Wow! We’ve had a relatively mild winter and now we march on to greet spring in all its glory. I’m seeing signs of redbuds popping here in central Kentucky and think I might have to take a long redbuds chase through the mountains soon.
The garden also calls. I’m in the process of dejunkifying my garden. (Spellcheck doesn’t like this word, but I do.) The lack of foliage in the winter made our garden full of yard art appear to be a junkyard. So, it is time to dejunkify and prepare the beds for planting and seeding.
I think everyone loves this time of the year except allergy sufferers. Fortunately, I’m not an allergy sufferer but I do know how to get into some mean poison ivy.
I got the bright idea to harvest grape vines to make a little fence around my vegetable garden. A windstorm had fallen many trees in the woods where I take my dog for a walk, so the harvesting was easy. What I did not know is that poison ivy vines grow as big as grape vines. And I harvested both. Needless to say it was not a pretty picture for someone that is highly susceptible to poison ivy.
You may remember in my New Year’s newsletter, a resolution to build birdhouses on warm winter days. Well, I got the pieces cut for three houses when poison ivy entered my life. Luckily I revived in time to get at least one built.
It’s “rustic chic.” Chic because it is made out of a recycled table and fence planks. Rustic because my woodworking skills leave a lot to be desired. It’s been fun and I am enjoying learning how to measure. You know, the old saying “measure twice, cut once” has a lot of truth to it.
So if you know any wrens, chickadees or titmouses looking for a good home, I’ve got one up for rent. Free to the right birds!
I’ve gone out shooting a couple of times this year. If you are interested to see where I’ve been and what I’ve seen, just click on RECENT WORK.
If you ever have any comments or questions about my photographs, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More than just feedback, I seek conversations with people who view my work.
Not for sale! The Rascals, a group of boys (mostly men approaching their thirties) have been making different wines for a couple of years for their own consumption. When it came blackberry season last year, they enlisted pickers from all around the area to pick forty gallons of blackberries. We did it, but not without our share of chiggers and briar cuts. So back in July, we crushed the berries and started the wine making process. Every time I would run into one of the boys around town, I would ask if it was time to bottle yet. They said, “Soon,” all during the fall and winter. Finally, the word got around to meet up on the Ides of March to bottle.
I was so excited about our wine being born that I designed labels. I thought the Chigger Ridge brand quite clever and would really make our wine look professional. I proudly waved my sheets of labels to the guys who were out on the front porch. They said the labels could not enter the house. Forbidden! It seems that they had spent a week-and-a-half soaking and chiseling away labels from the recycled bottles.
We had a whole production line set up. I was the person responsible for filling the bottles. Every time I would get them too full, my prompter would take a swig to make it right. Needless to say, he probably had the most fun that night. All totaled, I think we had four cases of Kentucky wild blackberry wine.
The wine is good. It’s not a sweet syrupy wine, but tastes like a grape wine with heavy blackberry notes. And at the end of the night, we were able to put one label on one bottle, which met with grand approval and the labels were allowed to enter the house.
I’m in the concept stages of publishing a book of Kentucky landscape painters. I’m looking for a few Kentucky landscape painters to work with me on concept, developing a prospectus, artist participation and funding strategies.
I have the design skills and publishing sources to make this project shed a beautiful light on Kentucky. I just need a team to guide me from an artist’s perspective. If interested, send me an email to email@example.com.
I’m still adding to the number of retailers who carry “Kentucky 120.” Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is my newest retailer. While delivering books there, I was able to make some photographs in the new fallen snow. I’m very excited to have the Shaker Village gift shop offer Kentucky 120 to their visiting customers.
While Kentucky Crafted: The Market was going on (March 5 &6), I was the guest of Artique Gallery for a book signing. It was very successful for selling books and notecards, but the best part was reconnecting with old friends from my days at the arts council.
In the same weekend, I was invited to a one-night show of local photographers at the Fusion Gallery. I was happy to sell some photographs, and happier to meet other photographers of many different colors and stripes. It somehow felt like an organic gathering of emerging ethnically diverse photographers. I’m happy to be emerging and hope that I will keep emerging for the rest of my artistic life.
I leave you with a few images of my garden between January and now.