THE FARM CENTER ~ Carmel Valley Magic – 5 miles inland


WARNING  ALL ,  SUMMER   2016

This blog below was written over five years ago.  The Farm Center has so dramatically changed nothing about it is recognizable.  Everyone who made it beautiful, including me, has moved out.  I had a remarkable four years there. It was once all magic. There just isn’t anything left.

You’ve been advised.August Garden GateTHE SPARHAWK GARDEN HAS NOW BEEN VIOLENTLY DESTROYED AND PLOWED UNDER AND THIS IS ALL YOU WILL SEE:  there is NOTHING LEFT LIVINGDSCF6855

is a charming small magical island with more wide-open space around us than people ~~ between the ocean.  It’s half way, only miles inland, sun-filled and delightful. There’s a huge, welcoming meadow DSCF3438for walking next to the Carmel River (path next to the bridge) where Steelhead run, ducks bob. Condor, Hawks, Heron, Seagulls, Wrens, Blue Jays, Crows fill sky and tree….the ancient live oak, the Redwood, Aspen, Willow trees. Every side road is decked with reeds, flowering trees, Magnolias, Cherry, Pear, Apple, Plum. Deer roam in day and mountain lions stalk nights along the river banks.  Before heading further out to the Village for vineyards and wine tasting, before the cattle of Cachagua and just past the shopping center, is THE FARM CENTER and GRANGE.

   THE FARM CENTER Farm CenterFarm Center just before thRobinson Canyon, newis the oldest building in Carmel Valley (And Jack London Slept There)  It’s closed right now, used to be occupied by a wonderful sculptor named Paul, some of his sculptings and his gardens remain on view. THE FARM CENTER is a small group of fabulous little SHOPS just a few feet off Carmel Valley Road beyond the Safeway Shopping Center. Angels, Dancing on TreetopsIn it you will find Char ETIENNE ANTIQUES FOR HOME AND GARDEN(she also designs landscaping) with exquisite things and has a spectacular back garden to wander through.

Then DSCF4194THE HAWKS PERCH GALLERY, the only art gallery in mid-Valley and the best on the Central Coast!  And I also carry Ron Wohlauer Photographs. Run by the  EXPRESSIONIST PAINTER ~~me~~ BARBARA SPARHAWK.  I accept portrait commissions of people and animals, SIGNS of any kind made to order.  I sell my own beautiful oil paintings of Big Sur Kitchen, Rabbit Vase and PoppiesFLORALS and LANDSCAPES and PORTRAITS, WATERCOLORS, PEN & INKS, and imaginings at unimaginably low prices!  I want everyone in the world to own a Sparhawk Original.  Heron-Otter on Wind, Night Sky, Pfeiffer Beach

Next to THE HAWKS PERCH gallery is the most extraordinary. In their huge backyard gardens and fountains, a walk through will lea

 

Farm Center2Hthe meadow is DSCF3700BOB MATTSON’S SADDLERY.  Bob has been here over 25 years.  He’s a master craftsman with leather.  He’ll not only repair your saddle, or sell you a spectacular one for a great price, he’ll make you a belt or knife-sheath, soften up old reins, sell you a saddle blanket.  His shop is an incredible delight to all the senses, a step back in time, a feel of the world of horses before cars. SEE WHAT YOU’VE BEEG! 

THE F used to be all grain and feed and the best place to get your Levi’s.  We still get visitors looking for jeans and hay. It’s gone through a lot of transforming over the years, and it’s better all the time.  Stop in for a visit!  Worth the trip and the sun is always shining.Dawn April Facing EastFarm Center3THE FARM CENTER SHOPS, MID-VALLEY

 

JUCARMEL VALLEY BINSANYON ROAD

Calla Lilies and Leaf, InteriorOriginal Oil Paintings by SPARHAWK

EXPRESSIONIST ARTIST BARBARA SPARHAWK is famous for being the only female scaffold hauling BILLBOARD PAINTER in the world in the ’70’s (mostly over Times Square) and painting the ROLLING STONE’S WORLD TOUR BILLBOARD ALBUM COVER ‘MADE IN THE SHADE’. She was commissioned to paint a portrait of WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, JR from sittings; her work has been exhibited at QUANTICO ACADEMY.  She is the author and illustrator of a book of short stories (THE GANDY DANCER) and a children’s book (COCO NO!) with more to come! In a NY career of journalism and politics, SPARHAWK wrote evening news for CBS, ABC, FOX TV, produced ROCKANDROLLA and TALK RADIO shows for WABC and WOR; and was PRESS SECRETARY TO US CONGRESSWOMAN GERALDINE FERRARO, and family CHEF to the Beach Boys Jardine Family.  That’s the short version.

SPARHAWK ORIGINALS STILL AVAILABLE:  EMAIL thehawksperch@outlook.com

 

 

Sparhawk Garden & Meadow


Last winter. I sort of remember my hands stretched out in front of me, blindfolded by fear, stumbling through the chaos of what had been and was no more. Then I found a teeny new studio. Which had a massive garden. Which seized my heart on day one. Which surely angels led me to.

Moi: It’s PERFECT!

Real Estate Agent: It is?

It is. I’ll let you see for yourself. It had exquisite bare bone established, fallen, gone to seed and cluttering dead branched shrubs and trees. I watered, fertilized, tilled, moved rocks, opened to sunlight, transplanted, and incrementally added every flowery small cheapo thing I could get from Grigg’s Nursery down the block. That was the new. The old have revived, blossomed, stretched arms to the sun. Brutally pruned cherry tree, hedges brush-cut before they could flower, tall reedy Oriental Lilies chopped to knee high are all now an hourly windsong thrice the height of yore. Just started really. This is the beginning and I am very proud. And yes, naturally, I painted the chairs.

Ah, August you darling you, let joy be unconfined……..

The Gallery Bell


The Hawks Perch of Big Sur

Long day yesterday. Around 9 I was starting dinner and glad for the respite from business in the gallery. I was up to the third Poirot mystery on the set of 3 from Big Sur library and looking forward to watching the remarkable Belgium detective do his stuff, all symmetry and little gray cells at work.

I have installed a doorbell on the gallery downstairs that rings upstairs, and a bit of a peculiar contraption that urges visitors to ring if the shop’s closed. PUSH ME printed on a big yellow wooden one-time cart handle, that adjusts to the ringer’s height and predilection. It’s been a delightful solution to painting in the studio and not missing customers.

Around 10pm as Hercule Poirot was solving murders in 1939 near Egypt’s pyramids, that very same bell rang. I trotted out and peered over the balcony.

A fine young man, reveling with buddies at The Maiden Pub next door, glass of beer in hand, wanted to go through the gallery and buy something. Sweet. I went down and opened the doors to him and turned on the lights.

He was all bright-lit himself with cross country adventure, the kind of glow I’ve seen often from voyagers to Big Sur who can’t believe they made it or believe how perfectly wonderful it is. Tall and strapping, looking like transplanted mid-America farm and ranch. A total delight whose name is Dylan. He hadn’t seen his parents for close to a year and his mom was on her way for a visit and he wanted to get her a present and he was up front right away, he had ten bucks for it.

We did some searching and negotiating and came in on budget. I gift-wrapped, we hugged, Dylan returned to the pub, an ebullient spirit of good nature and fine character who is clearly finding answers to his liberating dreams at the blossoming start of youth.

As for this painter, it’s become the kind of experience that never ceases to amaze or sweep me with strong emotion. The pleasures found at the other end of a small red bell on a chunk of yellow wood with PUSH ME writ large on it are awesome and sweet.