Tuesday, October 30, 2012


It's snowing! Sandy & her sister Flaky stopped by for a visit in VA. They have not left yet, it is still snowing kind of side ways as the wind (Sandy) blows the snow (Flaky) around. W.V. is getting blizzards, oh my! North of us, floods everywhere. This is one wild and crazy storm.

The pumpkin I put out the other day now has a dusting of snow. I think Mother Nature is playing nasty tricks on us this year.

Please, be careful and safe out there...be warm, take care...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ring Around the Moon

Friday night and Saturday night there was a ring around the moon. I did not have my tripod with me so I hand-held my camera, zoomed in and took a couple shots. Then I went in to check with google to see what a ring around the moon meant.

Ring around the moon, rain and snow coming soon...was the first thing to come up. Guest Mother Nature was right again. Then it talked about the air being so cold that ice crystals form around the moon giving it the appearance of a ring.

The rain started last night here in Blacksburg and we have snow...just some flurries at the moment but it is snowing in VA. Not often we see snow before November. Take care, be mindful of Hurricane Sandy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Silly Goose

Well, not really goose, maybe Daffy Ducks?? After the Fine Arts in the Valley show was over and I was packing to head back to VA. I took a couple moments to walk around the farm. I had not had a chance to go see the ducks that I could hear. From what I had heard they were very close, they ran from one area to the next in a group. It did seem there was a team director, the first quake and they would all push towards each other kind of going in the same direction. Funny little guys & gals.

Along with the ducks, there are cows of course! Belties! They are black & white, the mid-section is the white area kind of like a belt. Some people at the show referred to them as Oreo Cows.

These cows have a passion for apples. So much so that they follow Lori (one of the owners) along the fence line in hopes that she has apples...she is the piped piper of belties. But, the apple passion is not reserved just for the cows. The Black Twig apples are soooo good. They are a dark red, crisp apple that has a history, they are a Hermitage apple, noted to be Andrew Jackson's favorite.

It is nice to have these moments, to take in the views, see the animals and bite into a crisp red apple!

Black Twig Apples

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hedge Apples anyone???

I have seen these interesting looking fruits but did not really think too much about them. During the Fine Arts in the Valley show I saw several around the farm. So, I picked up a few to put with my pumpkin. Seemed like the autumnal thing to do. As with most things I then decide I need to find out a little more about these things.

Hedge Apples come from the Osage Orange Tree (Maclura pomifera) not native to the Maryland area. It can grown around 35 feet or more, is a hard wood, leaves turn yellow in the fall and they produce this greenish 3 - 5 inch fruit that drops to the ground at this time of year. As they break off the stem produces a milky sap. It can irritate the skin of some sensitive people. There is a folk lore that says it makes a good bug killer - wonder if it will work on stink bugs? But, there is no proof as of yet research is being done on this interesting little fruit. So, who knows, can't hurt to have them around, just in case.

If nothing else they are a nice compliment to my orange pumpkin. Happy Fall!

Hedge Apples

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Gloaming

The Gloaming, Old English, to glow, dusk, twilight, shadows, semi-darkness...the end of the day.

At the end of the day Sunday, the Fine Arts in the Valley show came to a close. Monday, we wrapped some things up, rearranged others and planned for future shows. Tuesday, I was back on the road again. It seems lately I have been driving from point to point as the evening comes to a close, watching the sky, the clouds, the shadows at days end. It is a nice way to say good bye to the show and to friends. Saying goodbye only till we meet again.

We thank everyone who came to the show, sharing the beautiful weekends, weather, views, art, conversations, coffee and so much more. We thank Eric & Lori Rice for allowing the artists to convert their beautiful barn into an art space for the two weekends. And I thank my artists friends for making this all happen. What would we do without friends?

Until next year or our next show which ever comes first, may you always have the glow of the evening sun to keep you warm, even if the warmth is just in your heart.

The Changing of the Seasons

Evening Glow

"A Cappella State of Mind" singers

Fine Arts in the Valley 2012

A View From The Barn

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's So Fuzzy!

Fuzzy Caterpillars - Woolly Bear Caterpillars - one in the same, they grow up to be Isabella Tiger Moth and we see them in the fall because they are looking for a warm place to hide for the winter.

I have seen a few already this year at Country Pleasures Farm. So, here's the question. According to The Old Farmer's Almanac: Is there any truth to predicting the winter by the Woolly Bear? It is stated that the wider the burnt sienna middle band on the caterpillar the milder the winter.

So, if you want to see a fuzzy caterpillar come on out to the farm this weekend and while you are here stop in and see the Fine Arts in the Valley Art Show. It's the last weekend, lots going on, the "A Cappella State of Mind" will be singing Saturday at 1:00. Lots of new art keeps showing up so even if you made it last weekend you might want to check out the show again just in case you missed something.

Fine Arts in the Valley at Country Pleasures Farm 6219 Harley Rd., Middletown, MD

Woolly Bear - looks like a mild winter

Monday, October 15, 2012

B&W and read all over

The first weekend is behind us, wonderful weather, the trees are turning colors, the cattle were in the fields, the artists have their work up and the people came....all weekend long. It was great! We got nice write-ups on line and in the papers.

This coming weekend 72 Hours of the Frederick News Post will have a nice article with photos of the show. It comes out on Thursday so look for it!

If you missed us don't worry we will be waiting for you this coming weekend. October 19-20-21 from 10:00 - 5:00. We have "A Cappella State of Mind" on Saturday singing at 1:00 for about a half hour.

It looks to be a crisp fall weekend again, even if it rains come on out, see the wonderful art, the great views, hear amazing singing and visit with us a while.

Fine Arts in the Valley at Country Pleasures Farm, 6219 Harley Road, Middletown, MD - just follow the signs! Artists Studios

We have oreo cows - Belties!

A view from the top - 2 floors of ART!

Homer Yost - sculpture

Sarah Simpson - sometimes there are stories.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I've been framed

Since this is crunch week and as I have stated in the past many artists lean towards procrastination. Many of us are finishing up framing. Because I was traveling from here to there bringing work from AZ. I tried to keep a record of what frames I had in VA so I could pre-cut mats and just pop them in the frames. Well not everything is standard size. Something I have been working on over the years.

I did have to go out in search of frames. I found what I needed two 12X12 black silver toned frames. They looked good, so I bought them, got them home, framed my work and as I go to put in the hangers in the back I realize the frames are plastic or some resin type material - oh my! Then they are separating at the corners almost before my eyes - again - oh my!! I un-frame the work, take them back to the place I purchased them and in search of two 12X12 frames.

Looks like I too will be framing in those last moments before the show opens on Friday. And I am still waiting for a shipment to arrive that was mailed over a week ago from AZ with art to be framed. Off to the post office this morning in hopes of finding lost art. To see if these mysteries get solved, the missing art and can I find the frames I need you will need to stop by the show.

Come on out - it is going to be a beautiful weekend! Fine Arts in the Valley at Country Pleasures Farm, 6219 Harley Road, Middletown, MD Oct. 12-13-14-19-20-21 from 10 - 5.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

On your mark, get set, goooooo

This past weekend everyone was on their mark, to get set for this coming weekend so you can go see the show. The barn has gone through a lot of changes this past year. New staircase, new railings, which gives us a whole new upstairs area to use.

We set up the display racks, moved things area, tables, chairs, comfy areas to just sit and look at art. Adding some final touches over the week but by Friday 10:00 a.m. we will be ready to go-go-go!

I will set up my easel and start working on a plein air piece. I don't do a lot of landscapes but hoping to capture some of those lovely foggy clouds that hang low between the trees and the valley.

Marilu & I will do demonstrations of soft pastel and scratchboard throughout the two weekends. Sarah & Tracy will talk about digital photography, the cameras they use and the subjects that inspire them. Homer will have sculpture and drawings on display to talk about. And new to our group this year is Beccy, my daughter, she has started making jewelry, she may be creating a few new pieces while she is there.

On October 20th at 1:00 we will have music. A Cappella group " A Cappella State of Mind" is their name and they will be singing for us. So, come on out, see the valley in fall color, listen to the music of the singers and the trees. Support your local artists and visit Maryland's oldest organic farm.

Two weekends Oct. 12-13-14 & 19-20-21 from 10:00 - 5:00 Fine Arts in the Valley at Country Pleasures Farm.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Almost Over

Almost overwhelmed, as I have written before there are phases to getting ready to do a show. We are in the panic phase. Checked in with Marilu and she is right there with me. Doing the last minute framing. Somehow you think you have the right size frame but when the work is done no frame seems to work. Then you look local to buy what might work and usually end up ordering frames hoping they will get here in time. Which puts you into more panic and framing the day before the show opens.

I make lists, even have them on my computer. This Saturday the group for the Fine Arts in the Valley show will have their before the show meeting. We will organize, figure out where each person will set up work, where display panels go, who brings what, who will be there, setting up sales table, who's doing demonstrations and artist talks.

It is amazing what a group of artists can pull off in a day. All the creative work we have been doing this past year will be displayed and ready to open the following weekend October 12th. Thanks to Lori & Eric Rice we have the use of a beautiful Amish built barn with a wrap around deck and views of Middletown valley. The leaves are just changing and each day there is a little more color. It should be prefect for the two weekends of the show. Hope to see you there.

View of Frederick County

Country Pleasures Farm

Country Pleasures Farm

Monday, October 1, 2012

For The Birds

Just because I did not have enough things to do this weekend I did a little 6x6 mixed media piece. While I was in Portland I saw a card for the Wild Arts Festival. Dick Blick was giving away 6x6 canvases to anyone that would create a bird image and donate it for this festival with all the proceeds going to the Audubon Society of Portland. Well, I could not pass that up as it was for the birds.

I had already coffee stained the canvas from National Coffee Day. Sunday I sat for a while and did a little mixed medium painting falcon. It gets shipped off today, one more project down, oh so many more to go.

While I am sending that piece off, I will be mailing the "By My Side" piece that got into the APS show in NC and thinking I might just ship some more art back for the FAV show.

Did some experimenting this weekend too with the pastels that are sealed and working on how to frame them without glass. You may need to come by the FAV show to see how some of them turned out and let me know what you think. It's coming up fast October 12-13-14-19-20-21! http://www.wix.com/fineartsinthevalley/fav

"falcon" mixed media on canvas

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