Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Paducah and then LA

first pic, gallery view of my work,
second one of the wonderful galleries in Paducah complete with stainless steal giaffes
and number 3
some wonderful rock formations at Garden of the Gods....

May 4,
3 days in Los Angeles what an assault on the senses after peaceful rural Kentucky!
The last day I was in Paducah, a lady Dena, who I had met whilst she was looking at my exhibition kindly asked if I would like to spend the day with her and some of her friends.
I jumped at the opportunity, good chance to meet some of the local and see some of the countryside.
Well she and her mate Pam picked me up { Pam by the way is a horse lady and had a photo of her newest baby: huge carriage horse- forgotten the breed- who towered over her in height- so much horse to manage- I think she is brave.] we went off driving across the beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky.

Spring is just arriving so all the trees are bursting into bud.
I had noticed when walking around town often hearing the adjective “Pretty” said pri-tty in the lovely round and soft local way. It is not so commonly used where I come from, so I noticed it. Thinking about it as a word it has a feminine gentle ring to it and it was just the word to describe the woods as they burst into leaf. The colour is the most exquisite soft chartreuse green, the leaves are soft and gently shimmer and rustle in the breeze, altogether a very soft and feminine feel to the woods and pri-tty was just the most apt word for it.

We went driving and came to Garden of the Gods State Recreational area. These wonderful rock formations tucked in amongst the woods.
The photo attached is of one section that really amused Pam’s nephews.
All through the woods was this lovely green creeper starting to come back after winter – not to touch! Apparently you will remember it painfully for days – it is poison ivy. Sounds yuk!
It was a real treat of a day- we started off with textiles in common but found so many other things to share and talk about as well.
We had lunch on the way in this little diner- just like the movies…full of the local folks and great food. The only thing I would complain about food in the US if you are in a real place is the size of the servings… I usually have a huge appetite but there found I often could not manage more than half that was served up!

Paducah- the absolute highlight [ amongst so many things] was the open house tour in the Lowertown area.
Each year a number of artists open their house for folks to come and wonder through [ all money raised is going towards scholarships in the soon o open Paducah Arts School]. For ten bucks you get to wander through some truly extraordinary homes… at first I felt like a voyeur looking into people’s private space- but hey! It was for a good cause and the places were wonderful. One place was all true to about 1850 and the owner a true Southern Belle was even in a crinoline, another above a wonderful gallery with larger than life stainless steel giraffes out the front was all mirrors, and glitz, over the top but seemed really livable as well and so many others each as distinctive as their owners and well worth a squizz if they are offering!
My exhibition looked good up as well by the way… I had already seen the pieces so they weren’t as exciting as all the new stuff for me.

On the flight across the country I finished a book I have been enjoying “The Places in Between” by Rory Stewart- it tells of his extraordinary journey on foot across Afghanistan.
I always wanted to go there… was seriously thinking of it years ago and the Russians went and invaded… I have worried for the place ever since. Still times are a changing.. let us hope for a bright future for the place.
One thing he mentioned was his habit to write for 2 hours each day.
What a good discipline. I now carry a journal with me always to jot things down[ I use small blank school books, so I don’t have a lot of weight to carry- I am so over carrying things when I travel!].
I used to dislike the idea of a journal but having had to start it for uni and now being able to refer back to it-I can see what use they are.
When you want to do something new or incorporate something new in your life- it does have to start out as a discipline, reminding yourself to do it, but not too long it becomes natural and always happens…. From those small starts you can make great changes in your life.

May 6… where did May 5 go?

Left LA on 4 May and stepped off the plane next morning on 6 May- weird
What a place! It is all a bit of a blur of impressions really.

I stayed in a backpackers on Melrose Avenue. Went for a wander to check of the local area and the street is full of all these cute little boutiques…I was wondering if they were those new ones just starting out and so affordable or really cool ones- looking that way and charging double. After walking a block and see a limo with uniformed driver waiting for some of the sweet young things inside I realized it was option 2!

Around the corner on Fairfax Avenue is Canters and old style diner that has been there for ever with the most enormous breakfasts to get you all fuelled up for a day looking, looking, looking.

One thing I realized I needed to understand is that my way of just walking, and walking and walking to see where I ended up is not necessarily a good idea in some where like LA. The streets of the economically blessed can change to those of the economically distressed rather rapidly and you should not be there. I don’t get the creeps very easily but there were a few times I was thankful it was the middle of the day and I headed back to more familiar turf rather quickly. On one occasion I was asking a bus driver how to get to a certain location and she asked why I was going there and said it was not a good neighbourhood and not a wise idea.

Anyway there were plenty of good places to be…
Farmer Market on Fairfax- excellent eats and the Wholefood Market takes the humble supermarket to a whole new level- unbelievable choices.
- spas for everything! Him, her, him and her, him and him, teeth, the dog you name it.
- Wig shops, to add more hair, to make it longer, to make you look bald…??
- Supermarket size shops to buy stuff to help you beef up, help you slim down and everything in between – they were sold in container size quantities!
- Posting shop for ebay buying and selling- they must take ebay real seriously
- Suburbs completely enclosed in security fencing
- Palm trees- LA could be described as an Ode to the Palm, they are everywhere and of every size and are so beautiful
- Art galleries galore
- Saw my first hummimgbird- so wonderful- they are so tiny, and there wings really are a blur of movement, this little fellow was metallic red/green. I felt to special seeing him

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