Friday, September 30, 2011

30 -4: Stillwater

Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2, the Stillwater, MN Fall Art and Jazz Festival will be going on near the banks of the Scenic St. Croix. This afternoon when we set up our booth the show organizer stated that we "will be facing the river." This is a good thing. I live in Stillwater. A nice 30-minute hike down the hill. The river is always there, but I usually manage to get down to appreciate it about four or five times a year.

This is sort of sad.

People come to town from all over the world to appreciate the water and land where we live. To watch the lift-bridge go up and down (except when it mal-functions and traffic backs up more than the usual back up during usual bridge ups-and-downs). To visit The Historic Courthouse up on 4th and Pine, or check out The Warden's House near the location of the old prison. To ride a paddleboat down the river or ride a hot-air balloon over the river.

This weekend holds the opportunity to look out over the St. Croix Valley and see it as both a local and a tourist. We will hope to be busy in our little white art fair home, but if not, to take some deep breaths, look up and out, and give thanks for being able to take the view for granted.

and go appreciate a local landmark!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

30-3: Van Gogh Cafe

Sept. 29 - A new arts group came together in Stillwater, Minnesota tonight. Called "The Van Gogh Cafe," in honor of our first subject, it consisted of a room full of folks - all women - interested in convening for talk of art, life, and a bunch of et cetera.

After sitting down with the beverage of our choice we listened to a presentation on Vincent van Gogh illustrated with examples of his work, both well-known and obscure. A vase of fresh sunflowers on our table was a great added touch, though at least one folk's allergies were set off by same. Oh, the price one pays for being in the presence of a little bit of beauty. Following the presentation we shared questions and possible answers regarding Vincent's life. Was he perhaps affected by chemicals present in his paints and solvents? How was his work presented and marketed after his death? How much of his life is myth? Fact? One recent visitor to France spoke of one region's artists seemingly to work only in the style of van Gogh's bold style.

Chat following the main topic ranged freely - and time zoomed toward our 8:30PM adjourning. Heading out the door we agreed that The Van Gogh Cafe is very much a welcomed addition to Stillwater's arts activities.

Winslow Homer will be the topic of next month's meeting: Thursday, Act. 27th - from 6:30 - 8 PM, at The Bikery, 904 4th Street. All are welcomed, and there are no costs above the price of a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, and maybe a tasty treat or two. For more information contact: The Van Gogh


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2 - 30 Day challenge

A bit from my second book, ROUGH TERRAIN:

So now Al was alone at the lake.

Mallards quacked at his feet - hoping for crackers and bread.

Al kicked the drake into the water. A calm, lovely, high arching kick.
Plop! Swim swim.
The duck was fine.
And Al was better.
These days it didn't take much.

I have no idea why Al is at the lake, if he knows these ducks, or why he decides to make the drake fly a slightly different way. Thinking in snap-shot form is my usual way of working. I am in awe of the novelist's way. What? You can see more than one picture? Your characters are in view for more than a minute? How do you do that?

Anyway, back to work. Pastels or acrylics? Business or art? Greeting cards or new stuff? The afternoon is zooming past, and the patio will too soon be in complete shadow. Time to head for some art supplies and see what happens.

If needing a heady dose of inspiration, check out the blog untitled "Roz Wound Up." You'll not be disappointed!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Year-long 30 Day Challenge

Good Morning -
It's 5:04 AM. As a challenge, and in honor of TED Talks, it's the first day of following Matt Cutts' suggestion to try doing something new for 30 days. Big, little - it doesn't mater. It's the doing.

So. For the next 30 days I'm challenging myself to post 30 blogs. Maybe not one per day - but a total of 30.

You may want to try something, too.

1) Today's topic is: Cayenne Shortbread. This is a "savory, not sweet" cookie offered by A Gourmet Thyme Too and available at The Golden Fig shop on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, MN. A sleeve of these cookies is almost reason enough to hop in car and head to Grand. )And while on good ole Grand stop in at Wet Paint and buy an art supply or twelve.)

Why? Although a small cookie - each bite packs flour, butter, sugar, heat, and a crunch of Kosher salt into a wonderful mouth treat. One cookie is just enough. But it's lovely to know that there are others waiting. (Not anymore...) Note - Some folks I offered a taste to thought the pepper was too peppery for their taste. More for the rest of us!

The package's hang-tag read: Wonderful as an hors d'oeuvre base. Press some goat cheese in place; top with your favorite pesto, hummus or chutney. Simply enjoy plain with a sip of wine or expresso.

I munched all of mine plain and with a spot of tea. I wish I'd purchased two sleeves.....

On to the day's Grand Adventures -

Friday, September 16, 2011

Home. Alone.

Wow. A quiet house. This truly hardly ever happens. And I don't know if I like it. Todd's bowling, Tara is off at a wedding rehersal, and I just got back from walking up the hill from downtown Stillwater. I'd thought the art crawl was going on tonight, but, nope...., it's next Friday.

One week off is not too bad. Some things in life - especially art-wise - are one YEAR or more "off." Then there are the notes one should write, the notes one wants to write, the vegetables to be harvested, the clothes to be folded. The plans one plans to plan. All the while we ARE doing stuff, and even wonderful things. However they zoom out of mind so quickly, only to be replaced by big clunking chunks of Nagging Guilt. Hmmm. A year already. That cannot be possible. But, yes, it's been twelve months since the Fall Edina art fair, and, yes, you have just put up the booth for this weekend's festival at Marine-on-the-Saint-Croix. The Green Bay Packers are done playing practice games and have already won their first "real" contest. A year has truly passed.

Sigh. So now the choices are: relax and read a book, work on greeting card orders, or start a new acrylic bruin "just for fun." First, it's tea time, and list-making time, and looking-out-the-window-at-darkening-sky time. Sigh.

I'm glad that there is still a wee bit of moment awareness - and a half-hour of silence - every now and then. Sit back and try five minutes.... It may be hard, but it might get easy. And even though we are weeks and years "off" on somethings, it might help to give yourself a five-minutes-right-now every now and then. Today the five minutes found a goldfinch at the bird-feeder. It might be a year before one comes again. We will hope time doesn't fly quite that fast. So on to a few more silent minutes, than back to the joys of sound. Tonight I think Jim Morrison and The Doors will break the silence well. Or Bach. Or Buddy Holly. I'm home alone. And the ears are missing their music.

On to the evening. On to some art. On to the joys of tea and toast. A toast to days and weeks and years and lives of sound and silence.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dealin' With the ADD...

Boo. Hoo. The almost-finished post just went away.............

Just writing about dealing with the friendly-foey ADD stuff today. One can not make bread without finishing the deed. So. Bread. Got. Mixed. Kneaded. Raised. Panned. Raised. Baked. Sliced. Eaten. Wow. One task accomplished while batting around so many others. Did. Play. Tennis. Too. didn't take headphones. So. Was. Distracted. By. Large. Slowly-flying. Bird.

And now I can't find my car keys. Am. Hoping. They. Were. Left. At. Post-office. Yesterday.

Did finally maybe name the events I'd love to have a go at. Round tables of interesting people talking, creating, sharing, eating, drinking. Without butting heads, arguing points, etc etc. A safe haven sort of event. Gotta do some. Gotta dare to fail. Gotta have more fun.

Gotta keep going on the actual "to do" lists and the invisible ones as well.

Time to cross off "blog" - whew.
Yesterday's learning - If you give a friend a tiny inexpensive notebook she might appreciate it more than one would guess.


Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12

These hot days in the Upper Midwest will be coming to an end soon. I am not complaining about the heat, but am pretending the days are simply extra hot short days we have hooked on to the end of an especially short-feeling Summer.

At the U.S. Tennis Open Rafa Nadal is having a tough time this late afternoon. I admire the great effort of both men. Sports can seem shallow in light of Sept. 11, but often they can inspire.

It's time to go buy art supplies. Treat yourself to a bit of something new every now and then. Don't wait till Winter. And make an effort to enjoy at least a bit of every shortening day -

-Ever onward-
Sue and crew