I spent a little time this week taking still life photographs. Rob is giving me tips about lighting and operating my camera. Some of the photos show seasonal arrangements and others are permanent displays around the house. While looking for things to take pictures of, I noticed that almost every object in our house has been in Rob’s or my family for a long time. It’s an eclectic collection of stuff, from a 3 ft. high bronze Buddha my great grandfather bought from a missionary in Russia in the late 1900’s to tiny silver salt shakers Rob inherited. Very few items are new or were purchased by us. Both of our families are small and we have become the keepers of the past by default.
Last winter, I had the pleasure of being invited to look through the Falmouth Historical Society’s archives and choosing interesting items to be shown alongside my artwork. The museum’s curator, Amanda Wastrom came up with this brilliant idea, which creates a tie between art of today with objects from the past. We discovered many boxes full of delightful surprises, like collections of old eye glasses and doll shoes. There was no question that these favorote finds would be included somehow. I arranged the different styled spectacles, including a selection of green sun glasses on my table top and sewed them to a stretched piece of fabric. Each pair was unique in some way, but I liked playing around with the commonality of oval shapes of wire and glass. Someone said that these sun glasses made with wire mesh are from the 1700’s. We hung up the glasses display, along with other items from the museum’s archives. Sometimes visitors to my show are confused and think that everything hanging on the wall is from my own personal collection, so I want to clear that up. These dolls’ shoes and miniature knitted mittens melted my heart! The exhibit, Salley Mavor: Expressions in Stitches, Then and Now will be showing at Falmouth Museums on the Green until August 16th. I am thrilled that so many visitors have come already!
The first image in this series of bed pictures is an illustration for a poem called Tumbling, which is included in my 1997 poetry anthology, You and Me:Poems of Friendship. Then there’s a page from my 2001 picture book In the Heart, which was written by Ann Turner. Copies of In the Heart are available in my Etsy Shop.
“Are the children in their beds?” from my Wee Willie Winkie board book.
And here’s “my son John, went to sleep with his trousers on” from Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. I offer autographed copies with a poster in my Etsy Shop.
“Go to bed first, a golden purse” from Pocketful of Posies. See the touring exhibit of the original embroidered illustrations from the book. Next location: Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA, Sept. 4 ~ October 31, 2013.
And here’s Elsie Marley, who won’t get up to feed the swine, which is also from Pocketful of Posies.
“Home of the Tooth Fairy” by Sue Beardsley
People are still flocking to see The Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods exhibit, which will be in and around the grounds of Highfield Hall until July 21st. Stop by the building to get a tour map during their open hours (M – F, 10 – 4, S – S 10 – 2) or print out your own from this pdf file.
detail from “Home of the Tooth Fairy” by Sue Beardsley
My husband, Rob took these “house portraits” of the dwellings in the morning or evening light, depending on their orientation. As you can see, each artist has interpreted the Fairy House theme in a vastly different way. More photographs of other houses can be seen on posts #1 and #2.
“Beech House” by Bobbi Bailin
detail from “Beech House” by Bobbi Bailin
“Casa de Hadas” by Anne Halpin
“Low Living High Flying” by Molly Bang
“Fire Flye Hollow” by Amy Wilson Sanger
“The Ministry of Metamorphosis & Faerie Hatchery” by Angela Tanner
“Sea Shanty” by Rebecca Edwards
“Solvagen” by Jane Parhiala
“Wild Cherry Village” by Skee Houghton
“Sentinel” by Andrea Moore
“Chippikomuk” by Jenny Junker
You may wonder, “Where is this Beebe Woods that keeps popping up in titles on my blog”? It’s a gem of a property (pronounced Bee-bee) in the center of my home town of Falmouth, Massachusetts, right on the edge of Historic Highfield Hall, which was built in 1878 for the Beebe family, who were prominent summer people. My Birds of Beebe Woods piece was made for last year’s exhibit celebrating the forest. Also, Highfield is hosting the Pocketful of Posies traveling exhibit Sept. 4 – Oct. 31, 2013.
This summer, the grounds and gardens of Highfield will be magically transformed into a “fairy” neighborhood, with small-scale habitats hidden throughout the property. Highfield has given me the exciting opportunity to curate The Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods exhibit, which promises to be a popular event during the height of the season.
I got the idea from the Florence Griswold Museum in Lyme, CT, which has hosted several Fairy house events. See my posts about last fall’s exhibit here and here.
I’ve invited 2 dozen local artists to participate in the event and they’ve spent the last few months picking building spots, gathering natural construction materials and thinking about what to make and how to make it. Everyone will bring their own vision and sensibility to their structure, creating a wildly varied display full of architectural whimsy. The outdoor exhibit will be open June 20th – July 21, 2013.
This past winter, I made and photographed 2 models that could be used for advance publicity purposes. Since I didn’t use a glue suitable for outdoors, these won’t be in the exhibit, but I will have another house to show. I’m in the process of constructing a more weather resistant cottage that will be perched in a magnificent copper beech tree. I hope that many of you will have a chance to visit the exhibit this summer and for those of you who live far away, I’ll post pictures.
The fairy house tour around the grounds of the Florence Griswold Museum continues with photos of some of my favorite structures. Out of 33 very different styles, I found the naturalistic interpretations more believable as fairy dwellings. These tended to blend in with the landscape and mostly used materials found in nature. Please note: This fairy house exhibit is closed, with the next scheduled for 2014.
A house with a teapot doorway.
This tree had several entrances.
These cottages perched on the roots look like guest houses for sprites.
A cozy picnic spot.
A wee painter’s shack.
Dew Drop Villas and a muscle shell windmill conclude the tour.
Last week, I drove with my husband and a friend to Old Lyme, Connecticut, to see the eagerly anticipated Wee Faerie Village on the grounds of the Florence Griswold Museum. It was the last opportunity to see the display, because this year’s exhibit closed yesterday. I’m told that they coordinate the building of a new village every other year, so the next event should be in the fall of 2014.
Even with cloudy skies and cool temperatures, we enjoyed strolling around the property, following the numbered mushroom signs. Over thirty fairy dwellings were created by artists from the area, including my favorite, Nevergreen Caverns, made by the museum’s education director, David D.J. Rau.
Three hollow logs are stacked on a larger stump, with each space furnished with fairy comforts.
I found the burned wood markings charming…
as well as the mushroom roofed balconies.
It was well worth the visit! I will show more pictures of other houses in my next post.