Monday, January 26, 2015

SF Pals!

Some of our very best friends--on both the adult and child sides of the equation--recently moved from the east coast to San Francisco. We could not be more delighted with this turn of events.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin

I mostly refrain from re-posting content that my dear father has put up on his very fine blog Spencer Alley. I figure people who know us and care are already reading both of our sites so why duplicate. Indeed, I just checked, and apparently I've posted his lovely photography a handful of times, fashion imagery he's unearthed a couple of times, and his always-top-notch art finds a couple of times. I tell you this so you'll know that when I say I was so struck by a series of images he recently posted by the artist Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin (1699-1779) that I felt the need to reblog them, you will understand that I really was quite struck indeed. I would have been hard pressed to explain why, exactly, these images zinged into my soul via my eyeballs quite so strongly, but there, too, my esteemed parent has helped me out. He describes Chardin's pictures as "silent" and "lucid." Yes and yes. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Continuing Poem Saga About the Spring of 2006 Continues Today on Poetry Thursday

May 23, 2006
Here’s something I’d almost forgotten

On Sunday
when it started pouring rain so hard
that it was a roar in the kitchen
I walked into the living room to see
I stood at the window
looking out into the street
and there was so much rain
that you could see the air full of it
and the street covered solid
in little rings where it was landing
and all of the outdoors lit
by that strangely bright dark gray glow of gloom
I doubt I would have realized
how luminous that dark gray air really is
if when I turned around
the room hadn’t seemed kind of dim by comparison
and if my eye hadn’t by chance happened to fall
on the pillow that sits on one of the green chairs
This pillow is mostly various shades of green
with a white grid of small uneven boxes
most of the boxes are green
some black and
this was the thing
a few are turquoise
Now I’m not even sure whether
prior to this I’d ever even noticed
that there was any blue in that print
but when I turned away from the bright gray window
those little boxes of blue jumped out at me
ping zing boom
right into my eyeballs
As if the blue boxes were lit up and glowing
and standing up off the surface an inch or two

image source is here

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It's the Little Things

Sometimes it's the big things that make me love being an editor at Chronicle Books--the amazing artists I get to work with, the bestsellers, all that jazz--but other times, it's the little things: All the nice holiday and birthday cards the people I work with have sent me lately. A cup of coffee and a clean desk. The quiet of the office first thing in the morning before everyone else arrives.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Just Putting It Out There

Even as we speak I am developing a new attitude towards making things. It can be daunting, as a person who works with talented artists and writers all day long, to consider producing creative output of your own. But now, in the final year of my 30s, I think I may be on the verge of getting over that particular impediment. This is one piece of the much larger interior project that I mentioned in passing last week with regards to the divine Ms. Linda Rodin. About all of which much more will most certainly be revealed in this space before too long.

Above: paintings that Bill, Mabel, and I made yesterday.

Below: one of my pictures, finished with pen drawing on top of the paint.

Bike Rider

Even though the child has been riding her bike with training wheels up and down the sidewalk in front of her Grandma's house for the past ten months (as documented here), we engage in this occupation infrequently enough that it still blows my mind every time. Big kid! Zooming along! Where did the baby go?! Yep.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dead of Winter

My pal the lovely Ms. Tiffanie Turner has curated a show, currently hanging at Rare Device, called Dead of Winter, in which ten artists working in all different media explore themes of death, decay, and dormancy in nature. I hit the opening the other night and can report back that the show is quite fab. If you're here in San Francisco I do recommend checking it out--it's up through the rest of this month. Here are a few of my favorites from among the pieces on show:

Above, Tiffanie's own piece. She usually makes these incredibly vivacious huge paper flowers, but here she's started to explore what might happen as such a flower started to perish. A very exciting development in her work, imho.

Porcelain objects by Jo Boyer

Collage by Danielle Krysa

Wool, steel, and beading piece by Kathryn Clark

Collage by Alejandro Chavetta

Leaves made of hand-knit linen and hand-stitched tyvek by Sonya Philip