Tuesday, April 25, 2017
First, you must know that once upon a time I was pretty much Completely Shy. Leave me be. I will do the same with you. No, I do not wish to talk.
Times have changed.
Today, after seeing the movie "Gifted' - go see it! - Todd and I did a little suburban retail loop.
I managed to:
* chat with a lady in a large box store about food allergies and major preservatives in mini muffins (I "had" to tell her of our adventure with storage unit muffins of same make and manufacture, that appeared perfectly soft and tasty - after sitting in an opened plastic container in a storage unit for over six years...) She wasn't going to eat the ones she had in her cart as she has wheat allergies, but was getting them for the church congregation, as she did on a regular basis. Yes, we even managed to talk about other things as we wheeled our carts down the concrete aisle.
* discuss the prices of Romaine lettuce hearts at various retail stores with a woman debating getting a large, reasonably priced bag of same.
* wait silently for long long time outside of changing rooms at local Savers. Two of us were waiting waiting. The young slight woman and I had no idea if anybody would ever leave one of the little cubbie holes. We just looked looked at each other from time to time - calmly but semi-amazed at how long we were standing there. A door opened! She had been there before me, but quietly said, "You go." Thanks, quiet, young woman. I went. And bought three new-to-me black, of course, tee shirts of various styles.
* be advised, very quietly, by a check-out clerk at large big-box store that perhaps I should wait a bit longer before renewing a certain membership card as she had heard that one's "year" might be effected by renewing "early." She leaned in to say that she could get in trouble for telling me this. O.K? Secret's safe with me? I thanked her and took her advice. And had more money to spend at Trader Joe's!
* have a quick solid gardening talk with the lady checking out our Trader Joe's purchases. We both are wishing for more sunshine and warmth. We laughed a little at how our seedlings are begging to get outdoors. She was asked by local niece if niece could plant petunias outdoors here now. The lady said that, yes, she could, but, no, she probably shouldn't. I agreed. Team Wait Till it's Warmer! No, I don't remember how this discussion got started. Yes, my spirit was lighter for having had that little talk.
That's about it for now. One little outing. Five tiny chats. Five contacts with humans I will probably never see again. But meeting real people dealing with small portions of our day.
I am the better for the doing.
Strangers are a tiny bit less strange.
And the tomatoes are still waiting to play outside.
PS: We will be participating in Our Creative Routes Art Tour this last weekend in April. We will be exhibiting goodies at Color Crossings in Roberts, Wisconsin. Come visit!
Facebook Page: Sue-Sue-Studios
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Friday, April 14, 2017
Yes, there are seedlings already up and growing.
* Two types of tomatoes - yes, I know, I am a slacker when it comes to the number of different kinds of tomatoes one can grow.
* Marigolds and Coleus
* Sweet Basil
And there are seed packets with their contents ready to break free into possibility.
Some packs are from storage units we've purchased for our antique shop business. Seeds from other folks' hopes. No, I have no plans to plant okra, but we have okra seeds.
Many of the various seeds are packed for 2008 and 2010 seasons. These seeds will be my experiments for Spring. Will the rosemary, dill, other herbs germinate? How about the carrots and beets?
So Much Potential Food and Beauty...
A squash variety I've never tried.
Will our garden be big enough?
Can I convince Todd to make garden a bit bigger again this year?
More garden means less lawn to mow, Honey Dear.
I "should" be writing an article for our pastel society.
I should be working on greeting card orders.
I should be painting more paintings.
But it is Thinking About Gardening Time, too.
"Seeds rule, bears drool"?
And I am craving a small greenhouse.
Friends and family have greenhouses, small and large.
The "greenhouses" here are plastic bags over chopped plastic milk cartons.
Perhaps I have a goal/dream for 2018.
On to actual realities of right now.
"It's not easy being green." - Kermit the Frog
Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios
Monday, April 10, 2017
Monday, April 10, 2017.
Studio A is one hour more organized and cleaned.
This one hour of doing relaxes both eye and spirit.
There are hours in all studios to go.
But one is done.
Now to figure out how to stay mostly on this path.
Till some things are finished completely.
Other things yell to be started.
They will have to wait.
Friday, April 7, 2017
Last week we took a short road trip up to Duluth, Minnesota. Official reason was to take art to two galleries. Unofficial reason was to see the Sun. We accomplished both - and more.
Here is one piece now on exhibit at Art Dock Gallery - down in the Canal park area. I'd decided to play a little. Not take shapes so seriously. You thought that was my usual way with things? Well, it depends. Because of the "ten thousand hours" of drawing and painting - yes, I can draw and paint "bears." But I live always with trying not to make them copies of themselves. This is not so easy. Real bear have specific features that I want to depict, and yet I want each piece of art to be a portrait of a singular bruin. And I do not want the work to appear labored. So this little acrylic painting came out in a series of steps: background, bear - in several steps, the moon/ball, and the foreground.
I've never been one for using spattering as a technique. This time I gave myself permission to spatter away! Goof off. Play! Thanks, old toothbrush, you did the job. Spattering is a technique of loading the toothbrush with some very liquid paint and using one's thumb to scrape the bristles - thus freeing specks and spots of paint to fly through the air and land where they will. You can plan where to put the color - but brush and fingers rule.
No, I don't "know" what the white specks are depicting. They might be snow. They might be stars. They ARE tiny bits of white paint.
And I don't know what the shapes are beneath the bear. I only know that I was using my forefinger to blot some shapes and I liked what happened. There are three or four colors in the shapes. I can still feel the fun I was having bopping my finger from paint to canvas.
And I had no thoughts about final shape and color of this bear. I like working with a limited number of colors, and I love "gesture." I tried to use minimal marks. As each area was worked on I had to decide whether to stop or go on. Yes, the claws asked to be added - haha. No, I don't know why. (Claws are fun to paint or draw.)
This painting is done. It's story is up to each viewer. I hope the story is a happy one.
Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
For some of us "crazy" sorts - April is International Fake Journal Month.
I've participated for four of the past five years.
You can be anybody, and in almost any time - as long as it's April and you stay true to the hour you are really fakely journaling in.
This year I am an unnamed recently retired Botanist.
No, I do not know why.
But I get to draw plants - for fun now.
Here are a couple recent posts to the IFJM Facebook Group page:
Day 1 -
Day 4 -
Day 5 -
Yes, those are real amaryllis seeds. No, they probably won't stay in the journal.
But because of this temporary "life" I learned today that one can start amaryllis seeds, although it can take from three to six years before a plant blossoms. And because almost all plants are hybrids, one won't know about potential blooms until the plant blooms. Really.
No, I don't know what tomorrow will bring. Maybe that it as it should be.
Monday, March 27, 2017
Beginning is easy.
I've seldom had the fear of putting a starting mark on a piece of paper. Deciding to Start - yes. I sabotage Starting early and often.
let's do laundry, the dishes, even scrub the kitchen floor, instead of starting.
But once the piece of paper is in front of me, and there are drawing materials at hand - well, there is no reason not to put some stuff of that innocent clean sheet.
Because this is an actual landscape I can refer to the photograph shot this past summer. However, I don't have to put in every cloud, nor stick to actual colors. Much deciding... And a little bit of play.
After more pastels and play and pondering I think the image is almost finished. Luckily, the Lake Pastel Society meeting holds a group critique this month. Yes, I brought a bear, but this painting came along, too.
After our five small groups went around to the five areas where our paintings were displayed, I sought out our most distinguished member, Fred Somers. Mr. Somers is an internationally-known pastelist and pastel teacher. He was kind enough to give a few suggestions and even a good tip on using paper toweling as a way to add more interest to the clouds. (Take a piece of "bumpy" toweling, place it over an area, and push straight down with thumb or finger - no blending.) I have not taken Fred's advice yet, but will probably do so soon, as this piece must be framed within the week.
As one can see when comparing photo to pastel painting much is the same, but much is different. Is that the art part? I did not photograph a number of the changes made in the creation of this piece. The trees at horizon line are partially sunset-glowed out. The wave lines created by the pontoon boat were calmed. Colors in sky and water were added and/or subtracted. Options. Choices. Decisions.
Now it's time to take some of Mr. Somer's advice. I look forward to trying the paper towel tapping. And framing whatever results.
And almost all of my pastels are framed in simple black frames. I'm glad that's one decision that's easy to make.
Now, back to four bear paintings. Acrylic on canvas. For shows that are coming up way too quickly. And time to decide what to make for breakfast.
Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios