THE ARTISTIC LIFE – Living the creative life in everything we do

Posts tagged ‘virginia’

Tangier Island Visit

One place I’ve wanted to see for a long time is Tangier Island, an isolated island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. In fact, it’s so isolated that the natives (particularly the older residents) have their own Elizabethan dialect, resulting from centuries of separation from the mainland. I’m all about experiencing different cultures, and this one is only a few hours away (2 hours by car, then 1.5 hours by boat).

This is the where we left from, in Onancock, VA (pic was taken the evening before).

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We took a lovely ride over in the Bay on the Joyce Marie.

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We rode around the island on a golf cart (people drive these carts, ride bikes or scooters, or just walk to get around the island).
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Time stands still here and reminds us of a bygone era, when things were safer and people more innocent.
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Crabbing is the traditional mainstay here on the island. It is certainly a struggling way of life, and the younger generations tend to leave the island to find other work. Here is a crab shanty.
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There is a lovely unspoiled beach on the island (but watch out for the sand flies!)
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Having some wholesome family-style food…
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Heading home on the ferry and relishing this unique American experience…
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This Little Piggy

Hello again! To make up for lost time, I’ll be sharing some items with you, so we can all catch up. On June 29, eight pig statues, including mine, were revealed in the town of Smithfield and one was even symbolically “christened” (Have you ever been to a pig christening before? This was a first for me.) Here is the town’s link to their Olden Days photo album, pig reveal included. You’ll see some photos of children with my pig, which makes me happy, as I wanted the design to appeal to kids. Below is a picture of me showing one side (pigs in the pillory) of Cultural Pig.

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Pigs Go Public

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I had a productive one…I taught my mom how to use her laptop, and, in turn, she taught me how to knit! Maybe this will be another crafty skill to incorporate into the artistic life.

Also, I recently discussed how my design was chosen for Smithfield’s Public Art Project. The press release has been sent out and the pigs are going public. Not only will I be having an interview with the Smithfield Times as one of the artists, but I’ve also made the WAVY news! Hopefully, there will be more press as time goes on and as the pigs make progress and are revealed. So far, I’ve primed my pig with gesso and have drawn the design on both sides. Next step will be to start painting the pig characters on the pig. Will keep you updated! Below is a photo of my pig (we’ll name her “Bess”) being primed on her belly…

Smithfield Pig Being Primed on Her Belly

My Pig Being Primed on Her Belly

This Little Piggy Went to Smithfield…My 1st Public Art Project

Let the “pig” jokes fly…I have been awarded the opportunity to participate in my first public art project! My design was juried and accepted by the Porcine Parade Panel, for a public art project in Smithfield, VA! For updates on this project, go the Smithfield Arts website. This will be a fun opportunity to bring the community and the arts together and promote the culture and tourism of the lovely historic town of Smithfield. You know about the well-known Cow Parade…where cities displayed custom artisticly painted and decorated cows designed by artists. Many cities have since used various animals in similar public art projects to promote tourism and excitement regarding the arts. Well, Smithfield is now living “high on the hog” with its Porcine project, where selected artists will paint/decorate pig statues, symbolizing the importance of the pig in the history and culture of Smithfield (we all know about Smithfield ham, right?)

I will be busy prepping and painting my hog for the next couple months to get ready for the big reveal in April (as I squeal with delight in hog heaven)!

This Blows! …A First Attempt at Glassblowing

The very exciting new state-of-the-art glass studio is now open at the Chrysler Museum. I have always been a fan of glass art, often purchasing blown glass ornaments and decorations on my travels. For the grand opening of this studio, an expert from Murano, Italy even recently performed and demonstrated his art. I was very excited to try out this skill with an hour-long class at the studio with a friend.

We were shown around the Hot Shop and the Cold Shop and the kiln area and given some safety information. Then our instructor gave us a demonstration of what we would be trying. There were 8 students, and after the demo, the lesson became hands-on. We were each given a metal rod, so that we could learn how to properly hold it and turn it while the molten glass was on the tip. Then we each had our turn taking the rod, putting molten glass on the tip, rotating, spinning, heating, trimming, cooling and so forth…Pardon me if I do not have all of the terminology right yet, as this was my first introduction to glassblowing.

It was a little scary performing all of the tasks, both in trying to remember all of the steps while the other students were watching, as well as hoping I wouldn’t burn my hands off, set the studio ablaze, fall into the furnace, or singe someone’s feet off. After all, the waivers we signed indicated that there was a remote possibility of death due to glassblowing activities…But we gleefully signed off on our waivers anyway, knowing that glassblowing was bucketlist material.

So, each of us nervously had our turn, but everyone stayed safe and was happy with the clear glass marbles that we made and kept as mementos of our initial attempts at glassblowing. My marble has “feet”. I don’t think it’s supposed to. But at least it can stand proudly and remind me of another fun experience I had, getting out of my comfort zone and learning something new.

I can’t wait to go back and try something else!

Sunshine Therapy

Dark Hollow Falls

Dark Hollow Falls on Skyline Drive

After the whole surgery/diet/radiation/isolation ordeal, it was time to get outdoors and enjoy life with some sunshine therapy. This also coincided with a holiday weekend off from work and the approach of the Fall foliage peak in the Shenandoah National Park region of Virginia. If you live anywhere near the Commonwealth of Virginia (even if you don’t), I highly recommend the winery region surrounding the Shenandoah Valley area, as well as Skyline Drive. In the 1000 Places to See Before You Die book, Skyline Drive is one of the 3 activities listed for Virginia. Personally, I would also include visiting a couple wineries in this area as well. Even Donald Trump loves Virginia wineries so much, that he bought one.

We drove the central section of Skyline Drive (from Thornton Gap to Swift Run Gap) and stopped at at least 15 overlooks, hiked 2 trails (one being part of the Appalachian Trail), viewed a waterfalls (see above), and ate lunch at Skyland. We had fantastic weather for it and will always remember the gorgeous views. What a way to celebrate the end of RAI treatment!

View from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park

View from Skyline Drive

Hayrides and Sunshine at the Farm

Sunday was the Meet and Greet for this year’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members at Batten Bay Farm in Carrollton, VA. This organic growing farm is in a beautiful location on Batten Bay, near the James River. The family has even been named the Farm Family of the Year 2011 by the local Chamber of Commerce.

We were blessed with warm sunshine for this Meet and Greet event. It included sampling some recipes using their farm ingredients, listening to a presentation about how the CSA works, introducing ourselves to the group, and a tour of the farm via hayride (OK, I secretly admit I enjoyed the hayride just as much as the preschoolers did). They have an amazing assortment of vegetable varieties, some of which I’ve never even heard of (and I consider myself a reasonably educated foodie about such things). It seemed like a fun group – this sort of thing seems to attract many like-minded people and families.

June 1st is the first day for pickup. I wonder what is in store for us!

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