“Art oh beautiful art,…”

The early winter season is a favorite because of the holidays. This year’s season has been one of the happiest for me because I’m being purposeful in my enjoyment of this holy time. I’m slowing down and listening to my inner self more and finding real joy in spending time with my loved ones, plus the pure pleasure of reaping the rewards of a job well done this past year at Purple Pelican Gallery. I never forget how blessed I am that doing what I love is my calling as well as my vocation!

Business has been good this year but even more than that it’s been rewarding. Thanks to all my customers and clients who shop locally and make what I do possible. Patrons are the water source for an artist’s garden of imagination. Visual art isn’t art until it’s been seen and appreciated. Thanks to all the friends of Purple Pelican Gallery for a great season!

Let’s celebrate with Ladies Night Out! Which is actually a misnomer since men are so totally invited too. I’ll be serving refreshments (my famous you-know-what) and offering lots of bargains for Christmas shoppers. The season’s end is always so much fun. This party is the last hurrah for 2014 and kickoff for the next four months of quiet contemplation and making of art for me. Business slows down a bit but we’re open all year with winter hours Monday ~ Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Now is when I paint and write and catch up on restoration and framing for customers during the day and read and study new techniques and formulate creative ideas at night with my husband of 38 years, Terry. I’m studying this winter for a certificate from the New York School of Art and Design, working on decorating a new house for a client/friend, adding new designs/paintings to my Anna Banana line of clocks and tins and if I have any time left, five new original paintings for the gallery in addition to the everyday 10 to 5 stuff. Wish me luck.

Thanksgiving and Christmas come so quickly together with so many festivities that when January comes I’m so ready for the quiet of the ‘deep freeze’ that I actually long for it. Seclusion is the stimulant I crave for creativity and this goes against my very essence. I tend to be gregarious and sanguine and being with people charges me up so that my cheeks flush with blood and my heart races. Words just tumble out and I laugh and talk and talk and laugh until I’m worked into a frenzy of pure unadulterated joy! Which is why the gallery is so good for me. You may have been privy to or blame for one of my fits of bliss. I hope so!

Solitude is something I fight with and for. It goes against my nature so much to be alone and quiet that I feel I need to tie a rope around my foot when I enter that sacred space so someone can pull me out if I end up lost! When I finally get there, I get so in a zone that I can paint or write for hours without realizing it. Hence my longing for the ‘deep freeze’. I can’t wait to see what comes out of my consecrated time this winter. Don’t be a stranger. Come see what I’m working on, be a part of the process and, for sure, don’t miss Ladies Night Out!

“Art oh beautiful art, how pleasant to fill my days with you without guilt or fear of reprisal!” (Esa)

This is a poem I wrote for my daughter Shannon at Christmas Time in her first year of marriage. We lived far away and I was so lonely for her I wrote this to try and guilt her to come see me. It actually worked. She came and we had a marvelous time.

Will You Come To Visit Me?

Will you come to visit me,

perhaps at Christmas Time?

I’ll give you lots of presents,

you can even open mine!

In fact, I’ll put your name

on every gift beneath the tree

and make you creamy puddings

when you come to visit me.

Can you come to visit me?

Can you come to stay?

If you come, I’ll tell you things

I always meant to say.

I’ll make up funny stories.

I’ll sing you happy songs.

Will you come to visit me

and bring your heart along?

Imagine coming all this way

because I’m missing you.

But that’s the kind of girl you are;

the sort of thing you’d do.

I’ll sew a new white dress to wear.

You bring your golden key

and unlock the chain around my heart

when you come to visit me.

Esa Everroad


The Secret to a Good Song

Wow! Where did the summer go? This is my favorite time of year so I’m not complaining, but the last four months have been a blur!

Be sure to mark your calendar for the annual Fall Art Meander (see the newsletter for times). It’s our 5th year and we’re planning to pull out all the stops with painting demonstrations, a $100 gift certificate drawing for a lucky winner, refreshments and a tour of the Pelican loft where Terry and I live. We’ve given tours before but not for a long time now, so don’t miss this one. We’ll have the tours during Meander hours. It’s really a surreal feeling to see this kind of cool living space in Spooner, or so I’m told. If you’d seen it nine years ago you wouldn’t believe it’s the same place. I look forward to welcoming you into my home and the place where I get so much inspiration.

I have been having so much fun with the gallery and my awesome patrons and customers that the thought of the season’s ending and everyone holing up for the winter hasn’t even entered my mind, but it’s coming and I love the slow pace and contemplative time to write and paint and finish restorations that have been patiently waiting for a loving and much needed renovation. The gallery hours will be reduced from seven days to six and except for the Meander weekend I’ll be closed now on Sundays until next spring. Hours are Monday ~ Saturday 10:00 to 5:00.

I received a call a while back from a guy who said he had a painting on velvet that needed help and of course my first thought was ‘Oh boy, a tacky old Elvis on velvet’, but I could tell from the loving way he spoke about it that it meant a lot to him so I agreed to look. When he arrived with the piece I was delighted to find a wonderful, old, very well done painting of the Three Kings. The velvet is flimsy and there are a few tears and issues but I’ve taken on the project with relish. I recently found the silk velvet I need to do the repair so I’ll start the work this month. That’s just one of a dozen really great old restoration projects ahead for this autumn season. I’m ready to rock.

I’ll be adding mirrors to my Anna Banana line and have started the artwork for the first prototype. I’m pretty pumped about the work because I’ve been envisioning this for literally years. I just couldn’t figure out how to get the mirrors done fast enough for wholesale orders to other galleries (no elves here) but I think I have the answer. Stay tuned to see how it works out.

Got a new girl for Mondays. Susan Braun is her name. You’re going to like her. I do. She’s a retired architect and a beauty to boot. Tall, silver haired and soft spoken with a lot of soul in her eyes. Come meet her some Monday or at least on Meander weekend. Make her feel welcome.

Kris Kristofferson once said; “The secret to a good song is three chords and the truth.” Now that’s profound. I learn daily how truly simple it is to live creatively and yet how impossibly complicated I tend to make it. I try not to overthink things but, seriously, it’s really hard not to fall in love with the idea that creating is mystical. It’s not, trust me. There is something to be said for just showing up and trusting ‘three chords and the truth’.

Still writing a couple poetry pieces a week. I’ve attached one I think deserves a look. I write several before I feel I have one that is worth the read. I hope you enjoy this one. If you don’t understand it, that’s okay…it’s a poem. You’re not really supposed to get it.

The Sexes or Let’s Dance

In a dance at the wedding of friends
my husband of twenty-six years at the time
tried to teach me how to cut a rug smoothly so as not
to leave any ragged edges—the mark of his generation,
one hand lightly on my hip—the other cupping my hand,

whirling me—dipping me down ‘til my blue dress
brushed the floor and my yellow hair caressed his
cheek as he pulled me to himself—reading my moves—
looking me in the eyes and in one fluid movement
beautifully swaying and spinning his love into our steps.

As sexes we ‘the created’ are a contradiction,
at once fierce for individualism, and yet hopeful
for oneness, groping for the human essence
that makes us more than animals, a little
lower than the angels—divine and divined.

A desert born of drought
the surface of our gendered lives is so parched
we are become waterproof
so that rain might even do us harm
causing dangerous flash floods.

Desperate, we send for the water witch.
As she shakes a rattle at the sky, her stick
is pulled like a magnet to the sustenance of life
drawn down to the deep source of springs.
“Dig here!” she cries.

Shovels become extensions of arms
as we frantically dig like wiener dogs,
maniacally snorting—plowing—furrowing,
the object of our need unreachable but sensed.
How did we become so bereft?

Suddenly I see my Hullabaloo past like a misty dream.
Hip huggers—go-go boots—the twist—the swim—the skate.
I see a verdant landscape that slowly becomes a wasteland, and
though I know it’s not the cause of all missteps as lovers and friends,
I mourn the day we stopped touching when we dance.

Busy Breaking the Mule

I love summer in Wisconsin. I’m just so glad to see summer here, the trees leafed out and hearing the May peeps, well I just feel like dancing. When summer is so luscious it’s hard to remember the winter with its needs and whine inducing cold. I saw a quote by the ancient Greek poet, Hesiod, that encouraged having a plan when summer was not here, and frankly I have the same feeling! “It will not always be summer; build barns.”

Which is why I have several projects on my plate. I’m working on multiple paintings of my own for the gallery, planning a few retail art fairs, working on restoring several old paintings and, in spite of my schizophrenic schedule, have also been writing again.

My poetry writing has suffered for lack of contemplative time this past year but I recently bought a book of Tang Poems and have been so inspired I’m trying to spend some time every few days to write. You can see my chapbook of poetry called ‘Firefly Finger Rings’ at the gallery. I’ve included one poem in this blog that seems to fit the quote by Hesiod.

Speaking of building barns i.e. making room for my harvest, we’ve expanded the Wearable Art section of the gallery. We just got back from a show in St. Paul where I bought some gorgeous hand painted silk tops and beautiful tunics and dresses plus a couple new lines for fall/winter that will start arriving this month.

Gotta run. My muse is calling.

I’ll see you soon!


Breaking The Mule

“Why do I do it?” is the question I ask myself.

Maybe it’s the Missouri Ozark  hillbilly in me.

That overwhelming urge to jump a stump

which causes this impulse to throw my head back

and howl like a coon hound,

dig nightcrawlers by the light of a full moon,

plant rhubarb in February and

keep a turtle in my basement.

But I tell you that when I wake up

to the cool of the morning

and feel his warmth still here,

see these prairie blue skies,

hear the church bells ring

the news that the witch is dead,

I throw my leg over the

bucking mule of my day

and hang on for dear life.

 By: Esa Everroad

What’s Going On?

Hey Patrons of Purple Pelican Gallery,

I’m pleased to report that my inventory clearance sale was a huge success and you really responded to help me meet my goal of clearing out some beautiful art pieces that needed to go to good homes. I loved meeting and making some new friends from surrounding towns and I especially enjoyed seeing my old friends and patrons for the first time since last summer.

Congrats to Lollie Eidsness for winning the $100 gift certificate drawing. We’ll do it again in June to reward our customers and clients who make it possible to stay in business!

We’ll be attending a fashion buying show in June, shopping for new styles for the Wearable Art department at Purple Pelican Gallery. We have new metal art arriving this week with more wall art on its way from three artists including some pretty fantastic abstract photography from one of our local talents. She has recently been asked to shoot the blues festival in Duluth among other things. I’m proud to be representing her work here. I’ll have more of her work displayed this month.

Art restoration remains a central part of my work and I’m currently working on a few pieces that challenge me to higher levels of insanity. People ask me why I do this kind of work. I honestly think I’m just not suited for anything else.

My flower boxes at the gallery are planted and the city of Spooner has filled the downtown pots with blooming plants and hung the baskets along the main drag, just one more sure sign of summer. The days are longer and warmer and the gardens are appearing like magic along the streets of the town.

We’re looking forward to summer and all the attendant activities including some special events here at the Pelican. I’ll keep you posted as I receive confirmations from artists.

One event confirmed on the books is our annual Art Meander.We’ll have some demonstrations by local artisans and I’ll be working on a painting plus we’ll have tours of our loft apartment above the gallery for any interested art crawlers. Be sure to  go to
www.art-meander.com for details.

Esa’s back and she’s closed out Wearable Art Boutique in Winter Park, Florida!

A few years ago, I became friends with the owners of a boutique in Florida called Wearable Art, a cool shop that featured designer clothing, accessories and jewelry. I truly admired the boutique and its artful fabrics and styles. Whenever we were in Florida to go to market for Purple Pelican Gallery, we met for conversations about art and craft since they also owned an art gallery for many years, which led to the opening of the boutique. We shared resources and learned about lines of clothing we’d like to carry in Spooner. I added clothing as an experiment, hoping my customers would like it. The sales that first year were so good I added more and now the Wearable Art section is quite popular, with its own dedicated area in the gallery.

In January of last year, I learned that health issues were causing the owners to retire. They had sold the gallery but offered me their boutique at a very reasonable price. My husband Terry and I bought it and spent February through May getting acquainted with Wearable Art Boutique in Winter Park.

The dream was that I could work the boutique in Florida for a few months in the winter and the gallery in Spooner in the spring, summer, and fall. The reality was, I couldn’t do both. We had a very capable manager in Winter Park but in October, she retired from retail and returned to her own real estate business she had left after the economic crash of six years ago. With the economic turnaround in Florida, demand was too great for her not to work her brokerage full time. That meant I would have to take her place. We could not find a suitable replacement for her (I also had two other employees) and soon the stress of it all overcame me. Terry said the expense and stress of trying to run businesses 1,600 miles apart was not working or making sense and that I had to choose one business or the other.

After speaking with a consultant, who explained our options, it seemed the choice was clear. He said if I was to be successful,  I was going to have to work the boutique business full-time and give up the gallery in Wisconsin. That choice was unthinkable to me. Purple Pelican is my first born and my first love. Since we had an option to be released from our lease in Winter Park, we took it and by the end of March, we had sold most of our inventory and all our store fixtures and closed down the boutique.

When we returned to Spooner in April, we brought with us several thousand dollars worth of clothing and jewelry to put in the gallery.

Now I’m so pleased to be home at Purple Pelican Gallery and having a huge “STAYING IN BUSINESS SALE!”  which is much more exciting and rewarding than the other.

Purple Pelican has suffered somewhat by my absence and I have an excess of inventory that needs to go so I can refresh the gallery with new art for the coming summer. I hope you’ll take advantage of this big sale to get some art or clothing that you have long admired, or if you’re new to my art gallery, you’ll find a reason to come back again and again!

One thing I came away with from this experience, is a good understanding of the fashion industry and many new designers to add to my “Wearable Art” space here at the Pelican. I hope to become your go-to shop for not only interesting art and craft, but also for clothing and accessories you can’t find anywhere else in Northwest Wisconsin.

Wearable Art Boutique was a costly experiment, but I’m not in debt, I have my health, my family, my business here in Spooner, and friends like you! Thank you for your patronage.

Hope to see you soon.


ACRE Show Was Great

Well fellow Wisconsinites, I hope you’re all hale and hearty as we round the corner on winter and head into longer days. Believe it or not it gets better from here. But you knew that didn’t you?

My husband (Terry) and I have been getting geared up for the coming art season by spending the last couple days at the American Craft Retail Expo here in Orlando, Florida buying art for Purple Pelican Gallery.

I think we’ve hit the jackpot this year with several new and emerging artists. I found a new fused glass artist and bought her beautiful clocks and serving ware. You’re going to like her fabulous colors.  I also found five new potters, a metal artist, several new jewelry artisans, and some fantastic Wearable Art designers. I can’t wait to get home and get back in the swing. This coming season will be spectacular.

Speaking of Wearable Art, after careful consideration, a lot of prayer and an intervention from my children…”Mom you’re working too hard!”,  I’ve decided to sell out my Wearable Art Boutique  in Winter Park, Florida and spend all my time in Spooner, Wisconsin. There just isn’t enough time for both businesses, given the distance between Spooner, and Winter Park and my stamina.

Bridget has ‘held down the fort’ beautifully this winter while I’ve been in sunny Florida selling off my inventory at the Wearable Art Boutique and I couldn’t be more proud of her.

The boutique was a wonderful experiment and I’ve had the time of my life, but I need to get my ‘creative mojo’ back and I really am working too hard and spread too thin. So, home I come, and boy am I looking forward to quiet days of painting and restoration and seeing all my friends and patrons.

Everyone (except me) knew I couldn’t do both businesses. Never being one to be told what to do, I needed to find out for myself. So now I know. I can do almost anything, but definitely not everything.

Thank you to all who refrained from being dream killers and allowed me the space to find my limits. I really mean it…you rock and you know who you are. You just nodded and smiled and congratulated me on my superior entrepreneurship. I really appreciate it and I’m all done working my hinney off and I promise never to be bored again!

Like me on facebook.com/esaeverroad

See you in April!


WE Made it to Florida

Well we’re here and I’m so glad. It was a hard three-day trip with both cats refusing to eat or poop. I think they had begun to fear we were going to live in the van and by the time we arrived they were so relieved they forgot to be freaked out. They both ate a hearty dinner, pooped and then slept on my lap like traveling was business as usual for them.

Bridget is crankin’ along just fine without me for now and she’s getting ready for the Fall rush, seeing all our friends for the final days of color change and the beginning of our favorite holiday season.

Lots of new things in for the Autumn and with Christmas season just ahead, we’ve bought some new things just for this time of the year. Stop in and say hi to her and encourage her in her work. She’s the best custom framer around and a pretty good ‘jack of all trades’. I often have referred to her as ‘a girl with a tool belt’.

I’ll be flying back for special events and hope to see you all for the Ladies Night Out in November.