Art Colony Thoughts

So every year, on the first Saturday of August, Fabulous Publisher Babe ™ and I throw what we call the Art Colony BBQ out at the farm. The folks we invite are the artists, rather than the mundane friends that I know. Not that I don’t love everyone, but the point of the event is to get a large supply of people together who art, so they can meet each other and cross-pollinate.

Yesterday was the third annual event, and the best one yet. Had bbq chicken in one crock pot and bbq pork shoulder in the other one. Dozen or so chicken drumsticks. Burgers and dogs for mid-day, once the coals got warm. Veggie platter for the weirdos.

Every year, the invite goes to 75 or 100 folks. Many are already committed to other things, winding the summer down, or vacation, or whatever. Health issues always crop up and some folks have to bail at the last moment. Life happens.

But we probably ended up with around thirty-five people this year, which is about normal. The mix was randomly new, which made it all the more fun.

Had a couple of young writers just starting out in life. (Teenage girls with art in their soul, who got a chance to meet the rest of a tribe they didn’t know even existed, because all artistic kids are the loners at school.) Several older folks were on hand to provide some depth of experience and perspective.

One screenwriter (other than me, he’s actually had one of his short scripts turned into a thing). One of two burlesque dancers made it. Number of musicians (and we did have a brief musical interlude, so I’m thinking next year we should have a busking station where anybody but the lunatic with the banjo can entertain us (no filking, Jay. Not kidding) and maybe collect some tips.

We even had several chefs and cooking folks nerding out at one table for a reasonable chunk of the afternoon. Plus the blackberries were just coming into season, so I expect folks to be back Tuesday to pick more than the two quarts one guy took home. The red huckleberries were heavy and lovely this year, and Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) got a lot of jam that she’s not sharing. The Salal crop is all wrong, but there were salmonberries in some of the jams I had out.

As with all events, later I will be posting on my fb page pictures of the “Devil’s Playground” (idle hands are the devil’s playground) that I took this morning. Every table gets covered with white paper, and boxes of crayons come out, plus several of the graphical arts folks bring their pencils and supplies. And we had at least eight people committing art on tables over the course of the day.

The best part this year was the relative stranger, who got to prove he actually exists. We have a common FB friend and one day engaged in some back and forth on that page, and that turned into talking writing and connecting over social media. (I’ve even done some first reading on his stories.) However, I’ve never met him in the flesh. He came from the east coast on train (bitching every step of the way at the lack of decent wifi once he left Chicago, and the lack of decent coffee other than Minot, ND, I think, would have to look up).

But he has friends out there that I hadn’t met before, and brought them all along. Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) had hand-roasted him some coffee, and we taught him what the aeropress coffee experience was like, and seriously disturbed that boy’s wa. So he and his friends managed to crawl out of bed (or never make it to bed) in order to join us for Sunday breakfast at Krain Korner Restaurant, where we got to nerd out all over again.

And the best part on food, on the topic of disturbing the wa of the masses, was dessert: homemade coconut yogurt, with homemade granola, and four different flavors of homemade jam. (Did I mention that the missus and I have turned into hippies?” Poke me if you wanna know the various recipes involved. And then go buy yourself an Instapot.)

And we cross-pollinated artists. Folks got to meet each other and connect and nerd out on art. Both the Babe and I are going to help a couple of other artists with covers and blurbs, as they get serious about taking some of the next steps. One table talked France and photography until well into the darkness. (And the usual rule is that party starts 1pm-ish, and runs until I get tired of people, which is usually around dark, or about 800-830, depending. Final batch finally left after 9 last night, and it was good.

For all the folks in the sound of my voice, First Saturday of August, just outside of Ravensdale, WA. Bring your own damned beer, because all five of my step-daughters are beer snobs and no two of them agree on good beer. I’ll supply the dead critter and sides, unless you got something weird you want to eat. (And I was dealing with at least one full-on celiac, who could eat almost everything available, and was expecting several more, plus folks with other food issues, so it was all safe or well marked.)

For the rest of you, expect to be taunted mercilessly that you weren’t able to make it. And mark your calendar for next year. And if you want to be on the invite list, and weren’t, let me know

shade and sweet water,


West of the Mountains, WA