Monday, October 28, 2013

Floor Picnic

This is the picture I mentioned a while back, that reminds Bill of photos from his own childhood--action! projects! a hint of cheerful chaos! Because sometimes you just want to spread the contents of the sewing box all over the floor and then eat a cookie, right?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Art Happy

Here's a little digest of some of the artwork that's been pleasing me lately. As usual, there seem to be common themes running all throughout all over the place: an illustrative quality, and a cheery autumnal color palette, semi-wild creatures and scenes of playful activity. Huh.

Above: Ashley Percival

Holly Frean

Elizabeth Baddeley

Seona Hong

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Second Installment in the New Poem Series About the Spring of 2006

March 6, 2006
On Saturday

we went wine-tasting with friends
up in the Russian River

It was great fun as always
and also as always
a bombardment to the senses

In addition to far many more and more subtle
gradations of flavor and scent
than one is generally used to parsing

there is also an overload to the vision
The way the light falls into shadowy barns
and onto rolling bottle-colored hillsides

Mostly light and shadow really
and numerous shades of green

image source is here

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bobble-Headed Art Book Editor Aquires Project from Multi-Hat-Wearing Idiots

Oh my goodness, have I seriously never shared these illustrations here before? The ones where my beloved authors husband-and-wife writer/illustrator team Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr of Idiot's Books caricature themselves, their agent, and me, and tell the story of how they came to create the Chronicle Books version of their awesome originally-self-published tome of wonder 10,000 Stories? Seriously? Major major oversight on my part! Yikes. You can read the whole story in all its hilarity and glory here, but today on the Cabinet I'm just featuring a few of my favorite highlights.

Above, Matthew and I shake hands on our deal (this is an astral projection handshake since, dear friends though we are, we've never actually met in person) (I think in the original story he's looking up lovingly at either his wife or the giant of industry that is Chronicle, but here I like to imagine he's admiring my blog header).

Like most self-employed artists and writers, Matthew and Robbi wear many hats.

They work really hard.

This is what it looks like when a book editor buys a project from a book agent. Obviously.

And this is how we celebrate.

This is how Robbi celebrates.

Matthew and Robbi also have a whole bunch of kids. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Three, Oh It's a Magic Number

This is just to say that there is: No. Scientific. Evidence. Whatsoever. that only children are more lonely/selfish/maladjusted than their counterparts with siblings. None. It's a stereotype that goes unchallenged and that people feel perfectly comfortable hauling out as if it were fact, when in fact it's anything but. The only study that has ever found a difference has to do with sad feelings in adult children during the illness of an ageing parent (it is, in fact, easier to endure that hardship with company than alone). The rest is so much bull-pucky. I'll spare you an endless rant, but if you're interested you can read more about this here.

Image above immortalizes the classic lyric "A man and a woman had a little baby, yes they did, there were three in the family, and that's a magic number" from Three is the Magic Number on the old Schoolhouse Rock educational show.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Drawing a Blue Sky and a Blue Ocean

Bill says this polaroid reminds him of childhood photos he's seen of me--sitting quietly and intensely absorbed in some quiet creative pursuit. Next week I'll show you the one he says reminds him of childhood pictures from his own family.

Ocean Park

I wrote last month about the Richard Diebenkorn "Berkeley Years" show at the De Young, and linked to a piece on my dad's blog about the Ocean Park series, and mentioned how much I like those paintings. But just now am realizing I have never actually put up an Ocean Park picture here on the Cabinet. And so am now rectifying that oversight, poste haste.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The First Installment in a New Poem Series About the Spring of 2006

March 3, 2006
A couple of nights ago

I strongly noticed
yet again
the profoundly soothing
power of cooking

You must focus
in order not to chop your fingers off

And you get the solace
of handling beautiful objects
like heavy burnished aluminum pans
and globular dark violet eggplants

image source is here

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Week in the Life of an Art Book Editor

A couple of weeks ago I had the great honor of being the guest Instagrammer for my fine employer, Chronicle Books. It was really fun! Here are a few of the images I posted over on Chronicle's feed, offering a weird little peek into my working life. There were a lot of meetings, and there was coffee, and of course, a ton of books.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Think Pink!

I've mentioned before that, weirdo that I am, I organize most of my Pinterest boards by color. So all kinds of things--art and fashion and interiors and lord knows what--all live on these boards side by side, the only unifying thing being their hues. But the other day I noticed that I've recently accrued an especially large proportion of fashion images on my Pink board. Like Kay Thompson doing her Diana Vreeland impersonation in Funny Face it seems I have the burning desire to think pink! Almost all of this is due to the utterly fabulous site Wear Color, from which most of these images hail, though I do owe a few here and there to other sites including Present and Correct, Emma Dime, Design Love Fest, and Trend Land. And so, without further ado, I give you--the navy blue of India (of course it was the real Vreeland who called pink that):

Above: Paule Ka

Vogue Deutsch

Photo by Vanessa Jackman

Emilia Wickstead

Susie Bubble photographed by Anthea Simms

Monique Lhuillier

Karen Walker

Marie Myrhoj Jensen

Sonia Rykiel

Comme des Garcons

Photo by Tim Walker

Monday, October 7, 2013

Our Books from the Big Book Sale

I've written here before about how utterly and completely I adore the Friends of the SF Public Library Big Book Sale. So you can imagine how happy I was when, not only did we get to go to it the other day, but this was the first year Mabel was old enough to come along. We got a stack of twenty-five books, with goodies for everyone in the family, that cost forty-one dollars and reached up to about the level of Mabel's ears when she sat down next to it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Donuts for the Weekend

You know what I really like? Photo-realist paintings of donuts. Just saying.

Above: Jelaine Faunce. Below: Ralph Goings.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Last Poem About the Winter of 2006

February 24 – March 2, 2006
Here I’ve somehow lost five entries

I don’t know where they went
or what they were about
and find myself surprised
at the depth of my dark blue
sadness for their loss

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Chapter Book Maddness!

I really don't know exactly how, or when, it happened, but somehow we have phased, chez nous, into being a family who reads chapter books at bedtime rather than picture books. What the heck? I feel a little bit like my life is flashing before my eyes (both in the sense of revisiting my own childhood, and also the crazed speed with which my own child's childhood seems to be zooming by). But it's glorious to get to renter all these fictional worlds, and discover some new ones.

Mabel, at three, is really enjoying the works of: Jane Gardam (this book, Bridget and William is hilarious to us because those are my and my husband's names--but in the book, William is the horse), Maud Hart Lovlace, Beverly Cleary, Kenneth Grahame, Annie Barrows, A.A. Milne, and Betty McDonald.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Room to Paint

We've been doing a thing lately at our house where Mabel and I hang out in our pajamas and paint on Sunday morning after breakfast. This past weekend I brought home some extra-big sheets of paper--like maybe 20x15 inches or so--from work and we busted out both the watercolors and the "jar paints" (as Mabel calls tempera) and she went to town. And, yes, I'm a proud and cheesy mother and utterly biased, but can I just say? I really really like these paintings. It seems to me that the heart and soul of children's painting may lie in having the room and space to make great big free sweeping arm movements.