Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hey people.  Whoa- What a melt-down we've been having.  I have to say all the slush and muck makes spring my least favorite time of year, and this is even worse because it's a fake-out spring.  But it is excavating some cool stuff that's been buried all winter.  It's cool to see how a few sheets I started painting in the fall are weathering too.

Last Sat my Dad turned 80-- EIGHTY!  That's so weird!  It seems impossible.  It's weird for him too- hard to believe.  Yesterday we went out and about and spent the day together.  We checked out the Mill City Museum, which is sort of cool, but mostly if you are on a school field trip.  We found the real fun at Minnehaha Falls.

When we got there the multi-flight staircase to the bottom of the gorge was chained-off, and the steps hadn't been shoveled all winter, but there were lots of tracks from other poachers, so we climbed over too.   It was kind of funny.  When we saw how cool it looked, there really wasn't even any discussion about *if* we were going down there.  We just did it. 

What could have motivated an 80 year old guy with bad knees to navigate at least 6 flights of icy, snow encrusted stairs?  This---

At the very top there was a small burble of  rough water pouring down into the ice, but the entire exoskeleton of the falls had been frozen.  Dad loved it-- he kept saying how cool it was and how glad he was we went there.

I totally wanted to climb up to some of the openings and go behind the falls and check stuff out, but this is as far as I got because it became glaze ice the closer to the cliff face you got.  Also, it was melting, and occasionally chunks would fall from the top.  I thought I may be able to find a way up-- we saw one guy going way around on a far edge and finding a way in, but I knew dad wouldn't-- or shouldn't do this, so we just walked around outside at the bottom.

That was good enough-- look how gorgeous!

This shot gives good perspective.  See the tiny person at the top just left of center?  After we felt we'd seen enough of the falls we took the trail that runs along the creek to the Mississippi.  It was so beautiful and I felt really grateful I got to do it with my dad.  I hesitated bringing the idea up because I know his knees have been bothering him, but like I told him-- he's 80 (!).  His knees won't likely be much better next year.  Maybe this will motivate him to do his PT so he can continue being mobile and doing fun things.  I hope so.

Art stuff is coming along.  I know people are curious and confused about my recent interest in digital art, and I've had kind of a hard time explaining it, but I'm going to try again.  There have been times over the past few years, when my hands get really shot, or I'm exhausted from loading and setting up for a show (my stuff tends to be heavy etc) when I've joked about needing to take up watercolors or something someday.

What I'd really like to do, is find some other medium to work with that mimics the immediacy I like about welding, and doesn't involve tons of supplies and clean-up, something I can do almost anywhere.  While it's probable this new medium may someday replace the welding, like when I myself am 80, what I'd mainly like for it to do in the foreseeable future is gain me some elbow room for my sculpture work.

I'd like for every sculpture I'm working on, to have the potential to be the coolest, most amazing thing I've ever made-- or at least on the highlight reel.  As it stands I often have to go into high production mode for certain shows, and this wears me out physically and robs that time I could be using to make bigger or more complex projects.  So that's the deal-- I'm working towards that goal, but it's a ways off.

I've figured out I'm happiest when I have some big project underway, something that sort of raises the bar, like Tina or before her Jez, etc etc.  This is my latest idea.  I'm thinking of it as a life-sized piece.  I'll have to work on it between other stuff for now, but I'd like to get it done in time for my Sept. show.  We'll see.  Right now it's just this chalk sketch and 4 steel hooves.


linda thiltgen said...

Beautiful photos and how wonderful to share such a beautiful spot with your Dad. Glad you could have that day. Happy Birthday Dad!!

linda thiltgen said...

I just LOVE that pic of your Dad in front of the falls...priceless. Pure joy and delight....and love too. xxoo

Linda G. said...

Stunning picutes!

For the record, your dad is awesome. :)

irishk said...

What a memory you gave yourself and your dad! I'm sure he is just thrilled to have the gift of your time, but to share a piece of sheer beauty like that is truly 'awe'-some! It makes me want to go see it as well! That's an outing for the books:-) Kathleen

Jill said...

WOW! The falls are beautiful! How cool is it that your dad would navigate that trail? Love it. After working with concrete projects that involve all sorts of lifting, welding and installing. I completely understand your thinking when it comes to smaller things. I however can not wait to see more of your newest project!

pseudosu said...

Linda- Thanks. :) I know, that is a good pic. He, like me, hates getting his picture taken, so shots that don't look all self-conscious and weird are rare.

Linda G-
Thanks. He is isn't he?

You should go-- it's amazing to have stuff like this right in our cities.

I'm anxious to at least get it framed in. Then I can look at it while I'm working on other stuff. :)

strugglingwriter said...

The falls look awesome and Happy Birthday to your Dad. Seems like you two had a good time. Cool.

Maery Rose said...

I'm so happy for you that you got to see the falls with your Dad. What an awesome memory for both of you! And what rebels you both are.

The falls are incredibly beautiful. I hope they don't completely melt in this thaw. I'd like to try and see them too. But there's always next year if I can't catch it in time.

Nezzy said...

Girl, your Dad totally rocks!!! Give him a big old hug every chance you get. I'm so thrilled ya got to experience this together!!! The pictures are just amamzing!

God bless ya and have a most beautiful day sweetie!!!

Far Side of Fifty said...

I came over from Maery Roses..what great photos of the falls..I have never seen them in the winter or in the summer. Thanks for the tour..and your Dad is something else! :)