Twenty-five years ago today — Jan. 20, 1993 — William Jefferson Clinton was sworn in as the 42nd President of the United States. That winter, Duluth’s Harry Welty created a snow sculpture of the new president, and KDLH-TV’s Paul Guggenheimer was there to report.
Welty is still creating snow art on his front lawn, as covered in detail in a PDD “Selective Focus” piece last winter.
I’ve spent the past few weeks obsessively feeding the fire, clearing out ashes, hauling more wood in, and worrying the dogs might have cabin fever. I know they crave the chase of scents that waft over tracks in the snow. They crave the adrenaline rush during the run, the explosion of speed after paws dig into resistance, and the freedom of the wilds. Fifteen acres of land in Lakewood, just north of Duluth, awaits them, they know this. Two fenced in acres seems like a prison in comparison. But they don’t think about frozen paws and hidden sticks looming under the snowline.
I however, with extreme abnormality, do not desire my usual trek amongst the trees where I walk into peace, clarity, and the calmness that mingles between the earth and stars. My feet are solid on the hardwood floor that covers a cold cement slab over frozen ground. It’s been cold for too long. A cold not worthy of dressing in layers: wicking socks, Smartwool socks, fleece leggings … only to capture a fractional moment of meditative silence amongst the freeze.
I admit it, I’m tired. I’m tired of putting on my left glove, tucking it into the jacket cuff, then attempting to do the same to the right with a thick awkward moving gloved hand. Only to unglove when I figure out I forgot to start the zip of the jacket and can’t achieve the initial detailed alignment of zippered teeth. Try and try again, the glove inevitably will be poutingly removed, zipper aligned, and the uncoordinated procedure of glove replacement aggressively completed, again.
This week, we hear from watercolor artist and urban sketcher Samantha Nielsen. Also, this week we have a first, a Selective Focus artist teaching on Skillshare. Read on to hear her story and get the preview for her Skillshare class.
SN: I work in watercolor and ink with a style that many describe as ‘whimsical’. My artistic journey started after my third year of college, when I switched my major from music education to art education. I went into some of my first art classes feeling as though I didn’t have my own artistic voice, and I had very little experience, so all of the mediums were new to me. The first year was spent experimenting and learning the basics, but the following year a project for my illustration class is really what made me feel at home with watercolor and ink. We were instructed to completely fill a sketchbook throughout the semester, but we could only use permanent materials (so no pencils or erasers). This is where my love for watercolor and ink began, and this project really challenged me to step out of my comfort zone.
Terrance Griep is a Minnesota writer and wrestler who makes frequent trips to Duluth (see stories on PDD here and here). He’s subject of an art exhibit at the MSP airport; visit when you catch a connecting flight.
The new year ushered in some changes at Fitger’s Brewhouse. Alex “Coke” Chocholousek stepped into the role of head brewer on Jan. 1. Chocholousek is the fifth brewer to head up operations at the Brewhouse and says he looks forward to continuing the brewpub’s legacy of quality and innovation.
It was ten years ago that KBJR-TV news reporter Julie Pierce made her famous slip-of-the-tongue while referring to the 1,000-foot motor vessel Walter J. McCarthy Jr. The video clip above, viewed more than 200,000 times in the past decade, also shows KBJR misspelling “McCarthy” on its graphic; so it goes.
Sometimes it takes traveling far from home to find out where you come from. Sonofmel & the Slideman have farmed decades of life into a harvest of sounds, growing rows of song and spoken word around dreamscapes rich enough to farm. They’ve just begun an album together at Sacred Heart Studio and will debut one or two during a Jan. 17 performance at Bent Paddle Brewing.