Monday, October 22, 2012


Adventures? Mixed emotions. I admire The Adventurers - great and small, but do not feel part of their gang.

I read books about rock climbers, but am too chicken to make phone calls.
I know folks who run marathons. I walk three miles every now and then.
I've seen the tiny boats in which single sailors have crossed huge oceans. I don't feel comfortable in a snug rowboat on calm Lily Lake.
I watch documentary films on world travelers. I have driven alone, in one day, to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Yippee-yi-o.

Some folks FEAR the blank piece of paper. I do not. Here be Adventures!

How people are brave enough to attempt and complete their adventures is always interesting. Daughter, Tara, has been to Japan twice. Loved it. Son, Tyler, took off for Ireland on his own shortly after his twenty-second birthday. Loved it. I fear ordering a plane ticket to Anywhere. But I can now address crowds with little reservation. Fear and shyness have their levels.....

Life remains mysterious. My head is still ringing/feeling like there's  high-speed drill inside. This is it's own Adventure, and soon the trek will be a year in - with no destination in sight. Some days are Bad. Most days are Standable. Many people have given much advise. Some things I've acted on, some things are written down - still to be considered.

But, ever onward. No Adventures scheduled for today. Prepping for some indoor shows and boutiques.  There are a few phone calls to be made. Buck up. Thousands, millions? of people spend their whole days making phone calls. It is what they DO. You scribble bears on paper. You try to make people laugh and consider. You do not paint or maintain those poles that keep our cell phones working. You do not have to float on a tether to repair things in outer-space. You do not have to spend the most of a year in a submarine or on high alert in a war zone. Quit bitching! Have some Fun! Get a massage! Pat people on the back! Suggest ways that folks can enjoy creating! O.K? O.K.

Life is O.K. Hoping your is O.K., too. And as full of adventure as you choose.
On to The Grand Adventure -

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Red Leaf Day

Yesterday the Autumn leaves were raining down in Stillwater. Our back yard is full, but the ones that caught my eye were the tiny red maple leaves in the Walgreens parking lot. I picked up one and another and another. They all had reason to be rescued. They were red, they were small, they called out "Me! Me!" If people were watching I really don't care. It was fun to focus on which few to grab without caring why. Reason set in after taking about 5 or 6; plus, I didn't want to get run over by an innocent sort just wanting to park.

So, off to The Bikery. There, armed with a cup of herbal tea, small sketchbook, bag of colored pencils, and some "you-deserve-it" time, it was time to choose a leaf. Took one with some fret-work in it's body and placed it on the page.

First, I did a few light orange passes to serve as background. Then as it says in the notes - time to Focus. And draw that fine line between wanting to be perfect and letting go of perfection. Remind oneself to observe and make a mark, measure again and make a mark, choose a color and make a mark. It was amazing how quickly the minutes went by. And how complex and beautiful this one small leaf was.

Yes, I did stop to goof off on-line from time to time. But not often and not for long.

Using only six pencils kept decision-making easy. Details were noted and refined. Colors were intensified by layering. Yes, some areas got more attention than others and I missed some open areas in completed drawing. Had to say to self "It's O.K. if it's not perfect." Little Life Lesson: 994002744.

Of course, the day held other plans. But drawing a leaf for an hour and a half was something, too, that needed to be done. And was. Yippee!!!

No, it's not perfect, but it's as finished as it will get. Botanical artists - you have my admiration! Maple trees, ditto! And sole proprietors of small local coffee-shops - hats off to you, too.

Tomorrow (today) holds getting-back-to-real-work, but I will treasure this  time spent in the company of a particular leaf.

 If you need a subject to draw or paint today pick out a leaf, rock, or piece of something that just happens to be nearby. Treat yourself to thirty minutes or an hour focusing on a small drawing. You might learn things you didn't know. (Write these down!) Have fun. Relax. Enjoy. And appreciate Small and Impermanent, now, maybe still Small but a bit more Permanent because you chose to take some I-deserve-to-draw time out in your day. Hooray!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Scribble Power

Must get back to the challenge of marking marks. In journals, in sketchbooks, and here. Even when one puts "blog" on list of things to do - well, of late...... that little square has been not been being checked off. Then there is evidence of one's intentions minus one's actions. Well, at least there ARE those small notebooks of tasks and plans. Spring and Summer DID exist. We did do stuff. Not everything, but quite a bit. Without notebook and photo evidence parts of me would be right back in the dark of this past Winter. No fun, no ambition, no plans, not much of a life.

This Winter, cross fingers knock wood, will be better. I'm not hoping for the Old Normal, just a better New Normal.

So here's a little drawing from early morning today. A smudged piece of card-stock from the Scrap Paper Drawer. Doesn't everyone have a Scrap Paper Drawer? We also have the Scissors Drawer but that's another issue. This piece of paper recently doubled as a dustpan. I really like card-stock weight paper. "It's a card! It's a dustpan!" And now the paper is supporting a scribble - so it's dustpan days are probably over.

One of our magnets was sitting on the kitchen table so we added her to the mix. Reminding me to get back to lists and schedules. And to keep scribbling.

Our last outdoor art fair of the season is over. The Red Wing Arts Association in Red Wing Minnesota puts on a lovely festival. Sunday was the better day of the two - although cold and wet put a damper on Saturday and some of Sunday. Of course the sky turned sunny blue as we were pulling out of town. We packed up "dry" - that's always nice.

And the Green Bay Packers won on Sunday night - that's always REALLY nice.

So on to the challenge of scribbling and posting. Give yourself a small challenge soon, accomplish it and let me know. You'll get a typed well deserved pat on the back from me, and maybe from others as well. And we all can use any number of pats. Heck - here are three just for fun: PAT PAT PAT.

Back to playing with paper -

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Greetings on The Change-over Day -

Yesterday was delightfully sunny warm summery, no wind, blue sky Perfect Day. This morning is dank and dreary. Grey, windy, heading for Cold. And Snowy in the Northland. And WINDY COLD.

We are heading up to the 3 Day Bayfield Wisconsin Apple Festival. Snow is forecast for Friday night. And high winds. And rain. I do not like high winds and rain on the shores of Lake Superior. It's always Interesting but never Fun. I want a Yesterday for Tomorrow. Reality? No. So will try to pack enough tethers and ropes and wool socks and plastic and warm clothes and Thermos and blankets and gloves. Oh, and five-gallon buckets for wet heavy sand. And dog tie-downs  and more plastic and boots. Oh, and the art stuff. Oh, and a cap or two.

So cheer us up and give us hope is this guy - the Optimistic One:

He's at least semi-hopeful that stuff will turn out O.K., if not Terrific. A Blue Skies kind of bear. As a friend describes herself - a "pragmatic optimist."

Some parts of life are needing lots of this attitude of late. So it's time to get back to breathing in some at-least imagined blue-sky-air, deal with reality, and starting the day. Grey or Sunny it's the one we've got to work with and the only October 4, 2012 we will see.

Do something Optimistically today? Wear bright colors? Read a funny book?  Look up? On to it.

- Sue