Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Kind little moments

When I finished these yesterday, I thought they were too kind, not strong. But today when I put them up on the store, I felt different. I commented to someone recently that I found it odd that I am in the middle of some conflicting feelings about some things, yet my paintings still seem peaceful, calm, optimistic, mystical, hopeful. It is as if I make a safe, ideal world in a 2D space, a space I can retreat in, or perhaps actually live in. Perhaps, as I walk in this world of war, financial uncertainty, separation from old friends and family, the shocking realization that people actually do die, and the anxiousness of a new shepherd's impending culling of some animals she now feeds and shelters - perhaps these little paintings are my ability to see one quiet moment of beauty and peace, and that is what I prefer to recognize consciously at this time. I choose the latter observation. Painting can help uncover on a conscious level, what the subconscious already knows - for me anyway. It might take days or months or years to see something in a painting that you knew all along, you just weren't ready to accept it, or announce it to yourself. So perhaps these paintings also hold secrets I know deep down, but just don't feel like seeing 'out here'.

I'm glad I'm the age I am now. I couldn't be thinking this way, or doing any of this farming stuff, in my 30's or early 40's. I wasn't ready to leave the world of 'revolving things' quite yet. That time was great and all, it was just so much more self absorbing. We're all self absorbed in certain ways, and an artist has to be, but then it was constant analyzing of one's self, looks, every word out of your mouth "what does that mean?', reading countless books on inner peace and soul finding missions, looking for signs in so many things, sharing way too much with way too many people, never getting filled up with any of it, and always looking for the upswing, caring too much about peripheral objects and about what people thought. Yea, my skin was firmer, but it's still skin that functions as it should and that's all I need.

I have all these creatures to care for now, 22 acres that gets carved out bit by bit, an old barn that is being helped by our hands. A marriage that caresses me, a husband that really likes me even after a 'crabapple moment' as we call them. I looked at a magazine the other day at the grocery store which I haven't done in ages. It showed the new trends in handbags. At a time in my life, this would have been stimulating, now it isn't. I'm stimulated by what's right in front of me. And when I need more than that, I just have to turn in 5 degree increments to see another view. OK, I would like a donkey. OK, I still get turned on when we get to buy new lumber...Hmmm..I guess maybe I am self absorbed, but it is in daily moments, not personal motives, career moves, award shows, clothes, makeup, trends, new restaurants. The lumber will help the barn or make a house for the goat. the donkey will protect the sheep, and ...play with me. I can dress him up in fun outfits. It took awhile to get here, I bought a lot of clothes and shoes and stuff too. Didn't need most of them. And I do need a new pair of shoes because Huck ate my favorite studio clogs. But it's been 7 months, and I just didn't feel too rushed to get them, I will, sometime.. "I used to have a treasure chest, got so heavy that I had to rest. I let it slip away from me, didn't need it anymore, so I let it slip away...." ...you know, Neil.

Oh, and Coral Bell had a beautiful, chocolate ewe lamb last nite at 5pm. I was so proud of her. New mom and all, she did it all with such dignity. And In keeping with naming everything after plant life, I have officially named the little ewe abandoned by her mom " Meadow Rue" . She reminds me of little Roo from Pooh Bear, as I hold her in my jacket while I feed her the bottle.