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

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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Paco celebrates the return of the survivors

Many of you already know our little Paco is a real worrier - he worries about the pumpkins getting eaten every year and he worries about surviving hunting season. This year he confided in me that he didn't want to write his annual tips to surviving hunting season because he wanted to stay in the barn and write poetry.

I encouraged this, as poetry is a wonderful way for Paco to express himself and shed some worry.

But he also began a new tradition to celebrate the end of hunting season. As each one of his old friends returns out of the forest, he presents them with a pumpkin friend. This gives him great comfort, to know his pumpkin will be used as a pillow or side table, versus being made into a pie. As much as he likes pie, he becomes conflicted when he has to kill fruit or vegetables to make one.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Floating while grounded

More than ever before, except perhaps before I was born, I am working in tandem, often unconsciously, with my life's elements. I have not been painting as of late - visuals seem to be coming to me in words and fabric - but I went to sleep two nights ago and an image came to me very clearly. It was not exactly this image before you, it was courser with the donkey holding, gently with his teeth, by my long braid. I awoke thinking of the image and felt I must put it to paper with color to embellish my emotion of the day.

Sitting down to work, it evolved, and although I still might go back and do the other image that came to me, I was urged to add the mystery face alteration. I have been watching my old goose, Priscilla, very closely in the last weeks. She is old, yet beautiful and has an orange globe on her head. She was with me most certainly when I conceived this painting. I am very moved by the whiteness of the donkey and the hair.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Agasped au naturelle goat mask, not available in a store near you

I am one of those people that feels that Halloween has been tarnished by adults and the advertisers that have created an empire of really tacky outfits and masks. Call me an old fart, but my mom made our costumes, darn it. And we made real popcorn balls too, and our candy bags were pillow cases, and yea, we went out in gangs of five year olds - in the dark - and walked for maybe 20 or 30 miles to gather candy. It's my childhood, I tell it like it is.

Since I don't have children, I take great pride in passing down the importance of being a self entertaining unit to the barnyard gang.

"If you want to celebrate Halloween, you need to make your own costumes - I can help, but it has to be your idea and we use natural or home made materials. And no fake blood." I told a few of the goats this weekend.

Stevie glanced at me with confidence.

"I don't need any materials. I am going as an Agasped Goat and I have been practicing by looking at myself in the water bucket," he said, as he then gave me his Halloween face.

The Head Troll didn't budge, but little Hazel, the smallest remaining barn cat, fled to her hay bales. Stevie was proud, but as I walked away I heard him consoling Hazel,

"It's just for one night, don't be scared,I'm hoping to freak out the rams,just once," he said to the tiny cat.

Stevie is handicapped for life due to neglect, but was saved by Sanctuary One where we adopted him. He gives kisses. Read more posts on him or sponsor him.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pino's Italian Lessons

Pino and I are learning Italian, one of the most beautiful languages in the world. His ancestors came from Sicily and i just love the language and want to stretch my mind.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Matilda's shining

I was ending a day of photo taking when I came upon Matilda in the old barn, standing where she knows the hay will fall at dusk. The rich tones of the old wood, her white spots shining from the light emanating from an outer clouded sky all made her elderly glance even more beautiful than in daylight.

There are many spirits in the old barn. I have experienced many but have not taken proper time to write about them. I am still learning who they are and am not sure how to share them, or if I should. I do believe that Giacomo comes and goes. I sense him whenever I place my head down on Matilda's rounded shoulders.

You can read about how the old donkey Matilda came to Apifera, and you can also help defray the costs of caring for an old animal with a sponsorship at any gift level you choose.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In which I ponder my pig

The nuances of her back always give me pause. One slight movement of her leg and her landscape alters. She is a moving mound of white bristles and she is my pig.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

United in nature

Pino tried to figure out what would happen if 1% of the The One Percenters' salary were used to educate people on the plight of the donkey or neglected animals [or children or the elderly], but the math made our heads spin.

We do not believe that the wealthy should take care of us in areas we are already adept at and prospering in, but when an imbalance happens in nature, nature steps in.

So we stand in our fields today, woman, donkeys, old goats, geriatric fowl, worms working for no pay, and we ask The One Percenters- "Could you go stand in a field, just for an hour, alone, unwired, and commune with a worm or two, look at yourself in the stream's mirror and see what role you could take to shift the wealth structure of the world? If you don't feel the wealth structure needs to shift, we ask you to spend one week in the field, gathering wood for warmth, rubbing stones for fire, and watching birds to see where the best berries are. If you come across a bear or cougar, you are on your own, in a hierarchy you seem to have forgotten."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The donkey ate the apple

I'm working as fast as I can making more Raggedy Aprons and other items, like this lavender filled pillow, for the Etsy shop. Sewing 'raggedy' takes a lot of energy, but I'm always filled with a heart of oxygen and my skin feels dewy and soft when I'm done.

What is "raggedy" sewing? It means I close my eyes and the breeze in my heart lifts my braids up in the air. Sometimes I open one eye so I can see the animals in the barnyard or distant fields.

If you go to the Etsy site and the Raggedy items have sold, don't despair. I'm humming along and will keep posting.

Sales from aprons and items on Etsy help old animals on an as need basis as well as the Apifera rescues. Evey June, Pino the donkey has a big Pie Day where people donate aprons and the net sales go to a selected animal charity we know and trust. You can also buy donated vintage aprons at Pino's Apron Gallery.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Paco's pumpkin...again

This has always been one of my favorite pictures of Paco, my little guard, my worrier, my poet.

It was taken back in '08 when I used to run the donks in the barnyard. I reread that post just now and it made me want to share it again
- I have such a soft spot for Paco, he had such a time fitting in here and settling, but I'm so glad we all were patient with each other.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

The fields are alive with love making

As I entered the old barn, I looked up to see three separate groups of ewes. I looked at the list of names on the wall that I had posted, looked down at Frankie The Head Troll, and asked her if she had anything to do with this. While she didn't admit anything, nor did the sheep, I suspect it went something like this...

It was that one day of the year that was filled with a mix of emotions for the ladies, their anxiety blanketed in their always calm faces. As each one proceeded up to the list of names posted on the old barn wall, the others waited patiently to see who they would spend the next 45 days with.

"I really want Little Walter," said Betty.

"Everyone wants Little Walter," said Bessie, her sister.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Etsy shop is relaunched

I took some time off from Etsy, but with the holidays approaching and the economy slumping, I thought I'd add to the Etsy bandwagon again and relaunch my shop.

I'll be making more Raggedy Folk Dolls and Aprons [with collaged donkey art and more ideas percolating]. There are small and large prints for every budget. Some illustrated fabric items will be posted too as they are made.

Of course you can always buy my high end originals at my main art site.

Meanwhile, in the barnyard...all the ladies - sheep ladies, that is - are highly anticipating the annual posting of who gets to make love to which ram. There is a lot of whispering and anticipation this year with Little Walter's arrival. He is quite the looker. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Itty things in life

I have returned from cloud dancing. The faces I left were all there to greet me, including Itty. Cloud dancing was relaxing and nice, and the perspective of my world here was freshened. I am spending what is our first rainy day, holed up in the barn with my flock, trimming feet and worming them. This is a good way to reground to my land and life here, after floating above the palm trees and ocean for 3 days.