Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Wow, what fabulous weekend in Madison! The end of last week was crazy as I was trying to finish pieces for the show and pack at the same time. I finished my ‘water’ pieces with the blue yarn combinations that I really liked (and wrote about last week). They now have new homes in Wisconsin. I’m planning to expand on the technique and visit a river theme that introduces an old maple tree hanging over a river. I sketched the scene I’m imagining, with grassy, weedy banks and a rocky streambed. I dug into my dark brown box and found a beautiful deep coffee color wool. Then I dug into my yarns and found three that I blended to approximate the color and texture of the trunk. I’ve started wrapping wires with these to create the branches and I’ll start crocheting leaves for the trees soon. I’m scheduled to do a show at the By Hand Gallery here in Bloomington in early August that explores fibers and Nature so I have to get busy again!
Anyway, back to the Madison Art Fair on the Square adventure. I rented a 15-passenger van, cleared out my pieces from local galleries, packed up the family and set out Thursday afternoon. The major complication was the fact that it was my seven-year-old’s birthday, but we took candles for the trip, had presents in a restaurant and a pool party at the hotel. The Webkinz were a big hit, and the picture of the bike in the basement kept him excited the whole trip. I was worried about the forecast for an 80% chance of showers or thundershowers during set-up, but instead we drove through the rain and had a perfectly clear, cool evening to set up. The boys rode their scooters on the paved walkways around the state capitol while the HoA (husband of artist) and our friends and hosts Wendy and Duane helped with set-up. We packed it up late Friday and headed to their country house well after dark, led on by the unflappable Victoria (our fearless Garmin set with a British accent). She’s more patient with the HoA’s driving than I am, but we got there safe and sound.
The deluge came in people on Saturday morning. The show officially started at nine, but the traffic started much earlier—I sold my first piece at 8:30. I heard that the crowd was around a quarter million people, which is hard to imagine until you see the crowds. I decided that the people in Madison were a lot like their counterparts in Bloomington—warm, friendly and eclectic. I didn’t get to sit in my chair too much because the crowds were too thick and my booth was too full, but that was terrific. I had so many delightful conversations and compliments that I felt a little taken aback and honored to be there. At one point on Saturday I was visited by a very nice group of people from a company called Epic, which is located in Verona, WI. Many people in the expedition sported identical red shirts, and I sincerely hope that they made it back to the mother ship. I was very pleasantly surprised when the leader of the group started pointing out pieces that she wanted to buy for their headquarters, which included “Breakfast in Bed”, my piece with the mama robin feeding her babies in the nest. That piece took first prize in the Tree City Art Competition a couple of years back, and it always evokes special emotions for me as a mom.
After a beautiful weekend of cool, sunny weather I’m back in my art studio, inspired and ready to weave. Many thanks to Wendy and Duane, who took such good care of us while we were there, including feeding us grilled salmon, raspberry pie from the garden, and wonderful Wisconsin beer. I still have the comical sight in my mind of driving the quarter mile down their driveway into the wilds of Nature and seeing the two old dogs sleeping in front of the house as a family of six rabbits bounced around them in the yard. What undoubtedly used to be a ferocious chase scene is now one of mutual acceptance and peace, so I guess there’s hope for the world.
Until next week…