Wednesday, September 30, 2015

More Book Parties!

Fall is here and that means the season of book parties is upon us! For me it kicked off with the Fortune Favors the Brave author signing I talked about last week, and now there is much more--

Yesterday, in honor of the two latest voleumes in the 642 series--642 Tiny Things to Draw and 642 Tiny Things to Write About--we threw a Tiny Tuesday party here in our offices. Tiny balllons, tiny food, a tiny drawing contest. It was fantastic.

And then if you scroll down a bit you'll find me ducking into the Pinterst offices, where the inimitable Jessica Hische was signing her new book In Progress for a legion of adoring friends and fans, then wandering out into a beautiful pale blue San Francisco autumn evening. Delightful.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tom Palumbo

In that way that happens--and which is surely one of the very best parts of the internet--while looking for something else entirely I happened to stumble upon the work of mid-century fashion photographer Tom Palumbo. How had I never heard of this person before? Perhaps its just a knowledge gap on my part. But somehow I get the sense that he has not received the recognition other similar folks from his era have done. Anyhow, I find I love his work. Dreamy color. Crisp black and white. Glamor girls that still somehow manage to actually look sort of human. The first eleven images in this post are some of the favorites I've found of his posed fashion work. (Please remind me to wear my pajama jacket the next time I'm climbing San Francisco's hills!) The final four photos at the bottom are apparently candid shots taken in Paris cafes. I mean, just, come on! So good!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Robot Arms

Though, through my own carelessness with settings, this photo is way overexposed, I still do find it evocative. Mabel on the street in late July making robot arms. Yep. Sounds about right.

Friday, September 25, 2015

At The Museum by Barbara Kyne

Photographer Barbara Kyne's series At the Museum combines two things I absolutely adore: out of focus pictures and pictures of people looking at art in museums. So if course I'm completely mesmerized. I'd like go live inside the world these photos reveal, ok? Thanks.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Next in the Long-Running Poem Saga About the Summer of 2006 Comes This One

July 10, 2006
This morning I saw Givenchy

the garments
not the man
I believe for the first time ever

It was in the left hand window
Of a department store that always devotes
Its left window to women and its right window to men

Two rather odd
black wool outfits
full of various pleats
and drapes of fabric
Strange but chic
I’d expect no less

image source is here

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fortune Favors the Brave

I am super proud to be fabulous author and artist Lisa Congdon's editor and to have worked with her on her new book Fortune Favors the Brave. Lisa came to town last week for a good old fashioned book signing at Rare Device here in San Francisco, where there was a constant friendly crowd of young and old alike lined up to buy her book. It was fab. Also gratifying to many other lovely Chronicle books and products on show at this lovely shop--both Lisa's and other folks' and ones I personally worked on and ones I didn't. What a great evening.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Way back in the spring when I was in LA, I took the selfie at right in my hotel room one morning, and then later that afternoon discovered the left-hand picture by Rubens at the Hammer Museum. Without getting into a whole bunch of body politics, I will just say that term "Rubenesque" as a generic synonym for fat (and female) seems misplaced. A certain fleshiness, yes, but also a certain coloring and certain nose and a certain gaze seem part of the package. At least from where I stand on my medium-to-large, well-shaped feet.

Monday, September 21, 2015


I often find myself having the thought that I have no way of knowing whether a particular thing is an attribute of small children in general, or my small child in particular. Case in point--being hung upside down by your ankles. Mabel loves it. Always has. When she was tiny we'd do it and croon "bat baby! bat baby!" and now she is big she still makes her Grandpa (as above), and Daddy, and me accommodate this desire on a pretty regular basis. So, is this just an idiosyncrasy of my kid, or something kids in general like? Not only do I not know, but it seems I have no reliable way of finding out. And the same goes for a million other of her tastes and desires and abilities. Huh.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Turner and Motherwell

When I was a teenager my friends and I had a brief vogue for coming up with, and then actually watching, outlandish double features where the two movies made some sort of radical juxtaposition. As I recall, our two favorite combos were The Wizard of Oz and Reservoir Dogs, and The Land Before Time and Total Recall. I thought of this recently when I deliberately timed my latest visit to the De Young such that I could catch both the Turner show before it closes and the Motherwell show that recently opened.You could hardly cook up a weirder pairing, and yet it worked wonderfully. There are a great many things to be said, of course, and many opinions held, about both of these artists' work. But to my eye the common thread is that in they both just scream BEAUTY BEAUTY BEAUTY so loudly into my eyeballs that I can hardly stand it. Here are the images that most caught my eye--Turner first, then scroll down to the bottom for Motherwell, just because that's the order I saw them in. And, nota bene, the only reason there are so many more of Joseph's pictures there than Robert's is because the former has a gigantic show and the later a petite one--personally I could have looked at many more of both.