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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Culling, bunnies and freedom to grow

I have been reinspired by this new setting in Maine, and have not even truly gotten into it in earnest. The Wood here is important to me, and in time, The Sea. I seem to go from painting in grays and whites and then back to blues and whites, and then there are the bunnies. Last week I challenged myself to paint about Aleppo...I guess the bunnies in the night glow was an antidote.

Having Isabelle Noir in the studio is really nice. She is very affectionate and likes my company. She sits right by the chair, and will hop up and sit behind me. I think I need to get her chair to sit right beside me, don't you think? I know, I don't allow comments anymore, so how can you respond. {For the record, I felt there are so many, too many, places for people to comment on social platforms. I'm tired of it. So that's all it is.}

This has already been a year of 'culling'. When I first announced our move from Oregon to Maine back a year ago, I could tell I'd lost some followers. I wasn't sure why, and it felt strange. Some were Oregon animal followers and even though I went to great strides to bring my Misfits, some quit reading, or left the newsletter. But I don't look at those as losses anymore. They have their own reasons, and often it isn't personal, it's boredom, change of interest...need to simplify. But I also realized when I looked in my data base, many of those people never contributed anything to my art, career, or Apifera. Some might've bought an art card, or a book, but most were not reciprocating what I was giving out over many years-stories, hard work, humor, whim, art, books...puppet movies. And please, i am not suggesting by reading here you 'owe' me. But I have to make a living, and I've been writing an ad-free blog for over ten years, and I work hard to provide refreshing, heartfelt, real content. I think I add value to the world. I want to get paid like anyone else-eventually.

So, some are culled either in mind, or in other ways.

It's a wonderful stage of life, this about to turn 59 in spring stage. I don't need-and I can say I seek it very infrequently as I age-the approval of others.

One of the worst things you can lay on an artist or writer is to try to hold them down to keep doing what you like, and not what they internally are called to do- one should watch them like a growing child, in splendor as that artist grows, expands, changes, falls, gets up-and that means the color palette changes, the subject matters change, the tone might be tweaked-it's all part of an artist growing and being in their own personal flow. And to be clear, when someone you are following changes their style or subject in a way that doesn't resonate, by all means, look away, cull yourself. But the artist must cull too, and recognize which 'followers' need to be culled, even if they are culled invisibly.

But I have felt immense freedom of late acknowledging my own culls.

I do need my bunny. She is truly sweet and I am already very fond of her presence in the studio.

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