Our Open House traditionally begins with a Friday night visit to the Round House Cafe for some of their pizza, we have become somewhat addicted to it. Dominick, a chef at the cafe and pizza maker, is one of my favorite portrait subjects. He has never been to the Open House, but he is an Open House Face.
Sam Fatzinger is an artist, he is a high school freshmen in eastern Pennsylvania. Last year he brought his sketchpad to the farm and made some beautiful drawings and sketches. He has the sketchpad with him this year too, and will be sketching and drawing at the Open House.
He is gifted, and a perfect guest at a creative gathering.
This year, I'm doing a photo series on interesting people at the Open House, my chance to flex my portrait muscles. Some of the photos will be with the archomat lens, like this one of musician and free spirit Donna Nicosia, a Jersey girl and valued friend.
Some with be with my 85 mm portrait lens.
Dona explodes with life and personality, she has found her voice. She has come to our Open Houses for four or five years now, the Open Houses begin when I hear that thick Jersey accent riding behind a laugh and a smile.
On the eve of the Open Houses, It's a custom to invite some people from the Creative Group at Bedlam Farm, an online creativity-sharing community now about five years old. It has 250 people, and has weathered many storms, including political struggles, cliques, plots, raging debates, and a revolt that saw 50 people flee silently into the night, an angry protest against me and my ways..
The unhappy people are gone now, and we seem to have found our cruising speed. We are a quiet, gentle and connected group, and a very creative one. I've learned a lot about online communities over the years, and they are very difficult to create and sustain. I think we have finally done it.
I am proud of this community. Each Friday before the Open Houses, a bunch of people – six today – from the group, come to the farm, take photos, sit and talk and usually, go out to dinner with one another. It's kind of a love affair, I love having them, and I hope they love coming.
The Friday visits are a cherished ritual. It makes the Open House come alive for me, and for Maria.
The dogs love the Open Houses, and Gus has joined into the spirit of the others, rushing to say hello, and when he can, jumping into their cars in the hope of taking a ride.
Maria and I are wiped out already, and the Open House hasn't really started yet. Tomorrow, an intense day, I think, belly dancing, sheep herding, poets, sheep shearing, dazzling art in Maria's studio, knitting under tents. I'll keep you posted.
My photo lab says this photo should be small to preserve the delicate color and intensity of the picture, it will be 5″ x 71/2″ on the best rag paper, signed.
I'm only printing up four or five of these, they are among my favorites this year. The price is $75 plus $10 shipping.
They were taken in the deep woods where we walk and I'm calling the photo Autumn's brush, it's also shown in the new Photos For Sale Gallery now on my blog (link on the top of the Farm Journal page.)
If you are interested, contact Maria – firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.