Sunday, November 15, 2015

Leaves That Are Green

Many people think of December as the end of the year. Things are different when you have a farm. The end of the year is the end of the harvest season when the food has been put away for the winter and garden soil is protected by mulch or cover crops.

Turning leaves as seen from the front porch of our farmhouse.
I don’t think I could live in a place without distinct seasons. I need the fall. Not the endless raking of leaves. Not the mold. Not the drizzle of the cold rain. I need the end-of-the-year kick in the pants. Hey, you!!! Time hurries on. Another year has come and gone.

A look at our valley from the top of the mountain ridge.
It’s been a year since I lost my job due to the closure of Dale Music. The buildings on that block in Silver Spring were torn down this week. It was a sad ending of a needed resource. I had a lot of things planned for this year that never happened. My studio is still a mess. My accountant isn’t going to be happy about the lack of progress in sales. On the plus side, I have started creating again. Nothing really worth selling, but it’s a tiny step in the right direction.

Some of our first fallen oak leaves.
I didn’t look for another job as a bookkeeper after I lost my last job. Mostly, I’ve been taking care of my nearly 20-year old dog Smokey. We’ve spent a lot of time cuddling on the couch. I chose to spend our remaining time making him as rotten as possible. He has separation anxiety and starts to sound pitiful when I’m in a different room. I do love him a ridiculous amount. I’ve moved part of my studio upstairs in my dining room so I can get some work done.

Acrylic, watercolors.
My homage to fall inspired by the song Leaves That Are Green. Acrylic background with leaves made with watercolors on watercolor paper. Time hurries on.

Paul Simon -- Leaves That Are Green
Leaves That Are Green

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Nuanced Brown

Brown is an aberrant color around DC where the standard colors for office attire are still black and navy blue. That’s something I’ve never understood. I’m an “autumn” and love to wear brown.
Bracelet made with various shades of brown and orange dichroic glass.
Brown is a nuanced color. You have to specify which brown you are referencing. Some colors like orange, red, and yellow are more or less undifferentiated. Orange means the color of the fruit. Yellow means crayon yellow. Red means Christmas. Brown is another story.

Quick watercolor sketch.
Our farm has a million shades of brown. Well, maybe not exactly a million, but a lot. The farm is on the side of a mountain and you can plainly see the striations in the soil from past landslides. Digging will also produce marked variances in the soil. Our garden plots are slowly becoming more homogeneous as they’re worked year after year. The goal is a rich, coffee-brown full of nutrients for the crops. Right now, it’s mostly red clay with tan rocks. That will change.
Wood for the winter for the farm.
I haven’t created a lot of brown jewelry. I’ve been making brightly colored jewelry for years and years living in the city. This is my most memorable piece of brown jewelry. Even then, I couldn’t leave well enough alone so I added bits of pink, rust, and red. I do love brown with effulgent red.
Brown Bullseye glass decorated with pink Wasser glass, enamels, and rust dichroic glass.
Maybe living in the country has made me appreciate brown more. I’ve been working more with copper clad with a brown patina. It seems more in tune with where I am in life. Maybe changing to a natural palette is a part of growing older like getting a sudden interest in yoga or joining a book club.
Monolith -- an experiment in trapunto done when I was 10 or 11.
I think I’m going to embrace my life in the country. I expect my work to slowly progress towards a more natural palette. Then again, I might plant a field of flowers in outrageous colors to use as an excuse.