope your week is as full of peace, love and understanding as you can make it. Please take carrot …

See you next Monday

26 thoughts on “Unwearied fancie, the flowers, the books and the stew

      1. I agree with you both… Luanne and Liz … art is what humans are good for. Perhaps we’re also good for opening the dog and cat food. Maybe for deadheading the flowers. But art is the main thing…

    1. I agree. Sometimes I just look at my bookshelves full of books and the fine art by other artists on my walls in order to have a moment of seeing the goodness in humans.

      1. That’s why I go to “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” when times are bad. The fact that a human being is capable of creating such beauty with language means there’s hope for us yet. gives me hope.

        1. Oh!!! Thank you for sharing your go-to for comfort! I will look it up! Besides Mary Oliver my poet go-to’s are: Robert Service, Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, Edward Lear…

        2. I found the T.S. Eliot poem and read it! Loved these lines: “I have measured out my life in coffee spoons” .. and “I grow old, I grow old…I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled”
          Thank you again for pointing me in the direction of that beauty!

          1. You’re welcome, Sue! When I taught high school English way back when, this one kid latched onto the “I grow old” line and would randomly quote it in class, apropos of nothing.

  1. Thank you for being so open with sharing how you practice self-care amid your work habits and the demands of everyday life. I think it is important to be mindful of our need to switch off from the outside world and invest in ourselves when our lives become too depleting or national and global news overwhelms us.

    The Odditerrarium exhibits and book look fabulous and I wish you every success with the exhibition.

    1. You’re welcome. Sharing helps sometimes. And, yes, you’re so correct- being mindful of our needs in the moment and respecting them is essential.
      Thank you so much for your kind wishes re my exhibit! ❤

  2. Congrats on having the show completed and packed to go! I’m going to “Take carrot” and decline commenting on the ‘real’ stuff at the moment, other than I’m glad you reminded me that some progress has been made since the ’60s & ’70s. I’ve felt very thrown back to that tumult lately. Thanks for your kindness. I hope you have a restful and refreshing break, and then a smashingly successful show!

  3. Progressive ideas from the ’60s and ’70s were derailed in the ’80s and after. (I have my own conspiracy theories about that.) Good for you for reading about those times.
    And I hope the exhibit and book do well. The book looks gorgeous!

    1. I wish I could pour us some drinks and hear your theories… I have a few too. The historian, Heather Cox Richardson, talks often about what began in the ’80s… Anyway, I’m finding a lot of inspiration and hope in my reading about the ’60s and ’70s. Thank you for your comment and your kind wishes for my exhibit and book. I appreciate you!

  4. Love your art, love the flowers, and I see that you read P.M. Carlson. I loved each and every book in that series! I read them many years ago, and seeing that cover gave me such a warm feeling:)

    1. Thank you!! We recently bought P.M. Carlson’s whole series and I’ve read two of them now! Loved them both!! I’m treating the rest of the series like a box of fine chocolates…trying to go slow and savor them! What a delightful series!! Glad it gave you a warm feeling to see!!

        1. We were given one of Carlson’s titles by a friend, loved it, and looked on Thrift Books for the others. I started out of order 🤣

Thank you for reading and sharing encouragements!