Note: If using Outlook click the above bar where it says “Click to download photos” This issue has many photos so it may take a couple of extra minutes to download.
This month's featured artist Karen Goodfellow uses natural materials to embellish her beautiful gourd art.
In This Issue: This month we are very fortunate to have, as our featured artist, Karen Goodfellow. Karen is a painter whose interests include gourds along with other mediums. Her art is unique and is reflective of her First Nations/ European/gypsy roots. Karen's decisions in life have been what some people may call risk-taking, but her path is one of creativity and her reward - a spiritual journey, which is rich and full of light.
Emerging Innocents - A Painting by Karen Goodfellow
Out in the gourd patch young gourds are popping up everywhere and in August, Mother Nature will take over. No more nightly pollination sessions, not as much watering - heck, go on holidays; your gourd patch will be fine.
This month, thanks to Rita in Michigan, we have a sure-fire method of getting rid of powdery mildew. This has been used by farmers for decades and it works. If you have this fungus problem, read on.
A Reminder: The summer hours of Northern Dipper will be displayed on the main page of the website up in the right hand corner. In August we will be closed the 8th - 15th. (See Summer Craft Shows)
Karen Goodfellow standing with her painting "Yearning"
Karen Goodfellow has had a very interesting history. In 1996 she took a leave of absence from a high-powered corporate job and traveled solo around South America for four months. One month was spent doing volunteer work with the Flying Doctors of America. Another was with the Global Citizens Network. This process of volunteer work and travel was a life altering experience for Karen. She realized that she was living the dreams of others, but not her own. Within a year she made some big changes to her life and began what she refers to as "following a creative and spiritual path."
The soft blues and the simpicity of this gourd is lovely.
It is 1997 and Karen has sold her home, left a significantly lucrative career, friends, family and country (Canada) and what felt like part of her identity. She got in a moving truck and the moving company freaked because she couldn’t tell them where in the US she was going. She watched the miles go by and waited. At Colorado Springs she knew it was time to stop. “Intuitively I was drawn to Colorado Springs” she says. “I found a house that was 9300 feet above sea level on a lake in a rural mountain community of about 2000. It was lovely and gave me the time and space to grow.”
Family of Innocents
Karen applied at the Bemis School of Art even though she hadn’t picked up a paintbrush in 20 years. Her resume was a half page and included ideas for courses. She explains. “I was (and still am) an experiential training facilitator and I knew intuitively that to facilitate business or art would require the same skill." Meanwhile the director of the school had a dream that he should be offering process with art, not just art as a product. "He liked my philosophy and ideas and hired me. I might add that he had never hired anyone without a Fine Arts Degree so I was a gamble. Good thing I worked out!”
Cow Pow Wow
Karen’s first interaction with a gourd was receiving one from a young mother in South America. “It was given to me as a gift. I carried it all over South America for 3 months and as a matter of fact I still have it.”
“What intrigued me about gourds was that they are from Mother Earth and have been used functionally and artistically throughout time. It really struck home when I was teaching the kids to work with gourds at the Bemis School of Art. Another teacher I worked with was very gifted with her gourd work so I took every opportunity to observe and learn. Working in 3D was completely different from painting on a flat canvas…I just loved it.”
Stairway To Heaven
When it comes to gourds Karen feels like she is just starting out. Laughing she says “I have only done about 30 in my life. I want to do a line of masks, get better at pyrography and take my work in whole new directions with Apoxie Sculpt. I am intimidated by coiling and pine needles but I just ordered some. I also just ordered some new shapes in gourds - shapes I have never worked with.
"What I have recently done is combine painting with gourds. I am an acrylic painter and I paint in a different way than most….I paint backgrounds and then wait until a painting SHOWS ME what it wants to be versus me deciding I want to paint people, or a landscape, etc. Sometimes my paintings will take 20 minutes to show me while other times it is 2 years. I now do that with gourds."
Close-up of one of Karen's tamborines
Karen’s art is very distinctive. We asked her where she gets her ideas and new techniques. “I use books and for the last few months the Northern Dipper Newsletter ideas (I will be trying inlaying next). I wood burn but don’t carve. I mostly laser on images with Laser Tran. I thought of the idea for Laser Tran on my own and I love the way it looks. I have seen the combination of gourd and clay and liked it but didn’t like working with most products so gave it up. I then saw the Apoxie Sculpt on the Northern Dipper website and ordered it. I LOVE it!!
On a personal note Karen has an awesome partner Herman and daughter Amanda who is 22. Her great great great Grandfather was Chief Joe Capilano (for eastern Canadians that might mean nothing but for west coast it is a household name). She is a proud auntie of 12 and a scrounge for found things of all sorts. She says on occasion it’s embarrassing but she justifies it by saying “I’m an artist!” People then understand.
Karen also works as a team builder meaning she assists those that want to live their life purposefully in the world of business. The goal is to develop a team that wants to be more effective. She will often use creativity as a process for building teams and the end result is that Karen will bring 'chaos into cohesion.'
To learn more about Karen Goodfellow and her art click here.
Thank you Karen for sharing your life and your art with us. You are a facinating woman. Your paintings are wonderful - we love the abstracts and your tamborines and gourd work inspire us. All the best to you. Keep in touch. Carolyn and Linda
The Gourd Grow Report
In August young gourds will grow rapidly.
August is a pretty easy month for gourd growers. You have all worked hard the past few months and now you can let Mother Nature take over and just watch your gourds grow large and mature.
August notes: Out in the gourd patch -
1.) In August your minis will start drying. Do not pick until the vines are dead.
2.) The cucumber beetle populations will be subsiding somewhat; keep your eyes open for powdery mildew. (See letter in right hand column)
3.) Go through your gourd patch and turn any gourds that are on their sides upright. You do not want flat spots anywhere but on the bottom.
4.) In Canada you can stop pollinating. There will not be enough time for the youngsters to mature now.
5.) Trellised gourds: If you are growing on wire, check that the wire is not growing into the gourds. Using 2 hands gently pull the gourd out and re-position. If your gourds are large and heavy and do need extra support use discarded pantyhose. Place the gourd in the top of the pantyhose and tie it up using the legs.
6.) If your vines are still taking off prune that main vine. You want the plant’s energy to go into the developing gourds, not the greenery.
Last year was the first year I planted gourds. They have been sitting on a hay wagon drying out. They feel light but when I shake a number of them I don’t hear any seeds rattling. Are they still drying or is it possible they are ready but the seeds are clumped together and will not rattle. Do the seeds have to rattle for them to be ready for use?
Thank you for your help.
Here is a little volunteer growing from a broken gourd that was out in the field. There must have been a few clumped seeds in this gourd.
Thank you for your email. Sometimes when the gourd is dry, you can't hear the seeds rattling around. The seeds have dried into a clump. Some varieties are more prone to clumping than others. Slap the gourd against the palm of your hand and this might break up the seed clump. If they feel light and are an average size, chances are the gourd is dried.Normally gourds are dry by June unless they are huge Bushels, which will take longer.
PS When you open these gourds make sure to wear a mask. Clumped seeds can create dusty gourds.
I want to thank you so much for that fine service you gave me one month ago; the gourds were perfect!
Things have been busy for me. I attended that guitar show that I told you about - it was great! Otherwise I've been out of the city, out to the country to get closer to nature...
My fruit (gourd) guitar is getting a fabulous response. If you follow the link below there are pictures and you can hear how it sounds. It is of course one of your gourds. I will be ordering more soon. I will stay in touch.
Hi Thierry - thank you! We love the You Tube links on your page. The first demonstrates the craftsmanship that goes into the making of a gourd guitar and the second - the beautiful sounds it makes. We are very impressed, it is a real beauty! Talk to you soon,
Carolyn and Linda
Hello, Vera here. I was in your store on Sunday and bought some gourds and looked around . I just wanted to thank you for showing me what you have...the gourds, tools and so many books. It was a very interesting visit. You have really inspired me now.
I took a gourd that I painted to this guy at a vegetable farm and now he has ordered some. So I will be coming back to buy some more from you. Thank you very much for your kindness and for showing me your show room; it was very nice meeting both of you. I can see now why your business does so well - you are true and kind people.
Well girls, we will chat with you later. Bye for now.
Your New Gourd Friend Vera From Waubaushene
Hi Vera Good to hear from you. Bring a couple of samples of your painted gourds the next time you come. We would be very excited at seeing them. Linda and Carolyn
The Adventures of Jade the Dog
Jade is part of the Northern Dipper team. She just had a very busy month swimming and riding in a boat (first time), and to top it all off, she has a new
brother who just happens to be a tabby cat.
Here Jade welcomes her new brother Pike. This little kitten was abandoned in a cottage area and during a walk he came tearing out of the woods and started to nuzzle up to Jade. There was instant acceptance and now Pike is just part of Jade's pack.
Jade washing Pike's face. Pike is a happy camper
...he has a home, a full tummy & a friend.
It is a b
J Pure joy! Jade out in the boat with our friend Al.
NEXT ISSUE: We have been interested in our next month guest for some time now. Katie Lewis is a
Feng Shui Practitioner and has been
studying under Master Joseph Yu for several
years. Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art,
which has been passed down through
generations. It is the study of energy from
heaven and earth and how it affects our lives.
The gourd plays a part of the Feng Shui
philosophy and next month we are certain you
will enjoy our conversations with Katie Lewis.
September is a beautiful month in most
places. Out in the gourd field
the first signs of drying gourds will be apparent.
In next month's issue of Gourd Fever
drying gourds and harvest will be
two topics which will be discussed.
summer.Hope to see you at the Cannington Quilt & Craft Show,
Aug 9th & 10th . Our friends Glen and Madeline
will be there with their amazing hand-made
brooms as well as many other artists &
vendors. Stop by ...we would love to meet you!
See you next month, keep cool...
Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond
© Northern Dipper 2008
Volume 4, Number 43
In this Issue:
Karen Goodfellow - On A Journey of Spiritual Awakening
Gourd Growers On Holidays!
Dear Carolyn! PLUS Reader's Corner
Gourd Sightings & Trivia
Here is a finish that will not fade in sunlight. Easy to apply these soft hues will highlight any gourd project. Limited supply available - order today. For details click here.
20% off - 'How To Workshop' Books
While supplies last. For details click here.
Summer Craft Shows
Carolyn & Linda will be attending the August Cannington "Quilt and Craft Show." This is the shows 30th year and it is fun.
*WHEN: August 9th and 10th
*WHERE: 80 Peace Street
Community Centre McLeod Park
Cannington, ON L0E 1E0
For more information click here.
"As a child and through half my adulthood,
I was completely separated from my First Nations background. For the last 20 years,
I have been rediscovering this aspect of my ancestry and am healing through the gourd work and reclaiming my lost native spirit."
Advice To New Gourders
"Start with whole gourds first then
progress to cutting gourds. I started with cutting and almost quit. So I worked with whole gourds and now I go with either."
"Secondly meditate with her first. I
hang out with the gourd in stillness and ask what it wants to be. I spin it, walk around
it and wait to be shown. Once the design or subject matter appears, I chalk it in and
then proceed with many, many layers of
paint and techniques or mediums."
"My mother’s side is First Nations while
my father’s side is Austrian. My great
great grandmother was a gypsy."
The following 3 photographs are
tambourines which are a romantic recapturing on the life loving traveling
All My Relations
Mother Earth, Father Sky
The Path of Innocents
The Gourd Grow Report
Here is a letter with a sure-fire solution for powdery mildew.
Hello – Just received my copy of the newsletter Issue 42 and would like to
comment on something. For Powdery Mildew the most popular, non-toxic, way is to spray down your plants (flowers, veggies and gourds) when they are very small with a mixture of 1 part skim milk and 9 parts water. You can Google it by typing in “powdery mildew milk” or something similar. I have
used this for years and do not have black
spot on my roses, mildew on my lilacs or anywhere else. I spray down the plants when they are small and then a couple of times during the growing season. Try it!
Cheers – Rita from Michigan
Thank you Rita. I have heard of this from long-term farmers...we love it because it is chemical free.
These gourds were pollinated early on in
the season. This is the reason they are so large at this time of year.
Support any heavy gourds that are trellised with pantyhose.
Thierry Andre's Fruit Guitar
Thierry's guitar is influenced by African
and middle eastern instruments. It has
been modified with a piezo pickup
and a playable 24 fret neck. It looks good too!
Made out of a gourd, this fruit guitar has a hollow neck made from Honduran mahogany, Sitka spruce, and carbon fibre. The wooden top is made from Douglas fir.
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
It's fun staying up late in the summer watching movies, especially when they
are old favorites like the Mad Max series. Gourds were spotted as waterbottles
that the kids carried.
Jean and Penny proudly hold the dream catchers they created.
Bobby holding her wet on wet dye and
pine needle rim gourd.
This is a gorgeous bowl.
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Northern Dipper Farm
5376 County Rd 56, RR # 2
Cookstown, Ont, L0L 1L0