Saturday, September 11, 2010

You are all invited -- Farm Girl Landscapes opens September 13

Farm Girl Landscapes at Kaskaskia College in Centralia, Illinois runs from September 13 through October 15, 2010 at the Dee and Sue Boswell Gallery on campus.  A reception will be held on October 9 from 12-4 pm.  I'll be in attendance then and would love to see my friends and family! I'll also be giving a gallery talk to Kaskaskia students sometime before then, date TBA.

Only one little hitch in the operation--the silk will not be installed until Monday morning, but I'm assured the gentleman who will do it is fast and very good at his job...he just happened to be on a well-earned vacation this past week when I delivered my work to the gallery.

The piece shown above is a small detail of a larger work I've titled Round Bales.  You can see and read about how this was made here.  I'm pleased with all the color variations from soft grays to deep blacks with pale gold areas and a few spots of pure rust.  The grays and blacks are created by three types of tea.  I brew loose tea at home and save the leaves.  I also use fresh tea if I want deeper blacks.  Friends save tea bags for me which I empty.  I can draw with the dust. 

Round Bales are of course a staple of dairy farming.  You can't drive through the Midwest without seeing the huge round forms dotting the landscape.  We had a round baler on the farm for a short time-- an old decrepit machine purchased used that my dad had a terrible time keeping in running order.  The bales were much smaller than those made today with modern equipment.

My dad preferred (as I did) the square bales that could be handled by one person and stacked neatly on a wagon and in the barn.  We went through lots of hay for our modest herd of dairy cows and spent many a day during the summer cutting, raking and baling.  Rain was the enemy for those times as dampness would mold and ruin the the hay.  Sadly, my brother missed my high school graduation to put up hay because my dad was convinced it was going to rain that evening.  My brother and I and various neighbor boys helped put up the hay countless times.  It was hot and sticky work and my arms would be covered in scratches by the end of the day.  I just could not bring myself to wear long sleeves in 90 degree weather and besides it was a point of pride to prove I could work alongside the guys.   

The bulk of the work in this show is connected to my growing up on the farm.  The more abstract work always has me searching for imagery within the designs that trigger a memory from that past life. 


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