Saturday, October 29, 2011

The End of October

Sometimes, I Am Startled Out of Myself,

like this morning, when the wild geese came squawking,
flapping their rusty hinges, and something about their trek
across the sky made me think about my life, the places
of brokenness, the places of sorrow, the places where grief
has strung me out to dry. And then the geese come calling,
the leader falling back when tired, another taking her place.
Hope is borne on wings. Look at the trees. They turn to gold
for a brief while, then lose it all each November.
Through the cold months, they stand, take the worst
weather has to offer. And still, they put out shy green leaves
come April, come May. The geese glide over the cornfields,
land on the pond with its sedges and reeds.
You do not have to be wise. Even a goose knows how to find
shelter, where the corn still lies in the stubble and dried stalks.
All we do is pass through here, the best way we can.
They stitch up the sky, and it is whole again.
"Sometimes, I Am Startled Out of Myself," by Barbara Crooker, from Radiance. © Word Press, 2005. Reprinted without permission, but I hope Barbara doesn't mind because this poem really struck me the moment I read it. (buy now

 As October comes to a close, a snow storm approaches - Hello Winter. No one can hold back the changes of the earth, no one can hold back the changes in one's life. 

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Autumn in the Northeast

Out my studio window
 Fall in upstate New York is a wonderfully colorful time of the year. Nature is slowing it's productive phase and getting ready for it's winter nap, but the oncoming chill always creates an excitement and anticipation of winter in me. It's the change I love so much.

We planted this sugar maple to celebrate Harry's 10th birthday...he just turned 21!

The milk weed seeds are ready to fly!

One of the things that fall ushers in is the celebration of Halloween, which I always have enjoyed. The costumes, the parties, the candy, the candy, the candy! I've been making small skeleton ornaments for a while now, and although they sell all year around in my Etsy shop, I especially like them this time of year.
Mrs. Fancy Skeleton

Skeleton Pirate Magnet

Fancy Skeleton with Tophat who wants to PARTY!

Enjoy the brilliant colors before they disappear!!

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Monday, October 3, 2011

The Cabinet of Curiosities

Ludolf Backhuizen I
Dutch, 1630–1708
Personification of Amsterdam Riding in Neptune's Chariot, from the Set of Seascapes, 1701
Gift of Gail A. Donson, Class of 1963

Last Saturday Don and I headed out to Cornell for a birthday visit with our son, Harry. It's a beautiful campus to explore and we always make sure to see what the current exhibits are in the Johnson Museum of Art. We were lucky enough to catch the last day of the exhibit titled "The New and Unknown World: Art, Exploration, and Trade in the Dutch Golden Age"
"During the seventeenth century, the young Dutch Republic rose to maritime and mercantile predominance, sending ships to trade around the globe. This exhibition brings together many material signs of the famous Dutch East India Company’s international success, including trade goods from China, Japan, and India, as well as documenting the appearance and significance of these items in art produced back in the Netherlands. The exhibition also presents the thirst for knowledge about the peoples, flora, and fauna of these far-flung areas as reflected in illustrated books and maps created by artists and scientists who sailed on Dutch voyages of trade and colonization. The exhibition’s centerpiece is a re-created cabinet of curiosities, which arranges European artworks and antiquities side by side with natural rarities (including seashells, mounted bird specimens, and even a narwhal horn) to acknowledge the way in which natural marvels of all descriptions were integrated with human accomplishments into the early modern system of understanding the world."

I was especially taken with the recreation of the Cabinet of Curiosities, and what having a "Room of Rarities" signified.

Shells, sketch books, pottery, and an armadillo

Shell sketch book

Shells, bones, pottery from other cultures, butterflies

Bird drawings and feathers
I have my own Cabinet of Curiosities that I'll share with you sometime soon!

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