Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cal Patch Dress

Back in April I had the great good luck (and persistence, and willingness to donate money) to win an item in the Artists Take Action auction benefiting The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights. I've won a number of artworks in past auctions (indeed, now I think of it, several can be glimpsed in the photo above! pictures by, from top to bottom: Christine Buckton Tillman, Alice Wu, Cindy Monaghan, Emily Neuburger (the Martha's Vineyard map by Archie's Press and bottom black-and-white photo by Amy Friend were obtained elsewhere).) but this one was a bit special and different. My prize to be claimed in this case was an entirely custom-designed bespoke dress to be made just for me by the inimitable seamstress and teacher Cal Patch. Using the designs on her site as a guide, Cal walked me through all the different variables I got to pick: overall style of dress (I chose the smock dress), scoop of neckline (higher), sleeve length (three-quarters), skirt length (mid-calf). I sent her my measurements so it would fit perfectly. And, perhaps most exciting of all, I got to peruse photos of her fabric collection to find the perfect material (a Vlisco African wax print). As you can see, the results are pretty gosh darn amazing. One other detail that I didn't know about until I received the dress -- and that's hard to see in the photos -- are the capacious pockets, which are semi-circular in shape. I have a great many dresses I dearly love, but it's not an overstatement to say this is my new favorite.

Monday, July 30, 2018


At Ladies Drawing Night the other evening I drew a pair of building facades that caught my eye in Detroit earlier this month.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Heather Day at Hashimoto Contemporary

I loved and enjoyed the hell out of Heather Day's show at Hashimoto Contemporary earlier this summer. This is exactly the sort of art that fits right in to a very particular art receptor in my brain and then proceeds to light it (my brain) up like a Christmas tree. It's hard to explain. But it's a very enjoyable experience.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Teaching in August

I'm teaching Publishing for Creatives at the delightful Handcraft Studio School in good old El Cerrito (my hometown!) on Saturday, August 4th from 10am to noon. If you've ever dreamed of seeing your work in published form, but are uncertain on how to set about making that happen -- this class is for you! Registration link is here. Tell your friends!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

July Inspiration Pack

A short round up of what's been inspiring me lately--

Working on: finishing my next book manuscript, due at the end of this month!

Wearing: my green floral suit for a presentation at work today

Reading: Ryan North and Erica Henderson's unbeatable Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

Listening to: Michael Pollen's How to Change Your Mind audiobook

Watching: Glow season 2

Donating to: El Otro Lado, Flippable's Colorado Fund, and KIND

Drinking: black coffee and pamplemousse La Croix

Eating: Sea Salt Kettle Chips (not right at this moment, just in general)

Being utterly and completely blown away by: Hannah Gadsby's Nanette (I want to rant and rave at length here about the amazingness of this so-called comedy special -- how it is in fact a staggering work of art that cracks wide open our ideas about what comedy, art, feminism, and so much more can look like, all while breaking our hearts and enriching our souls, but... oh hey, wait, look there, I did rant on at some length after all. Mission accomplished.)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Six Books by Black Authors

Here's a drawing I made a little over a year ago of half a dozen books by Black authors, mostly women, that I had read and enjoyed recently at the time. Though the likenesses of people are not perfect -- they never are, in my world -- this nevertheless remains one of my favorite drawings of book covers that I've done. And these books are all great, and I strongly recommend them to you.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston SC

The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina houses an eclectic collection of 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st Century American art. To be fair, they've got it much more chronologically organized in there than I've opted to do in this post. But personally I'm a fan of the jumps and juxtapositions such a wide-ranging collection provides. Much of the best stuff, imho, were the portraits & the landscapes of Charleston and its environs.

Above: Jill Hooper's portrait of Mary Whyte

Edwin Harleston's portrait of Reverend Caesar S. Ledbetter

Emma Gilchrist

Jeremiah Theus' portrait of Mary Elizabeth Bellinger

Alfred Hutty

Robert Henri

Barkley Hendricks' portrait of Estelle Johnson

Alfred Hutty

Jeremiah Theus' portrait of Maurice Keating

Edmund Charles Tarbell's portrait of Josephine and Mary Tarbell

Benny Andrews

Henry Benbridge, self-portrait

Thomas Sully's portrait of Sarah Reeve Ladson Gilmor

Sigmund M Abeles' portrait of his mother

Edward Rice's portrait of his grandmother

James Earl's portrait of Edward Rutledge

Sam Doyle's portrait of Dr. York Bailey

Augustus Paul Trouche

Julyan Davis

Martha Walter

Corrie McCallum

William Aiken Walker

Mabel Dwight

Robert Merrill Sweeny

Jonathan Green's portrait of his aunt Corene

Prentiss Taylor

Thomas Wightman

Mary Whyte's portrait of Mary Jackson

Isabelle Greenberger

Childe Hassam's portrait of his mother Rosa Hawthorne Hassam

West Fraser

Linda Fantuzzo

Patrick Dougherty