Last day: Fields Project Art Fair…It ended abruptly early, due to a severe storm, so I wasn’t able to photograph everyone’s work. And sadly, I just learned this week that the Fields Project Program has come to an end after a 15 year run. I am so grateful to all the amazing families and volunteers who kept it going for so long and to Rachel Weaver-Rivera for introducing me to it back in 2003. I was fortunate to have participated so many times.This beautful land and this community have become emeshed in my soul and my art work. You can see the paintings I created at AnnesArt.com under Farm & Fowl.
On the 2nd to last day of the Fields Project, resident artist Cathi Shwalbe orchestrated a water event at a public well located outside Ashton, IL at Gurler Road and Schnell. These photos document her fourth gesture related to water. Her handmade cups and this public well brought out many folks from the community througout the day. It was a beautiful thing and the water so fresh and cold and and lovely in her earthenware cups.
From Cathi: “Water should be free and clean = that is my the foundation. I was told about this well last year during The Fields Project by Aneda Ebert and knew what I would be doing during the 8th annual (for me) Fields Project experience.”
Anne, Cathi, fellow artist Carol Luc and Farm Hostess with the Mostest, Aneda Ebert!
These additional photos show the sky at the time I arrived to help Cathi set up at the well: Roll Clouds. I’m sure I’ve mentioned how much I love weather and storms and clouds. These were extraorinary…but it wasn’t good timing for Cathi’s event, luckily we were spared. Not even a drop of rain fell. The folks at either ends of this front were not so lucky. There had been pretty torrential rains the night before as well..as can be seen below. Farmers were out all morning anxiously checking the fields.
Aneda and Carol arrived fashionably early in the storm armoured John Deere!
A few days before we departed for the Fields Project, fellow artist and good friend, Cathi Schwalbe posted this photo on Facebook with the caption: Anne & Cathi head for the country.
We decided we needed to re-create the photo in this modern day setting, as the ‘Silo Sisters’ (you might recall from my earlier post – we each had a guest room for the week sleeping in the silo (behind us). We enlisted the help of fellow resident artist Barbara Diener and her vintage 4×5 camera. We have not seen her rendition yet, these are candid shots taken by our ‘farm dad’ Gary Bocker. He outfitted us with his pistol and shot guns and yep, we all took a turn with the 12 guage!
Barbara Diener Cathi sporting the ruby red shell casings on her fingers with our esteemed photographer, Gary! I doctored this one up…until we get the real deal!
You haven't heard from me much this summer…but I've been plenty busy! In lieu of doing a myriad of outdoor artfairs I've been busy developing a Wholesale Line of Gift Items for Stores and Pet Boutiques. I showcased much of this new work at the Chicago Gift Market at the Merchandise Mart in July, and have many new products in the works since then. I love doing these shows, designing my booth, sharing new work with potential clients and meeting so many other lovely designers and makers. It was a blast, here's some before and after shots:
My most colorful booth to date – It's amazing what you can accomplish with a staple gun, a few rolls of colored paper and ikea shelving!
My new 'Holiday' selections! My lovely girfriends from Green Daffodil, Siouxanne & Anne! My new best friend in Canada! Julie, at Julie Sinden Handmade. We did an 'international' trade, I got a super cute new winter hat! …and the lovely Martha, of The 3 Sisters Design Studio! This gal is nonstop fun and a brilliant designer.
Part 4 from the Fields Project: PROCESS Unlike my plein air compatriots, I work via sketches and photographs. Mostly driving around the first few days of the residency and then setting up my outdoor studio at Castle Rock State Park. This year, I only spent a short time up there due to weather and ticks. I spent two afternoons painting in one of the enormous storage sheds at the Bocker Farm…me and the morning doves, they didn’t really appreciate my prescence but they graciously spared my artwork their droppings!
No, this cow was not this tall, but I couldn’t resist making this comical rendition.
My work was more abstract than usual, this year. I was fascinated by the patterns of the driveways at the farms and the simple shapes of things.
More from the Fields Project in June: early in the week I put the word out that I wanted to see the landscape from the farmer’s perspective. What I had in mind was a ride on some farm equipment, I should have know with this group I would get that, and so much more! Gary Bocker was geneorus enought to send me up the elevator, 180 feet…so high I looked down on their enourmous corn bins.The view was spectacular…and a little unnerving for the first 10 mintues (I could see straight through to the ground from the grate we stood on).
In the distance you can see ‘The Rail’ … the train cars are loaded with corn and travel a short distance to the main railroad line. Such a view! With Gary Bocker, overlooking his corn kingdom! He had never been up here and wasn’t going to join me. I insisted that he come, too…I think he was glad he made the trip. The drive where the trucks cue up with their loads of corn. I was very lucky to be up there when a load came in, look at that gorgeous yellow grain!
The trucks pull in over a grate and the corn fills the coffers (I hope I have that right!) It was pretty cool, I could hear what sounded like rain, as the corn was pumped up into the giant metal pipes and distributed back down into the bins. Later that day, driving ‘home’. I was at the highest point you see there! After that awesome elevated view, I drove a few miles to one of their fields and grandson, Winton, took me out on the sprayer (above).
This a very sophisticated piece of equipment, that computer tracks a myriad of info including moisture, and temps. He educated me a bit about weeds, if they grow higher than 4 inches they take more moisture from the soil than the corn.
A horse of course! …at White Pines Ranch My third elevated view of the day, this one on a mammal! My horse’s name was Chief…prior to our ride we had to watch a video (geared mostly towards a younger crowd). They instructed riders to go stand in front of the horse they wanted and point (so I did!). To my left is fellow artist: Jan Sorenson and in front the owner of White Pines, Gig Bellows. So grateful to her for inviting me out for the trail ride. Chief was a trooper, can’t imaging carrying ‘me’ up a canyon trail..but this guy did!