For the second year we attended the most amazing Halloween spectacle in the hills of Warrenton, Virginia, courtesy of our good friends Craig and May. There are always new and fascinating people who gather around their country home, and this time it was exceptional. Many new connections were made in this small world.
Yolanda, her daughter, Ava, and I went this year as a spaced-out trio. Ava posed as the Jellyfish Nebula, Yolanda was a Space Punk and I was the Galactic Overlord of the Gemini Constellation, in which the Jellyfish resides.
Craig and May are creative costume makers and May is always ready and willing to add her special touch to any ensemble. This was our house guest ensemble for the weekend.
Kate Doyle, lady in red, is an accomplished painter and sculptor. She brought along a couple of her new sculptures, fashioned out of thin slices of an oak tree, carefully warped and varnished to expose the rings of time. You can find her work at http://www.katedoyle.com and at Haley Fine Art in Sperryville, Virginia. It turns out that Kate studied drawing in Florence with Charles Cecil in the 1970s, the same art school Ava attended a couple years ago. Charles is Ava’s cousin on her father’s side,
Also part of our gang of ghouls was Dalya Luttwak, sculptor extraordinaire, who works in welded steel, reinterpreting natural root systems of plants at a super-sized scale in Venice and other exotic places. She can be found at http://www.dalyaluttwak.com. In another crazy coincidence, we discovered that Dalya’s husband, Edward Luttwak, works at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a building designed by Yolanda’s firm. Crazy.
But I artfully digress…
For those of you who missed last year’s post (Off the Wall Halloween), The extravaganza is held at the farm of John Henry, an eccentric lover of costumes and stone. He has just finished building an outdoor amphitheater where plays are produced for the delight of friends and neighbors. At Halloween, it is given over to 1000 Faces, a group who creates imaginative satire productions with elaborate costumes set to live music.
Guess what? Patty Underwood is also an artist whose work was just featured at Art Night, hosted each year by Hickok Cole Architects. Check her out at http://www.punderwood.com. Her husband Casey is an excellent cook and they were kind enough to share their goodies.
After the play by 1000 Faces, we were treated to a flyover, a band of bagpipes and a line of torch-bearers who lead us to the bonfire. By now it was getting dark and our costumes were aglow.
The Jellyfish Nebula turned out to be the hit of the show. Both children and adults were mesmerized by the glowing Nebula.
We made our way to the bonfire, the biggest pile of flame you could ever see. It takes months to build and at least a week to burn.
Not to be outdone, our host, Craig McPherson, ended the evening with a bonfire of his own. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!
Rather than end by fire, I would like to close with art. In a previous post, you will find that Craig is a very fine artist and a master of the mezzotint. You can find him at http://www.craigmcpherson.net. We are very lucky indeed to own one of his pieces, which I admire each and every day. Thanks to Craig and May for another incredible weekend!