Whether you celebrate The Night of the Ancestors (Samhuin), Dias de la Muertos, Halloween, or all of them, Happy Mid-Autumn Celebrations!

little light night music at Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary

little light night music at Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary

After 22 years at Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary, we have a tar and chip driveway which is a quarter mile long. Parts of it used to wash out with heavy rain, so it’s a big improvement. Talk about infrastructure maintenance. This was an unexpected opportunity for folks here on the lane. It’s great timing for the 13th Annual Autumn Open Studio on November 6. There have been times when it’s snowed on that first Saturday of the month. So, art lovers, feel secure for your travel plans here!

Kathleen O'Brien Studio Annex at Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary, driveway before and after

Kathleen O’Brien Studio Annex at Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary, driveway before and afte

 

13th Annual Autumn Open Studio

13th Annual Autumn Open Studio Invitation Postcard

13th Annual Autumn Open Studio Invitation Postcard

I’m super excited about this event. For ten months I’ve been creating the books for “Alexander’s Library”, 26 new Artist books for all seasons. You can see them for the first time. While the pandemic has caused challenges, it has given me the opportunity to re-imagine the direction my art takes. Formatting painting into guidebooks of the seasons fulfills my desire to create a legacy, an intimate form that can be touched, is portable and space efficient.

Also see 35 new mixed media collage works, from series “Backstories”, “Tributaries” and “October”,12 new rare beads necklaces, new greeting card sets, and new journals adapted from “Alexander’s Library” books.

new books, art, cards & necklaces for 13th Annual Autumn Open Studio

artist books, new cards & necklaces for 13th Annual Autumn Open Studio

 

"October 1-4", details, by Kathleen O'Brien

“October 1-4”, details, by Kathleen O’Brien

Opening

Opening explores the many ways we see ourselves, our surroundings, and our psychological state after a season of global lockdowns. There is still time to see it, until October 31.

This online exhibition features a wide selection of works by the international art community of the Art NXT Level program. Through their art and stories, this group of artists shares how their work and our world have changed. Our mentor Sergio Gomez curated this show, and you can see it by following this link. I am honored that he chose “Bamboo Structures” to be included.

©Kathleen O'Brien, "Bamboo Structures", detail

©Kathleen O’Brien, “Bamboo Structures”, detail

From my studio window at Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary, I see two bamboo forests. Bamboo has become a symbol of this time of isolation. Just as it gave sanctuary to the thousands of returning Red winged blackbirds each spring evening, I have been sheltered by its swaying song and presence. It is flexible and strong, as evidenced by its bending to ice storms. Bamboo responds to the chaos and order of nature. We’ve used it for garden fences and tipis, impromptu flag pole and awning rods. The empty space around the bamboo shapes hints at tentative rebuilding of our lives as we are opening up. Pastel colors suggest a newborn hope of freedom. The writings imbue the painting with messages about their good company.

A look ahead

For the third year I’ll be celebrating the season of cheer with a small works studio special. I already have several series of 16 ready to be revealed around Thanksgiving weekend. To be honest, you can preview them at the Open Studio, Backstories and Tributaries, coming soon.

A bit of fun

Remember summer? We were so glad to make a break for it and have a nice long road trip to see our children, grandlads and friends. It was a breather, despite the occasional smoky air.

I usually do not make art when I’m on holiday. This time, since I am focusing on making books for Alexander’s Library, I made a 16-page book and tucked it inside a travel art bag. I gave much thought to paring down the amount and type of materials to include that would be conducive for any age person, artist or not, to add their artistic comment. The result was A Journey Memory Theater, a souvenir book from our summer adventure. Everyone had a hand in it.

It was inspiring to see the progress Robert Bellows and veterans assistants have made since our last visit to Warrior StoryField. Our grand-lad and son-in-law are now part of the team. They are forging the Phoenix’s feathers. Read more about this here.

Closeup of Phoenix feathers at Warrior StoryField

Closeup of Phoenix feathers at Warrior StoryField

KPAN

A reminder for Kentucky Artists that the application time for the Kentucky Peer Advisory Network is open now until December 15. Get the support you need from mentors, sponsored by The Kentucky Art Council!

Kentucky Peer Advisory Network screenshot

Kentucky Peer Advisory Network screenshot

 

last Samhuin harvest at Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary

last Samhuin harvest at Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary

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