Happy first day of Summer!
It's been months since I drew trees and goats in Florida. Now warm enough outside that it's time to get out and do the same thing here.
Happy first day of Summer!
Article by Nicholas Casey, NYT, 06/17/2021
I've spent the past week working on the Henry L. Zietlow Memorial Trophy project. My father and I began work on this project almost exactly two years ago, and, finally, it's reached its end stages. In memory, I sense that this work will merge into the unmoored passage of the months through the Covid-19 pandemic; I'll look back on these two years in a very particular time and way that will be marked by a heightened sensation of death and mortality and our places in that arc.
As I write this the pandemic is not over, but its character, post the release of four effective vaccinations this past spring, has very clearly changed. We have a means of protecting ourselves, whether or not we are able, as human beings, to deploy it effectively or humanely. So--the virus has evolved, but so has our capacity to evolve with it.
I read the Nicholas Carey article this morning and found it fascinating. Largely, it's about identity, and questions of self that address the ancient nurture/nature conundrum.
These thoughts are colliding in my head, and then, one of the commentators in Carey's piece chipped in with the quotation that closes this entry.
It pulled some ideas together in my mind about all the things I've written above. Not in a way I could express here--that would take hours of writing and revision for a piece that is meant to be short.
But also it made me want to read Of Human Bondage, to find the context for these words.
"There is no such thing as success or failure, only stories."
Ivana Kupala Day is celebrated in Ukraine July 6-7. It's more a festival than a holiday: the celebrations roots are ancient, as a celebration of the summer solstice, but it ... had a hard time making it intact through the 20th century, under the Soviet Regime.
We live in an amazing age when it comes to family documentation. Philip Sampson was my grandmother's older brother. He was one of the soldiers who participated in that famous "Christmas in the trenches."
Thanks go to my cousin Julie, for finding, and sharing, this article with me.
If you are told that such a one speaks ill of you, make no excuses against what was said, but answer, "He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone!"
When I was young, my mother did a number of bad portraits of me. Or so I thought, at the time she was doing them.
My feral child self thought this one in particular was hideous, and especially was furious that she gave me yellow eyes.
Now that I am not young ... I better appreciate that my Mother was a patient painter.
I was not a patient model.
Practicing drawing foxes, because pen and ink is not very forgiving... (sketch for an illustration of a few years back)
I send out Christmas cards, yearly. When I have time, I do an illustration. When I don't have time, they become... New Year's cards, or even Valentine's Day cards. I have lots of reasons for sending them, many of which have changed as the years go by. At this point in my life, having reliably updated mailing for my friends and the people I care about are definitely a big part of it. An "Addressee Unknown/Returned to Sender" rubber-stamped envelope is a pretty good way to be sure you've lost track of someone you once had much love for!
This year, with our late (U.S.) Thanksgiving, I am doomed. Lots of New Year's cards, for sure.
Sites I recommend
These ones are maintained by long-time personal friends.
is a consummate artist. There are so many images to enjoy on this site. His carved wooden long-leaf red pine Rhinoceros (which he made for me when I was ~11 years old) is a personal favorite.
Is the U.K. based caving gear store run by serious hard-ass Tony Seddon. This link goes to the 'caves' section of the store's site--complete with alarming portrait photo of Tony ("After 7 days underground and 700m prussiking").
The Oxford University
Maintained by Steve Roberts, a guy who is extraordinary in so many ways, I'll just limit myself here to saying "Steve is a man who knows about motors."
John Bedell is an archaeologist, historian, and father of five living in Maryland. His blog is a fascinating grab-bag of historical, artistic, and political materials. This entry about work and leisure gives a good example of his voice.
This is Liz Manicatide (now Liz LaManche), principal at Emphasis Creative's personal art & graphics site. I love Liz's work, panache, and aerial artistry, which leads me to-
Flying Squirrel Consortium
Phil Servita's site, and the place to go for custom fabricated circus equipment (either freestanding or fixed point), and aerial classes, if you happen to live in the area.
Paul's site is... unique, authentic, & expressive, and pretty much exactly what I think of when I think of a website as an artform.
Metro Bikes Trails Guide
(St. Paul, MN)
"Reviews and Reports on over 70 bicycle paths in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area!"
Maintained by the tireless Seamus Flynn, and a great little site for those local to the Twin Cities area.
I enjoy the Ukrainian/Russian artisanship on this website.
Sites I enjoy
I don't know these people, but I appreciate their work.
What's That Bug?
The title says it all. A useful site for both the non-bug-phobic & the consummate bug-phobe.
Margaret & Helen
Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting…
I'm not a grandmother (or raging!), but I appreciate this site. Especially the fact-checking part.