Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Fun and games in the Northland. And playing around with the sky. Once upon a time I was a crazed basketball fan and here are a few borealis bruins going at a game. Maybe.
This is my kind of art sky - full of textures, subtle colors, dramatic shapes, and more than enough "jumping-off" points.

These clouds are long gone now - but the image reminds us to appreciate The Moment - whether caught or not.

Not enough time to reflect on moments at the moment. This sky will have to wait a bit longer to be appreciated or used. Such is the blessing and curse of the artist's life.

Windy day today equals short choppy thoughts.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Open House for us at American Gothic

Winter is on it's way and there's no avoiding it. But "Hudson" here and lots more of the bruin crew want to help us ease our way into the grey days ahead with a bit of furry fun -

November 19, 20, and 21 will find lots of bears hanging out where the first one was created. We will host an Open House at American Gothic Antiques, 236 S. Main Street, Stillwater, MN and see what happens.

The little brown desk is still there, though Marshall's magazine rack is long gone. Hard to believe that since the first furry guys came out of the pencil how many have shown up - and, knock wood cross fingers, and no end in sight.

We will have old bears and new bears, bad, better, and excellent bears. Bear-shaped cookies (thanks to the cutter found down the block at the great shop, The Chef's Gallery), paw-print cookies (thanks to a recent yard-sale find), and other edible goodies. We may display a few of our sketchbooks and piles of idea stacks to show folks some of the stuff that seldom sees light of day. And maybe even rip of a pile - that's hard and fun at the same time!

If you need/want a bear card, magnet, tee-shirt, book, painting, or print come to American Gothic Antiques and climb up the stairs. If you need/want a cookie help yourself. Explore Stillwater, remember where you parked, and enjoy the day - grey or sunny.

On to THIS gorgeous day - it's back to playing with the pastels again. Bears - come!

Sue and crew

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It Don't Take Much

It don't take much more to get started than a piece of something to draw on and something to do the drawing. However, when those two things aren't quite enough I head for a local coffee shop.

It helps if the place has recent copies of The New Yorker. Even sitting in Stillwater, MN I can read a few pages and recall Manhattan in October..... two years ago when my good hubby "forced" me to finally hit the big city. We in turn tortured daughter Tara - at the time busy in Chicago earning her degree in Fashion Design. Project Runway? Haha - we're in Bryant Park. Haha - we're standing on the sidewalk outside Parsons. Walked through wonderful notions shops - tiny rooms filled to the rafters with buttons, zippers, and trims galore. Fashionable kilts for guys filled the windows - I wonder what the in mens-wear item is for Fall 2010.

We did bring sketchbooks on the trip, but my odd bit of souvenir is a collection of photo images done in restrooms. The curved wall in the Guggenheim, the OCC logo at Orange County Choppers in Montgomery, NY, my "new" vintage bomber jacket hanging on hooks in various resting places out East.

Can you tell that I'm ranging far from drawing. We will simply blame the power and the glory that is NY. Now back to basics:
Although I don't save them all, those lovely Altoid tins are a great size for traveling colored pencils. Favorite Prismacolor beauties get worn down to nubby-sized things. But MANY drawings can be done with a half-inch-long lead - especially when out-fitted with a holder for such tiny bits - (check your fav art-supply store - our choice in the Twin Cities is usually West Paint on St. Paul's Grand Avenue). Not wanting to break pencils to fit I make do with an odd assortment of hues and look upon the mix as a sort of discipline. I also try to fit a single-edged razor blade in the box - for sharpening pencils or adding in some way to the day's adventure..... The above drawings were messing-around-with-possible-ideas. How many piles of those do YOU have? Nothing finished, but brain cells firing.

But The New Yorker was lying there.... with a marvelous poem and a couple of solid quotes that might help one get through a day some day. Whipping out the small spiral notebook I copied a bunch of words dealing with Dizzy Gillespie and Rudolph Nureyev. And thanks to poet E. J. Thribb "cheeks" will never be thought of the same way again.

So, no excuses. Grab something to write/draw with and something to write/draw on. Be cheeky.

Later a clerk came by with a sample chocolate truffle. Trying to build a bit of coffee-shop loyalty? Works for me. Coffee and chocolate and paper - oh my.

On to the grand adventure!

- Sue

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bayfield Apple Fest - the Easy Part

The Easy Part of an art fair or festival is demonstrated here by daughter Tara. One goes down by the shore of Lake Superior and rests up for all the heavy lifting that is to come.

The drive up from Stillwater on Thursday afternoon was gorgeous and beautiful and relatively warm. The Good Old Red Ford pick-up truck did the heavy lifting that day. Our magnets may be cute and little but in volume they add lots to a load... We scored an excellent parking spot on the edge of the park in Bayfield, Wisconsin, sighed, took some deep breaths and proceeded to unload. Two hours later we were as done as we were going to get for the day. Treated ourselves to raspberry pie, a burger, and a shared malt at Gruenke's. Then took a room for the night, there, too. After dinner we explored the new new bookstore (we hit the old used bookstore the next day...), then checked in on-line doings of friends and family. Got to watch "Project Runway" in real time, and then had good sleeps in our vintage beds.

It was strange but wonderful to wake up Saturday already in town and not 50 miles away in Gurney. A bit of sun teased us. We headed for the first of many trips to Big Water coffee-shop for caffeine and excellent scones. Grey happened while we tweaked the booth goodies. Then clamps and big plastic came in handy as the rains started and stopped for much of Friday. Sigh and sigh.
Hearty shoppers poked their way into venders' tents and some made purchases. Hooray! Only one big splash of wayward water made it into the tent - unfortunately, it landed in the center of a box holding greeting cards.... sigh again. Only a few brave cards were lost in the adventure. Eventually we could take plastic sheets down and clamp them up to dry.

Eventually five o'clock happened and it was time to zip up and head for home-town, Gurney, Wis. The weather forecast had been for a delightful weekend, but at Ashland we could see whitecaps on da big lake. A clerk at Walmart told of small craft warnings for the night. We don't like those words - even on land. Sure enough - at Gurney brother Rick turned on his marine radio. Small craft warnings. We had not tied down the booth to the concrete park bench like we usually do. Oh well. Sleep was not as sound as the previous nights'. Small craft warnings don't make for sweet dreams. (to be continued.)

- Fare-thee-well,