Tuesday, February 26, 2013

And for contrast - family photos in Boston

Cheeseboy.  A Superhero is Born.
Family photos from Boston.  As promised.  Cereal eaten, coffee drank. Time to herd cats and make Poppets!

Family Self Photo

Cold Water

Fort Point


Two More Fools on the Street

Fort Point

Orion and Nerddad

Orion Near the Harbor

Orion Vs. Eighteen Degrees

Summer Street

Watching the Snow

Waving from the plane - for Aubrey

The Pete at the Wharf

Love this photo.  Orion fell just when he snapped.  See shadow.

Tea Party Museum

Saturday's Snow Storm

Yesterday's Walk in the 'Hood

    Kids are out early for conferences, so Max and Zoya came over.  We took a walk on Broadmoor and I took pictures.  I'd explained to friends at Boskone that winter can be our spring.   These photos aren't intended to tell you all there is to tell about Palm Springs - not by a long shot.  They're here so you see what I saw yesterday.
Orion and Mountains to the North
So Very Palm Springs

Sculptural Roots

Desert Sky

Late Afternoon Sun, Mountains West

Max Razors on Broadmoor

Mountains to the East

Silly Humans


Also So Very Palm Springs

Smoke Tree

A Favorite Entry

Three Amigos

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Home again and words on A Parliament of Crows

  On the flight to Boston I read Alan Clark's new novel, A Parliament of Crows.  As engaged as I was, I was aware of being thirsty - again - even after having asked the flight attendant for water twice.  Pete and Orion were thirsty too.  We'd had no time between flights to buy water, and drinks served had been less than generous - so much that it felt a bit like rationing - and when we requested water, we got cups about a third filled.  Part of me was ensconced in the grim Post-Civil War world with the murderous sisters and part of me went to an imagined future, where drinkable water is scarce and precious, where thirst is a nearly constant companion. I conjured Heinlein and now I was a stranger traveling at high speeds over a world that humans had all but destroyed.
  No.  I don't want to be here!  I want Roddenberry!  I want technology to solve our problems.  I want reasonable and forward-thinking humans to create a world where the basic needs of everyone in an egalitarian society are met.

  I want science to fix us.

  For the moment, I'd be happy enough to lose this layer and simply enjoy Alan's book.  And it wouldn't hurt if the attendant would bring us something to drink!   Finally she did, and as she filled the serving cup, I held out my hand for the can and glared at her until she relented.

   After snacks and a couple of games of  Hangman, I fell into the story again in earnest.  It wasn't hard.  Alan's gifts run deep.  His words are fresh-turned earth - an irresistible mix of the grave and the soft promise of new life.  Set in part in the town of Milledgeville, Georgia, where I have both memories of childhood and dead relatives, the mix is especially visceral for me.  Alan can make the macabre beautiful.  But, you probably know that.
  Eventually, presently, I became aware that I was hearing this story in my head.  Hearing it as spoken in the rich drawl of my childhood home, possibly in the remembered voice of my late, great Aunt Ida.

The already chilling tale took on a new flavor falling from the lips of this genteel old aunt who let cats run freely across her fine tables and whose pristine lawn had more than once been graced in the deep hours of the night with a burning crucifix.

  I made some notes on the end pages.  One was to suggest a reading from A Parliament by such a voice, perhaps even my own, as when reunited inexplicably with my accent each time I cross the Rockies and polished to perfection with some excellent Old Fashioned.   My voice has deepened and textured in the years since peering through the banister at the Old House, wondering at the commotion that woke us and had the grown ups stirred up like a hornet's nest downstairs.

  But no, not me.  I must focus on making art and books.   Still, I'd like such a recording to exist.

    That my own gut-deep connection to Alan's Southern Gothic creation stems from the near orbits of our childhoods is a given.  But I can tell you that, southern connections or not,  A Parliament of Crows is a profound  voyage into a mind nearly as alien as a cat's, in a setting that you can smell and taste and feel.  It's an engrossing, chilling and oddly noble exploration, well worth it and not easily forgotten.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Art is messy

The glamour of being an artist.


  I've always been a fan of broken color.  Rarely is a background of mine a solid color.  When I wanted to make stars, I asked an expert - Joe Bergeron, who is a talented astronomer, artist and writer.  What seems like a simple technique is actually like chess in that it's "moments to master and years to perfect."

I think I've finally found my version of the technique for artful splatter.  I get less on my glasses and face, but it's still a messy business.

I own a lot of splatted t shirts.

But then, I find movement like this.

I forgot to move poppet to a safe distance.

The board game is available in the Etsy shop!
  It's the last week before a convention.  And all that goes with.  Hope your week is good.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Signs of Spring

In the desert, it's essentially spring.  This is as close as we get, though a few colder days are sometimes interspersed.  In winter we grow flowers and the signs of spring are all around us in February.  It makes us happy in all the ways springs does, and a little sad because summer (which can keep us inside like winter) will follow.

But not today.  Today is for gardens.