Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Joy of Good Publicitiy

Back in the Spring, around the time The Secret Art of Being a Parent came out, I had the opportunity to do a couple of great online features that I never got around to sharing with you here.

The first was a home tour and interview on Design Mom (photo above).

And the second a two-part article on Parentology: Why Reading to Babies is Rad and Must-Read Books for All Ages (photo below).

Monday, July 29, 2019

Pink Bead

I have about three distinct memories from kindergarten. And this one is the most powerful. There was a big plastic bin of large wooden beads. They were meant, I would presume, to be strung on those shoelace-like strings, but I don't actually remember ever doing that. What I do remember was that the bucket was available during free-choice time and that I would sit on the rug with it. The beads were those dull shades of red, blue, orange, yellow that most children's wooden toys were in the seventies and eighties -- as if they'd just been barely painted with some sort of not entirely opaque stain, and the hue of the wood was showing through. All but one. One bead, though it was the same shape as all the rest, was bright solid opaque neon pink. Florescent at a time before florescent became common. So bright it seemed to almost mesmerize me. I was obsessed with this one unique and singular bead. I liked it so much I could barely stand to look at it. I would actually bury it deep under all the other beads because gazing upon it filled me with such a strong feeling I didn't know how to handle it. At the time it felt almost as if I was afraid of the pink bead and how much I liked it. But now looking back, I wonder if the overpowering feeling wasn't actually joy? More joy than my little person could hold? Anyhow, I drew it.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Amy Sherald

I have loved and adored the work of Amy Sherald since I first encountered it in person at The Studio Museum In Harlem a couple of years ago. Then she painted Michelle Obama's official portrait last year and the world's eyes turned toward her in admiration -- as they very rightly should. Her work is exquisite and powerful, personal and universal, not to mention just plain gorgeous. When I realized recently that I'd never featured her here on Art Friday yet, I could hardly believe it. So let's rectify that right now.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Color Poem #91

picture a spectrum fading
from emerald on one end
to army green on the other
right about in the middle
of that gradient we’d find
the hue of the green beans

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


It's always such a lovely moment when I get to show you everything I edited for Chronicle Books for a whole entire season -- in this case Fall 2019 (or F19 as it's known to its friends). As always, getting to work with such an amazing roster of talented authors and artists, as well as my very own fantastic colleagues in editorial, production, and design (can we talk about these covers? design is killing it!) was an honor and a delight. All of these things will be available wherever books are sold this fall, and are available for pre-order right now.

Cassatt: Mothers and Children with essays by Judith A. Barter and Sue Roe

Find Your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic by Lisa Congdon

Stargazing: Photographs from the Archives of NASA preface by Bill Nye, text by Nirmala Nataraj

Almost Lost Arts: Traditional Crafts and the Artisans Keeping Them Alive by Emily Freidenrich with essays by Narayan Khandekar and Margaret Shepherd

I'd Rather Be Reading notebook, notecards, and notebook collection by Guinevere De La Mare

The Furious Notebook: Release Your Rage, Use Your Anger for Good, and Chill the Heck Out by Martha Rich

Plots & Plans: Mint Marble and Plots & Plans: Bright Stripes 

She Can Really Lay It Down: 50 Rebels, Rockers, and Musical Revolutionaries (Who Happen to be Women) by Rachel Frankel, foreword by Amanda Petrusch

Jim Marshall: Show Me The Picture by Amelia Davis

Embroidered Life: The Art of Sarah K. Benning by Sara Barnes

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Margo Watson 2010s

The third and final of these photo posts about my dear mama features a lot of photos of her being a most excellent Grandma. In 2010 Mabel was born and all our lives changed dramatically for the better. This baby lived a very well-documented life, thanks to the photo skills of my father, her Grandpa. What didn't occur to either of us until now is how many great pictures there were of my mom, as well, tucked in among the myriad ones of the child. There are a few of my own Instagrams and whatnot in here as well, but it's mostly my dad behind the lens. Looking through these has made me so happy -- to see so clearly what a pure delight being a grandmother was for my mom, what joy she took in it -- is a great comfort to me now. Previous posts in this series can be seen here and here.