Tag Archives: Starker Arts Park

Arting in the Garden, SAGE style

"Multiple Crops". mixed media by Kerry McFall, 18 x 22, $125

“Multiple Crops”. mixed media by Kerry McFall, 18 x 22, $125

“Arting” with friends for a good cause (the Corvallis Environmental Center) plus a complementary gourmet dinner in the midst of a gorgeous late summer garden… life just doesn’t get much better!  I spent last Saturday afternoon happily absorbed painting bee boxes, pumpkins, and scarlet runner beans winding up stalks of ripening corn in the SAGE (Starker Arts Garden for Education) garden.

Painting “en plein air” adds several increments of excitement to what is normally a quiet and solitary process:  weather (in this case, sunny and warm, making the paint dry very quickly and making the light change every 15 minutes), bugs (bees and yellow jackets buzzing literally at my feet), and fascinating people.

"Bee Box", mixed media by Kerry McFall, 10 x10", Sold $100

“Bee Box”, mixed media by Kerry McFall, 10 x10″, Sold $100

I was thrilled when a man walked up and bought the first piece I finished (Bee Box)!  It was almost a cartoon, but I just HAD to draw something that colorful!  While I drew and painted at what was breakneck speed for me, I chatted with folks about community food webs, coping with stings and mean yellow jackets this time of year, and how to know when to stop painting.  Knowing when to stop is my biggest challenge right now, as you can see below in this series I did in the same garden as  a “warm up” for the event the week before:

If I had stopped at phase 2, without all the white highlights and blue tints I added, I would have been happier than I am with the “finished” piece.  Live and learn!

The pumpkin below was a “post event” piece, created from my photo taken on the day of the event.  This pumpkin was almost completely obscured by the leaves, which were ghostly with their coatings of powdery mildew.  I had my doubts about when to call it “finished” as well, but in this case I’m glad I added the dark outlines and took the background all the way to black (click the thumbnail to enlarge).

The “Multiple Crops” piece, “Cabbage Rose” and “Pumpkin with Ghost Leaves” are all for sale, contact me if you’re interested and half the proceeds will go to the SAGE project!  (Prints are available also)

Lucifer the Guard Goose

Sketch of African Goose

Lucifer or Lucy?

Lucifer guards the pond at Starker Arts Park in Corvallis.  I see this fabulous specimen of an African Goose almost daily as I walk during my morning break, some days floating with all sails unfurled like this, other days attacking humans who have the audacity to wave their arms and talk loudly (mostly women) as they walk around the pond.  Lucifer cuts a wide swath among the resident mallards and widgeons that spend the winters in the pond and nearby wetlands.  He showed up a couple of years ago, and has been in charge ever since.

My Google research told me that he/she is an African goose, a breed which isn’t from Africa at all but rather from China, so go figure… The huge bulbous beak and under-the-throat “dew flap” are comical, (unless he is chasing you,) and seem to have no apparent reason for being.  The mystery is whether Lucifer is a he or a Lucy.  The best Google had to offer about how to tell gender was essentially to catch the goose, turn it upside down, and take a peek inside… I think Lucy/Lucifer would take exception to this investigative technique, and I’ll bet he/she weighs in at over 25 pounds.  So that will remain a mystery, and for now I am content to watch as Lucifer maintains order in the park and honks commands to the three white Indian Runner ducks for which he seems to feel responsible.