The Best Open House
I have a very strong feeling about our October Open House this week (next Saturday and Sunday, October 8 and 9, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The first art has begun arriving, including the spectacularly original paintings by local artist Sara Kelly "Two Top Mountain," on sale for $120.
I love the feel of this Open House. On Saturday, the equines will get their hooves trimmed – open to the public – and the sheep will get shorn, also open to the public, including the Romney Gang Of Four.
We should have some amazing wool from the Romneys, come and see it for yourself. There is a big fiber element to the Open House this year.
Poets – Mary Kellogg, Jackie Thorne, Tom Atkins – will read poems, Maria and I will talk about my next book (she will talk about the passage to India), and she has assembled a remarkable group of talented artists, most of whom will be on hand to show their work and answer any questions about it.
Two spinners will be working under a take to make some beautiful things out of our Bedlam Farm wool, now converted to skeins and roving. Ed Gulley will be here with his very fresh and original folk and farm art, including several of his instantly popular wind chimes (every one sold in June.) He's also bringing a cow to milk.
Red and Fate and I will, of course, be showing off and explaining our herding work. People have come to love Fate's highly original herding style, she is happy to show off. And Red is a master performer. Both dogs will be on hand for autographs and greeting. People can meet the donkeys and the pony. Bring carrots (not dogs.)
I felt in the past year or two that the idea of the Open Houses got skewered a bit. I was running around like a maniac, and had little time to talk to the good people who shopped up. Maria holes up during the Open Houses in her studio, the art shows she sponsors have become increasingly popular, the art is diverse – jewelry, pincushions, wondrous lotions and balms, winter mittens, paintings, water colors, scarves and tote bags, potholders, hanging pieces and quilts. People often stock up for Christmas, the work is original, unique and affordable.
In a sense, the Open Houses are about two things – sharing our lives and animals with you, and giving Maria and her fellow artists a venue to share and show their work. It is, in many ways, more her show than mine, more her Open House than mine, and there is, of course, a part of it that is ours.
Maria's art shows are stunning now, a testament to her evolution as an artist and a human being. She really knows how to choose art, display it and sell it. It's exciting for me to watch this growth over the past few years, every day she does things she never thought she could do.
It is a celebration of our lives together, really, we live open lives and share them. I think we are getting back to that focus.
The details of the Open Houses are presented on Maria's website more than mine, you can find them here.
She is writing this coming week about each of the artists. Sara Kelly dropped off her work yesterday, more is coming on Sunday. Hope to see some of you there.