Thursday, September 30, 2010

my trip to Wyoming, and pictures!

Alrighty, I've finally got this all ready to go! The photos took ages to get through, and are carefully arranged in chronological order. No small feat, working from two cameras... I kept a written journal while I was gone but did not post blogs for a couple of reasons, mostly because I wanted to get all the photos on line at the same time and knew I would not have time to do that while I was up there.

Here ya go, this is super long!


Current location: Wells, Nevada.

Well, I don’t plan on actually blogging while I’m gone but I guess I could at least write stuff down anyway. :-) It’s been a crazy and frazzled last few days getting ready to go and getting all packed up, but I was ready to go by yesterday evening and actually had time to chill out and watch a movie.

I hit the road around 9am today. Somehow Nevada seems more scenic than it did when Jan and I were heading back from our cross-country adventure in June (though that’s not really saying much). I’m sure it will be more boring on the way home. Somehow things seem prettier when you’re heading out on an adventure versus when you’re going back home.

The drive is going fine, cruise control mostly set at 75 except when there’s construction or lots of trucks. The Avalon is running great, though to my dismay the CD player is… tempermental to put it mildly. There was a moment of panic thinking I would not be able to listen to any of the books on CD that I brought (because I ran out of time to transfer them to my ipod). Generally if I beg and plead and insert the CD about five times though it’ll finally condescend to play it. I am listening to “Water for Elephants” and totally engrossed, but let me say that you should not listen to it while riding with anyone you’d tend to be embarrassed around. There are some fairly colorful parts. ;-)

I am in Wells, NV tonight. This hotel is pretty skanky but it was slim pickins, so oh well. I am looking forward to getting on the road tomorrow morning so that I can get out of here and get back to the book!


Current location: Jackson, Wyoming.

Okay, I am still in love with this part of the country. I really am. This was such a gorgeous drive today. I headed north from Wells (so glad to get the heck out there!) and through Idaho on my way to Wyoming. You know, this doesn’t seem like it’s all that far away. Two days of driving doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.

Oh, let me just say that it is kind of weird traveling alone. Nice, the solitude in the car has been nice (and I loved the book!) but staying alone in a hotel where there was nobody else I knew… it was odd. I slept surprisingly well though, all things considered.

Anyway, I took a zillion photos today because I kept being in total awe of the splendor and beauty of everything. I took a different route than I anticipated, which is okay because I saw an area I didn’t plan on seeing, but it did add an hour to the trip. Not that it mattered. Must have been some force of nature guiding me. Actually, I just followed the signs, and instead of going over Teton Pass I went through the Swan Valley and then came up to Jackson from the south through Hoback Junction. I had to pull over and consult GPS though, my directions only told me how to get to the house via Teton Pass!

The weather is amazing. I can see the Tetons from the window of the guest room where I sit writing this. I am staying with my friend Bryan (thank you!!!), who I haven’t seen for two years, and it’s sooo good to be here and be able to catch up. It seemed like a million years since I had been here, and yet the moment I got into this valley and saw the Tetons in the distance I just had this weird feeling as though I’d barely been gone a week. I can’t really explain it. Suffice to say I am still wildly in love with this part of the world.

[Edit: if you want to read about two years ago, go to "The Adventure" in the archives. I'd like to get all those pics into an album too, eventually).

Tomorrow is a free day, thank goodness. I need to unwind. So I’ll head into town and poke around the galleries and do some shopping, and admire all the amazing art.

I’m so excited.


September 14, 2010:
Current location: Jackson, Wyoming.

It’s easy to overlook that I have this big work thing going on the next three days. I’m having so much fun it feels like vacation! Oh yeah, I’ve got work to do! Actually, it feels like I’ve been here longer than just a little over 24 hours. Weird, it’s a time warp or something.

Today was eventful. I spent most of my day in downtown Jackson by myself, doing the tourist thing, looking at all the galleries and doing some shopping. There seem to be some changes from when I was last here two years ago. Some of the galleries seem different, I think a few have changed names, or maybe moved? The art is so inspiring. There is so much amazing work here, and yes, some that makes me scratch my head and wonder how it got here. Unlike last time I was here, I’ve found no scrimshaw. There was a store last time that had quite a lot of pretty poor scrim. That store is different now. There’s a place that’s completely selling out, fixtures and everything. I could have gotten a life size hairy Bigfoot replica for a couple thousand dollars but I wasn’t sure how I’d get it back home. ;-)

I had lunch at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. I was told I needed to go there, so I did. It’s pretty cool. The barstools are old saddles. I had a buffalo quesadilla for lunch. That was good, but heavy on the onions and peppers.

Oh, and I did not find a cowboy there. Dang it.

Anyway, by about 3pm I was done wandering and ogling art, so I went back to the parking lot, put the key in the ignition, and… nothing happened. Oh are you kidding me! Hmm, dumbbell here had left the lights on… because there’s no “bing bing bing” to let me know that I’ve done so. Going to have to have my mechanic look at that. Plus the car is rattling more than it was. What the heck! Anyway, I flagged down a kindly fellow (alas not a cowboy) who had jumper cables, and was on my merry way. And in the mean time, I’ve affixed a hot pink sticky note to the steering wheel that says “check headlights!!!”

I was almost back to the house, just turning in the driveway, when a moose stepped onto the road in front of me. I pulled off the side and frantically fumbled for my camera, which of course I’d put away in my purse, and by the time I found it the moose was long gone. Dang it! Foiled again by a moose! I saw three of them last time (geez that does not feel like two years ago, it feels like maybe a month ago, this is WEIRD) and never did get a photo. Sigh.

I worked on some paperwork for a while and then it was off to the Bar J Ranch Chuckwagon dinner with Bryan. This was a new experience. You eat at long picnic tables with lots of other people (I thought people would be real chatty but we sat with people who kept to themselves, not that I’m any different…), and after dinner there is western music entertainment. The food was quite good, and lots of it! BBQ meat, potato, beans, biscuit, cake, and lemonade. But the singers, oh my, these guys blew me away. They were some of the same guys who were serving food and selling dinner tickets. They sounded soooo good, and they’re so funny, I think I had a big grin plastered across my face the whole time and I practically hurt from laughing so much! And I’m completely smitten with one of the fellows, a deep-voiced hunkamuffin named Danny. They are going to be playing a Christmas show at a church near Sacramento in December, I might just have to go! (Church? Me? Hmm… well…okay.) Anyway, all around awesome evening and I will totally put that on the list of things to do again next time I’m up there!

So, I’m all packed up for the show tomorrow. Not nervous now but I’m sure I will be. This is a big deal!

I’d better hit the hay so that I won’t be a zombie tomorrow. The day starts pretty early. “Vacation” is over until Saturday. ;-) And then we’re off to Yellowstone.


September 15, 2010:
Current location: Jackson, Wyoming.

I wasn’t nervous til about a half hour before I had to leave the house this morning to go to the show. Then I was very nervous. Today was the Ladies Luncheon held at a resort near Teton Village. It was a crowd of 170ish women in attendance. All the other “artisans” there were jewelers except one (and me) so I did feel a bit like a fish out of water. I was surprised how many people actually knew something about scrim. The next two days I will be set up at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

I came back to the house and promptly feel asleep for about a half hour but woke up when one of the roommates arrived home. I decided I really couldn’t waste the gorgeous weather so I went for a drive up into Teton National Park.

When I was here two years ago I saw three mooses. I didn’t manage to photograph any of them. Well, they redeemed themselves today! I photographed seven of them today, including three that were walking up the driveway when I got back to the house! The drive was beautiful, with the evening light sinking down over the Tetons. The weather has been amazing. It rained some yesterday afternoon when I was in town (lots of thunder) but today was fantastic. No matter how things turn out, I’m having a great time here.


September 16, 2010:
Current location: Jackson, Wyoming.

Today the show was set up at the NMWA, and will be there tomorrow too. I’m in a great location, lots of people have seen my work, lots of people are super impressed. It’s been a long day talking to a lot of people. There was a great dinner and a band at the Museum tonight. Sleepy time!


September 17, 2010:
Current location: Jackson, Wyoming.

It’s all I can do to keep my eyeballs open tonight! What a great day though! The day started with a breakfast out at a resort for the artists and their guests. We sat with a fun group of artists. Good food and good conversation! And I’m pleased that I’ve officially made some new friends. :-)

Then it was off to the museum for the last day of the show. It was regular museum traffic during the early part of the day and then the miniature show/sale attracted a big crowd this evening.

I’ve seen some amazing work, made some great contacts, sold some of my work, made some new friends, and learned some things that I think will be helpful on down the road…

It’s after midnight now, past time for bed. We leave for Yellowstone early tomorrow morning.


September 19, 2010:
Current location: Jackson, Wyoming.

I’m pretty much emotional jell-o tonight, getting ready to leave tomorrow. For some reason leaving here seems to do that to me. *sniff*

Bryan and I spent yesterday and today up in Yellowstone and had a great time. We photographed all sorts of critters, saw some amazing scenery (it’s soooo pretty right now, the trees are starting to turn colors) and even got to see some wolves albeit at a distance and nothing like the amazingness that happened two years ago! I saw a bear too, outside the park, but it was behind trees and I didn’t get a photo. Pretty sure it was a grizzly but it was hard to tell. We stayed in a cute little place up in Cooke City, Montana last night. It was particularly fun getting to see some areas of the park that we didn’t see last time. I’d love to have more than two days to blaze through there some time!

I just realized that the last three sweatshirts I bought are as follows: a brown one that says “Wyoming” (got on the way back from GA in June), a gray one that says “Jackson Hole, Wyoming” and a blue one that says “Yellowstone.” Um, I think I’m obsessed with Wyoming.

Yeah, I really hate to leave. But I’d better get some sleep. Got to get up early to say goodbye (man I hate saying goodbye) and hit the road for Nevada.


September 20, 2010:
Current location: Elko, Nevada.

Well, I left Jackson early this morning after loading up the cooler with elk meat from Bryan’s freezer (woo hoo!). I have a hard time leaving that part of the country. It makes me think that’s where I need to be. It makes me think I need to do whatever it takes to make that possible. I don’t know how I’d handle the winter though! I’ve had such a great time in the last week. Admittedly not everything with the show was quite as I had dreamily hoped, but I know what to do for next year and made some pretty important contacts up there, and I know my work was seen by some pretty important folks in the Jackson art scene. Of course it’s great getting to add some fun vacation time and good friendship into the mix too! :-)

I took a different route today, went over Teton Pass and then out through Arco, Idaho and the Craters of the Moon National Monument. That’s a pretty weird place, and in fact that whole part of desert has all these “restricted area” signs (was and perhaps still is much nuclear activity there) and makes you think that everywhere you there’s probably some government agency aware of your every move. At one point at one of these restricted area access points there was a fire truck, an ambulance, a police car, and several mysterious looking SUV’s all with their lights flashing… and I didn’t see anything. Weird. Anyway, it was interesting to see although I didn’t feel like forking over $8 to drive quickly through it, so I just kept going on down the road.

I am in Elko, NV tonight. This is much better than Wells or Battle Mountain, and amazingly this is perhaps the most comfortable bed on the planet. It’s like a cloud, I’m sure I will sleep well (edited afterwards, indeed I did!). I can walk around in here without feeling like I need to bleach my feet afterwards. I’ll be home tomorrow, and I know there’s going to be that weird depressing adjustment period. I have a lot of cleaning and housework to do before I get back to real work.


September 30, 2010:
Current location: Wilton, California.

Okay, I’m finally writing the last entry over a week after getting home, because I finally finished with all the photographs! As expected it’s been strange being back in CA, it’s never easy to re-adjust to normal life. But I come away from this trip feeling the pull of Jackson even stronger than I did two years ago, like some day, some way, that’s where I need to be even if just part time. My art sure as heck needs to be there. I had such a good time, lots of fond memories to look back on. I’ve reapplied for the show for next year, though I’m trying to get into a different category of the show (the miniature art, versus jewelry, it’s what I wanted this time anyway but was reassigned and I really think it’s a way more logical fit in miniatures!). Cross your fingers that I get in. It’s tough working in an art medium that many people don’t understand, but that’s the road I’m taking and by golly I’ll make it work! As they say, “I’ll be back.”


Now, I know you want photos! They are all in a Picasa album, it's much easier that way. You don't need to log in to view them, but you do need a google account to comment (or you can comment here, whatever). I've captioned them all, and done so in a way that the album is free-standing from this blog entry, but of course you ought to read it all. ;-)

Wyoming 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

big horses and a little snail

Believe it or not, I'm almost done with the Wyoming pics. One more day to edit and post and then I'll unveil the whole album for you. There will be under 400 photos. Not bad considering I started with over 850! I'm posting most of the good ones, unless they are duplicate shots of almost the same thing.

But in the mean time...

I met up with Jen at Draft Horse Classic on Sunday. I showed in the art show there for 8 years, I love that show. I missed it last year because I was in Kansas, so I didn't even get to go visit. I didn't think I could handle being in the art show the morning after getting back from the ten day WY trip this year, so I didn't apply for a booth. There were a lot of new faces this year. I was tickled that my old friends remembered me, even from across the room when they spotted me. :-) It felt strange not to be there showing my art, but it was also nice to get out and see a horse show for the first time in a long time and just have a relaxing day. I'm glad I went, and I sincerely hope I can fit that back in the schedule next year.

She's barrel racing with a draft horse! Hee hee!:

And she's barrel racing with a mule! (The mule beat the draft horse.):

This pair of Brabant Belgians won the pulling contest. They pulled 4500 pounds. The team itself weighs 3700 pounds. Dang!:

Pretty Belgians:

Jen would tell you I was photographing this dude's butt. Actually that didn't occur to me til she mentioned it (I swear):

I was just impressed because there's no way in heck I could ride like that. And no way my horses could be harnessed together without fangs and slashing hooves and massive blood loss.

Can you imagine having a horse so big you have to climb on with a ladder, and then sit on its neck to braid its mane? That horse is probably about 14-16 inches taller than Shylah!

Today I found this teeny snail stuck to Olin. Yeah, stuck to a cat, how random. Super cute!!! That's on my hand, obviously:

Tonight I washed the Taurus for the last time ever. Oh yeah, cue some sentimentality here. Lots of fun memories there. And a few that aren't so fun. I need to clean out the inside, get it smogged, and then I'm taking it to the Park & Sell this weekend, and possibly for a few weekends. I wish the Avalon was red instead of taupe. I miss driving a red car. People don't recognize me yet, that'll take a while!

By the way, my scrimshaw site is freshly updated, all the for sale/sold info is updated after the show. If there was something you were really desperately hoping I'd bring back from from Jackson Hole so you could buy it... it might be there. Or it might not. :-D The link is in the right sidebar, Katherine Plumer Fine Art.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

under a mountain of photos!

There were approximately 850 photographs taken on my cameras in the span of my Wyoming adventure. I am spending gobs of time going through them, cropping, crediting, editing, arranging, and putting them in an album. Don't worry, you sure won't have to deal with 850 of them. Many get tossed. But I'm only up to the morning of the 18th (meaning we've barely set foot in Yellowstone) in the world of photos, so it'll take a while longer to finish. And I'm not going to blog about the trip til the photos are up.

But here are some other pics in the mean time... The evening before I left, Angus found a turtle in the yard. I was out feeding horses when he went tearing off across the yard barking at what appeared to be a rock from my vantage point. Nope, turtle. How it managed to actually get into the yard I'm not sure. Of course I had to take some photos. Homer (cat) was fairly horrified by it. I took it back out to the creek behind the barn, and though I stood with turtle in one hand and camera in the other, it slid back into the water quicker than you can "turtle butt."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm ba-ack!

Geez I haven't blogged for about a hundred years! I left on the 12th and drove to Wyoming. I returned today. I'm sort of in that post-really-fun-trip funk where I'm wandering around a bit lost and scatterbrained, very tired, unsure what to do because there is so much to do, therefore not really doing anything. I did just make elk fajitas for dinner, and they were delicious. And I think I might bake dessert, because that's more fun than doing laundry or unpacking. Oooh and Glee is on tonight!!! :-)

I kept a written journal while I was gone. I need to email that to myself (it's on the travel laptop) and do some editing and I will post a ginormous blog entry when I can. I'd like to get all the photos up at the same time. I have hundreds and hundreds to go through!

To quickly sum things up, I had a GREAT time up there. It was incredibly hard to leave, I love it there and I have a very hard time saying goodbye without turning to complete mush. :-) The show went okay. There are things on which I really can't elaborate here for all the world to see, so let's just say it could have been better but it was okay.

Hopefully I'll get the pics all up within a week.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Western Visions show, Jackson Hole, WY

Are you wondering about the show I keep mentioning? What is this thing I'm scrambling around getting ready to attend? It's the Western Visions show, held at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The show runs September 15-17, 2010. You can find more information about the show as well as the schedule here.

I am SO EXCITED about it!

Longhorn scrimshaw pendant

Okeedokey, this is the last piece I'm doing before I hit the road for Wyoming! I really had this grand notion that I'd finish a "big" (ha ha, size is so relative when it comes to scrim/engraving!) piece but I never got beyond sketching it out before running out of time. Sigh. Oh well, gotta save some of my great ideas for later, right? ;-)

Longhorn pendant
scrimshaw on pre-ban elephant ivory
30mm diameter

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

mermaid scrimshaw finished

This was a LOT of work! That's some seriously dark color saturation, and there are 13 colors used in this piece.

"Friend or Foe?"
multicolor scrimshaw on pre-ban elephant ivory
1-1/2 by 2-3/8 inches

This piece will be off for Rhode Island next week for a scrimshaw show/competition. I myself am not going to Rhode Island. Maybe some year I will, I'd like to.

Monday, September 06, 2010

September 6 work in progress

All I can say is thank goodness I'm finally done with that background! :-O

I'm not sure I'll ever catch up!

Good grief! Whew!

I went up to Shady Cove, Oregon over the weekend for a family reunion/celebration of my grandpa's 90th birthday. This was with my dad's side of the family. The wedding down in San Diego the previous weekend was my mom's side of the family. A study in contrasts. ;-) The Plumers are a wild bunch. I had a great time, wouldn't have missed it for the world, but thoughts of all the things I needed to do were pretty persistent all weekend. It was a lot of fun to see the relatives, some of whom I hadn't seen for a fairly long time. My grandparents have a beautiful house along the Rogue River, and it's mesmerizing to sit out on the bank and watch the water flow past and the birds fly over. I took my big camera in hopes of some bird nerd drama, maybe an eagle or something. Foiled again, but I snapped a few other birds just for kicks. I'll post all the pics later in this post.

Oh yes, I should mention that my brother Douglas was visiting from London last week. I can't believe it's been a year since he was here. His housemate Robin came along again too, and I'm just endlessly entertained listening to his accent. :-)

Anyway, I just feel like I'm not sure how I'm going to catch up on things. Blogging may be pretty scarce for a while.


Castle Crags. Some day I should drive up there, it looks interesting.

Mt. Shasta, as seen while driving north:

A turkey vulture along the Rogue River:

Canada Goose over the Rogue River:

Belted Kingfisher hovering over the river:

I really like this valley south of Shady Cove, lots of pretty farms:

Except you people from California!:

Mt. Shasta as seen driving south: