Sunday, July 31, 2011

Parasites

We have an insect here in the south that I think anyone who has been outdoors any length of time has been eaten by. It's the chigger. I always thought they were a cousin to a tick but apparently are more akin to the mite. When they are larvae is when they attach themselves to the "host" and "feed on the fluids of the skin cells". And just by where they seem to go on one's person, I would say they like dark and concealed areas. Just guessin'.
The reason I feel so compelled to write of the chigger right now is the fact that I am sitting here writing this and wearing out a good set of fingernails scratching and digging at my "dark and concelled areas" that I mentioned earlier.
I painted with the Chestnut Group yesterday getting ready for the Land Trust Show in October on the farm of Bill McEwen. Bill has a fabulous farm and a more fabulous wife, who was our host most of the day. We had a good crew turn out and scored a little lunch at the Duck River Market in Shady Grove. But before all this began I was offered bug spray and refused. For some reason I feel impervious to chiggers and it has never worked out for me. Ever. But I will say, for some reason, it has been a light chigger year for me. Not too many this year. And the reason I posted the picture above is the fact that this was painted during one of the most aggressive chigger attacks I have ever been under. It was painted a few weeks ago and it took awhile to get over that one. When I see this painting I shudder. And itch.
This painting and about 15 others are about to make a trip to Charleston, SC to be in a two man show with Ken Pledger at the M Gallery. I will be leaving on Tuesday and the opening is Friday night. The show will hang most of the month of August so if you're in Charleston drop by the gallery and take a look. And if you get a whiff of Deep Woods Off or DEET, that'll be me.

11 comments:

Gary Brookins said...

Aaarrggh! I feel for you, Kevin. It's amazing how something so small can cause such a massive, irritating itch. Been a very bad summer here in central Virginia for ticks. Me and my poor old dog have both had several tick bites just walking out into the yard. And he gets monthly treatment of Advantix on his back! And the itching goes on forever (well, sometimes for several weeks)! We also have a recent import, the Asian Tiger mosquito . . . it's out in the daytime, and they are vicious little buggers!

Bill Guffey said...

Turkey mites are like chiggers on steroids, Kevin. Got into them while painting yesterday. Only thing that will get rid of them is, well...RID.

Good luck with your show.

Claire Beadon Carnell said...

We've been besieged by ticks here in PA this Summer, Kevin. As I was driving home from painting in a grassy area, all at once I felt something crawling up the side of my face...picked him off and threw him out the window of my car, then another started up my neck...it was disgusting!
I got home and had two attached and feeding on my leg and one racing around on my jeans. YUCK!
Have also had the lovely chiggers...
This is a gorgeous painting! I am an avid follower of your blog - you paint some of the most natural greens of anyone I have seen up here on the internet.

Kevin Menck said...

See, I told you everyone has had issues with parasites.
And thanks for the compliments and comments!

Jim Serrett said...

The heat has been awful here like most places, but I can actually deal with it.

But due to all the recent flooding here in the Midwest the bug issue has been unbelievable. And the Asian tiger mosquito is on a rampage, never had so many chigger bites and scores of no-see-ums, nats and other plein air bugs that do a kamikaze run at my canvas.
I’m ready for fall colors.

Nice work, hang in there.

Janet Paden said...

Now you know why they call Queen Anne's Lace Chigger Weed!

Kevin Menck said...

No idea they called it chigger weed!! That little tidbit would have come in handy before I painted there.

Kellie Marian Hill said...

just in case you didn't know- clear nail polish is the best way to take care of chigger bites. spread it over the infected area, and I guess they suffocate or something... it doesn't bear thinking about too closely, but at least it works.

gorgeous painting! I think it was worth the chigger attack :D

Lisa said...

I just can't believe the variety of shades you're getting in the greens in the shadows. I can see all the different leaves and blades. How do you do it??

Kevin Menck said...

Values and temperature, values and temperature, values and temperature, etc., etc.,etc......

Lisa said...

It always boils down to that...come on rods and cones, get it together!