Monday, June 28, 2010

The Raconteurs "Old Enough"

The other day my friend asked me "If I could see any musical artist, who would I want to see?"  I have too many "want to sees"..., but The Raconteurs came up as one of my answers.  I was lucky to see them open for Bob Dylan a little over three years ago.  They were real good!   And real loud.  I didn't know what I was in for....we were watching the opening band and I was like, "Josh, that's Jack White!"  I hadn't heard of this "super" group up until that night.  What a great surprise.  I've always really admired Jack Whites playing and artistic flair.

I've been digging this song by the Raconteurs called "Old Enough".  It's on heavy rotation on my local radio station.  Only the version they're playing features Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe.  It's a great song with Skaggs on the mandolin and vocals and Monroe singing a great female lead/harmony part.   The song has an old time feel but great dymnamics and a great arrangement.

So I went on the Raconteurs myspace page today and watched this video. It's their version...I assume pre Skaggs and Monroe.  I REALLY like their arrangement here.  I miss Monroe's female vocals but other than that I think they've really welded two musical styles: bluegrassish country and good, hard electric guitar &organ rock n' roll.  I love their harmonies too. 


The Raconteurs "Old Enough"

The Raconteurs | MySpace Music Videos

Friday, June 25, 2010

This painting took my breath away.

Night Entangled, by Diana Vosburg

I'm in bed this morning, going through emails, doing the facebook thing and basically trying to take my thoughts away from the fact I feel as if someone filled my head with burning goo.  Yes, I caught the dreadful summertime cold.  Colds are bad enough but in the summertime they're even worse.  Period.  I have gotten through a book and a half though and have taken this opportunity to catch up with my blog.  That is good.  Anyway, enough about me.  Back to this amazing painting....

I receive a publication in the mail called artscope magazine....New England's culture magazine.  Through the same organization I get regular emails with updates about regional artists, art shows, juried exhibits, galleries, etc.  I think they do a really nice job getting the word and images out about a lot of really talented artists of high caliber and the galleries and museums that represent them.

Today's email highlights the above painting:
Night Entangled, by Holliston Mill Artist Dianna Vosburg
I love what looks to be her everyday subject matter.  Is it grass?  If so the grass takes on a whole life or persona of it's own, with the way it interacts with the starry sky and it's root system below.  It looks like the grass is involved in some kind of elaborate dance.  I think it really is.  A dance where what lies above and beneath are all one.  Oh, and what gorgeous color too!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gardening In Honor Of My Husband's Grandmother Phyllis

Josh's grandmother, Phyllis, passed away over a week ago after suffering for a long while with dementia.  I was lucky to get to know Grandma Phyllis a bit before this awful disease slowly took it's toll on her health and personality.  She was an art lover and painter.  Her art hangs in many places on the walls in my Grandpa Morris' & and Aunt Becca's home as well as in my mother and father-in-law's home.  Josh and I have two of her musically inspired paintings hanging in Josh's studio.  I've heard stories about how she loved to cook and entertain.  She also loved to have flowers in her garden beds around her house.  I can relate to her desire to live surrounded by beauty and to practice and live a creative life.

Last fall Aunt Becca asked if I would help her take care of the garden beds that she and her mother, Grandma Phyllis, used to tend.  Becca hired me to thoroughly weed then redesign the beds.  We've been having lots of fun working and bringing beauty back to the garden beds that Phyllis loved so much.  We are excited to have tended flower beds around the house again and look forward to the fall when Becca might hire someone to do some stone work to replace the old wood that has lined the beds for the past two decades.  It's a work in progress... 

Josh and I went down to Pennsylvania this past weekend for the memorial and before the guests arrived I weeded and dead headed the beds and flowers hoping that somehow Grandma Phyllis was enjoying and appreciating the flowers and plants.  It felt good to honor her in my own physical, private and creative way in her garden.

Here are some photos of the gardens...
Aunt Becca's and Grandpa Morris's home and gardens...  They live in a lovely spot surrounded by pasture in an energy efficient passive solar envelope house.

Here in this partially sunny spot as you walk towards the front entrance was clematis, liatris, and some lily's that Grandma Phyllis planted years ago.  I added a russian sage, heuchera, butterfly bush, portulaca, monarda, marigolds,  nepeta, echinacea and zinnia's.  I'm enjoying the mix of colors, a palette of purples, oranges, greens and a few pink shades for good measure.

I redesigned this bed and it may change further when some intended stone work is done this upcoming fall.  Here I planted some of my favorite plants.  The pink and airy flowered Meadow Sweet (Filipendula), Russian Sage, Butterfly Weed (Asclepias) as well as Grandma's Peonies which I moved and replanted.  She and my aunt also love marigolds so they are in the mix along with more echinacea and portulaca.

In front of the greenhouse windows are a couple smaller beds where I planted an ornamental grass I fell in love with last year called "Red Ribbons" which is a red switch grass.  As it grows and matures the blades vary from shades of green to shades of reddish purple.  In the bed closer to the door I repeated the theme of purple and orange with nepeta and asclepias.  A pink monarda is in the mix as well.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Poppy Perfection

I just took this photo before the rain started to fall.  It's pouring again.  The rain is good but unfortunately makes my poppies and peonies melt.  Luckily yesterday was rain free and I got the majority of my garden/yard work finished.... lawn mowed, some annuals planted in my shade garden, walking path's mulched with cedar bark, new seeds planted: carrots, beets, leeks & scallions.  I want to plant my three fruit trees, two apples and a peach, this weekend.  If I can accomplish this task sometime in the next two days I'll feel like things are all taken care of for the time being.  Josh is picking up electric poultry fencing for my chickens so I can put them on fresh grass and they can graze and eat bugs.  They will be so much happier plus their eggs are much better when they have access to fresh grass and bugs.  This afternoon I plan on going to a local nursery where they are having an ornamental pond/water feature workshop.  I want to learn more about how to care for my little pond.  I'd like to get some water plants and maybe a few fish but I really would rather not have an electric pump and filter running out there.  If I could have it be all natural it would be great.  We'll see what I learn.  I have a feeling a may come home with a water plant or two to try out.  Right now the pond is full of developing tadpoles.  The toad who I called Fred and posted about a little bit ago seems to have moved on.  I miss having his company out in the garden.  That's the news for now.  Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Gardening takes up all my time...

This time of year I am an obsessed gardener.  I can't stop.  I think about art, visual ideas and paintings I'd like to try to work on and produce.  I think about music and songs I want to learn, new projects I want to work on and people I want to contact about possible collaboration.  I think a lot.

When it comes down to it, all I want to do is be in my garden.  That's where the action is.  I don't go out for a hike or walk,  I haven't gone swimming in the pond,  I rarely call my friends or family,  I don't want to go to a museum or on a day trip.  I want to be home weeding, planting, sprucing up and enjoying my garden...and when I go to work,  I go to other people's gardens.  I like my job, a lot.  Am I a workaholic?  Obsessive Compulsive?

There is a time and place for everything and I want to milk the warmer months for all they're worth.  I can sit in my warm, well lit studio during the cold, dark months.  I can organize my musical thoughts and goals in front of a fire.

It's funny how interests can become obsessions, creep into your being, become a part of you when you were not necessarily expecting them to.   I hated to work in the garden as a kid.  I was kind of afraid of bugs.  I didn't really like physical labor.  I wasn't particularly interested in plants and flowers.  I liked them but didn't LOVE them.

All that has changed.  I look forward to weekends so I can keep working in my flower and vegetable gardens.  I get really dirty, sweat, and tire myself out.  I love watching bugs and how they live their lives and make their homes in the dirt and amongst the plants.  They are my company during my solitary days spent in my gardens.

I do miss painting and making music.  Maybe I can do everything?   Can I set a lofty goal to live a renaissance life like Leonardo DaVinci?  That sure would be cool!  But hours and days fly by and damn, I'm tired after a 9 hour day digging and weeding.  For now, I'll just keep reminding myself that there is a time and place for everything.

Here are a couple of my garden beds at home...
Terraced Vegetable Gardens
Herb, Vegetable, Pond and Perennial Gardens