Monday, August 06, 2007

Today I'm gonna make you work for your visuals, as they are all of other people's work and therefore I'm sending you off on all sorts of links, but please take the time because it's all so worth the effort.

Thanks to my hubby remembering that it was this weekend, I was able to catch the last few hours of one of my favorite local art fairs yesterday. I only had a few hours and there was so much to see and so many interesting artists to talk to, I rushed, but still came away satieted and inspired.

I spent money I could have not spent, but I was quite pleased at myself for the restraint I, mostly, used. Most everything I purchased was either for holiday gifts or was what I think of as UsefulArt.

I replaced the missing "name your poison" drinking glasses I'd bought a few years ago and love. My family had broken half of them. I also bought myself a new "Don't Touch - Mom's Use ONLY!" glass with a flying monkey etched on it. This couple's company is called Earthstones - Affordable Garden Art. They do etched glassware and etched garden stones. They're one of my favorite places to linger and spend money, they have the most beautiful and unique quotes on their garden stones. I've begged them several times to create a website but they are happy, busy, and content selling from fair to fair. They do custom orders though if anyone is in need of a great idea for a gift for that hard to buy for person. I can give you their telephone number.

I also bought a jar of seasoned garlic, some gifts for the grandkids, and the most indulgent of my purchases, a beautiful moon and stars batik dress for myself. As if I needed another dress. But it was soooo pretty, sooooo unusual.........I wanted it, okay!

I also bought some beautiful wooden spoons and chopsticks from Shadow Mountain Woodworks. Art. But completely practical. I'm a bit disappointed at the website, which looks sort of plain and infomercial-ish. Because in real life the wood was utterly beautiful, I just wanted to run my hands along each piece.

I spent most of the time just chatting with the artists - textile artists, photographers, painters, ironwork artists. I got a kick out of the fact that several time I got mistaken for another vendor/artist. I take that as a sign that I should probably be spending less time at art fairs and more time in my studio. As soon as I dig out of the boxes that are now filling it. Anyway, moving on, I particularly liked the work of three photographers.

One photographer by the name of Michele Miller did really great close-up still life shots. Her name is Michele Miller and her business is called Life In and Out of FOCUS. I thought that was a cute name. Alas, no website. Come on folks, this is the 21st century!

The second photographer I liked, I chatted with for some time. One of his pieces I was admiring was of some local silos covered in Virginia Creeper. I was telling him that it reminded me of castles I'd seen in England. He agreed, very much so he said. And that's when, at least five minutes into the conversation, I finally noticed - the man had an British accent. So, yeah, he'd know castles. I think I watch too much BBC, it's not the first time I've not noticed an accent on someone for awhile. He and his wife have a small website, Shutter Indulgence - A Perfect Moment Held in Time.

The last photographer I'm mentioning was my absolute favorite. Pat Moore Photography. Every photograph made me feel like he was looking at the world in the same odd way that I look at it. I kept thinking "I would have taken a picture of that too!" and "I would have noticed that small detail!" I was most particularly enamored of his travel and cultural scenes and I went round and round through all his stock alternating between talking myself in and out of buying a piece. "I love it, I should buy it. Yes but you haven't even framed your own travel photos yet. Yes, but artists should buy each other's work. Do you have any wall space left to hang it on? No but... Well, so, and you already bought that dress. " I finally walked away empty handed. I probably drove the guy nuts.

Some of the images I most wanted to bring home are not yet up on his website. In particular he had a number of images he took of Guanajuato, Mexico. I'd never even heard of Guanajuato, Mexico, but now it's on my lists of places I want to go. On the list right next to Ankar Wat in Cambodia. Go here and look. It's not one of the photos from the photographer, it's a travel shot, but isn't that just totally cool!? Apparently Guanajuato is noted for it's colorful architecture and its narrow meandering streets that climb up the hill to the edge of town. Okay, you've sold me right there. Just drop me off with my camera and a hundred SD cards and I'd be happy for a month. They also have Mexican food, always a plus. And a mummy museum. What's not to love!?

Now that I've slept on it, I'm thinking I should have bought my favorite photograph, of a painted tree. He's from Ashland. Maybe we'll bump into his work next time we go up.

Last but not least, I stopped at a little bookstore after the fair and I bought a greeting card. The artist's name is Susan Mrosek and her business is called the Pondering Pool. Now, here's what you have to do - Go to the website, click on Gallery, and then click on an individual image to bring up a larger picture of it and, most importantly, the small quote that is underneath and part of the work. They only had about ten of the different images to choose from at the shop and in case you're curious, I bought the one labeled "Yodel" on the fourth gallery page. Aren't they completely bizarre and wonderful?! The images are odd enough in themselves but the words are the thing that take them to an entirely new level of strange. Neither the words or images truly make direct sense but at the same time I understand them completely and I am also agog that there is someone out there who's thought process is even more bizarre than my own.

And that, my friends, is the end of my sharing for the day. Enjoy. I have to get back to shoving furniture around.

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