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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wolves Will Not Eat Me Again

With the lambs safely born and under the wing of their mamas, I can focus again on art. I've been painting, but in broken up time frames. Now, I'm revving up for exciting new things - like painting for a new gallery in Atlanta that opens May 5th called Dalton Cowan Gallerie. [I will post their info when their new site is up soon] I have known the two owners for a long time now and I am so happy and jazzed to have my work there. Rob is a woodworker and artist and Stephanie is a renowned artist in her own right. The Atlanta market is a strong one, and I know they are going to soar with this gallery. "Teasel Weed and Dirt Greet Spring", shown here,is one of the pieces I will send down there. A lot of people ask me what teasel is - it is one of the most magnificent 'weeds' around - Tall, strong stalks, it grows anywhere and anyhow. It gets a cone-like flower on top with purple prickles that browns out and makes a lovely dried flower. I hope to harvest them this year and sell them for the farm. Most people out here would call that nuts, but I know there are some kindred souls out there that know the beauty of weeds such as these. I have teasel friends all over the property, and I appreciate how they feed the finches, and they also make wonderful hair brushes for all my little elf and fairy friends that live in the oak grove on the property.

I am feeling re-energized after a topsy-turvy business week. I am pulling all my work out of the Santa Fe/Santa Barbara outlets for business reasons. When one door closes, many more open. Within a few hours of the my decision, I was freed up to do some little abstracts instead of falling into the old mind frame - 'let's see, that guy only likes it when I do red ones, or women with birds." Sometimes an outlet gets hung up on what's selling, and they don't allow the artist to expand and flow where their muses want to take them. They are scared they will lose income or customers. They want you to do want is safe for them, and cloth it in words like "I really think that type of painting is your best, do more, they sell quickly". You get caught up in in it. And to qoute my guide Neil Young, "'People want to know why you don't make your most famous record over and over again,' he said. 'Because it's death.'"

Trusting oneself is one thing. Finding other people you can really trust to talk about your art in a helpful, guiding manner is another. While in the end it is me, the artist, that must listen to my own voice and trust it, it is also very helpful to find certain guides in one's life that can really help you through the muck of your process and path as an artist. Sometimes you think you've found one, but often it is wolf in lamb attire, calmly and Buddha like holding your hand, and offering you trinkets and gold coins to keep you going when you need it most as you the artist make your way through the forest.

This week, I was reminded that besides my own inner voice to trust, I have the wisdoms of some wonderful artist compadrés to back me up- they know who they are. I have some loyal customers that buy pieces some wolves leave on roadsides. And when I look at a painting like the one I have shown here, I say, "Bring it on wolves, you can't eat me."