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September 2015

August 2015

The Chagford Show

A prize-winning cabbage at the Chagford Show

Prize-winning onions

On Thursday, Howard, Jenny (my lovely mother-in-law), Tilly and I went to the 115th Chagford Agricultural and Horticultural Show, one of our favorite events in the local calendar, where we watched dog, pony, and horse trials, admired tractors and vegetables, listened to local music, ate locally-grown food, caught up with village neighbors and friends...and where I was able to thoroughly indulge my inexplicable passion for sheep.

Here are some of my pictures from the day. You can find many more by other folks in the Gallery of the Chagford Show website.

Prize-winning vegetables

Prize-winning peas

“Imagine if we had a food system that actually produced wholesome food. Imagine if it produced that food in a way that restored the land. Imagine if we could eat every meal knowing these few simple things: What it is we’re eating. Where it came from. How it found its way to our table. And what it really cost. If that was the reality, then every meal would have the potential to be a perfect meal. We would not need to go hunting for our connection to our food and the web of life that produces it. We would no longer need any reminding that we eat by the grace of nature, not industry, and that what we’re eating is never anything more or less than the body of the world. I don’t want to have to forage every meal. Most people don’t want to learn to garden or hunt. But we can change the way we make and get our food so that it becomes food again -- something that feeds our bodies and our souls. Imagine it: Every meal would connect us to the joy of living and the wonder of nature. Every meal would be like saying grace.” 

- Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)

Prize-winning herbs

Home-made local wine

Prize-winning children's drawings

Prize-winning flowers in the children's section

“Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don't need a lot of money to be happy -- in fact, the opposite.”

- Jean Vanier (Community And Growth)

Friends serving tea at Chagford Show

Husband, hound, and a vintage tractor

Steam-driven tractor

Dog competition at Chagford Show

Carriage-driving competition

The passing traffic at Chagford Show

“If we are looking for insurance against want and oppression, we will find it only in our neighbors' prosperity and goodwill and, beyond that, in the good health of our worldly places, our homelands. If we were sincerely looking for a place of safety, for real security and success, then we would begin to turn to our communities -- and not the communities simply of our human neighbors but also of the water, earth, and air, the plants and animals, all the creatures with whom our local life is shared."

- Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)

Prize-winning young cow

Prize-winning calf

I'll be out of the studio over the next week due to family commitments, and back to Myth & Moor again on Tuesday, September 1st. Wherever you may be, I hope the end of your summer (or winter, for those of you Down Under) is a good one.

A lamb at Chagford Show

Sheep at Chagford Show

Sheep at Chagford Show

Sheep at Chagford Show

Sheep at Chagford Show

Sheep at Chagford Show

Ram and sheep at Chagford Show

Sheep at Chagford ShowPicture descriptions are in the captions. (Run your cursor over the images to see them.)


In the studio garden, summer 2015

The hound and I are out of the studio today to see friends and neighbors (and sheep!) at the Chagford Show. We'll be back tomorrow or over the weekend, depending on how my energy holds out. Tilly is past her recovery period, but I'm still moving slowly through my own.

Sheep by Henry MooreArt: Sheep sketch by Henry Moore. Photo: Tilly sunbathing on the bench in the studio garden.


In the Word Wood

In the Word Wood by David Wyatt

Sketch for In the Word Wood by David WyattAfter two long, hard weeks of recovery, Tilly is bouncing (literally) back from her operation, and the vets have given their blessing for her to start taking walks again. We had a fine, clear day yesterday, so I packed up my work and took it into the woods, rewarding our brave, patient hound with a long afternoon among the trees.  While I nested down among oak roots and moss with notebooks and reference texts scattered around me, Tilly rambled nearby, tail held high in delight; then she flopped by my side: listening, watching, nose twitching with every scent drifting past on the wind.

Though many of you already know the painting above, I'm re-posting it today in honor of Tilly's return to the woods. For those who don't know it: "In the Word Wood" is by our good friend and neighbor David Wyatt, created as part of his beautiful and very magical Local Characters series, back when Tilly was still a half-grown pup. The equally lovely drawing on the right is his preliminary sketch for the painting. To see more of David's work, please visit his website, illustration blog, and Etsy shop.

Word Wood 2

Yesterday our wood was a Word Wood indeed as I chased words and sentences through the long grass; but for Tilly, who's been pining to prowl those green pathways again, it was pure Paradise.

Word Wood 3

''It is really hard to be lonely very long in a world of words," wrote the Palestinian-American poet  Naomi Shihab Nye. "Even if you don't have friends somewhere, you still have language, and it will find you and wrap its little syllables around you and suddenly there will be a story to live in.''

This is our story. Once upon a time, on a late summer's day in the Word Wood.

Word Wood 4

Word Wood 5

Words in the wood

Words in the woodsFor those who worry about such things: No books were harmed for the pictures above. These are pages from damaged fairy tale books that I collect for use in making collages.


A quiet morning in the studio

Rainbow 1


Bird Girl by Terri WindlingSong of the Sky Loom

an ancient Tewa prayer/poem

Oh Mother Earth, oh Father Sky,
Your children are we all.
With tired backs we bring you song,
we bring you the gifts you love.

May the warp be the white light of the morning.
May the weft be the red light of evening.
May the fringes be the falling rain.
May the border be the standing rainbow.
Weave for us this bright garment
that we may walk where birds sing
and animals raise their young,
where water flows
and grass is green.

Oh Mother the Earth, oh Father the Sky,
your children are we all.

 

The Deer's Cry
an extract from an ancient Celtic prayer/poem

Robin, photographed by Derek Stackey for Devon BirdsI arise today
through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.


A birdchild from my sketchbook
Rainbow over Chagford Commons

Studio 4The Tewa prayer comes from Songs of the Tewa, edited by Herbert J. Spinden; the Celtic prayer and the passage in the picture captions comes from Anam Cara by John O'Donohue. The later prayer is translated by Kuno Meyer. The robin was photographed by Derek Stacey for Devon Birds. The other photographs are of an early morning rainbow arched over our house, viewed from my studio on the hill behind; and Tilly in her usual spot on the studio sofa as the day begins. The "Bird Girl" and "Bird Boy" drawings are from my sketchbooks.