It was wonderful coming home from NYC and waking up to a new born lamb in the pasture this morning. What a surprise since we didn’t expect any of the sheep borrowed for the summer from a Vermont farmer to be pregnant. Jon could tell there was a lamb by the way the sheep was baaing. I ran up the hill and saw a shiny black lamb looking for his mother. He even tried to suckle LuLu the Donkey and almost got trampled. I named him Bartleby after the Herman Melville character Bartleby the Scribner because at first his mother rejected him. The lamb seemed so lonely and disconnected and born at the wrong time. Eventually the ewe and lamb bonded and tonight they are safe and cozy in the barn. Bartleby is strong and determined and his mother only nudges him away after he’s had lots to eat. It’s very sweet!
What a difference from NYC. I’ve spent a lot of time in New York City, but since moving upstate, when I go back, it’s always shocking. It’s enough for me just to walk around the streets and watch all the people and notice how they are dressed (all completely different from each other. I seems in the late 80′s and 90′s everyone wore black. Not anymore, it’s much more interesting than that.) It’s enough to just look in all the store fronts. There’s constant noise and smells and motion.
The weather was perfect, While Jon was at meeting, I ate lunch on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and went to the Whitney Museum. They had their Biennial and one floor of permanent collection.
I found myself smiling as I walked around the Museum. The permanent collection pieces they were showing were all perfect, from Mike Kelly’s stuffed animal and afgan “Paintings” to Milton Avery’s beach scape. There was even a Hopper that reminded me of my first trip there.
There was great stuff at the Biennial too. Some of my favorites were Curtis Mann, Leslie Vance (abstract painting based on Dutch interior painting which glowed with the same light) Sarah Crowner sewed together canvas to evoke the straight edge op-art painting of the 60′s. Jauba Averbach painted folded paper on large canvases. They were so beautiful, soft lines and colors that looked abstract, yet were not.
On the way out I saw a cigarette machine by the elevator. I had forgotten that there used to be cigarette machines. This one sold art instead of cigarettes. For $6.95 (you get a token from the gift shop) you can buy an original piece of art. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I got a token and pulled on the handle that said cactus basket. Two older woman stopped and watched as I opened the small box that came out of the machine. Inside was a tiny basket about one and a half inches long made out of a dried cactus bud and filled with crystals. There was a piece of paper in the box explaining the piece and giving the artists email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I had to try it again and this time got a block of wood with a self portrait “Mystery Woman of the Flowers” from the fiber art Linda Edkins Wyatt. (lindaedkinswyatt.blogspot.com).
So this is a new way for artists to get there work out there. The label on the cigarette machine said a portion of the money goes to the nonprofit company distributing the machines and a portion to the artist. No one is making a lot of money, but I loved it especially in an institution like the Whitney Museum.