13 October 2015


Sunrise from the bedroom this morning

Dear Reader,
   You might find it helpful to prepare a cup of tea to sip whilst reading the blog - it is longer than usual as there has been more to cover than typically. Let it be said that all images may be enlarged by clicking on them; some benefit considerably by a larger display size.

It is unmistakably autumn. The nights are cooler, the humidity has dropped, no rain of consequence mentioned in the ten day forecast; National Weather Service has predicted the first frost will coat the farm this very weekend, which seems early. The fireplace shall soon be the source of warmth and solace for animal and man alike.

The trees have peaked in presenting their marvelous new mantles, indeed, many are already naked, their leaves scattered about their roots. Summer drought stressed the trees and some began shedding without transitioning to color, just brown and dry as they zig-zag toward terra firma.

Ken Scott ink & watercolor painting on the inside of an antiques book cover, www.americanfrontierart.blogspot.com:
 Scott's inimitable frontier art, which Stratheden visitors may recognize.
 Mr. Fuzzy fulfilled a long held desire last week and motored to Conner Prairie Interactive History Museum near Indianapolis to be a student. Frontier artist par excellance, Ken Scott, taught a to and a half day class on constructing 18th and 19th century hunting bags. He had taught two classes earlier in the session on making hunting bag from a boot top and Back country Southern Arts. Your humble correspondent desperately wanted to participate in the Southern class but the floods (see the earlier blog post) delayed my departure and it was missed, sigh. Sigh again. Ken is the absolute Master at American Frakturs, be they Pennsylvania or Southern and it was a sore disappointment to miss the course.

Ken Scott Pouches. Skull pouch.:
one of Ken's striking hunting bags
   Despite the disappointment of missing one class, the bag making class was more fun than a barrel of monkeys and much was gleaned from it. Ken is no Johnny-come-lately, having pursued this niche in the art world for decades. More importantly, he has carved out a special position by his unique style and flawless execution. Specifically, his art is very folky, inspired by what the uncommon common man might have created on a remote frontier farm with the barest of materials and no training - but imbued with pure God-given genius. Not all great artists are good teachers - Ken is as good an instructor as they can be, giving encouragement, guidance, technique and the most gentle corrections imaginable in his unique manner.

Mr. Fuzzy's bag made during the workshop

Ken is free with what he has learned by decades of experience. He demonstrated his techniques and shared his sources of inspiration and materials. One fabulous result was a trip to downtown Indianapolis tot he site of a 108 year old leather supply store, Landwerlen Leather Company. Their store was a 100 year trip backwards in time. Mr. Fuzzy was stunned by not only the selection but the quality of materials - and wrung his wallet dry at the clerk's counter. Although the store caters to "the trade," as a courtesy to Ken, his students are treated as if they were lifelong customers. They are happy to conduct their trade by telephone and I, for one, will not ever purchase leather or supplies anywhere else.

Landwerlen Leather Company, Indianapolis

 The Jacksonville Arts Center, a regional power house located here in Floyd, opened an exhibition last weekend on the subject of barns. Artists could submit three art works to be juried. Mr. Fuzzy is delighted to note that all three photographs submitted were accepted. Despite cold and damp weather the crowd was excellent and enthusiastic. It was heart warming to have total strangers saunter over and explain why they appreciated your art. Mr. Fuzzy rarely enters shows; his art is for himself, but this could be a defining experience.

two of Mr Fuzzy's photographs, left and centre

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post....

The bag is awesome. Can't wait to see it finished with a strap. Ken is an excellent teacher. I learned a ton from him.

Congrats on the show. I am sure that was fun. Wish I could have seen it.