cookie cutter days

My Grandma Kelley loved fall.  She used to say that on cool, crisp fall days, it was like the trees were cut out of the sky with a cookie cutter.  Everything in full relief.  In recent weeks we have been fortunate to have one of the most beautiful fall seasons I can remember.  The only downside to all this pretty weather is that we desperately could use some rain.  I’m sure it will come in time….

With all this pretty weather has come the usual busy-ness that comes with autumn.  A couple of weeks ago the Fam and I went to Rabbit Hash Kentucky for some local riverside music and a chance to meet their mayoral candidates.

Rabbit Hash is a tiny, charming, historic town that has literally gone to the dogs.  There are 16 candidates for mayor, only 2 of whom are not dogs (the other 2 are a cat and a miniature donkey).  Here’s a couple of pages from my sketchbook….

Anyone can vote in Rabbit Hash for only a dollar a vote.  And, you can vote as much as you want, for as many candidates as you’d like.  All proceeds go to the Rabbit Hash Historical Society.  We felt a million miles away from the more serious political races bombarding us from every direction in the real world just across the river.  It was a great escape.  Though even this race has its political paraphenalia for avid collectors to gather…

With fall inevitably comes the start of school.  My kids are back at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, and loving the balance their school provides between academics and the arts.  This is not just an art school.  Instead, this place puts the same emphasis throughout the school day on the arts as it does on things like chemistry, history, and language arts classes.  After school, kids at SCPA juggle their at times lofty academic load with rehearsals for plays, concerts and other art work.  We have, to say the least, been busy juggling it all.

I am again teaching down at the Carnegie Center at Family Saturdays, each second Saturday of the month.  This is a fun opportunity for families to make art together.  Each month there is a different theme to work with and this month we made masks.  Sadly, I forgot my camera that day.  But as usual, the kids (and parents!) came up with some cool stuff to take home!

The Carnegie is not the only place I teach.  I am delighted to be back at the Art Academy of Cincinnati this fall again offering my class Starting (and Keeping) and Journal Sketchbook.  I have a small class this time of only 5 people, but after only one class together, I can tell they are a special bunch.  This past Thursday we met for our first session and worked on “messing up” some brand new journals with paint, glue and some powerful quotes that will remind these students that no one else can make a journal like they can.  They are already seeing the differences in their individual styles.  Some may not have even thought of themselves as having an artistic style of their own.  I am excited to continue working with them in their books with collage, drawing, watercolors and writing and I hope to inspire them to continue working in their books long after our 4 week class has ended. My own sketch book has been pretty lonely lately and I have renewed inspiration, thanks to my students, to get drawing again!

Meanwhile, things have been pretty busy in the music world here as well.  Friday night Cherish the Ladies came to Dayton, Ohio, along with some other Irish Music talents like Bohola, Maura O’Connell and Dermot Henry.  The concert was amazing, as expected, and the following day, the Ladies came down to the Riley School to offer workshops in everything from singing to fiddle to flute/whistle, accordion, mandolin…. well the usual!  Cherish the Ladies is led by flute and whistle player extraordinaire, Joanie Madden.  I have had classes with her before at Augusta and it was such a treat to see her again and learn a few new tunes on flute and whistle.  Amazingly, Joanie remembered me as “the one who was drawing all the time”.  By the end of the day, after lessons from not only Joanie, but my beloved weekly instructor John Skelton as well, my head was nearly to bursting with tunes.  It was a good day.

So here it is, a breathtakingly beautiful fall Sunday.  I am off to head out to enjoy it.  I am outside more than in here on the computer lately, and that just feels right.  But as usual… I’ll continue to keep you posted, just maybe not as often!

GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!!!!!

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