Ermahgerd, we had such an incredible weekend.
Fall Art Tour is always a good time for us, but this year was extra saucy with awesome.
We got to hang out with so many lovely people, and splurged on a boatload of art. Not something we normally allow ourselves, being on severely restricted budgets (he’s a student, I’m an on call, very part time electrician’s assistant with a shady side business dealing in bones and glitter), but sometimes you’ve got to be ruthlessly self indulgent if you’re going to have a life worth living. Ya know?
We blew into town Friday and stopped at my favorite place for all things rusty and funky, Raven House (http://www.ravenhousebaraboo.blogspot.com, go!), to pick up a map of the participants and touch base with the fabulous proprietress, who also runs the Sunday Market I was going to be vending at while I was up there. From there we hit the studio of Maday, a quilter of epic talent whose work exceeds the standard idea of a quilt (http://freespiritsewing.com, go!). Her mixed media fiber creations are a story and an art and all around day-um fabulous. I’ve been drooling over her stuff on Facebook for months now, so when I heard she was to be part of the Fall Art Tour I got jazzed, and budgeted some dough for goodies.
Then we hit Helen’s Daughters studio (http://www.helensdaughters.com, go!), makers of fine and unusual handbags, for a browse through their gorgeous garden, the various artisans housed in it (unbelievable jewelry, basket making, and batik), and a yack with Char and Mariella, the daughters of Helen, who make these incredible bags. I myself don’t have much occasion to use a fancy purse (more’s the pity, cuz they’re seriously awesome), but they also make extremely practical packs, pouches and other means for stuff holding. I got myself the perfect pouch for my street shows, with an adjustable strap so I can wear it over the shoulder or around my hips, and generous enough to fit my two strapping monkeys. Win.
Our last stop on the local leg of the tour was the studio of an illustrator and puppeteer by the name of Anne Horjus, whose beautiful work can be found in the children’s book, Sleep, with writer Charles Anthony Silvestri (http://annehorjus.com, go!). He also does wood block prints and paintings, lives in an amazing old Victorian, and is a really nice guy with an awesome sense of humor. We had a great time there talking puppets, Jim Henson, and Labyrinth/ Dark Crystal, both of which, we all agreed, were the top puppet movies of all time.
After a meal at our favorite Little Village Cafe (really, it’s all about the pie), we headed to Con Amici wine bar to have a few glasses of delicious adult beverage, and get our caricatures drawn by local artist Ryan Biddle (http://biddleart.com, go!). Hey, it’s art tour weekend, you gotta support the arts. And also, silly and fun, which we’re all about.
Adult beverages consumed, back to our Baraboo roost, WilloWood Inn (http://www.willowoodinn.com, go!) for Real Genius (Val Kilmer in the 80s, is there anything hotter?) and bed.
Saturday morning found us abed later than we had intended, but whatevs, vacation. Our first stop was back to Raven House to do a leetle shopping.
Then we were off to Spring Green. The entire town was having a yard sale, lucky us, but what had caught our eye there were a pair of graphic artists. One, sadly, had bowed out to move to Colorado, but the other one, Kim Russel (http://www.russellworks.com, go!), was stationed at a local gallery. We spent a good half hour chatting with her, gushing over her work, and eventually deciding on which prints we wanted to take home. I have a thing for cranes, a critter I never clapped eyes on in the flesh till my 38th year, but now can’t get enough of.
Taking off from Spring Green we drove though hills on fire with fall leaves, heading for Loganville and our next stop, The Bricolage, a huge farm at the end of a dead end road, which is the home, studio, and retreat of Don and Ali Kauss. She makes lovely silver jewelry and he does assemblage (http://www.kaussart.com, go!), and they both rent out spaces in barns and revamped chicken coops to visiting artists and people just looking to get away from everything. Mah boo wanted to talk bow hunting with him, but I just wanted to drool over his amazing assortment of skulls, bones, rusty junk and generally awesome stuff that he turns into creepy assemblage that I totally want all of. In mah house. Right now.
We only hit two studios because we wanted to be back at Con Amici for their Pinot and Picasso night. A thing in which they handed out hooch and art supplies to a bunch of willing folks, with an art teacher handy to offer guidance and keep a progressively drunker group on track, and let us try and make art. It. Was. Awesomely fun. I’ve never painted, mah boo has never art-ed at all, AND he’s colorblind. But we’re both more than willing to suck at something in the name of fun (watch me bowl sometime and you’ll see what I mean), so we were all, “Where do we sign up?”
A bottle or so of wine and a couple’a hours later, we had…tree like things!
And a nice buzz. And a painting (no like, a real one), because our caricature artist from the night before is a hella good painter too and had one on the wall priced crazy low.
Ruthlessly self indulgent, remember? I don’t have a picture of this one. Because I suck. And it’s not in my house, it’s in my honey’s, so I can’t fix that.
So, Tank Girl (Lori Petty, droolz), bed, up at crack for Sunday Market.
Which happened to coincide with a Packers game, so not as populous as we would have liked, but still, a good time was had. I got pancakes and an accordion, and did all my produce shopping for the week to the tune of $4.50 (broccoli/kale hybrid is made of awesome. I’m not making this up.). I call it a win.
Hugs all around as we packed up the car and headed to our very last stop, back to the studio of Maday Delgado for some Cuban love (we laugh, we cry, we yell a lot) and a wonderful, touching parting giftie, which now lives in my room beside my bed, under three Buddhas, a Chinese dragon, Eleggua and Bastet. Which I think is completely appropriate.
So that was my vacation. Woodland critter count for this trip includes two feeding red tailed hawks, six migrating sandhill cranes, and eight wild turkeys. And one partly skeletonized roadkilled deer, which of COURSE I forgot to pack rubber gloves and a cooler. Oh well, it’s not like there’s gonna be any bugs to clean it till spring. In other words, stinky.
We had a ball, as usual. Everyone was super happy to see us again (we’re getting pretty recognizable at this point, going up two or three times a year like we do), and made us feel like we were seeing old friends rather than being tourists. It was a much needed and welcome cap to a busy summer.