Finding Opportunities: Art Shows, Gardening and Beyond

Last weekend I exhibited a few small pieces at the Wisteria City Market in Snellville, Georgia. I happened to come across the opportunity in a Facebook group for local artists. If you find yourself unsure of how you can get your art out into the world, I suggest joining groups like this. Even if the posts aren’t geared toward critique or cross-promotion, there are often unique exhibition opportunities.

I didn’t go into this event expecting sales, per se. I primarily wanted to get out and meet more creatives. Conceptually the event was interesting, too. Local businesses worked with a portion of city government to set up a tent market for a one-day event. If the event generated a large, positive response from the public then city council would move forward on grants to facilitate the construction of a cultural center on the same piece of land. I think we’re still waiting for the verdict on that one.

Before heading out to Snellville I stopped by Farmer D’s in Atlanta. Per Pattie Baker’s suggestion I went there for organic planting soil and fertilizer. While there I picked up a few packs of organic seeds, too. Including a pack of North Georgia Candy Roaster winter squash. I’ve never even seen those before! After a quick look online, I see that Southern Exposure Seed Exchange has a website and catalog. I need to set aside an hour or two to see what other exciting things they may have there.

At the beginning of this week I transplanted my basil cuttings to containers. And now I’m brainstorming the best way to plant everything else. It’s a long shot, but I’m even wondering how I can start my own madder bush. Maybe I can grow one in a pot?

Madder creates a really vibrant red dye. It’s very old, iconic dye. How iconic? It was used to make the red dye for British military uniforms. Yeah. Those red coats. The challenge with madder is that I’ve heard it takes about 5 years to grow a bush that gives you a good amount of material to work with. I have to say, though, I anticipate a bit of guilt since the best color comes from the root of the plant.

A faster solution for a good red would be safflower. And I’m guessing those would be fine in pots or containers. I need to do a bit more research. Safflower makes a good red dye and fugitive (weak) yellow dye that needs to be washed away during processing. Safflower red was once used to dye cotton tapes that were applied to legal documents. When you hear someone mention “red tape,” that’s the origin.

Anywho, I have some watercolor paper stretched for a new dye painting. In the meantime, I’m working on an art nouveau-inspired Bitcoin painting in acrylic.

Things are good.