Today the kids and I went with my mom to ArtTrails, a day when many artists in the county open their homes and studios to the public for free. It has become one of my favorite events of the year. We have been bringing Az to ArtTrails since she was three months old, and every year it gets a little more fun for her because she is able to appreciate the art just a little more. I wouldn't say that she is a great art connoisseur yet but she had a lot of fun looking at the art pieces this year. She has just discovered painting as a recreational activity so she was excited to see that other people paint too. And of course Z has always been my little artist. I wouldn't be shocked to discover that he had a pottery wheel going en uterus. I mean, I would be shocked, because that would be weird, but you know what I mean.
I was really hoping to finally be able to afford a piece from my favorite artist but this year he didn't have any items on sale. I was tempted for a moment to come back the next weekend and buy one of the pieces not on sale but then I remembered that I have both a half-broken laptop and car, and putting money towards my art collection no longer felt like a priority. I'm still determined that one day I will have one of his pieces hanging on my wall though. As a very nice consolation prize my mom bought me a much more reasonably priced multi-media piece from an artist I hadn't heard of prior to the day, but I ended up buying a number of postcard prints of hers to frame.
I didn't come home with any huge additions to my non-existent art collection but I can chalk up the day as another great experience. I really love that both of my children enjoy spending the day driving around looking at art with their mom and grandmother. I know a lot of toddlers and pre-teen boys that would not be game. I also love that I am amassing so much art from local artists, whom I've spoken to and met and whom generally paint and portray local areas that are dear to me.
Most of the artists provide snacks, which is probably one of the big reasons the kids don't mind the day. This artist in Graton had mandarin oranges for us, which was a welcome break from the cookies and cakes. (Welcome to me anyhow.)
"Helping" Rik Olson with his printing. Olson's home studio has become one of our favorite stops, not just because we like his art so much but also because Z always gets to use the press and Az gets to feed the fish and chickens.
The milliner told us we were welcome to pick some apples from her orchard. It took a little doing to find apples that didn't have any holes but we were richly rewarded for our efforts. Food picked straight off the tree always tastes so much better. Nature knows what she's doing a lot better than humans.