Sunday, December 28, 2014

Thirty Thankfuls - 12/28/14

Today I am Thankful

1) for Hardly any snow.
2) for  Just enough snow.
3) for Being able to indulge in too many Sweets.
4) for pretending that The Unending List of Tasks in done.
5)  for Friends and Family on the Facebook.
6) for having time to go visit the Vintage Toy Exhibit at the Minnesota History Center.
7) for enough sunflower seeds to go around.
8) for all the Christmas Carol movies on YouTube.
10) for being asked to spend Christmas Day with bunch of crazed, yet talented artist friends.
11) for our van making it through the "Puddles" on way to and away from festivities.
12) for "Good Omens" audio broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
13) because I can still squeeze into certain jeans. (Exercising starts again TOMORROW!!!)
14) because the house is somewhat clean.
15) that our grown children were part of Christmas Eve/Day.
16) that squirrels still entertain us.
17) that our two geraniums are surviving the winter inside (so far).
18) that life goes on WITHOUT the writing of the annual Christmas letter!!!!!!!!
19) that this morning I somehow got the VHS tape out of the little television...... (The mysteries of malfunctioning electronic products will remain mysterious...)
20) for the wide varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables on the kitchen counters and in the refrigerator.
21) for getting along with relatives on both sides of the family.
22) THAT WE GOT TO SEE THE SUN SHINE BRIGHTLY THIS WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!! If only for a while...
23) for NFL Football on Sunday afternoon. I am a shallow and serious fan of the various tiny and huge details that go into athletic competition.
24) for almost being caught up with bookkeeping. (This is not our usual style.)
25) another pot of bean soup is burbling on the stove. (This a sentence not possibly typed in my earlier Seriously Bean HATING live. Repeating Life Lesson: People/You can Change!)
26) that People I KNOW can Inspire me. We need not seek far for our Heros.
27) that flower bulbs are resting up and gearing up for Spring!
28) that poets are still writing poetry.
29) we have a New year in front of us - to do good and say  kind words to friends, family, and strangers who might just urn into friends!
30) that daughter and I have almost filled our Good Memory Jars for 2014. (I still have to take time to think about and note more recent memories. Remember to Remember.)

On to the  Fears, Challenges, and Joys of The Day!



Thursday, December 25, 2014

In Honor of Dad, Christmas, and Hysterical Laughter

It is December 25th.

Once upon a time I found a little book. It was old, faded, but called to me.
It's autographed: With much love, Chas Noel Douglas
This poem was in it.

It was probably neither Thanksgiving or Christmas Day when I started reading a random poem to myself. But somewhere in the early reading I KNEW it needed a wider audience. We kids were still at home and so I forced family to gather round. I started again from the beginning and soon the tears flowed and we couldn't breathe for laughing.
Sue, Dick, wink, smirk, and turkeys were involved.
This was a poem meant for US!
And this poem became part of our family feastings.
And also part of dad's, Dick Rowe, funeral service.

We laughed. We cried.
I hope you will, too.

Merry Christmas!
- Sue

From "Uncle Charlie's Poems"
By Charles Noel Douglas
Copyright, 1906, by J. S. Oglivie Publishing Company, Brooklyn, NY


Ma always did the carving in the old days on the farm;
When roasted bird at meals occurred she'd slice it to a charm:
But last Thanksgiving Father said, when Ma was carving ducks,
Her cooking, though 'twas passable, she couldn't carve for shucks.
Dad said agen, he noticed when a chicken came on deck,
Though all the rest got legs or breast, he always got the neck.
Henceforth he'd wield the knife himself, and now I'll go to work,
Events I'll trace, tell what took place when Father carved the "turk."

Christmas mighty soon rolled round, and Dick and me and Sue
Had fixed a little game on Pop, and Ma was in it, too -
We had a turkey on the farm, I'd heard Dad oft remark
He'd pledge his word that very bird came out of Noah's ark.
We chloroformed the gobbler, and though for hours we tried,
No ax or gun (we tried a ton) would penetrate his hide.
When in the oven birdie went Mom whispered, with a smirk,
There'll be some fun for every one when Father carves the "turk."

'Twas Christmas day, the table gay with fixings for the feast,
And ev'ry guest dressed in his best, a score of them at least:
A hungry horde sat round the board as Dad took up his knife,
All sharpened like a razor, for the battle of his life.
Hushed was the din as Ma brought in the gobbler, brown and slick -
Mom winked at me, I winked at Sue and Sue she winked at Dick;
All bowed their heads as grace was said by Reverend Joseph Burke,
Then still as death we held our breathe while Father carved the "turk."

Dad shed his coat and bared his throat, and then he butted in,
The gobbler's hide to cut he tried, but couldn't pierce the skin;
Its breast he jabbed, its neck he stabbed, and gave it such a slap
It went right swish clean off the dish and flopped in Sal Smith's lap.
'Twas soon put back, again Dad hacked; oh, things were going some!
When Dad's knife slipped and off it whipped the top of Father's thumb;
Dad stomped the floor, and strange oaths swore, while Reverend Mr. Burke
Begged Heaven, in prayer, our lives to spare while Father carved the "turk."

We fixed the old man's damaged thumb, then Dad, sad to relate,
Upon the table knelt and chased the turkey round the plate;
One knee was on the gobbler's breast, the other in the pie,
While gravy flew on me and Sue and hit the ceiling high,
We ducked beneath the table, 'twas the safest place to go,
While Pop was wrestling up on deck we breathed a prayer below;
Then came a crash, an awful smash, in my brain long 'twill lurk;
That deafening roar, when on the floor, went Father and the "turk."

We scrambled out and picked Dad up; you should have seen him prance -
The carving knife lodged in his shoe, the fork was in his pants,
His face was smeared with grease, his beard and whiskers full of pie,
Ere he could see Ma dug out three potatoes from his eye.
Then old "Doc" Jupp patched Father up, and said 'twas very plain
He'd turkeyitis of the pants and gravy on the brain -
Another gobbler soon was cooked and each one set to work,
And ate, you bet, but don't forget 'twas Mother carved the 'turk."


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Places and Peace

Today is past mid-December in Stillwater, Minnesota. After a few balmy melty unusually "warm" days (for us) this morning's temperature is a more normal Twelve Above Zero. Snow is on the ground. Not much, but enough to make stuff white.

I've spend an hour walking circles in the house - to the sounds of Tibetan bowls ringing. On YouTube. Not listening to Bach or Mozart or the local or national sports-talk radio chats. Quiet dings and lings and pings. No, I did not walk the slow Zen meditation walk. I sped around at a good mid-speed. Accomplishing things as each footstep landed. So Not Zen. So Darned Sue. But the Sunday paper is in the recycling bin, a plastic art fair bin has been unloaded, backs of greeting cards cleaned up, candles played with (yes, I mess with those lighted wax melters, I do), towels folded and put away, and thoughts thunk.

Some day I will simply walk.

But what is on little mind is a wee bit of rest. Hahaha. And where one imagines this could happen.

These places exist. These chairs are real. This lake is iced over now, but will be softer water come next summer. Question to self is: Will you take the time to Simply Sit?  I do not know. Relaxing is a sort of hazy dream.

Yes, I can hear Aaron Rodgers' "R-E-L-A-X. Relax" in brain, but always through the ding ring ching kring of ye olde tinnitus. I get a tad guilty repeatedly bitching about this - knowing good friends and family members are dealing with much more seriously stuff - but it's still a major factor in not much remembering the sounds of "peace and quiet."

Quiet is not happening. I do still attempt a sort of Peace. Seriously. This is where Zen practice does help. And Yoda helps. And friends and family help. And places help.

Here is Plastic Yoda thinking Yoda thoughts while surveying the beach at Grand Marais, Minnesota, in July of 2014. Lake Superior is a place of both peaceful or violent beauty. It is one of My Places. I "go" to Lake Superior when I want to relax. No, not usually to Grand Marais. Usually the brain goes automatically to a small rocky beach at Little Girl's Point - in Northern Michigan. A beach right behind the home of an aunt and uncle. i don't know why, it just does.

Or it goes to The Upper Falls at Potato River Falls in my home town of Gurney, Wisconsin.

These are my Peace Places.

I hope you have a few of your own....

And I hope that the Green Bay Packers win out the season.

And I hope that you find a hour or two of True Peace during this sometimes frantic and  painful Holiday season.

Peace. Relax. Enjoy. Smile. Pass it on!

Merry Christmas, Happy Winter Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, and All Best Wishes to all in Celebrating what you find worth celebrating!

Sue the Strider
Facebook page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Thought for the Day

History is made by those living in the times.  We are making ours now, and those who follow will make theirs. The recording and destroying the records of history is matter for another day.

Here is one sentence from the pen of Thomas Jefferson:

Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.

On to our average unremarkable days. They are never really average. And bits of each day, or The Whole Day, are often remarkable (Remarkable: worthy of attention, striking, unusual or surprising).

PEACE and FRIENDSHIP are Remarkable. If not with all mankind, perhaps with one's neighbor or relative or simply that new person at the coffee shop.

Ever onward and Fare-thee-well,

*Art doings this weekend: Friday/Saturday, Dec. 12 -13, we will be vending at "The Very Merry Holiday Fair," 323 Water Street, Baraboo, WI. Check for more info,
This will be our last art fair for 2014. It was a year of low lows and high highs. And old friends and new. Whew!
FB Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Saturday, December 6, 2014

In Five Minutes

In five minutes one could:

* Walk five minutes, write a quick note, think about stuff one is Thankful for, feed the birds/squirrels, thumb through 2015 Seed Savers garden catalog, microwave BACON, text a friend to ay "Hi,", read a short article, take a photograph - or many many photographs or a short video, choose the next book to read, think about a favorite prson, write a check to a favorite cause, pick 3 things from closet to give away, DUST STUFF!?!, sweep the kitchen floor, empty the dishwasher, fill the dishwasher, water the plants, throw something away, brush the cat, dog, guinea pig, run five minutes, listen to part of "A Charlie Brown Christmas," turn off the TV, watch the sun  rise/set, pause, be done. *

Not all of the time - but often - the little chiming timer on my phone or the loud buzzing timer on the stove help me through the day. Focus, boundary, focus.

On to the open-ended day now.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Another Attempt at Happy.

Some times you just have to start.
The bruins have often not been "happy" of late - and bitching grumpy looking bears can be as boring as we whining humans. Time to attempt Change! Think Happy. Think Hopeful. Happy. Hopeful.  Let the Scribbling begin!

Hmmm. Made an outline area. Sometimes creating a boundary helps an idea to come. This time - not so much. So get that Ultra Fine Point Sharpie Marker going.

 Trying to make a relaxed yet controlled series of lines isn't always easy. Not in this case anyway. But "Keep the pen moving" is good advice - whether on is writing or drawing. Scribble scribble. Hmm.... this is not going well. So much for those 10,000 hours. Not happy with results. But this is only a page in a small sketchbook. And there are "trys" to be tried. Art supplies are close at hand. Time to change plans in mid-bear? Yes, I do  -  early and often.

Concentrate on getting other than sad or angry  expression with those eyes. Don't worry about correctness of anatomy - that's for another days' practice. Scribble scribble. That poor Sharpie Marker is getting quite a workout.

Unfortunately,  much evidence left by poorly drawn Sharpie lines cannot easily be "erased," but these lines depict the trial and much error going on. Folks think that we artists most often whip things up surely and well. Umm.... This drawing proves otherwise. But now the eyes are starting to say SOMETHING if not much....

On to some color. A bag of Prismacolor colored-pencils is almost always with arm's reach - though not always filled with the colors one would would wish. Today is no different. There are also a variety of soft pastels on the table - still not put away from commissioned project. Hmm. I like goofing off with sketchbook pieces. Note to public: "No real bears were harmed in the making of this only-O.K. drawing." Scribble. Light and dark; define more shapes; try to remove some lines. Hmm. Failure on several fronts. Think and do. Grab a piece of white pastel. Please note that I NEVER use soft pastels in sketchbooks.But this a day for not giving up. Try Anything! Hmm.. It sort of works in somewhat hiding lines around nose and mouth. And the paper is rough enough for the particles to hold. Huzzah! Now to remember not to plow Sharpie through pastel. One trip through pastel powder can kill the line of almost any type of pen. But... colored pencil moves over pastel area peachy keen. Glimmer of Hope? Maybe. Print REMEMBER to WONDER because the words showed up in the brain. If this is not a Happy Bear, it is, at least, a Wondering Bear.

More daring is coming up. Time to bring out the Big Gun. Ignore the above sentence concerning markers. This Fine Point (ha ha) Sharpie Marker fears not! I wanted to define areas around eyes and head. If using this sort of tool you cannot afford to be tentative. Even your mistakes will look as though you intended to make them.

Draw draw; back to more pastels and colored pencils. Have "fun" coloring in The Words. And REMEMBER them. Scribble scribble. This drawing is far from being one of my best. But it taught me to try Something New. And it reminds us all to Wonder. Thanks, Bear, for the thoughts you forced me to think, and the marks you allowed me to make. I hope that you're  a wee bit Happy.

Fare-thee-well, and may this be the start of Reasonably Happy Holidays!
 - Sue

Exhibition info:
This Saturday (Dec. 6) finds us vending at Color Crossing in Roberts, Wisconsin.
 Sunday (Dec. 7) we'll be  attending exhibition reception at Stillwater, MN's Artreach St. Croix. We put the Bears (most of them) in the current "Horses, Bees, and Bears" show that runs through early January.
Next Friday and Saturday we will be vending at "The Very Merry Holiday Fair" in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Day After

The day after Thanksgiving Day finds me picking up a different guitar and attempting to remember simple chords and country songs from long ago. I was never a "good" player, but spent enough hours being bad that I sure can appreciate the great guitarists of olden days and now. The ones who play like fast calm butter. the ones who simply become the music. I can't do that.

We also have a really good banjo. Garage sales can be mystical things...  So THAT beastie is waiting it's turn to be tortured by my hands.

I LOVE music. But am not good at making it. Brain, eyes, and hands do not cooperate. Begged to stop taking piano lessons at age thirteen. Permission granted. Tortured grand-school music teach during clarinet lessons. Mostly all I recall is never making it past squawking sounds AND breaking way too many reeds. Sorry, Mom, we need more reeds... That year's experience is usually shoved WAY BACK in brain's many dark drawers. When art career begin I drew a clarinet as greeting card. Text: She preferred Death to going on with the clarinet. (Sold it quite quickly - I have soul mates...)

In between I was spending a teen-aged week with Uncle Dave and Aunt Martha. Uncle Dave sort of "forced" me to learn a few chords on his 12-string guitar. I could do "Proud Mary." Later, from high school graduation money I bought myself a guitar as present. Sadly, it was not one that wanted to stay in tune, but it got me through many a James Taylor  and Bob Dylan tune, and us through some 4-H accompanying stints. ("Goodbye, Old Paint" is a song I may never sing or play again.) That guitar taught me that rum and cokes can "tune" a guitar, but only as long is under the influence of rum and cokes.

Years passed. I started watching YouTube videos of great guitarists - blues, classical, Mark Knopfler playing with Chet Atkins, etc etc.

It is time to return to learning. Just for fun. And me. I pity that new guitar; and yes, the old one will be a garage sale or flea-market offering (priced accordingly) so I pity it's new owner a little.

Time to move forward into this grey day. Re-learned chords to "The House of the Rising Sun" this morning. Life is slightly better.

Dare to Learn/DO something New today? On to the Adventure!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

30 Thankfuls

Today, Thanksgiving Day, the only Nov. 27th, 2014 we will ever have I am thankful (not in order, but mostly for fun) -

4)sweet potatoes
5)not having to host Thanksgiving feast for extended family
6)friendly Facebook "blips" from computer throughout the morning's cooking
6)extra butter. (Perhaps more about that in a post about dyslexia...)
9)enough sunflower seeds, shelled corn, and suet for the crew feating in backyard
11) The Yellow Bowl
12)folks who post usable recipes on World Wide Web
13)Summer Memories

Evergreen Tree at Community Center during Gurney 100th Year Anniversary

14)making new friends & seeing old ones during art fair adventures
15)relatively good health throughout the year
21)ART of so many kinds

22)model horse show memories
Badgerland - long years ago!

23)being able to have lived many different lives
24)not caring about really correct grammar and punctuation today
24)Arron Rodgers saying "R-E-L-A-X (Go Pack!!!!)
25)our January adventure to Lambeau Field - even though Tara and my Green and Gold folks lost that battle
26)both  grown tykes living, I hope, happily.
27)more of certain art supplies than I will use in my lifetime. Come play?
28)having more Holiday Spirit this year than in quite a while. (No, I do not know why.)
29)just enough snow
30)that this typing is finished before the brussels sprouts dish has to be taken out of oven

And that there way more than Thirty things that I'm thankful for on this Day of Thanksgiving.

Fare-thee-well, and Happy Thanksgiving!

- Sue 
(I'm clicking on Publish - typos or no typos. "r-e-l-a-x....")

Monday, November 17, 2014

Grey Day - Summer Color

Some days we just need that tiny bit of Hope....

Here are a few images from 2014's Greener Times here in Stillwater. They won't melt the Cold Big White that is right outside of our doors, but the  might help warm the heart. 

Earlier in the Summer - my very favorites...

I often use a black piece of mat board in order to focus on details.

I am not a fan of most floral images that seem more Specimen shots than work that is more Art. Giant color fields of cropland is an exception. Bring on those fields!

And one final boom of COLOR:

YAY for Big Pink on a Grey/White Day!!!
Now back  to prepping for the remaining art fairs in metro area and Wisconsin, and making art for Art Show here in Stillwater that hangs on Wednesday. No pressure!

Next art fair will be Saturday, Nov., 22, at Edina, MN's, Christ Presbyterian Church, 6901 Normandale Rd. Edina. 9 - 4. For more information: CPCONLINE.ORG/HOLIDAYBOUTIQUE, or call 952-920.8585. Lots of wonderful artists/craftsfolk. Good food. (I'm not looking up potential weather forecast yet.)

Then we will be attending Dec. 6th craft festival at Color Crossing in Roberts, WI, and the next weekend we will be bopping down to The Very Merry at Baraboo, WI. (Dec. 13-14.) Our goodies are also available year-round at a number of galleries and shops, from Art Dock in Duluth, to No Rules in Spring Green, WI. Check web-site for more info.

Now it's time to bundle up in this lovely nine degree weather and work a shift at American Gothic Antiques in downtown Stillwater. not dealing with awful travel conditions. Thoughts are with you doing the white-knuckled trek.

Forward and onward - 

 FB Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Drawing in Coffeeshops

Oh, dear.
I love drawing in coffee shops.
Or small cafes.
Or the bakery - if table space allows.

Needs are simple: chair, sketchbook or papers, pen, pencil, marker, beverage, and maybe something to nibble on.

Good company can add or be a distraction.
It's great is sound system is playing good quiet jazz music and the surrounding chatter is not too loud.

The drawing to be discussed was played with while visiting Stillwater, MN's Tin Bin. This eatery is housed in the former Commander Mill grain elevator, and the folks who re-designed the place did not mess around. There are large windows for watching St. Croix River action - or non-action. Nooks and crannies in which to sit. Full bar. A counter-level fireplace for winter warming. A SCRABBLE game. Great selection of bakery. Other goodies for chomping through the day. Beverages from coffee and herbal teas  to beer and wine. Friendly staff. Live music on many weekends. Like I said - they didn't mess around. It has become the go-to place. Sorry, other local places.

As shown by date - this sketch was done March 8th of this year. A pleasant Winter Saturday morning. I went with Tara and one of her friends. We had to sit across from "our" table because people were sitting at "our" table. Tara and friend chatted about stuff. I pulled out sketchbook.

Simply started from upper left corner and worked away down the page. Pentel Pocket Brush Pen for black lines.  Worked on changing up kinds of lines.  Aimed for "loose" but relatively accurate. Didn't THINK too much. Tried to allow the brush tip "dance" across the paper. Just let the brush do what brushes do. Then added Prismacolor colored pencils (small short selection from Altoid box) for bit of color. Hmm.... room at bottom for drawing the drawing I'm drawing? That was Fun.

The black tote at right top has a "Coraline" theme. Quote drawn on table's edge is taken from bag's advice: "Be careful what you wish for." Thanks for the reminder, Neil Gaiman.  So very true - but that topic is for a different day!

No, it is not the perfect sketch. Yes, it has some perspective problems. (Don't we all?) But it holds memories of a lovely Winter morning in a warm establishment, with hot beverages and warm friendships. And a Life Lesson. Pretty good for a short time scribbling in a small sketchbook.

Daughter is now living in Southern California. California has coffee shops. But it doesn't have Tin Bin. Wish I could beam a large warm muffin your way, Tara. With two butters!

On to the day. An Art-Making Day. (Because I JUST FOUND OUT YESTERDAY that the bears were accepted for a one-month show at the art center here in Stillwater. That's a topic for a Serious Serendipity post some day!)


FB Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thankful - And Again

Today I am Thankful for (in no particular order):

1) this MacBook laptop computer.
2) the friends it allows me to talk with almost instantly.
3) bunny videos on YouTube.
4) we didn't get most of the weather forecast for the past two days.
5) time to make a cup of tea
6) a good variety of herbal teas from which to choose.
7) knowing what we have to bring for Thanksgiving Dinner.
8) knowing that we don't have to host Thanksgiving Dinner.
9) those who host Thanksgiving Dinners.
10) images of Garden 2014:

BIG GREEN!!!!!!!!!

11) Todd vacuuming the living room yesterday.
12)being given probably a life-time supply of certain Prismacolor colored pencils!
13) being able to deliver art for Phipps Center for the Arts gift shop today instead of on the worst day of recent storm.
14) bacon.
15) our adult children having a bunch of excellent friends.
16) most excellent friends - and most excellent relatives.
17) not shoveling and plowing our way through 24 inches of snow in my hometown of Gurney, Wisconsin. Happy Winter, everybody!?!
18) words that can change color with a single Clink!
19) a large card order that was picked up and paid for yesterday. 

20) THIS sort of thing not happening here everyday:


21) not being able to recall the oops moment happening.
22) heavy-duty lined leather boots.
23) being able to donate books/art magazines to Hudson, Wisconsin's Little Library. Little Libraries are Awesome!!
24) my head's dinging slightly less "loudly" this morning - huzzah. (Ya take what ya can get!)
25) the last of the garden kale made into crunchy chips.
26) that, through this practice, perhaps I have persuaded a few readers into giving Thanks or being Grateful for slightly more than three things each day.
27) being able to check "BLOG!!" off the day's list - and probably do it before 8 A.M!
28) food, and toothbrushes, and electricity.
29) people who write and publish books.

30) good local coffee shops in which to sit and sketch (though I don't go as often as I should anymore. - hmm - maybe today?)

May your day go as you wish it to go - mostly. 
Off to light the candles for those who need and want them. 
Mainly 'cause I like goofing off with lighters and hot flaming wax. 
And Thinking of Folks who might need a Good Thought.


P.S.: The polar bear from yesterday is now finished, matted, and available for sale. $60.00 - postage paid. Can't keep 'em all!

FB Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


First - Thank You, Veterans!!

Now, on to "lighter" stuff.

Polar On!

Taking up a page in a Strathmore Toned Gray 5.5 in. x 8.5" sketchbook and stealing a pose from a real bear's image I start with a quick scribble with White Prismacolor pencil.

Just to see how the pencil plays with the paper. Sort of "slippery" and sliding on the "medium" tooth of this surface. Not as catchy as I'd hoped, but, what the heck, let's move forward.

Staying with white pencil I blocked in shape of bear. No real thought of real finished drawing. Trying to channel polar bear. Trying to channel polar bear. These bears are large, lanky, fast, and heavily-furred. Drawing to convey bulk and weight. And design. Polar bears are very well designed for their environment. Dense, yet Streamlined. Ears lie very close to head; not the large furry loops seen on black bears. Scribble scribble.

 Now, playing with adding bulk, shape, and a bit of shading. Because I seldom want to convey my bears as realistic beings I am more concerned with getting a spirit in the piece rather than making an exactly anatomically correct drawing. These bears aren't really loose collections of bones twirling in  white fur bags - but I sort of like to think they could be. On to some color!

A little bit of this. A little bit of that. Playing with graphite pencil; Violet, Cool Grey 30%, Lemon Yellow, Olive Green, Poppy Red, Crimson Red, Coral (Prismacolor). Playing playing. Working to get sense of Warm Sun playing across right side of head and most of body. Changing shape of mouth from source image. This is one Calm but Happy Basking Bear. Scribble scribble. Starting to see where the yellow will go. Starting toward making bear's form more solid. Slippery layer upon layer upon layer.

Adding Black to the mix, and fun with Derwent Metallic pencils - Yellow and Purple. And. gasp!, Crayola Sky Blue. Why Crayola? Because it was the first medium blue my fingers touched while searching through pencil bag. (In addition to the pencils stored in the beautiful cloth pencil holder our daughter stitched up I have a few stashes of pencils kept in gallon-sized plastic bags. And two small stashes of really short pencils in old Altoid boxes. (Focus, Susan - back to main topic!)

More layering and pondering. A touch here a wonder there. Knowing that head isn't drawn EXACTLY correctly, but practicing not caring too much. Layer Layer Layer. Longer strokes. Shorter strokes. Experimenting with subtle areas. A few darker marks to lips, eyes, and ears. Lots more Yellow. Lots more White. More shorter strokes. Think "Thicker Fur. Thicker Fur." Trying to decide what my mission is which this bear. Words and sentences come to mind, but I do not add them to the drawing. Hmm. And didn't write them on a scrap of paper or in a notebook. This was probably a mistake. Always try to have a blank piece of paper nearby incase THE Idea strikes. I know that three or four useable sentences floated in and out of the brain. Bye bye, Ideas. But if you care to come back, well, this time I've got paper.

Here is what I decided was the finished bruin:

And, as with so many of my sentences, the above is a lie. Now this "final" photograph shows clear areas that can be improved. And they will be. but not right now. The day holds many other tasks. But this was Fun And Educational to me. And I hope that you learned something, too!

Here be Pencils (sorry, you few that got left out):


FB Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Friday, November 7, 2014

Weeks Zip By

Another week has zipped by. Not without noting. Noting mainly in small notebooks, long skinny lists of things to do, lots of posts on Facebook.

The Mr. Jades appear to be Happy indoors. The two geraniums whisper that they would prefer a tad more sunlight. Sorry, geraniums - where you are is the best we can do. (This house was not built with thriving houseplants in mind.) Out in the garden chard and kale nap under sheets for a few more days. I harvest smaller and smaller leaves, but take joy in knowing that these plants are still producing delicious green goodness in early November. Sort of makes our late wet cold Spring more O.K. (Just a little.) Hoping to plant some bulbs, but this is not top priority today. Will wait for even colder weekend - that's my style!

Here's an early morning scribble - taken from an essay on the "On Being" web site. (Sharpie Marker & Prismacolor colored pencils)

I really like these sentences. They give us will to do what can't be done. I have a friend or two in Artist Land that do impossible things because they don't know certain things can't be done!  Kassie did her work among the poor and homeless. We can do impossible things in so many ways! We must remember this.  And of course we must keep on doing the possible things, too. And find time for rest and reflection. And fun. And exercize. And Hope.

If you figure out how - please let me know!!


P.S.: Peggy's Holiday Boutique (Roseville, MN) ends this Sunday. Chickadee Boutique (Shoreview, MN) ends in a few weeks. We are re-stocking goodies for Brickyard Pottery (Shell Lake, WI), Art Dock Gallery (Duluth, MN), and Old Time Mall (Tomahawk, WI).

Go do some impossible thing today. How's that for a Challenge?!
FB Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Keeping Going.

Typing just to type.
Sometimes a person must simply show up.

It you make art you are an Artist.
If you write you are a Writer.
If you blog you are a Blogger.

What you do isn't always WHO you are.

Try to be the You you know yourself to be.


Now it's time to be a Book-keeper. Hip hip hooray!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

3 Thankfuls times 10

Greetings -

 Today, in no particular order, I am thankful:

1) that I CAN Hear - even though the tinnitus is particularly "loud" this morning.
2) that I am listening to Mozart's music.
3) that the Royals gave 'er a great run, but greater pitching ruled... sigh.
4) that I really didn't have one of "my" teams in the World Series. (The Brewers' loss to St. Louis in
1982 is etched into brain...)
5) that we don't have 22 inches of snow on the ground here now. We did in Gurney, WI, during the                  1982 World Series.

6) we have electricity in the house. (We lost power, due to Oct. '82 snowstorm, for three days.)
7) I don't have to go mild cows this twice today. (We had to dump our milk during the 3 days without power during....)
8) there is a short green forest of Mr. Jade plants to my left.
9) we have lots of stuff ready for Peggy's Holiday Boutique  - though I wish most of it was there already. Guess what we're doing today?
10) that my chiropractor appointment could be moved to a later time this afternoon.
11) that Todd gets to go to bowling tonight.
12) that the birds and squirrels are chomping on the goodies put out for them.
13) that A. A. Milne wrote the "Winnie the Pooh" stories. (I am Eeyore. Tigger, AND Piglet)

14) that I'm "giving" myself the Time to type 30 Thankful Things. Give yourself more time - you deserve it!
15) that the Memory Jar is quite full, thought I forget to put even more Memories in to it.
16) that we have a "free" weekend coming up/
17) that we have three different-sized paper cutters, because each size is best for a particular purpose.
18) that I don't care if there are typos in this post.
19) that a friend was Thrilled to get last month's copy of "Poets and Writers" magazine. I got a good deal on subscription, read the issues, never act on them. She just might!
20) that one candle is burning this morning.
21) that there are others on standby.
22) that Douglas Adams wrote: "I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be."
23) for a second cup of hot tea.
24) Todd helped price magnets last night.
25) Todd bought regular potato chips last night.
26) the Stillwater information desk librarian let me print label sheets in the printer. (Yes, I remembered to check the paper drawer so that the next person printing wouldn't get a sheet or two done on label paper!)
27) that now I have a brand new printer to learn how to use! (...)
28) for breakfast-eating options.
29) "blog" can be checked off today's To Do List!
30) that Good Thoughts and Prayers are zinging from one heart to another through our quirky Facebook and non-Facebook universe.

A) that there are even more things I'm thankful for!

But on to prepping more bears for Grand Hand Gallery in St. Paul, Peggy's Holiday Boutique, and other venues!

Kansas City Royals - here's to "Next Year!"


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Polar Time

Here is the polar bear beauty lounging in "cave" entrance at the zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. Photo is much-cropped. In fact I am still amazed at what our "cheap" digital cameras can do these days!

Customers have been requesting more polar bears as subjects. It will be fun to work from bears actually experiences, versus ones inspired by books or imagination.

This bear had two expressions the whole time we watched. Eyes shut. Eyes open. Maybe a few paw variations. You work with what you've got. Yes, I did sketch from life - just a few lines in a small sketchbook. It was fun to study the bear's form - such as I could see it.

A visit to St. Paul's Como Park polars is long over-due. Sure - there will be time in the Winter to check them out. And I still haven't seen the grizzly bears at The Minnesota Zoo. Sheesh.

Now it's time to cheer on the Kansas City Royals and see if they can tie up this World Series.

Baseball is not boring.
And neither are brooding bruins!

FB Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pork: Pre-Bacon.

Hogs, pigs, swine, porkers. they always leave me with mixed emotions.


In art school days at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls, I was known for my pig drawings. The reason I DREW pigs is a long short story for another time. Faculty members purchased my pigs. Classmates and teachers would leave pig-inspired gifts in my studio space. It got a little weird.

After graduation I did not draw anything for many many years. Really. Then the bears happened. At an art fair several years ago a customer asked if I ever did any other animals. "What do you have in mind?," I asked. "I really like pigs," she said.

Done and done. But only a few and only as card designs. (Time passed.)

Today it felt like time to draw a  porker.
Yay for State Fair photographs!

Here is a blurry model from this year's Minnesota State Fair:

Yes, I wish I'd spent more time focusing. (That's an issue in way more of life's areas than photographing livestock...) Yes, that is it's tongue.

One of my many 5" x 7" spiral-bound sketchbooks was hunted down. A plain old graphite pencil got sharpened. Let the drawing begin!! Yes, I was listening to a football game. Football? Pigskin? Just the way it goes.

Here is the somewhat finished drawing.

Yes, those are eraser marks. No, the sketch isn't perfect. But it sure was fun. I might go back and re-work some things. Or, I'll probably simply do another drawing.

Tomorrow holds the start of putting up our booth at Roseville, MN's "Peggy's Holiday Boutique. This show does take a crew over five days to create, but once it's open - What a place to shop!

Now it's time to publish post,  have a sip of tea, and be glad this pig had such a lovely glint in its eye.

Try not to lose yours - Glint on!

And Fare-thee-well,
Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

P.S.: No, we probably won't have bacon for dinner. But for breakfast tomorrow - most likely.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

It's O.K.


It's O.K. when your Interests Overlap.



Friday, October 24, 2014

Thirty Thankfuls

In no particular order -  today I am Thankful for:

1) getting in a three mile walk this afternoon, while chatting with friend on phone during part of trek.
2) making kale chips with kale still green from the garden.
3) Etta James.
4) plenty of work to do.
5) having lots to ponder from four days away in Omaha and Des Moines.
6) wonderful Art in Omaha and Des Moines.
7) RED Maple leaves.
8) the blue jays that seemed to be enjoying the dried corn put out on patio steps.
9) ditto - the squirrels.
10) cutting our travels a few days short so we can enjoy semi-vacation days here at home.
11) the the beets and chard still hanging in there with the kale in the garden.
12) taking the time to clean some counter space in kitchen. Space is good.
13) The art and ballet books I bought on trip. One was $2.00; the other was $1.00.
14) the tea bowl purchased at an Omaha art gallery. Yes, the shape and glaze spoke to me.
15) taking the time to walk to Iowa from Nebraska over the Missouri River.
16) the chatty docents at the Des Moines Art Center. No, I didn't start the conversations!
17) the Halston/Warhol exhibition at the above art center. So many of Halston pieces are Classics!
18) the Green Bay Packers playing on broadcast TV this Sunday night.
19) our small Christmas cactus starting to bud.
20) not having an art fair this weekend.
21) having some art events in near future.
22) the mild weather of late.
23) Stevie Ray Vaughn.
24) still being able to wear a certain size jeans.
25) a fully-charged iPod.
26) Todd and my fortune cookie fortunes tonight.
27) more time.
28) being able to cheer for a certain team in the World Series, even though I don't have a "personal" team in the event. (Makes a shallow fan's life much easier when one's "own" team isn't playing.)
29) thinking about Spring bulbs.
30) not caring about Halloween so much, but already thinking of Thanksgiving.

A) knowing that there are many more than thirty things to be Thankful for.

Sue-Rowe-Studios (Facebook Page)

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Greetings -

Have been on a long-needed few days away in Central Midwest.
We enjoyed Omaha, Nebraska, for two days.

Some Doings, Observations, Suggestions:

Don't order the Texas Roadkill at Texas Roadhouse. Almost ANYTHING else would have more flavor than the poor chunks of beef that were on my plate. I should have sent it back, but some sort of Midwestern "nice-ness" came over me. Argh!! Todd let me pour some of his steak's juices over the pile of onions, cheese, and meat I was served. helped a little. (His steak was fine.) Potato and salad were fine. I just got reasonably miffed and disappointed, but didn't act to improve situation. Lesson: If you are paying for a decent meal do your best to GET a decent meal.

First mission was to visit the Henry Doorly Zoo. Childhood memories of "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" television program were re-ignited with one area's large images of Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler. We spent four and a half hours on the grounds. Missed a few areas - have to save some experiences for next time - but got to go at a leisurely pace and enjoy a beautiful day. The bears weren't particularly cooperative, but I got to sketch the polar bear's head as it lazed in the sunny opening of it's "den." We got to see the large male giraffe stand up from it's resting folded-legs position. It happened amazingly quickly. He's down. He's WAAAY up! Other zoo high-lights were: walking through the desserts under the huge geodesic dome, feeding the  huge masses of koi swimming in the aviary area, becoming aware of various programs the zoo is involved in helping save a number of species around the world, and, oddly enough, having fun watching the prairie dogs as they did prairie dog stuff in non-fenced-off area of zoo. (Todd and I are both suckers for "cute" rodents.)

Later we  walked around the shops in the Old Market area of town. I even bought a tea bowl in an excellent art gallery! We passed through a strange antique-thrift shop where the shop-keeper didn't really note us, but never stopped talking to his small fluffy dog. Had pizza for dinner; even found a place that served a gluten-free rice flour version for me.

(Breakfast time - will focus on Omaha's Art with next typings.)

Today, on to Des Moines!

- Sue

Monday, October 20, 2014

Goal 1

The goal is to keep the Spirit feeling Green throughout the Winter that is soon to be upon us.

Thanks, Swiss Chard. You started slowly, but am hanging in there.

Now to feel Summer warmth and joy when thawing the chard recently frozen for Winter use.

Yay, GREEN!!!!!

                                 Yes, sometimes the day is flawed and slightly out of focus....

Reality is Full of Layers

This photograph was shot as more a guess and hope than "I can see this through the viewfinder." I like it more the longer I look at it. 

On to the day. On to setting and meeting the challenges and goals.

On to a few more art events. 
But, first, on to treating brain and soul to a few days "off."

On to lighting the candles.


- Sue
FB page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday Art Fair

This weekend holds the Fall Colors Fine Art and Jazz Festival in Stillwater, MN. Booth #8 for us.

Usually we are up in Bayfield, Wi at the Apple Festival. This year we are fighting the elements here.

To be worn , and in a particular order (not listed) - tee shirt, long sleeved shirt, sweatshirt, sweater, goosedown vest, hooded goosedown coat, gloves, hand and foot warmers, Kromer cap, Sorel boots, two pairs of wool socks, leggings, and scarf and/or other cap, if needed.

Yay, for these Crisp Autumn Days?!? It didn't freeze or snow here last night. Did snow Up North. Tonight - frost here -  maybe.... Crops are covered.

On to the setting up and the sitting down. And Remember to bring the Thermos!!!!

There are LOTS of wonderful arts events through-out Minnesota and Wisconsin this weekend. Go see Art!! Or simply marvel at nature and her infinite ways of driving us crazy.

Next week - Red Wing!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Going Backwards

Tinnitus... These past few days my head has been so very "loud" as to be almost not to be withstood. I'm whining.

Not in pain. But in constant, never-ceasing "LOUD roaring chinging drilling not-real sound." Concentrating is a bitch. Yay for Netflix and music and sports talk and anything to concentrate on other than what's going on in the skull.

It hasn't been this bad in a long long time. It isn't driving me to tears. Yet. Tears will come Saturday when at the memorial service for a wonderful dear uncle. He and family had to deal with Real Stuff. Some of them still ARE dealing with Real Stuff.

Art fairs will go on. Orders will be filled. Autumn and Winter are on their way.

The Mysteries of life will continue.

Ever onward. Ching ding roar zing.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Loving Lilies and Drawings and Sunflowers

Summer is coming to an end. I can not yet come to grips with this fact. This has been almost a non-summer. Good for air-conditioning bills. Not so good for the soul. Yes, there have been those  days of delicious warmth and calm air and blue skies. but not enough. visions of Light Box on kitchen table are already sneaking in to mind. Not  good. Not good.

So - Hoorah for a bit of Brightness in the patio flower garden this season. Yes, most has been usurped by milkweed, and, yes, we have seen a few Monarch butterflies, but now I look at out Fall masses of spent foilage, speckled with small yellow mums trying to raise the spirit. the coleus and geraniums are giving 'er the go, and the sedum are holding their own. I rushed through gardening this year. No, the hanging planters have yet to be planted. That sort of thing. And yet, because of the many big rains, much of thriving green instead of crunchy brown as is often usual this time of year.

To remember 2014 here are images from earlier in this Summer:

These are common varieties , their names I have forgotten. Nevertheless, their vitality and color brighten early summer mornings, and knowing their bulbs are undergrounds prepping for SPRING truly helps one get through these ever longer Winters. So, YAY, Lilies!! And Yay for peekings of daisies brave enough to live in this not-summer garden. Thanks, Daisies! Life Lesson: Sometimes we have to live in less than perfect conditions, but we might well at least attempt to blossom as best we can. Yes, tired cliche, but true, non-the-less.

As this is typed the sun has hit the high points of back lawn. A friend and I have morning plans to view a rare Drawings Exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts -  "Marks of Genius - 100 Extraordinary Drawings." Do you know how much I've wanted to see this show? Two weeks ago I had a Serious Nightmare that I'd missed it. THAT'S how much I WANT to see these drawings. I am not a painter. I am not a pastelist. I am a Drawer. I LERVE Drawings! And the drawers who draw them.

(Just back  from - yup- breakfast might burn but sun on sunflowers can't wait- trip up to glowing garden. Got some nice shots to keep us through the white and grey of Winter.)

This might not be the best prepared we have ever been for this weekend's Artstreet in Green Bay, but sometimes priority is to become refreshed and have soul  refilled so later work is possibly new and vital.
So am "ignoring" Priority One stuff at home to see Priority One PLUS stuff in the Big City.

Celebrating our first Ripe Tomato - harvested yesterday..  Life is O.K. Hope yours is, too.


"The beginning is always today." - Mary Wollstonecraft

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I try to remember and live by this. However, I most often forget as soon as I remember.


Easy is right. Begin right
And you are easy.
Continue easy and you are right.
The right way to go easy is to forget the right way
And forget that the going is easy.

- Chuang-Tzu

from "The Little Zen Companion"


Wishing I could stay staring at Yoda and water and sky and sun, with Mr. Mozart's piano music  continues in the foreground, but tasks are the order of the day.

This is not all-together a bad thing. But placing priority and giving the right amount of time to each thing "needing" doing can wear a person out WAY too early in a lovely morning. In fact the greens and eggs, and once-hot tea, are cooling as this is typed. The curse of the accidental multi-tasker.

(Excuse me while I partake of this tasty and "good-for-you" breakfast.)

And, because of a few posts on the Facebook  we may have accidentally made today Happy Shiny Pony Day. Make of this what you will.

On to shipping orders, picking orders, matting and framing a "Hudson," working on two or three new original pieces, working at American Gothic Antiques, and a bunch of etcs. A sort of normal day.

Wishing the powers of Samantha on "Bewitched" were mine - a twiggle of the nose and CLEAN ORGANIZED HOME and STUDIO.  "It is to laugh...."

But BLOG can now be crossed off yesterdays list - huzzah!

And on to preparing for Green Bay's Artstreet this coming weekend. We did not get juried in last year, so am looking forward to being in Lambeau Land again. With good weather and cheerful crowds.

"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone." - Lin Yutang

Decisions.... decisions...... Let the Listings begin!

Oh, and the bears and I are a feature story in "Stillwater Living" this month. If I can make it into a glossy lifestyle magazine ANYBODY can! It is a nice article, but, if you read the article please note that I spelled "bridle" correctly (not "bridal", and that Todd has been a local since forever.

Fare-thee-well, and it's the mixed emotions of State Fair Time!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Try Something Different

Once upon a time, I made tiny leather saddles and bridles for tiny model horses for people to use ON those tiny little horses - whether simply for pleasure in displaying or in fierce competition with fellow hobbyists. This was my fun and this was my business. This, more or less, was my life.

Then the lure of the "dollhouse" world beckoned. Our "Classic" scale Breyer model horses were used often in the most popular 1:12 scale (1 inch = 1 foot) set-ups and vignettes. Many people dealt primarily with Victorian-era themed doll-houses. Victorian era people used horses like we use cars and trucks. Ever onward!

After doing some mail-order business through magazines such as "Nutshell News" and doing a few local miniature shows I was ready to brave The Big Time. Big Time was the National Show held each year by the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts (NAME). Each year it was held in a different  region of the country. One had to be a member of NAME, stay at the Hyatt, pay booth fee, travels expenses, and, most important of all, get juried in! This happened long ago - 1995  or 1996. I was an innocent. I sent in my application in and was Happy when receiving word that I was a vendor. I think this show was in Kansas City, and it was the week before Breyerfest in Lexington, Kentucky. Hoorah. A family "working vacation." Again, but doubling up the "fun" this time.

We packed the station wagon and off we went!

While registering at the Hyatt I received two info badges. One read "Vendor." One read "First Timer." I thought nothing of this...UNTIL getting many curious stares from folks walking nearby,  or riding next to us in the hotel elevator. I learned that THIS JUST DOES NOT HAPPEN. People apply for years and YEARS to vend at this event. The innocent became slightly less so. Life Lesson: Find a Niche. FILL IT.

Anyway, the next year we also did the national show - this time in Crystal City, MD (I think). We never did great, money -wise, but we made expenses,new friends, saw AMAZING craftsmanship - down to 1/144 scale (think dollhouses for your dollhouse's dollhouse), and all in all had a great time learning about a new world at it's highest level. Or close. Some day I might write about making Artisan status in the International Guild of Miniature Artisans, and the next year missing Fellow status by two or three specks of glue on leather... Oh, well, life goes on.

This is the LONG way around to showing off another short-lived facet of my miniature work. Saddles and bridles were "work." I needed a Hobby. Yeah, right. Well, I tried. For the tiniest while I sculpted beasties, made them stand on their hind feet and dressed them in clothing as befitted the situation. Here are three hippos that started life in a sketchbook and ended up living at the home of a lovely friend, living in Green Bay, Wisconsin, who is more than fond of collecting hippos.

The story, as I knew it, had the young sister hippo dealing with her "evil" older brother. He'd taken her red ball and was hiding it behind his back. Dad hippo was dealing with this bed-time trouble as best he could. (No, I do not know out-come of this situation.)

Getting these three from sketchbook to actual hippo-ness required at least the following:
1) the will to succeed
2) basic knowledge of hippo anatomy and color
3) dealing with moveable wire armatures (yes, these three can pose)
4) learning more about oven-baked clays (I'd sculpted a few small equines earlier)
5) messing with fabric (not my favorite thing) and leather (one of my favorite things)
6) painting human emotions onto hippo heads
7) patience in making them able to balance on their own
8) CARING about doing a good job
9) respecting each as an individual
10) carrying through to finished scene

And, after many many many hours -  "Ta da!"

I also did a lovely porker in 1950's red dress, heart-decorated apron, and leather handbag. I don't know where she is. My favorite is still in our odd collection. He is The Guinea Pig Baker - based on our beloved " Gingersnap" and sporting white apron while carrying cookie sheet.

For money I was asked to create a cigar-smoking, derby-hat wearing, vested Spotted Bulldog. He turned out great and the client loved him, but I knew that sculpting these one-of-a-kind pieces was NOT a career path. (I've never HAD a career path...) The wire and clays and paints got put away and have never again been touched. Except to be moved in the rare event of art supply shelves getting cleaned.

But here's the Life Lesson. I'd TRIED Something Different. Different Shows, Different Ideas, Different Results. And no, if I can recall them, I have great memories, a few different skills, and ideas for even more different things.

Dare to have a go, yourself? Hip, hip, hooray!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

If You Wondered

At every art festival we are asked, "Why bears?"

This is why:

This is the Introduction to my first book, "Just North Enough." Had any one of these things not happened I'd most likely NEVER have drawn ONE bear, much less thousands.

Life Lesson: You Just Never Know. Pay attention. Allow yourself to be bored. Find inspiration in strange places. Keep going.

On to the rest of this waning Thursday. The head is "loud." Basil is begging to be chopped in to pesto. (Yes, really. I can hear it through the roaring chimes.)

But first dinner has to be attempted. Any ideas? None of us here have any.... That makes making a meal a wee tad difficult. Rice cakes and almond butter? 

Off to find out - 


PS: Duluth's (MN)  Brighton Beach will be the home of a new Art Festival on Saturday, August 9th. Come join the fun!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Speed Blogging - 1

No, this is NOT how one SHOULD write, but it IS how stuff is getting typed today.

I want to blog. I have "no time" to blog. Today I am giving me ten minutes - on to them!

This Summer, such as it is, our local art center, ArtReach has been holding open it's doors for extended hours on Thursdays. I have been busy and so have missed all so far. Last night I forced myself to go there from about 7- 8 PM. It was a night of poets reading their work.  Four of them. I got in on part of 3rd and all of 4th. And am sorry now that I didn't get to hear the others.

There was a chair in the back and I sat next to a guy in a blue and white striped shirt. I did not know that he was Matt Rasmussen, the final reader of the night. His collection of poetry, book title I now cannot recall, dealt completely with work connected to his brother's suicide by gun. Poems were made of short lines but held much power. Small things like changing voice recording on family phone - once his brother's voice, now his - at father's request.

One minute to go -

We will be Booth 89 at Powderhorn Part Art Fair in Minneapolis this weekend. And soon the Chimes will start. Seventeen seconds , and ten, and five. I've blogged today. Sadly, Matt's brother cannot do the same.

FB Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Scribble Typing

No, this brain doesn't "work." It jits. hopes (meant to type "hops"...), stays in one spot for five minutes if I'm lucky. Somehow accomplishes a few things through the day.

Today eyes are on computer, glancing out at black squirrel munching year-old sunflower seeds I'd raised from seeds to feed the squirrels. Of course that plastic bag got put into a work cupboard for safe-keeping/getting lost. Mission accomplished! And because one thing got moved from cupboard other things got noticed, some pitched (yay!), some moved to more useful spots (yay!), and ohters simply piled into neater piles (still Yay!).

But brain wants to start running for five minutes a day because "The New York Times" article says we will be better off if we do, and it's fighting doing paperwork that HAS to be done today, and it wants to start another pastel piece before finishing all the other pastels and acrylics that are ALMOST FINISHED. And it has to keep on task for Powderhorn Art Festival in Minneapolis this weekend, and it misses Summer already because early mornings are becoming dimmer and dimmer.

We shall not type of Guilt.

This bear is not particularly guilty; he was simply easy to post. I have to stop doing the "easy" stuff and start doing "harder" stuff. Once upon a time I judged life stuff by it's being "standable." If it was standable it could be done. It would not be pleasant but it would be accomplished.

I've since turned into a Life Wuss. Not in all things, but in many.

It's time to start Facing Fact Lake again. Life IS semi-peachy keen. Life is O.K. And, as someone else so wisely put it, how we spend our minutes is how we spend our lives.

Another blog post. Not particularly important to others, perhaps, but another life marker to me. Say Hi to YOUR Brain from me and mine.

Come on, brain, it's time for a run.


FB page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

upcoming art fairs:

Aug. 2 -3: Powderhorn Park -  Minneapolis, MN
Aug. 9: Art Festival at Brighton Beach - Duluth, MN
Aug. 23 -24: Artstreet - Green Bay, WI
Sept. 6 - 7: Art in the Park - Wausau, WI
Sept. 20-21: Marine on St. Croix, MN
Sept. 27 -28: Spirit of the St. Croix - Hudson, WI

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Prepping for Ely

Ely Blueberry Festival starts this Thursday and runs through Sunday. One of our favorite shows. But low on stock, sort of, and attempting to fill gallery requests, as well.

This is why Summer hold mixed emotions. It is finally Hot and Sunny and Dry and I am making no Time to Enjoy this rare opportunity to bask, or weed, or read some lazy reading while sipping ice tea lazing in hammock.

Summer for art fair sorts is (if we have good/great shows)  almost never-ending creating more goodies. Improving signage - NOT. Ordering more business cards - OOPS. Updating web-site ......hahahahhaa.

I try to take a morning or evening walk. Often  - nope. What is tennis? Sigh. How did we have time earlier in the summer?

Basil is mature and wants to be made into pesto. Not today!

Paintings beg to be finished. MAYBE today.

Off to begin the driving to tasks and returning to more tasks. Yes, I am lucky. I chose this life and folks buy our bears and other work in enough number to allow me to gladly bitch about doing what I love.

Yes, I am jealous of those who are taking vacations. We GO to lovely vacation spots and then have to motor quickly home to go to another beautiful vacation spot. We see these spots as we head into and out of town. Yay, for scenic drives to and from many  destinations!

The unfolded laundry will stand guard at home.

Garden - you're on your own!

And August happens NEXT WEEK?

Uh, nope, the hammock's still not up.
And it's time to make more bears.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thankful - More Than Day 3

Yes, I think Thirty Thankfuls almost every day - just don't type them out for folks to see. Helps when I'm pissed off - 30 thanksfuls, trying to sleep- think 30 Thankfuls, when I'm bored - more Thirty. Trying to not repeat ones in a day. You can be thankful for teensy tiny things that we take for granted - but should not. Like working plumbing and post office mailboxes.

Well, here goes for today:

1) I don't have to sit at our garage sale all day.
2) the baby spinaches are looking good.
3) Walgreens stays open till 10 PM - or a tad later - last night. Thanks, crew!
4) It's not raining here - and maybe not for the next few days.
5) "The Big Band Theory"
6) Johnny Cash
7) Winter - when it should be Winter:

8) garage-sale customers.
9) toothbrushes
10) German Shepard Dogs (we grew up with King, Queenie, Toby, Lassie(?), and more
11) Forever stamps
12) Clean sheets of wonderful paper
13) sharpened pencils
15) large cups of steaming beverages
16) hills
17) waterfalls with walking distance
18) more than enough wool blankets
19) the glass-doored oak display cases Dad built for our model horse collection.(The Bestest ones get to go in these. The rest have to make do with the dusty shelves.)
20) lots of battery power on any electronic device I'm using.
21) YouTube
22) Reddit
23) radios of any kind.
24) the color RED
25) memories of our town's kids playing hide-and-seek when most kids would be "too old" to play hide-and-seek.
26) the big school bell at the Gurney Community Center.
27) all the many places where Lake Superior is.
28) knowing that sister, Lynn, HAS "the Gift of Crust." (I do not.)
29) that the forecast for this Saturday's Stockholm (WI) does not include Rain. (At the moment.)
30) Jasper Johns:

Now - on to your own!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Two in a Row

Thirty Thankfuls -

Why? Because they are real, often easily typed, and if I don't write stuff down it doesn't exist in this brain's universe. Here goes:

1) Tara spotting the hummingbird flitting around the flowers. THEN we watched it PERCH on a maple tree branch!
2) Mozart
3) Sunny day in low 70's today
4) Todd setting up garage sale
5) English muffins (I do prefer an excellent scone)
6) Books made of paper
7) Audio-books
8) Books any style you can get 'em
9) Little Libraries (see if you have one nearby! Stuff it full!)
10) Paper - in general
11) Vintage coin dispensers (we use ours at art fairs)
12) People who will sketch AND pose with result (Betty is ceramics artist who makes Frogs):

13) Garlic
14) Money
15) Tasty herbal teas (time for another cup)
16) GOO GONE (registered trademark)!!!
17) This Gorgeous Summer Morning (7/16/14)
18 Derek Jeter (Long May You Wave)
19) New kitchen towels
20) Work I enjoy doing (most of the time)
21) Earthworms
22) Sister, Lynn, starting more baby African Violet plants from Grandma Rowe's original that I got in 1976, after her death. Keeping the memory of Grandma's well-watered Northern-exposure beauties alive - and enjoying their living great-grand-plants, as well.
23) Memories of this year's iris crew:

24) Keeping paper letters written by friends and family back in letter-writing days (Write some some. Send them. Folks who get them might be Thrilled!)
25) Very few apples falling from tree this year.
26) Smelling blooming lilacs up in Grand Marais, Minnesota. Yup. In mid-July.
27) Netflix
28) Dishes to be washed. Many people do not own a dish.
29) Still enough time in day to maybe sneak the hammock out to patio..... Maybe.
30) No need to turn on air-conditioner today.
31) Not really caring whether some of these lines end with periods (Serious nod to Weird Al for his terrific truthful new video, "Word Crimes.")

Oops- thirty-one things that I'm thanks for this morning. Better more than less!

On to the day!