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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bucket and Donkey


If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know what a
Katherine Dunn fan I am.
Katherine, for the uninformed, is an artist/writer at
and equally as important, guardian for
 You will remember, of course, that I am one of
Pino's Pie Ambassadors...and prouder I could not be.
The day after Christmas, I got my copy of Katherine's latest book,
People, it's the cutest book I have read in a long time.  Hear me.
The 32 page book, "Bucket and Donkey", opens with only sixty words of text, and lush full page illustrations. An old bucket in the milk barn is tossed aside due to a hole in his side. Thrown in the burn pile he assumes his life is over, but moon encourages him to dream of a new life, and he does. With the help of the Wind, and a little donkey, Bucket goes on to a life of purpose and sharing.

HOW does she do it?  How does she take a BUCKET and give it
personality?   She did it. 
Katherine agreed to answer some questions about her creative process....and pie.

1. So really Katherine....where DO these ideas come from? Did you just look out one day and see a bucket with a hole and decide there was a story there, or something deeper?
K: Ideas pop up, often during the oddest times, or after sleep, or as I go off to sleep. I think they mull around internally for months or longer, and then something triggers them to come to the conscious...I tend to see objects as beings with personalities and they become characters for me to tell something I'm feeling, maybe about a person in my life, or an idea.
2. When did you KNOW for sure, "farm livin'" was the life for you?
K:  I was born to be on a farm. I loved my Uncle's farm in North Dakota, which was my first taste of it. I dreamed of a farm since I first smelled a horse or heard wheels on gravel. Took me until 2004 when I was 43 to get one.
3. Writing or painting....which is your favorite, or does that depend on the day of the week?
K:  I can't separate the two. Both are creative and my paintings tend to be stories although the meaning is more blurred in most cases. I like both and both require slightly different mindsets - for me anyway. I think writing takes more focus with no distractions where as painting I can have music on, I can be dancing for a few minutes, I can be talking on a phone and looking at the composition, etc. I think writing is much harder in many ways, but when I am writing, I am in a hole with no sound and it flows out of me. Then the editing is another stage...
4. Do you have more art workshops in the making?
K:  Yes, and I am really working on making the right connections in my area too to bring children, and disabled here to draw. Children with physical challenges drawing old goats who are walking around, challenged too but still liking life. My online workshop will be adjusted slightly in the Spring to bring in more drawing/animal sessions.  I have many ideas and not enough time.
5. As a pie aficionado, what's the best pie?
K: Lord. Well, I love pecan pie with walnut top- but as I age and my hips widen I love Chess pie [lemon]. Any fruit pie is part of the earth and I love it too.

Thank you ever so much for your insight.  Bucket and Donkey is a charming story with
the most delightful illustrations that will make you smile each and every time you
read it.  Do yourself a favor and order a copy today.  Even if you don't have a child, get this book.  It's one of those rare and special books written perhaps for a child, but just as meaningful and charming for an adult.  This people, is a winner.
And let me also suggest her art book
which I have used so often the pages are dog-earred.
Oh, and many kisses for Pino....


  1. Terrific interview. Your post is so colorful and is a joy to read!

  2. Thanks Nancy...Katherine is super talented and such a lover of the link and check out her life at Apifera!

  3. I, too, am a Katherine Dunn and Apifera Farm fan -- a super-lovely blog and interview, Sharon.

  4. Just yesterday I was chipping ice out of a bucket in the barnyard and cut a hole in poor Bucket's side. Another Bucket to help find a new purpose for! Thank you for this, Sharon, always a pleasure and your new blog is loverrrrly.

  5. You are most welcome Katherine! You always have a place on my blog as you, pino and the rest of the gang at Apifera have my heart....

  6. This may be a duplicate comment (Sorry--not sure what happened). I was trying to say that I love this bucket idea and this review/interview really caught my interest. ANd I NEED TO STUDY a book that tells an entire story in 60 words. :)

    1. we could all learn a thing or two from someone who writes a book with 60 words margo!

  7. "Even worn out buckets can dream" - HA! Love it. And that artwork is divine!!

  8. oh rebecca, do check katherine's will surely be inspired....

    ReplyDelete happy to hear from you.........