Studio Work and Food

Artists got to work…..

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Here Sue is coloring some of her pendants, using her hand as a pallet, would someone please tell her that is unacceptable…..she won’t listen to me.  Even something as simple as this can put unwanted chemicals into your body.

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Artists got to eat…….

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Here’s a pork loin, rubbed with wonderful spices, sitting on a bed of collard greens, onions and garlic with yellow carrots, all ready to be baked at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

As soon as it’s done, it’s back in the studio for us.

Looking for waterfalls

Sue and I took a day to relax by a stream and draw, explore and maybe do a little watercolor.

The summer has been so dry in the Adirondacks, one of the driest on record.

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This is Roaring Brook in Keene Valley, and it is dry.  No water here at all.

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Here is where the water should be coming from off of Giant Mountain, but there’s only a trickle of water coming down Roaring Brook Falls, and it drying up before it gets too far.

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We did find water, but it was all very low and slow moving.

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It was great for exploring for rocks, of which we found some really nice smooth ones to add to our garden collection.

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Came across this little frog sitting on a leaf.

A walk in the woods.

I love just exploring to see what catches my eye and imagination.

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The three photos above are all closeups of parts of the following photo.

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It was the leaf that caught my eye.

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A glint of sun caught this spiders web hanging in the tree.

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The simplicity of walking the woods
can change you day in so many ways.

The Wild Center

We were here ten years ago in Tupper Lake when the opened the center.  We came back to see what was new and to take the tree house walk that they’ve made.

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First though we checked out the exhibits in the main building.  What an incredible resource for schools in the Adirondacks this center is.  Besides permanent exhibits they have traveling ones and several stations where students can do hands on learning.

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This fellow was walking around with a small injured barn owl.  He wore these glasses to show how large human eyes would be in relation to the owls.

We brought our own lunch, they have lots of nice places to picnic, but they do have a cafe inside as well.

But we came to try out the Tree House.

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It’s quite an involved structure.  Large metal tubes keep the walk way in place.

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Here Sue is sampling a large board game they have set up for “kids”.

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Plenty of place to sit.

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A suspension bridge takes you to a giant tree remnant that they made out of cement, it looks very real.

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From inside the tree looking out.

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A giant web for the “Kids” to play in.

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Wonderful views of the Adirondacks all around.

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At the highest point they have a giant nest you can climb up to.

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But no one told me…….

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It was an active nest!

End of Summer Repairs and Garden Shots

There’s always work to do on the studios, home and gallery.  3,000 sq feet of trouble or pleasure, depending on what needs the work.

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Here Sue is on top of the studio’s cleaning the chimney.  She wouldn’t let me go up there because I have been accident prone lately, having been laid up first with my right leg when a chair fell on it and then with my left leg when I had a reaction from a bee sting.

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The garden flowers where spectacular this year, lots of sunny dry days, the vegetable garden supplied us with everything we needed and more.

The last day of August 2016 brings a much needed little rain.  I’ve seen small streams dry up this summer.  We’ve had to pump our gardens full of water, lucky we have a well that is 600 feet deep with lots of cold granite water.

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Some of our sunflowers top eleven feet.  We’ll leave them up until the birds have their fill.

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We haven’t sold Sue’s Jack in the Pulpit water fountain yet.  It gets a lot of looks and comments but no one is springing for the $1200, which is quite a bargain.

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We’ve had better apple years, but we’ll get enough for our apple pie fetish.

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The blueberries were fantastic this year, we have our pies and quarts frozen for the whole winter.

Having all your fruit and veggies canned and frozen is a good feeling, like having all your wood stacked for the long winter.

End of Summer

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For the last weekend in August we did a turkey on the wood fired rotisserie.  I slowed cooked and smoked it for five hours, great way to spend a day.  Some corn and balls of stuffing wrapped in alum, right on the coals……they were yummy.

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Unfortunately the turkey never made it to the table.  Scott thought I was fooling around just before I took my first big bite…….it’s only ten feet to the table…..but the white meat was all gone and I stuffed a leg in my pocket……

Harvest

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We took the netting off of the blueberries today and picked our final three quarts.  We have a dozen blueberry pies and another 8 quarts frozen in the freezer.  Our tomatoes keep coming we have bruschetta almost every day or make a sauce.

Fresh Kiln pieces

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Neriage – is a decorative process that involves stacking colored clay’s and then slicing through the cross section to reveal a pattern, which can then be used as an applied decoration.  Sue’s Neriage mugs have been very popular, these are hand made from slabs and not thrown on the wheel.

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A couple of bowls caught my eye.  I love the new colors Sue is having fun with.

Walk Around

It’s a quiet Sunday in Jay New York.  Business is open.  We’ve hit a ten year average for July so that is good because the month started off slow.

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I started off with a walk around the lake, a couple of kayakers were out there.  I generally like to walk with the intention of making a discovery.  It doesn’t have to be large or important, the thing is to leave yourself open to discovery, you never know where it might lead you.

So today has been a day keeping myself open to ideas.  I like to think that I am a temporary archeologist ready to make a find.

7_31_16_16 What better way than to sit under a tree, comfortably with sketch paper, note paper and my nook.

From this vantage point I can also see if anyone pulls into the gallery, because I’m in the shop today and Sue is glazing a kiln.  I can see our little 3,000 foot complex of gallery, studio and home.  I see the garden in the back and the garden under the road sign.

How about a walk around.

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I photo shopped out the buildings across the street on this one, too distracting.  When we put up our first sign 34 years ago there were only trees across the street.  We are selling hammocks again this year so we display one out front.  We keep the large flower containers well groomed and inviting.

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The garden in front of the gallery always gets nice comments and especially the water fountains that Sue designs.

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The gardens are an endless source of discovery every minute of the day.

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We have road signs on each corner of the property as well and under each we have Lilies.

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From the east corner looking at the house, studios and gallery.  Our mural is now 26 years old.

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On the back stoop is a container of basil, very soon to be pesto in the freezer.

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Continuing around the property the back garage door is open.  Here is where the chemicals for all the glazes are kept.  Just pounds and pounds of limestone, silica and the like.

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It has been a great campfire season.  But it is very dry right now.  However I’ve been having wonderful evenings back here with poetry and drumming.  Sue’s not a campfire girl so I mostly go into fantasy mode here and lose myself for a couple of hours in verse.

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A little utility shed is where I keep my campfire drum.

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Then we come to the kiln shed where we do the Raku and pitfire work.

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We had to net our tomatoes because the Blue Jays or Chipmunks were pecking at them.

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The sweet golden small tomatoes are turning nicely, every day we start with a Bruschetta now.

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Our raspberries are sparse this year so we didn’t net them, we’ll share these with the birds.

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On the other hand, the blueberries are prolifically crazy this year.  We will have a years supply when all is said and done.

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Banana peppers, yum.

OK, no more photos, that was the walk around.  I’d better head back to my chair under the tree, and make some arm chair discoveries,  this was exhausting!

Birthday and studio work

I always pick blueberries either on or around my birthday on the 26th day of July.  This year CJ came with me and we went up Owls Head, nice and early for a full day of picking.  Only they were all dried up like raisins.  There was a lot of berries but being such a dry summer they were tiny, wrinkly and tasted terrible.

Our own bushes at home are very prolific this year and we will achieve our yearly goal of a year long supply of blueberries frozen, blueberry jam and blueberry pies.  But we are able to water them and of course they have the correct soil and tender loving care.

So that was a disappointment.  I didn’t even take any picking blueberry pictures and that really bummed me out after I got home and realized I never released my camera.

So here is my favorite berry picking photo from around 2007.

Birthday Boy  pick blueberries 7/26/2007. photo by Nancie Battaglia
photo by Nancie Battaglia

I was all alone on Jay Mountain picking berries when my friend Nancie shows up shoots this photo and goes on her way along the ridge.  Thanks again Nancie!

And here’s a poem I wrote that day…….

Blueberry Picking on Jay Mountain

I make my living as an artist these days,
but once it was only poetry.
and I made no living.

I decided to make a painting to go
with each poem, that is why the title
of my art always comes to me first.

Sometimes the title is so fulfilling
that the art never gets created.
The pleasure was in the written word.

The satisfaction was in the thought
worked out and brought down
from that level where all the gods play

Where all the poets amuse themselves
spending their time touching all the poetry,
and picking all the blueberries

 

Ahh……some nice memories on Jay Mountain picking berries.

Anyway….had a great birthday celebration with the family.  Emily and Zane came up and that was such a treat.  Zane is a walking toddler now.
7_29_16_17_29_16_4Emily has her hands full, he’s a powerful 9 1/2 month old, he can reach up to grab the table edge and then lifts himself off the floor like a gymnast.

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CJ made the appetizers, grilled pineapple wrapped in bacon, a nice bruschetta, and perfect shrimp in a crispy cup with herbs.

Main course was filet mignon and wonderful light salads and then CJ brought out dessert.
7_29_16_3I didn’t go with cake this year I told CJ to surprise me, so we had strawberry tarts with mini lemon meringue pies and mini chocolate moose pies.  They were all fun and good.

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In the studio, Sue is working on Tea Pots.
7_29_16_5Here are two large eggs.  A woman saw Sue’s smaller eggs in her sculpture and asked if she could make her a couple of large ones that she could paint……so here they are waiting for pickup.