They came around and told us a bad storm was coming and that we had about 10 minutes to get our tents and things secure before it hit.
It was the scariest storm I’ve ever been through. I was very lucky my tent and work survived undamaged – 40 of the 220 booths at the show were either destroyed or damaged, people were injured and taken to the hospital. They say it was a microburst…I watched in horror (through a zippered opening as I held onto my tent with all my might) to see tents, tables, art and debris flying through the air tossed and tumbling out of control from the west on Chuch Street and then turning south onto Sherman wiping them out as well (I was 3 booths in on the north east side of Sherman).
Several people I know lost their entire set ups and some their artwork as well. We all tried to pitch in and help our friends clean up and find their things…my friend Kate Strong of Strong Wear lost her tent but we were able to salvage much of her display and work. More photos on my flickr page…
A short hour later the skies opened up again and this time the hail came! Eva & I had just finished helping Kate retrieve her display and hats and things and she had just covered them up with a tarp when round 2 started…this was like a picnic compared to the microburst! Kate bravely came back on Sunday with an old tent she said “I decided it would be better to just get back on the horse” …she is one tough chick!
Rich came up and rescued me, while walking to the car to come home, we came by Nancy & Andy of Circa Ceramics and Eva (again helping out her friends) packing up…they lost one shelf of product but other than that made it through safely…we all counted ourselves very lucky!
These cooling towers are the ever present landmarks in Ogle County…I * Dr. Seuss-ified them. It’s pretty bizarre, they creep their way into so many lovely vistas…and in spite of what they are and the way people feel about them…”it is what it is” so I chose to make peace with that fact and appreciate the beauty of the way they change color in different light and the way the steam undulates out of them depending on the direction of and the amount of wind.
* My style is surely inspired by Dr. Seuss…We had a huge collection of his books (a garage sale gift from Nana & Aunt Susie) …some favorite memories are of my Dad reading me those books at bedtime…he is a very good story teller. The first book I ever read cover to cover was “Green Eggs and Ham“…and one of my favorites stories was about the Star-Bellied Sneetches.
And just like that it’s over….was it a dream? A beautiful week of blue skies, big puffy white clouds, endless gorgeous hilly back country roads, cows, pigs, goats and corn. I wish I could hold on to this feeling of completeness and happiness. No tv, no computer, a lot of times no phone (my outdoor studio at Castle Rock State Park had no cell phone reception). But it wasn’t all sunny skies for me. I had some very real creative challenges and no where to run away from them…I seriously considered driving back to Chicago one morning. But I stayed and battled it out with myself and am very happy with the few pieces that I finished…I think what I accomplished out there mentally in a week would have taken me 3 months here in my studio with all its distractions.
The other magic that happens as an artist at a program like this is you are PRESENT the WHOLE time, I mean visually and creatively, MENTALLY PRESENT. Everywhere I went and every road I traveled I was scanning the amazing lush green vistas all around me…appreciating every field, cow, pig and hay bale..stopping, sketching, taking photos.
The community and group of folks that make up this organization (The Fields Project) are so amazing, they are like a second family after my 3 different years of participation in the program. I also met a group of wonderful artists from around the country and a few right here in Chicago (I had this silly idea that I knew all the aritsts in Chicago!)
The field sculptures this year were so vivid and beautiful thanks to a new grass field and all the rain of the past few weeks. Another huge highlight was Cathi Bouzide & Danny Mansmith’s collaboration on the wrapped corn bin. PHENOMENAL!
I’ll post more photos and notes soon but in the mean time I did upload my photos to my FLICKR page so please check them out.
Well after 2 back to back weekends of art fairs and all the loose ends I need to tie up before heading to the Fields Project on Saturday, I have no business going out and buying flowers but I had to. Last year all I had on the deck was an azaela bush (which stopped flowering the week after I bought it). I need to see some color when I look out the window and the sooner I get these into pots and settled the sooner I have more color, right? (My thumbs are a fleshy shade of pink, no green in site). Mom, you know I wish you could snap your fingers and be here to guide me! My Mother and her husband Bill grow the most beautiful gardens around their home in the woods…I paint with acrylics, she paints with flowers. (…And Rich is taking care of the vegetable portion of our petite urban farm).
Just finished this commissioned pet portrait of Warrick for my wonderful clients Julie & Brittany. He is dreaming of things he loves: taking walks and his beloved owners. If you are interested in ordering, visit AnnesArt.com or my Pet Portrait Blog…..Have a great day!
We are back from Kansas City…the weather was great…but too HOT for the likes of me. Luckily I was next to my pal Laura Nugent who took good care of me with a nice big cooler full of ice and other select beverages. We met lots of wonderful people and many new customers. I also met some great artists, Andrew Johnson, aka the Stitch Maestro who won best of show in his category and was this year’s poster artist. I love his whimsical style (I know you are very surprised I would like this kind of art!). More artists to be introduced in a future post.
Laura & I goofing after a long HOT day.
Look’s like I have my new booth shot for 2008 (minus the 10)…& all lit up…Now busy with paper work, finishing commissions, running errands, off to the vet in an hour with Izzerloo…