Tag: gardening

newsnewsnewsnews…

Well, it’s hot. If you’ve been wondering whether I have given up working in the studio during this heat the answer is…sort of.

finishedfinishedfinishedfinished

I am not welding but there is plenty of other stuff to keep me busy. I finished the second of the seed pods on Friday and managed to get it into the garden on Saturday. I don’t know if it’s going to stay there forever, but I’m not moving it until the temperature goes back down to the mid-80’s. Or lower. Much lower.

So for now, here’s a sneak peek at the pod in its temporary place. We decided maybe it should be called “Pod de Deux” since it is the second in the series.

I have started the third piece, but again, it will have to wait a bit. In the meantime I am busy doing research and thinking and drawing and thinking some more to come up with the next designs that I will be tackling. Stay tuned!


installationinstallationinstallation

In other news, my installation, “Pipeline”, is still ensconced at the Delaplaine gallery in Frederick. MD. The opening was well attended. The show is up until Saturday the 30th (I know, not much time left to see it). I was happy to see it up, but I have to admit to some trepidation over this particular installation. I had had to jerry-rig it due to an oversight when I was packing all the tools for the installation. (I forgot to add the special nails I was using and had to make do with regular nails.) So even though I was the only one who knew how fragile it was, I spent some time last Monday fixing it. It is definitely stronger and more stable now.

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two visitors at the opening of the sculpture show at the Delaplaine

artcampartcampartcampartcamp

And finally…it is official! We are hosting a fundraiser event in September. Creative Alliance is a community arts organization in a cultural dessert in downtown Baltimore. It has grown over the years and now provides an amazing focus for the arts in that community. Every year they offer a group of events that are designed to raise money for the organization. These events, titled “Art to Dine For”, are a combination of art and good food, put on by various local artists and board members. This year, Rich and I will be hosting an event called “Art Camp”. Here is the write up on their website…

Look forward to an afternoon of pure fun and bring the kids, too! Explore the 100-year-old barn Virginia Sperry has converted into her welding studio where she creates life-sized animals and birds out of steel. Wander through Virginia’s six acres where several of her animal sculptures are carefully installed. Enjoy homemade ice cream sandwiches made from fresh cookies and Hoffman’s ice cream and watch your kids play together in rollingdownhill races, creating masterpieces with sidewalk chalk, and riding a handmade rocking llama.

2–4:30pm | Adults $55 | Kids $25 (Call 410-276-1651 Tues – Sat to purchase Kids’ Tickets)
Food: Fun Treats | Attire: Country Comfy 
| Location: Carroll County

You can find this information and sign up for the event at http://creativealliance.org/calendar/art-dine.

I urge you to check out all the offerings. There are some really fun evenings planned throughout the fall and early winter.

Please note…this is the only other time this year that the sculpture garden will be open to the public. This event is not free but 100% of the money that we make goes to fund community arts education and programs. It is really going to be a lot of fun!


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I thought I would leave you with a photograph that I took recently. There have not been many butterflies in my garden which is too bad, because this has been a wonderful year for flowers. But I did manage to capture this beauty while it was dining on my echinacea.

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Stay cool!!!

 

15 minutes

Okay folks, I have racked up another bunch of minutes on my 15 minutes of fame clock. As you may know, I am hosting an open studio and sculpture garden on my property this weekend. The local paper found out about it and asked to do an article. Of course I said yes! It came out online yesterday and it is really a lovely article. Many thanks to the writer, Lois Zymanski, the photographer, Dylan Slagle, and Jim and Susan who said such nice things about me.

To read the article, click here.

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In the meantime, I am aware that, like many previous days this spring, it is probably going to rain on Saturday. Ugh. I really wish that the weather were working out differently, but there’s nothing I can do.

So here are ten reasons why you should come out even if it is raining:

  1. You can pretend you live in Seattle. Seattle is a nice city. People there do things in the rain all the time. If they didn’t, nothing would get done.
  2. It’s a good chance to see if your rain gear is weather proof. Wouldn’t you like to know this before you go on that camping/hiking trip?
  3. You will get to meet all sorts of interesting people…including me! You have to figure that anyone who comes out in the rain to see steel animals is going to be interesting.
  4. I will have binoculars so you will be able to see some of the sculptures from the dry, warm studio.
  5. Wine. I will have wine.
  6. This is the only time I will open the gardens to the public for free this year. (Unless I change my mind. I have been known to do that before. I am fickle that way.)
  7. I will be bored if you don’t come. Boredom is bad for your health. Keep me healthy.
  8. Photographing the sculptures is better when it’s cloudy.
  9. I have extra umbrellas.
  10. It will give you great joy.

So see, there is no excuse for not coming to see me this weekend. Don’t forget…10 to 5 Saturday and Sunday (May 21/22, 2016). 415 Heath Dr., Eldersburg. I will be waiting.

 

take a break

I admit it. I was ready to give up on this blog. After four + years of writing fairly consistently, I became less and less inclined to write to the known and unknown general public. The breaks between posts started getting longer and longer. The days filled up with time in the studio (a worthwhile substitution), gardening (ditto) and life in general. I will also admit that for a while, my depression deepened and I was uninterested in writing anything. Don’t get me wrong, I had lots of ideas, lots of subjects, it just seemed that when I sat down to write, the words seemed unimportant or off kilter somehow.

Tonight I told my husband that I was thinking of discontinuing this blog. And he said one of the sweetest things he has ever said to me.

“But people will miss reading it.”

Sometimes I forget that people actually read what I write. Unless someone clicked the like button or left a comment, I really had no idea who read my words or if you enjoyed/hated them. But over the years I heard comments from some of you that you enjoyed reading my posts. Sometimes those comments came at a party with friends, sometimes they came at the end of the blog post. You are the silent readers, the ones I sometimes forget are out there. But I know you are real.

So here’s the deal. I will continue to write. I will not worry about the best time to post or how many people are seeing my blog. I will write for myself…out loud. I will be more diligent about being consistent.

Because the bottom line is that I enjoy writing. I enjoy putting into words the thoughts and feelings that runaround in my head all day, while I am working, walking, eating and driving. There is so much happening in the world and in my life. There are books to read, philosophies to absorb and current events to watch. Not to mention sculptures to create!

As you may know, I like to show at least one photograph in my posts. Well, tonight you get a bonus (mostly because I couldn’t figure out which was my favorite). The mahonia in my backyard has berries which, combined with the color of the leaves, is absolutely stunning. Enjoy!

(P.S. there is LOTS of stuff happening in the studio, keep an eye out for the next post. Or visit http://www.virginiasperry.com or www.facebook.com/VSperryStudio/)

Cheers and Happy May!

 

parfait

mussels make a great abstract photo
mussels make a great abstract photo

Mussels can be found everywhere in Alaska. I don’t like to eat them (I stay away from all bi-valves) but I like taking pictures of them

In other news:

I strive to have art in my everyday life, whether it is actually working in the studio or making amazingly simple and evocatively delicious foods from things that I have actually grown. I still feel quite amazed that I am capable of growing things that are edible, there is always a moment of pure delight when I bite into a tomato or zucchini or pear or apple and it is not only delicious but I know exactly where it came from and what went into producing it.

Today was no exception. Lunch was and open-faced English muffin with a little mayonnaise (I am American after all…you could also use french bread and some olive oil) then slices of a yellow tomato from the garden sprinkled with salt and a little balsamic vinegar (use the good stuff…you will appreciate it more) and a couple of basil leaves plucked from the plants. Top it off with triple cream Brie cheese (or cheddar, goat cheese, fresh mozzarella depending on what is around) and then run into the oven until the cheese melts. Add a little fresh pepper on top and dig in!

Dinner, eaten on a sultry evening on the back patio to the sounds of the cicadas and the drum corps from the local high school, was an appetizer (ooooh, how cosmopolitan we are!) of the brie and slices of a pear from our Asian pear tree. A chilled, crisp French wine made it all the more delectable. Main course, bow tie pasta, with a traditional tomato sauce (or gravy if you live in Italy) from (you guessed it) garden tomatoes…and more wine…of course. I cannot tell a lie, the tomato sauce had some toms from my friend’s garden as well. (Thanks Melinda.)

Finish with a square (just one) of amazing dark chocolate with orange and almonds and the night is complete…

In studio news:

The kangaroo nose got a bit of a tweak today, and I think she looks marvelous. The joey got a couple of new pieces and I did some prep work of little tiny pieces of steel so that he can continue to grow in the next couple of weeks. In addition, I am working on my first installation piece since I got back from NYC. If you remember, I did a massive cleaning a couple of weeks ago and have taken advantage of the empty walls  to start a new piece. I don’t know what the story/title is yet but I have no doubt that everything will come together the way it’s supposed to. In the meantime, here is a sneak peek!

detail of installation, mixed media including yarn, wire, cardboard, plastic netting and steel chain.
detail of installation, mixed media including yarn, wire, cardboard, plastic netting and steel chain.

bags are packed

This is a very quick blog post as I am packed and ready to leave for NYC tomorrow morning for my month-long residency. I am super excited (and nervous and panicky) and I hope I have everything I need but I have heard that there are stores in New York in case I’ve forgotten something really important like a…oh crap I don’t have a pot to cook pasta in and…well you get the picture. It’s going on 9 pm and I figure if I don’t have it by now then I will have to get it in New York.

Before I go I wanted to share pix of a walk I took the other day, I am going to miss my peonies, the ants have been busy and the first ones have just started blooming (the yellow tree peony popped yesterday and the pink one in the big garden started today). I did get to see some iris, even the ones that got transplanted a couple of weeks ago put their game face on and threw out a few small dwarfy flowers. Mr. R. has promised me that he will water all the things I transplanted and that he will harvest peas which will be done by the time I get back. We’ll see if he actually gets his hands dirty…

So, here are some of the pix I’ve taken in the last couple of days…next ones will be of concrete, stone and…who knows???

fly
fly
tree peony bud
tree peony bud
30 minutes...and it is now open
30 minutes later…and it is now open
grass lily
grass lily
quince
quince
yup, it's tilting a bit
yup, it’s tilting a bit
iris
iris
ants are busy
the ants are busy

And finally, I have had the pleasure of waking up to the squirrels playing a game in the tree outside my window. I don’t know if there is a little randiness going on or if this is pure play but it has been fun to watch them circling around branches and leaping from one to another. I caught this guy through the window. Unfortunately I knew that if I actually opened the window he would flee and so he did. But I did manage to snap a few pix through the closed window before he departed.

sitting in the sun
sitting in the sun

I will be posting from New York of course, but if you want to see posts more often, “like” my Facebook page. I plan to be putting status updates fairly regularly there…

https://www.facebook.com/VSperryStudio

Have a great week!!!

observatory

Question of the day:

If you are a cat, where is the best place to observe the silly human who is digging in the dirt and planting stuff?

You get one guess…

whatcha doin'?
whatcha doin’?
I think I'll stay out of the way.
I think I’ll stay out of the way.

a day

I have a cold. Or maybe it’s allergies. Regardless, I am not my usual peppy self. Therefore, I am showing you pictures that I took yesterday with my iPhone. As much as I grumble about modern technology, I do like that I can take pictures with my phone and send them around the world at a moment’s notice.

Pay attention, this won’t take too long.

My assistant, Willy showed up at 9 p.m. and helped me to make a retaining wall system for the garden. I have been wanting to do this for weeks but this was the first day that it was warm enough (mostly) to dig trenches for the walls to fit in. I had made a template and was able to fabricate this project fairly easily as I had gotten the steel cut for a different project which never happened.

Since the steel sheets had been hanging around the studio for a while, they had picked up the markings of a cat…probably Izzy, but it could also have been Max, you never know.

My guess is that Izzy is the culprit
My guess is that Izzy is the culprit

Here is the finished project waiting for a load of dirt and compost to be dumped in each section. It’s going to be an awesome addition to the veggie garden…

steel walls for the garden
steel walls for the garden

So then, because I wasn’t feeling very well, I didn’t get much accomplished the rest of the day. I did, however, manage to capture Ginger in an unusual position. Well, maybe not so unusual.

exhausted
exhausted

It was such a treat to sit on the back steps without a coat and feel the sun and see the blue sky.

blue skies, shining on me
blue skies, shining on me

And since I’ve shown you one primary color, I might as well show you the other two…

red and yellow make orange
red and yellow make orange

I don’t have any pictures of the end of my day…my neighbor has two new horses at her farm and I went over to meet them. But that’s for another post…maybe.

It has come to my attention that it has been a while since I posted pictures of the kangaroo…my bad. She has gone through quite a bit of forward and backward motion, but she’s getting closer to being finished…

as of March 18th
as of March 18th