Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Monday, March 30, 2015

The Head Mistress on duty



It may not always look like it, but Marcella is always watching what is going on in her barnyard. She is over a year now and I can see the maturity level rising. She has really good instinct which her breeder worked hard over the years to maintain - he breeds for working farm and has a flock of his own and also educates about the Maremma breed throughout the year.

I sat today at lunch and took this sequence of images of Marcella- all within about ten minutes. She may look beautiful, but I wouldn't want to be a stranger entering her barn at night.









Sunday, March 29, 2015

Noses on high alert



I finished this piece the other day and found it really evocative for some reason. I think part of my child soul is in this piece, perhaps residing in that little red barn, peeking out at her landscape, planning her day of adventure. The plum trees have blossomed and there is this slightly sweet scent in the air-all noses of Apifera are engaged in active smelling year round, but I suspect spring makes their nose receptors on high alert.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Sophie's content morning



I had noticed the fog had begun swooping over the valley after we awoke to a beautiful, sunny morning. It often happens and I suspect by afternoon it will be sunny again. It is beautiful and always catches me in the throat as much as the heart,

"Have to get my camera," I thought.

I was returning from a few minutes of photo play and saw a white mop in the barnyard, perfect positioned against her barn of red. It is a spot she is often in, but today she seemed to pose for me. I didn't have my favorite lens on, darn it, but still, caught her. A photo to look at now, and years to come, and remember,

"That was Sophie."

{You can make a monthly sponsorship to help me with the many Misfits-the special needs animals who come to spend their elder years here, no matter how long they have}

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Preparing for wings now



I'm focusing on painting and creating for both my September show and Sundance. Always a balancing act because you get some pieces done and someone might want a piece, and you the artist want the income, but you need to build a show and get a feel for how it is evolving. For me that means seeing the pieces together. So I just decided the only way around it is to paint my eyeballs out through May! Then break to prep for Pino Pie Day and the Workshop, then continue to create puppets and other creatures in clay or fabric for the show. I'm excited about the show as I haven't done one since 2013 and this one is a 2 hour drive so I have a bit more wiggle room with the types of things I will be able to drive there, versus shipping.

This piece is called "Preparing for Wings Now".

Commune like a donkey...sometimes



One of the graces of my life here is I have many creatures around me without opinions. I have many opinions, I'm sure you do too. Opinions are important, especially to the person with the opinion. With technology today, opinions come all day long. It's hard to look away sometimes, isn't it? I know many people that are irritated by so and so online, yet they continue to peek at their news feeds. I do it too. I hate it, but I do. Such a waste of time and energy. I have a note on my wall in front of me,

"What do you need right now?"

to help me walk away from that compulsive human behavior. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

It seems some people, many with strong Facebook presences, take glory in their opinions to the point where they become bullies. And they are the worst kind of bullies-the ones that claim they don't tolerate bad behavior on their pages, but they turn around and act cynically to certain commenters. Some of those commenters might need a push out the door, but some are just sharing their opinions, or asking the wrong questions in the poster's mind. These same bullies that constantly shame commenters on their Facebook pages, can then turn around and are flabbergasted when that same person stands up to them-and the initial bully calls the commenter a bully. 

It's ridonkulous!

Recently in an interview, President Clinton was asked about race relations in our country, and if he thought they were getting better or worse. Part of his answer resonated with me. He said part of all the problems in the world right now, including race issues, is we care too much about being right, not necessarily discussing issues and exploring facets of opinions.

Like the Buddhist saying,

"Do you want to be right, or do you want to be at peace?"

My interactions with the animals do not require that we sit around and discuss politics or hot button issues- thank goodness, because you know The Head Troll would probably be right about everything. There is no right way for the goat to chew, there is no right way to dress, and the color of my skin or the sagging of it is not important to any of my gang. All the chatter of the outside world can be put in a box while I sit and do chores with the animals.

The trouble is, one still has to live with it and hone our communication skills, and our listening skills, to deal with online aggression and over shouting of opinion.

More and more, I just want to be. I want to paint, and create, and just do it. I love sharing to an audience. I do. I admit it. I see my work as a cycle-it gets created, but it is when it is shown to the outside world that it fulfills its own destiny. It is out of my control after that. It goes off and emotes whatever it has in it to whoever cares to sit in front of it.

I had a thought this past week that has kept coming to me. What if I just disappeared-socially? I lived unconnected before, we all did. Would I be like the tree that falls in the forest-if I wasn't sharing constantly, would anyone hear me? Would anyone remember to check in once in awhile? Would it matter?

It's a beautiful day here. There was no bully behavior in the barnyard at breakfast. There is a big blue sky of opportunity above me and paintings sitting waiting for my non opinion. I hope you might stumble on a donkey waiting to commune with you- or any other creature or human that might sit with you for moments of uninterrupted non opinion time.







Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Watch out for outsiders




I did this piece yesterday, and when I finished, I thought,

"What an odd little piece..."

but I soon realized it is a perfect reenactment of what I feel is going on in my life right now. I can't really figure out how to write about it, yet, or if I should write about it in an public and honest way. So I guess my muses just helped me paint it for now.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Paynes gray and sheep



The sky this time of year can bring incredible displays of Payne's Gray, and juxtaposed next to my sheep is always so striking. I never grow tired of it, never see it without an internal gasp.