Monday, December 7, 2020

Ho Hum Holidays

Greetings - 

This holiday season I am both jazzed and somber. Been playing the Vince Guaraldi "A Charlie Brown Christmas" for many weeks. I am a Guaraldi jazz, though, so this is simply excellent music here .

I no longer bake holiday goodies, but because a nearby sister-in-law DOES, I got to bite the wing off an angel. Now this is about enough white sugar for me for a long time... Sigh. Memories of scooping the cups of the white stuff into the Kool-Ade. I heart sugar. But the brain no longer does...

A very few packages are being wrapped and sent. That is OK. This is perhaps the oddest holiday season many of us will witness. The goal is to be careful and stay more or less well. Social media will be used early and often in oncoming weeks. And if the gift giving and receiving spills over into the New Year - so much the better? We will need color and lightness and good surprises to see our way to Spring.

My job is to sell amusing items to people. But my job is also to sit tight and try not to come down with the COVID-19 infection. My "job" is sending out little original art postcards of encouragement, hope, and joy. Reminding others (and myself) to Breathe.

Working on the postcards is almost a kind of meditation. A focus. A purpose. A reason for listening to jazz instead of even more news. The news will always be there. Jazz is a needed breather in the day.

Your job is to keep breathing - while appreciating the major efforts of those thousands of amazing humans WORKING at keeping people breathing. Not just from effects of COVID-19, but from the many other foes the human body battles in the epic quest to Keep Breathing.

Someday the new normal will happen. But not for a long while. The sky has darkened. The little string of 100 LED lights is brightening (a little) a corner of the living room. Hmmm. Living. Room. That might be just enough for the time being. A bit of Light in a Room in which to Live.



Friday, December 4, 2020

Making Tiny Books

 Greetings - 

Confession: I have a number of books on how to make books. But I do not use them. I read the texts, look at the beautiful illustrations, sometimes try to understand the instructions. But mostly I buy these books in the hope that they will magically make me a bookmaker.

(Insert laughter here.)

Confession: I am too lazy to be a book maker. 

Kind of.

What I like to make are small accordion books. Out of watercolor or printing papers. I like to cut the strips. I enjoy creasing the folds. I like that they can be carried in the art supply bag almost anywhere I go. However, in the way things frequently go, I neglect to fill the pages.

But sometimes books get finished.

These four artist books were part of a 2020 art exhibit at ArtReach St. Croix here in Stillwater, Minnesota. Pages are approximately 3 1/2" x 2 1/2" or 3" square.

There was no particular planning, though each one held some rules. The main rules were: 1) stick to one theme, and 2) dare to goof around. None of them are perfect. All were experiments. Each turned out O.K. I am happy with them.

You, too, can grant yourself a bit of book making time. There are many tutorials on YouTube on how to fold one piece of copy paper into a small book or 'zine. There are also many ways to make simple tomes. Grab scissors, glue, and papers. Make a collage. If you have a bunch of favorite quotes, add them to an accordion book, and keep it nearby. Give it to a friend. Put it in a Little Free Library.

Ever onward. Keep loving books!

- Sue

Instagram: surobear1

Facebook Page: Sue Rowe Studios

Thursday, December 3, 2020

This Morning

Greetings - 

This morning I got up  about five AM, turned the plant lights on, heated water for herbal tea, decided NOT to turn on the TV, and did play the Lionel Hampton band jazz record that with already on the record player turn-table. Huzzah for Lionel Hampton...

Next...., flipped light switch to brighten studio, switched on the large light box that now sits atop main studio work table, got tea, got around to scribbling three pages in the journal, and glued some paper to other paper. For particular people.

This thought came:

Maybe I would like to meet almost everybody in the world & ask them why they are who they are.

So, there is that, among so many other thoughts. 

I feel that I am going backwards in so many ways. But forward in others. Hanging by many threads. Riffing life. Caring/not caring. Being/not being. Some of you - many?- know the drill.

Trying to figure out who the next bunch of Sue Rowe is/are.

Paper, words, and people will be involved. And bears and bunnies and squirrels.... But the bell jar of Now has to be tipped over somehow. I do love "safety." But also so much other stuff. The battle is real....

On to whatever challenges the hours, day, week, year brings. I have no idea about how the holiday season will go - I'm thinkin' Low and Slow.

AAARROOUUUUU! (a good howl is better than no howl at all)

- Sue