Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer Color

Summer Greetings on the Last Day of July - sigh.

I want way more July, and even some bits of May and June back.
Here we are not hurting for water. 
I almost feel guilty typing this.
The sunflowers tower.
The basils and tomatoes grow wherever the pumpkins allow them space.
And every so often I allow some time to play with art supplies.

This guy's name is "Big Bob."
He is pretty much an acrylic finger painting.
On a thick wooden board.
The owners of Ely, Minnesota's Mostly Moose and More shop bought him during 
the Ely Blueberry Festival.
He's probably had his fill of almost everything.
Eat or nap? Eat or nap?

Here, we are back to dealing with tomatoes. 
No time to nap.
Volunteer tomatoes gone really wild!

Yes, almost too much of a really good thing.
Like the garage-sale supply of paints and drawing implements.
So a bit of early morning harvest, and then back to making art.
Art  fair season is in full swing - 
and we are happy, busy, and tired almost all the time.
We appreciate our many customers!
The stories, suggestions, new ideas.

But now it's back to making "product."
If the tomato plants can do it, well, so can we.

Produce something today!
On to it - 

And Best of Luck to all hard-working Olympians. 
May your mistakes be minute, and may you be judged and timed fairly.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Some Mornings Are Better

Sunday morning I walked the exactly one mile down the hill from our motel to the harbor in Grand Marais, Minnesota. The morning before I'd done the same thing - walking and journaling (yes, you can walk and write at the same time) and saying "Good Morning" and "Hi" to people coming and going on same path. Took photographs and thought thoughts both days. Different thoughts different pictures each morning. Was so focused on walking and writing the first morning that the second day I was surprised to see a whole long stretch of fencing right to my side that I'd not even seen the previous day! No real big deal - just a thought of focus.

The Grand Marais Art Colony takes fine care of us artists. Some perks are  hot coffee and tea and way too many very good donuts. I had planned to visit the World's Best Donuts shop a few blocks up the way, but, darn, the artist reception room was already open in the motel (yes, we can use a real restroom!), so free donuts trump pay donuts in my world.

Time to grab a sketchbook, pencils, tea, donuts, and some space on a lovely large rock. The whole of Lake Superior was in front of me. Time to close focus. A row of rocks made perfect subject. The bag of colored pencils came out and the looking and gauging began.

Yes, I ate a donut before drawing. And sip a bit of tea. And watched some people and their poodles.

But back to the row of rocks. I chose four or five, and their smaller companions, as subject. No blue on this page. But even so small a view offered large challenges. Relationships between rocks thought duly noted became simply not correct when first lines were committed to paper. Ya think yer doin' stuff just perfect till ya look again and NO!  Angles are off, values and ratios, too. How can this be? Even being seriously careful the eye and hand were drawing wrong. Even drawing slowly the looking long needed more longer looking. The tiny viewfinder in the brain was fine, but the awareness needed exercise. On to it, then! Light and shadow, cracks in that large boulder to the right. Don't forget to note the millions of small beach stones between boulders and lake. And then remember to quit drawing, have a last sip of tea, and go set up the booth for the day.

This short bit of free time on the beach must be remembered. The drawing is in the book, the sunblock is in place, there is lots of the day ahead.

I forget to treat, allow, force myself to have these lovely short retreats more often. Roz Stendahl would have you "force" yourself to the time for drawing. I do agree. It's the doing. It's the doing. And back at home I must remember to find the retreats here. Priorities? We forget while piling on the other doings.

Today, treat yourself to a well-earned retreat. Twenty minutes of doing something just for the haibut. It will do your heart-spirit more good than putting away the laundry RIGHT NOW. The laundry will feel lighter after you've sketched it - ha!

Maybe almost every morning can be A Better Morning. Back to yours and back to mine.

Best of Luck and Fare-thee-well,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Stacks and Piles 5

Several days ago I attacked the top of my vintage oak dresser. Sometimes it's "cleaner" - sometimes it's how it had become. Another horizontal area on which to put things. This piece of furniture demands more respect. But there were always excuses. Oh yes - Stacks and Piles. On to it.

Miscellaneous stuff had no reason for being there. Books, yes, but not all books. We don't watch the stack of last year's GreenBay Packer football games recorded for future enjoyment (not so much since they lost that first play-off game...), so they are now in a box put a way for future enjoyment. Go Pack!!

A stack of small art/writing journals were piled high on one side. Now several finally have cover labels stating dates and topics. What a concept! Thumbing through the pages I re-lived trips, art fairs, and time spent in various coffee-shops and waiting vehicles. Some journals held good ideas for new products. Yippee. Inspiring quotes - forgotten until re-read. Decision time. Some volumes have been moved to more useful areas of the house. Some remain waiting more decisions.

Time budgeted was thirty minutes. Yes! Enough for a number of actions. Vintage hats moved from dresser to closet. One brown velvet beauty was singled out to head for the antique shop. I appreciate it's style and condition, but someone needs to wear it - well and often. Hoping for better homes for one's possessions is fun. Who will treasure this cutie? Will it go into a good collection or start someone on her love of hats? Goodbye beautiful hat. Go make somebody else happy.

After clearing off the whole front of the dresser it was a joy to move a few things around and DUST the old oak. Funny.... the dresser seemed to look Happy. And we do like happy furniture.

Yes, there is still work to do with books and papers, but again, work HAS been done. A few less piles, a few shorter stacks.

*When you get a space empty  - wipe it down, polish it, pat it, appreciate it.
*Go back several times during the day to check to see if the space is still empty!
*Spend a few minutes considering the next project - dare to challenge yourself to a larger pile or a longer period of time.

Good Luck - Have Fun! Your effort will be worth it -


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Stacks and Piles:4

Greetings -

Tiny stack attacked today. A small plastic bag of business cards. Some tossed. Some kept, Some kept - to be considered as tossable soon. Memories, some wondering of "why do I have this card?", card-design inspirations, old addresses for moved-on friends. Used about ten minutes of Challenge Time. The whole stack wasn't big to begin with - but it's smaller now. Yes!

A smaller step than even a baby step. Yes, I know that this Challenge is not going so well. I keep forgetting to keep at it.

Life Lesson # 4048883-7 - Keep At It.

Go to it. Keep at it.
Did draw, make cards, water the garden, post on Facebook, and put away the laundry. But that has no counting toward the 30 Hour Challenge.

How to keep a Challenge in mind?
*Attack the task early.
*Ponder the possibilities the night before - and WRITE them down AND put the words where you will see them.
*Do it every day.
*Write down the accomplishment on paper or type it onto your screen.
*Talk about it with friends and family - and even folks standing in line at the grocery store.

Now it's time to pack some orders and ponder the next pile.

Many hours left in Challenge. Not so many days....
On to your Challenge -