I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Warm and Lovely Place

I LOVE THIS TOWN. It's population is about 185. Amador City was incorporated into a city around 1915. Historically located in a rich gold bearing area in the Motherlode of California. In 1848-1849 an unknown creek was prospected by a wealthy rancher named Jose Maria Amador. There were no known settlements until 1851.
The Gold Rush changed the landscape of California. Amador's most famous and productive mine, the Keystone produced about $24 million in gold during 1853-1942. These prices would be higher using today's gold standard. A LOT HIGHER!. 
Gold today is worth $1544.00 an ounce. In 1850 it was worth $19.00 an  an ounce. 
The old Prospector, my husband, won't sell any of his gold. He says it's too precious and he worked too hard for it. I understand.... but one ounce would pay for the potting shed that's going up, outside.
Which, so far, has two sides standing and a great dance floor. All we need are some strings of lights. 
This morning there's a third wall up. 
All right, sorry.... back to the Wine Social.
I would like you to meet the "Mayor" of Amador City.
 Other than a few minutes of squirrel chasing, he was running the show last night. I don't know his name. We were only informally introduced. He came over and checked our credentials, sniffed us out and continued on to the next table. This was one busy dog.
He was a dog with a mission. His human companion is the owner of the Bellflower Home & Garden store. This is his town and he isn't about to let any strangers just mosey into town uninvited. I loved watching him trot from one place to another all evening.
The outdoor part of the store is where we put up our table.
This is our table on the right, above. That's Christie looking at the wonderful iron garden art and fencing. They have some great things out there.
  Christie and I have been doing this show for four years now. It's always so relaxed... probably because there's WINE involved.
Here's the left side of the table.... Below is the right side.
Lots of people "just looking". We have dropped prices so low the last few years. It's the ECONOMY. Folks are just not buying ART. It's low on the priority list.

People look... and they ask a lot of questions... but they don't buy much.
It was still quite warm at 5:00 p.m. and it seemed humid. We were sticky and uncomfortable.
This is unusual for the foothills. Dryness is the norm. Maybe all that late rain left some moisture in the ground and the heat was sucking it to the surface.
I sold a couple of soaps.

And my wall hanging called "River Spirit". I will miss this piece. It was made with some shards from a broken gourd. It's represented an experience on the Burnt River in Eastern Oregon.
We camped there, one night, years ago. There was a full moon and I woke up thinking that I  heard voices coming from the river. I walked down to the river. The sound was shallow water running over stones . To me it sounded like voices speaking very softly. I've never forgotten the feeling of standing there beside that river in a canyon filled with moonlight. On of those really wonderful moments that you only experience by yourself.
Two years ago, as I worked on this piece, the stark mountains, the moonlight and the voices came back to me.
I didn't want to sell this one but the woman loved the piece and I could tell she was listening to the "River Spirit" too though this art work of mine. So I sold it to her. I will miss it. There is still a small part of me that will miss this piece of art. It leaves an empty place on my living room wall and in my heart.
I sold two more pieces later in the evening so I would say that it was a good show. We have reduced the prices so much over the last two years,almost cutting most sales in half. It's hard right now and I'm glad that I'm not relying on these shows for my main income. Some do and it's a hard row to hoe.
This is my "Feathered Nest" gourd. It's a bird house but has never been outside, yet. It's kind of a primadonna birdhouse. It's embellished with things from our property... moss, twigs, feathers (bought... and they are legal) and creek stones... and sits on a river rock. Folks love it, but they never buy it. I don't know why. I have reduced the price every year and last night I priced it at $20.00. It still didn't sell. Any suggestions? It's about a foot high. I'm sure a bird would love it.
The rest of the evening was lovely. The music was wonderful.... kind of a Cajun, Bahama, South American, "Girl from Ipanema", bossa nova beat. Really nice. One guy sang "Summertime" from Porgy & Bess. People were dancin' and swayin' to the rhythm of it...DANCING IN THE STREET.
I stood there through the whole song dancin' a little myself. It was kind of Groovy... like in the 60's.
And this women could play the Saxophone.... I mean she PLAYED that Sax. She was GOOD!
The evening and the people seems to mellow out as the sun disappeared. Lots of folks stopped to talk about all kinds of things.... everything. Could have had a lot to do with the WINE.
The wine tables were the busiest. All the local wineries were giving free samples if you bought a glass. Some folks were having trouble walking from one table to the next. I know for a fact that the wineries sell a lot of wine at these shows.
It was a nice evening in the Gold Country.


  1. nice...sounds like a great time...glad you sold a few...even if that was a bit hard...neat the stories behind them...give the mayor a rub behind the ears for me..smiles.

  2. "In a canyon filled with moonlight," is a wonderful phrase. I'm glad you went down to listen to the river. I can imagine it was difficult to part with the artwork that came out of it, but perhaps that person needed to hear the river now.

    The music sounds very groovy and this is just my kind of day. Good fun.

  3. Connie, Thanks for sharing this lovey post with us. I enjoyed it very much. I am glad you were able to sell a few things. I can just picture people sampling the wine and going from one table to the other. Your photos are great and your information very informative. My mother and her folks lived in Amador City for a while then moved to Sacramento. Have a blessed evening. Madeline

  4. It sounds like a lovely way to spend an evening in the foothills. Your art is beautiful! Someday the economy will come back. I hope. Tonight we are going to Murphys for an evening of music in the park. I packed a picnic and I'm waiting for the guys to get home from work. Guess what type of music it is??? Gypsy flamenco!! Circle the caravans!

  5. What a lovely description of the canyon in the moonlight, and the river running over the rocks. I think that God created the earth to give us moments like this...times that we will often return to in our memories.

  6. beautiful post and it sounds like you had a wonderful evening. I absolutley adore the wall hanging and the bird house. Maybe you could sell it to me! The lady who bought the wall hanging has found a wonderful treasure, I hope she feels the spirit of that lovely piece. And I'm serious about the birdhouse...

  7. I think you had much more fun at the show than we did on our hike, Farmlady! The wine always helps,LOL but it wouldn't have been good on those steep narrow trails with the long drops into the valley!
    And we missed the dust storm in Phx. tho I heard it was awful & I am hoping that my little garden has survived the onslaught!

  8. I used to do a lot of craft fairs and stopped because people don't appreciate the time that goes into an original piece of art. They can see a cheap immitation of it in Walmart and slap it on their wall instead. Your 'River Spirit' piece has a good home. Someone loved it almost as much as you did. I've heard those same voices in the river and in the wind through the trees. Ancient, foreign languages that we somehow understand. Looks like such a lovely place for a street fair. Put it on my list for when I visit one day!

  9. My brother teases me about art 'speaking' to me. He calls me the 'woman who talks to painted fences'... but the point is the lady that bought your "River Spirit" because it 'spoke' to her. Perhaps not the same way it has spoken to you for the time you had it since you created it, but there was a message she needed that she received from your art. I always hated to sell my drawings or paintings because they were like my children. They came from me, from my mind, but there were those people who needed my children in their lives and that is pretty special.

    Hugs to you Connie. I know you will find or create just the right piece to fill the space on the living room wall.


  10. Enjoyed your post and seeing your art. I love Amador City and need to just get in the car and drive ther, even all by myself and enjoy it again, maybe while it is so cool. Tina

  11. I didn't know that you sold some of your "hobbies"! This was so enjoyable and I loved your wonderful memory of the river...

    I had an area in the front of the house that would only grow crabgrass. I went and got a truck bed full of river rock and some sand. I WASHED all the red dirt off every single rock and laid them in the spot. Then I sprinkled the pretty sand all over. Last I watered it all down and I'm quite satisfied. I should take a photo and do a blog post!!

    Hahaha. Thanks for the lovely tour. I'm currently watching the movie "Deadwood" and it's about back then and gold :)

  12. You make me wish I had been there, too. It has been way too long since I stopped in Amador City. I'm glad you had such a lovely evening, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it.

  13. Fun! Your river piece is beautiful.

  14. Connie, Your gourd art is gorgeous! I think that piece for $20 is an amazing price. The River Spirit wall hanging is beautiful- glad it got a good home. I need to get back to CA. It's been almost a year since our son moved back out there. Maybe the fall will bring a trip.... Re: my butterfly bushes- they aren't aromatic~ wonder why? Lots of bees and now the butterflies.... The blooms sure are pretty, even if they aren't fragrant.


Please leave a comment here.
I love to hear what you think about my blog. Feel free to speak your mind. Please be honest.., but remember your manners.