Monday, May 31, 2010

I keep feeling the trees

Can you really blame me?

Barely made some of my connections, but now in Devon amongst nephews, one of whom took my on a walk where we saw this tree, and some bluebells.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Innocent Eréndira

Above, Eréndira washing her enormous and generously tattooed grandmother. The character of the rapacious grandmother seems very similar to the appetitive Yubaba character in Spirited Away, with her gems and mountains of pastry and ice cream.

What do you think this story is about? It could be the nightmarish logical conclusion of one person treating another as a possession. The end, the knowledge that comes to Eréndira at her freedom and immediately matures her face seems to me to be about the price of assuming responsibility for the self. Sometimes we'll put up with an enormous amount of pain, conspiring with our oppressors, simply to avoid seeing.

The last story of the Innocent Eréndira collection, the title story, brings back as supporting players some of the characters which appear in the earlier story. It's also suggested that the hero Ulises (a hero almost by default) is descended from the winged ancient in the first story, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings:

"The one with wings was my grandfather", Ulises answered in his natural way, "But nobody believed it".

Friday, May 28, 2010

Flouncing off in a Huff, The Photo

The illustration version is here. Recently got a call from an editor about a story I had written during which she used a really indirect approach to tell me revisions would need to be made. Since I could see the criticism like a freight train coming from a long way off, I felt increasingly impatient. Eventually I got off the phone with a polite excuse, took a couple of days, and wrote down the specific information I needed from her, and we had some productive communication. When is it good to walk away to take a little breathing time and when is it, you know, kind of snotty?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kublai Khan and his Nurse/Early Memory


And in its final setting.

Kublai Khan's nurse saw his future greatness in the flame of the evening lamp when she came to put him to bed. At the end of his life, though, it was the recollection of her appearance with the lamp each evening rather than his achievements which brought the great Khan comfort.


I have a theory that first memories are frequently of light, I know mine is of being carried by my parents with a light-up Santa Claus pinned to my red coat. And yours?
As long as we're talking early memories, this is a post from awhile back on feltbug.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sibley Regional Park

My father and I went on a walk at Sibley Regional Park today, above is a teazel which he tells me were once used for carding wool.

One of the mazes made in the park in a former quarry - by whom and with what intent we don't know. Could it be- space aliens? We managed to intersect with a school group with many vocalizing young humans led by a gray-bearded naturalist trying to expound above the din.

Ritual with Rabbits

What is going on here? You tell me.

I'm doing some posting ahead this weekend, the next post here will be on Monday, other posts during my away time will be on dates when I think I'' ll have some time to visit your blogs and post comments here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Land of Opportunity

Life is all right in America.
(A moment of social satire)

Peek at Erendira

Here is a detail of the illustration for Garcia Marquez's The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and her Heartless Grandmother. If you want to know what is going on here before the 30th, you will have to read the story.

The (theoretical, volcano-dependent) date for my departure to England is approaching. As of today, I have an illustration project to occupy me at Pound View Farm - that would be drawings for The Poetry Bus Magazine, now virtually incarnated as a blog.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to seize the moment...

...without crushing it?

I have been reliably informed the three dots we call an ellipsis in English are called points de suspension in French.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ancestral Voices

And mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

- Kubla Khan, Samuel Taylor Coleridge


This is a beautiful image, there is a story here

Ancestral Voices

Monday, May 17, 2010

I'd like it here if I could leave and see it from a long way away

Some of us like to stay inside on rainy days, while others feel the urge to get out and engage in (relatively) brisk aerobic exercise. Click the title for a link to R.E.M.'s Good Advices.If you want to see other pavement level sights, I've just posted on Tinytheatre.

In case you were wondering about the low P.O.V. here recently, yes, I am now two inches tall and residing in a drain pipe.

Thank You...

I was the lucky winner of this lovely print by Asja Boros, who has a delightful wealth of illustration and photography work on her website. In addition, I recieved the inspiring Guerilla Art Kit by Keri Smith from Tessa at Aerial Armadillo, she is raising money for Possible Dreams International through sale of her prints. And thank you to Eva of Colourful Research for the books on Alice.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Elks Monument

Scouting out locations for sketching with a meetup group in the Mountain View Cemetery. This is the Brotherly Love side of the Elks (an organization similar to the Masons) monument.
A sketch of the Justice side. The very front shows Loyalty, and the rear shows Charity. I guess something had to end up with the nether end of the quadruped...

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Funny how shedding a little light can break up what seemed solid.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Flight of the Poet, Part III

he remembered the freedom he had known as a boy; carried like a green leaf, he had soared. The poet began to anticipate his journey.

The End
(or is it?)

The Flight of the Poet, Part II

He felt his fate come upon him, the jagged tear of separation from his home. And yet, in his exile from the familiar company of all that he had known,

The Flight of the Poet, Part I

The great man stroked his beard and sang his happy song, and yet an uneasy feeling stole over him, a feeling that some instrument was poised to part him from all he had known heretofore. He was on edge...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Uh Oh

Everyone with imagination feels like that sometimes.


Edit: replaced the photo

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Uncuckoo Clock

What's this? The process of making this and the big picture on Tiny Theatre.

Junkthief posted a lovely story today.

Kaetlyn's post today reminded me of this
old old old

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sisters of the Wind

East of the Sun and West of the Moon

I like this compass on Bee Creative, reminded me I could sew my own.

And this image on Gerdiary is another sort of compass.


Off topic: I see an ad on my site meter - KFC is now contributing to breast cancer research. The slogan? "Every bucket makes a difference". I'll bet.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Magic Realism

I cut out the man on this cigar box lid with the amazing saw my friend Terry loaned me, then I reversed the cigar box man -

Don't forget Gabriel Garcia Marquez's story collection The Incredible and Sad tale of Innocent Erendira and her Heartless Grandmother will be featured here will be featured on May 30.

Exit, pursued by a Storm

Strange how this ship is running before the weather, isn't it? Sure seems like there are a lot of things to worry about right now. Is this why post- apocalyptic fiction is such a pleasure? Relax, let your hair down, no need to keep up appearances when floating in the warm sea of chaos. I remember particularly enjoying it as a teenager. How about you - what did you read as a teenager (AKA young adult)?

Saturday, May 8, 2010


The man in this old photo was sporting mutton chop whiskers much like those Michael Redgrave had as the caterpillar in the BBC Alice of 1966. In that scene, Alice talks to the Caterpillar as he gazes through a wooden model of I think St. Paul's Cathedral, which may have suggested to me enclosing this person's face inside pen and ink architecture. I've had it for a couple of months, waiting for a final element.

It's oddly satisfying, then, that I found the discarded shell of a champagne cork this morning, which completes the caterpillar's cocoon when it is sewed on. I believe the photograph is originally from Norway. I may display these by attaching them to branches - it would give the option have having their beautiful backs available to look at.

Edit: Karin tells me the photo is from Sweden- someone must have brought this ancestor with them long ago.

Friday, May 7, 2010


The most essential sound of summer for me is the fluting voice of the doves, it's so away/distant and inside/close at the same time.

More about this work on the Tinytheatre blog. I love my drill, I don't care what the Freud dude says.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


A simple photoshop collage illustration for one of the first person stories in the upcoming Berkeley Monthly, this one about a woman who twice travelled back across the country to take care of her estranged- and divorced- parents during their last illnesses.

Some lovely writing on Undersea Boat.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

mon semblable, – mon frère!

It was Charles Baudelaire, he done it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Funny Money: A Short...Fiction?

This bill was given to me in change by James at the Antique Centre. Alternate readings of the encircling text:

AVA i enjoyed hangin with you. No matter what happened with that howling thing, we're so in love. Hopefully we can hang again soon. You're a wonderful person
- Nico "freako", Irwin

More prosaically:

AVA i enjoyed hangin with you. No matter what happened with that housing thing, we're square. Hopefully we can hang again soon. You're a wonderful person
- Nico "freako", Irwin

Hmmm, cause for thought...I mean, there's a whole category of short fiction which has not been explored.

Not to mention...maybe sometimes, money can buy happiness. At least, reading this bill made me happy.

Stories of the Spinning World

Monday, May 3, 2010


How many miles to Babylon?
Three-score and ten.
Can I get there by candlelight?
Yes, and back again.

– Old English Nursery Rhyme

Taken at the Antique Center (of course).

I have been watching The Fast Runner, one of Shayna's favorite films. It's growing on me.

And Aleph and I are doing the psychic thing again.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Grandfather Tree

A new style of reconfigured figurine I made for Mina's store, this wooden figure has had his broken off hands replaced with twigs. Jasmine is hosting Festival of the Trees this May Day on Nature's Whispers.