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

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. #EIN# 82-2236486

All images

©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Muses say "paint' and the donkey gets randy

It's time. The muses have told me. Revvings to get a canvas on the wall again. My motives for getting up in the morning change slightly. Instead of only thinking about farm chores, how to make pickles, ram buying and horse training, I can reclaim my other role, as artist. The break I took from canvases and painting in late July is coming to an end, as I have more and more daily longings to be in my studio solely to paint.

I have also been seeing a certain canvas direction in my head, and it is there for longer each day. Next week, I'll be back at it. The break was necessary. I grudgingly have to admit, I can't do all things at all times. I do things intensely. The intense 2 months working with my horse allowed us to take leaps we wouldn't have. I worked intensely on getting lavender products going, getting the online stores going, finding new sales for the farm. Oh yes, bought a donkey in there and started a started a pie service with him...Then there was and is the farm peace movement. Perhaps it is good that no one from DC has answered Stella and Iris' letters, as I might have to somehow get them out east for public appearances.

But now, I am ready. I think art is really the one thing I do best. I do okay in other things. But somewhere in another realm I was given an ability to feel intensly, and translate those intense feelings, happy or sad or whatever, onto a piece of art. It won't translate for everyone, but just enough to make the art a conduit for some. I have no idea what it does for them or perhaps helps them with, but I take it very seriously, that gift. I do not consider making art 'play' as some suggest it should - "be a child again, play, paint, draw..." - Bunk, it's a hard exploration each time, a struggle to start but once in it I can't stop. Play is skipping down the road with Huck at my side. Nothing else matters on the human ground while painting - and that is why the farm is so important as a balance. Because what is on the human ground does matter, and adds value to my life and heart. Before the farm, I floated in my head a lot, I would trance at the drop of a hat. The farm, its dirt, the need for me to always connect my hands to physical things and animals that are rooted on the physical earth - keeps me a spirt having a human experience, not the other way around.

So this week has been full of tying up loose ends, cleaning the studio, preparing my pencils - just like I did before heading off to a new school year. There is something wonderful about the turning of summer to fall. The week has also been full of animal angst. It started with me taking a trip to urgent car to get a tetanus shot after I rescued Mr. Pumpkin Head from something he got stuck in - his sweet little face was capable of latching on to my calf with all teeth sunk in like a boa constrictor. If you've ever had a cat do this, you know the anguish bleats that came out of my medium build body. He was scared, I don't blame him, but he's the biggest trouble maker on the farm, a little bully really. Later in the week I kept finding curved marks on the goat's backs where hair was missing. I suspected Pino might be kicking out at them over feeding time, but the marks were on their backs, not where a kick would occur. The hair was totally gone, but no raw bleeding area. Perhaps being ripped out by blackberry bushes, which can do that. They are after all covered in berry stains at day's end. But I still suspected Pino. Stella was in heat this week, and yesterday I heard heard yelp in pain and saw her running away from a sheepish looking Pino. There on her back was a new mark, no hair, but also a slight gash made by a sharp tooth - he had been biting her, perhaps trying to mount her. Some other hints that our dear Pino needs...well...female companionship: he has taken a real fondness to my mare, Sky, looking longingly at her and trotting with his lips curled up as we ride by; and the little lady killer has become quite fond of...ahem...me - running behind me a bit too, well, let's just say in a 'randy' manner. Not aggressive, just with that 'gotta get me some of that" look. We had thought we'd keep Pino 'intact' in case we wanted to breed him, unless he gave us problems. But with Joe Pye Weed and Mr. T on the way, and 3 breeding rams to sell, there's enough testosterone in the field for now. He is a nice donkey, and a baby would be so precious. But adding more donkeys would mean growing my pie delivery service to new heights, and much too much toe painting....

So, Pino has a date with the doctor for a - you know. They will come to the farm and do it while he is put under. I told him not to worry, that after it's over, we will be much more able to focus on his pie service, and he will still have the same heart. He blinked, and leaned into me. One must be brave in facing changes, even when you are just a little donkey.


Donna said...

A really wonderful post. Art IS hard work, whether that be painting, writing, dance, or a whole host of other things, you must immerse yourself if you're going to be any good. I also love this time of year -- new beginnings, wonderful colors, that bite in the air.

Oh, and I LOVE the buckets!

Summer Pierre said...

I love this post--I really relate to it. I also LOVE baking pies and think it's about time to get on down to my fall ritual of baking one. Have a wonderful time in the studio and wish I could get one of your pies! Thank you for the sweet birthday wishes!

Sally Veganini said...

I love this post too!

I especially related to your musings about art, taking you to almost trancelike head spaces- and your need for a balance, away from that, which the farm provides..

I'm not sure about what others get from your art- but all the pieces I have seen on your website, have this incredible soothing/calming effect on me.. ????? Love them!

Thanks for your comment on my cupcake blog-
Maybe like your painting hiatus- I needed these 3 months downtime to re-group.. As I'm feeling some cupcakes shuffling about inside now, just waiting to come out :)

Loner said...

Woohoo - he is going to become a real donkey! I thought of your story last week when we took our kitties in for the big snip - and they like being real!

Jade said...

Yes, I can drive myself insane and wear myself out working on art. But on the flip side, some days I can just have fun with it and get equally good results.

September has become my favorite month too. All the beauty of summer, but with cooler evenings, and a hint of fall. Pleasant memories trickle in with the changing angle of the sunlight.

You are so lucky to have a farm to balance your artistic temperment.

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~