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The Sun Gallery has posted some great photographs from the Children’s Book Illustrator exhibition that my work is a part of (currently showing in California.) Click the image below to visit the Sun Gallery blog for the whole post! Also, if you’re in the area, be sure to come for the artist reception and book signing next Saturday, March 17 from 1-4 pm. Unfortunately I have obligations that prevent me from making it to California next weekend, but I’m sure it will be a good time! Click here to find out more about the event.
It's hectic days for the lion (you can see the progress over at her blog) as she prepares for a group exhibition in London next week. I will accompany her to London as the "trusty" lab assistent I am. If someone feels like seeing a lab assistant in the flesh drop me a line. You could also visit the show opening at the 1508 Gallery 14 Marsh 6.30-9.00 pm.
This just in… “Good Fortune” has been chosen as a 2012 NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies book! I hope this means that it will end up in even more school libraries for kids to read (like me in the Loma Linda Elementary School library, back in the day.) Congrats to Renee and Joan and everyone else who made this book happen! It has been such fun watching the project come to life.
In other news, I’m excited to be exhibiting some of the paintings from Good Fortune in the 2012 Children’s Book Illustrators Exhibit at the Sun Gallery in Hayward, CA from February 15-April 7. Here’s the cool postcard they put together for the show:
If you’re nearby, be sure to check it out! I think it will be a great show, with a good variety of artists. The full list of participating illustrators and other event details are on the back of the card below. (Click for a larger version.)
Daniel Sperling is a Professor of Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, Davis and a Founding Director of US-Davis’s Institute of Transportation Studies. He and Deborah Gordon wrote Two Billion Cars: Driving Towards Sustainability which provides a concise history of America’s love affair with cars and an overview of the global oil and auto industries. Check out the video below to see Sperling’s appearance on The Daily Show.
We decided it would be fun to ask Sperling some questions before and after his big television appearance. After the video are the post-show questions. Click here to read the pre-show questions. Read other OUPblog posts about this book here.
Nature has ways of providing us with sick entertainment. Everyone who has had a garden has at one time or another dug up a uniquely formed carrot or potato. We find these abnormal growths entertaining and interesting, abnormally formed animals and humans draw our eyes even more so.
The most famous deformities are Siamese Twins. Most do not survive. Undoubtedly without medical aid none could be born naturally and the mother too, would die. For more information (and freaky pictures) on Siamese twins click here!
Another deformity can be caused later in life, as the result of the polio virus. The virus travels through the bloodstream and into the brain. Although it has been halted in many areas thanks to vaccinations, it should be noted that the below photo was taken as recently as 1995. It primarily strikes young people and can leave them paralyzed.
Another famous freak is the freak accident, as when a skier crashes into a tree. Particularly funny to witness, not too funny to be involved in. A free accident is typically one that nobody could have predicted, or something that happens very rarely, and should have been easily avoided.
Some people are noted for being freaks. For some this is a good thing, while others are bullied or teased, shunned by society for having the guts to be different and live their life the way they would want. Obviously some people are freaks because of natural physical deformities, as mentioned above, but these are the people who have the stigma of being freaks only because their behavior is different than what is the cultural norm. Below we see a man who even calls himself a freak, this is John the freak at Hempfest in Seattle.
Because it is today considered socially unacceptable to put freaks on display, the once common “Freak Show” in circuses and fairs is getting harder and harder to find. While some freaks in the past were probably real, others may have been faked. If today we saw this picture (below) we would question if the remainder of the person was simply hidden under the sand.
None the less there is something in the human psyche that longs to look at freaks for one reason or another. We need to watch train wrecks, disasters, and to look at deformities. This is nothing new, we can look back to older renderings showing freaks, sometimes in tasteful ways. Below we see Lazarus and Joannes Baptista.
Finally I leave you with Jo-Jo the dog faced boy. Not a very nice name for this lad who served in side shows due to his abmornal hair growth on his face. The problem is actually known as Hypertrichosis. In minor forms it causes single abnormal hair growth on people even so that a person may have one abnormally long hair on their arm or leg, or a patch of long hairs.
Me and my wife will have an exhibition in less then a month (the 7th of November) so we have started doing the poster/invitation card for the show. My wife is making the text and I will make a tree as per usual.
I worked on this all day yesterday (until my hand started to hurt), will start to color it today and then merge it with my wifes design. The show will be at Sigtuna Kulturgård starting the 7th of November
The reception is this Saturday, 6/18 from 6-8pm. Thanks to Jerzy Drozd for the invitation. It was the push I needed to work on my comics in my color style, and I have two pieces in the show plus work-in-progress sketches.
What else is happening this weekend? I'm excited to be part of Kids Read Comics, a fun, free event that is happening this Saturday and Sunday, 6/18-19, in Downtown Chelsea, MI. I'll be at the artist alley and also looking forward to doing some fun quick drawing demos with the awesome illustrator and comic artist Dani Jones. For more info, go here. See you there!
(I'm posting an original poem-a-day through April in celebration of National Poetry Month. Links to this and other poems here on GottaBook (and there are lots of others, because poetry is NOT just for April) are collected over on the right of the blog under the headline "The Poems".)
Whew! It was a busy weekend. Saturday evening, we learned that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA - http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/) in Pasadena was having their annual open house this weekend. So somewhat spur of the moment, we decided to go. It was pretty interesting although we didn't really get to spend a whole lot of time there as we were planning on going to an art show in the afternoon. Looking through our photos, I'm realizing we don't have any pictures of the rovers! So, the best I can do is the command center and a clean room:
I know the pictures aren't great. Command center was really dark and we were shooting through super thick glass to capture the clean rooms, but it's the best we could do in the circumstances.
The clean rooms were probably the most interesting part to us since it's very much behind-the-scenes sort of thing that you normally wouldn't have a chance to see. Chris (my husband) was in heaven shooting pictures of all the heavy industry on the campus. He works in video-games so having reference photos of all kinds of interesting places is really useful to him. It's always entertaining having to explain to people why he is shooting pictures of fire hydrants and dirty brick walls!
We left JPL around noon and headed down to Beverly Hills for the "Affaire in the Gardens Art Show." I'm intrigued by art shows where the artist actually sells physical art since this is something I've never really done before. I'm so tempted to try this sometime, but then I wince when I think about the over-head involved in such an endeavor. Not only would I have to produce prints and merchandise, but I'd also have to fork out some cash for the display boards and tent. And then if I didn't sell enough... well, that would be disheartening to say the least. I guess it must be profitable for some artists, but certainly not all artists, right? One thing that I do notice when I attend art shows is that there really aren't any children's artists present. Would that be a good thing or a bad thing? My work would certainly be unique in an environment sans other children's artists, but that still doesn't mean it would sell. Just something to consider for the future I suppose....
I'll put in a plug for my two favorite displays:
Gabe Leonard - beautiful paintings (http://www.gabeleonard.com) Vicki Banks - very cool and clever animal sculptures - lots of ravens. She doesn't appear to have a website...
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I spied this fabric at the Designer Fabric Outlet store on Queen West (1360 Queen St. W, between Dufferin and Landsdowne) recently. This store is amazing, they have, if anything, too much choice. My favourite part is that all the fabric is in small swatches on hangers, organized by fiber, colour and pattern, and so it's very easy to browse through. My friend Sarah and I spent ages in there. Don't forget to go upstairs for extra fabric on bolts - and even more choices.As promised I'm showcasing some of the things I'm making for my table at the Artisan's Gift Fair this Sunday. I thought this fabric was really gorgeous and perfect for a evening bag. I love the colour scheme of tan, grey, white, black and red. Also the black parts of the flowers are velvet and very soft. Since I'm not home I don't have all my fabric with me, so it's lined with some of the linen I bought. Usually linen is a bit pricey for a lining but since I don't have anything else with me, this bag is just that much more special. There's a pocket inside, and I'll be adding a snap or button clasp when I get home.
I have a dressy black dress that needs something just like this to go with it! Just one question, should the closure be a snap or button? A snap is more practical and easier to open and close but a button could be prettier. What do you think?
You can see one of the messenger bags in the corner of this picture
The craft sale at the Tranzac went pretty well. I had Bradley to keep me company and a few friends dropped by. So nice to see you!
I'm wondering about going back this weekend. I don't have a table reserved but the organizer said I could come by and there would either be a cancellation or she could find me a small table/corner. So if you missed me last week you could come this weekend.
My table was a bit dark so these aren't great pictures, but here are some of the bags:These are my new needle books. There are just three left. The covers are brown cordoruy or linen, with wool applique flowers and cream-coloured wool pages. I found this glass tray recently and used it to display my jewellery: I like the Tranzac Club. I used to live on Brunswick Avenue in a rented studio apartment on the third floor of one of the old Victorian houses. Now that I think of it, the bathroom floors on the second floor had nice old hexagonal floor tiles. And I used to go to the Tranzac a lot. They have lots of different events there, including my friend John Southworth who played last Saturday evening - a show I was sorry to miss. And they've had lots of crafts shows over the years, back when I was wondering if I would try it myself one day. So it feels quite cosy...and sort of nostalgic.
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This is my new logo, created for the web page for the The Valentine's Trunk Show in February. This is such a nice idea for a fair, all the vendors are displaying their handmade things in a suitcase each and then we can mingle and have snacks. I love it. Obviously I will have to find and buy a charming vintage suitcase. I was thinking this could become the perfect place to store my shop between shows.
As you know I also love the Workroom so I think it's the perfect venue. If you haven't been yet, you have to come just to gaze adoringly at Karyn's covet-worthy shelves of fabric.
I was honored when Dan Goodsell, creator of The world of Mr. Toast, asked me to participate in a show where artists got to reinterpret his characters. How can I resist drawing his cute little characters with arms and legs?!
I have this little obsession with automats and vending machines, and thought his food characters would be really cute in them.
The show runs March 1st to March 16th (opening on March 1st from 4-8pm) at: Monkeyhouse Toys 1618 1/2 Silverlake Blvd Silverlake, CA 90026 Please go check it out if you are in the area!
P.S.-I've owned Dan's book, Krazy Kids' Food! Vintage Food Graphics (by Dan Goodsell and Steve Roden) for a long time. Its a great source of reference and inspiration if you love retro graphics like me!
Can’t stop searching for words in Safire’s Political Dictionary? Neither can I. But I have found another great way to see Safire’s genius in action, the youtube video below and his Daily Show appearance. So plug in your headphones and get ready to expand your political vocabulary.
Last year I experimented by selling my art/prints at craft and art fairs. I personally love going to these events. They're packed with local small business owners (as small as business's can come) who not only create their products but package, transport, sell and market everything about themselves). It's beautiful and it's so traditional. These tiny business's are directly linked to their owners and therefore are fully responsible for the quality of their products (the product is also a "face" and a personality). I adore also (and maybe especially, having grown up on a farm) farmers markets where you can smell sweet freshly baked bread and walk by rows of organic and locally grown potatoes and carrots, beautifully washed and glowing. Necklaces shining in the sun and jars of homemade mustard that make your mouth water as you pass. I don't even mind (some people scoff at such things) older women who sit together, knitting needles clacking as they chat behind rows of perfect mittens and quilts.
Becoming a vendor, however, made me aware of the true work that being a "craft fair" person entails (besides, obviously, creating your products). Fairs are costly: often I rarely earn much of a profit for my business and what little profit is earned is usually spent at the various booths who buddy up with my table (a carton of free range duck eggs here, a pair of fair trade earrings there...). The hours I put into packaging artwork, cards and making sure they don't fly away in the wind has been known to exhaust me. But with that said, fairs can also be addictive. I can't describe how wonderful it is to have real live feedback about your art to an illustrator who usually sits at home (alone) handing in illustrations via the internet. The connections I make and exposure that I gave myself are priceless (plus it gives me the opportunity to educate the public on what illustration is and to quite frankly create whatever the heck I want to try to sell). While the early morning running around (ahhhh... where's my calculator!... geee I forgot to get change again!) and long days hoping for more foot-traffic were nice to escape for a couple months I've decided to do a few more this year, because heck, these fairs and beautiful.
Comic Con International San Diego, Ca July 25-27 I will be at Comic Con San Diego this year, though I will not have a table. I will be wandering around wide eyed (and probably have fairy wings), so if you will be around on Sunday, keep an eye out for me.
Doll and Teddy Expo Washington DC Aug 9-10 Admin: $10 Stop by the OOAK Guild booth 58 to see several of my dolls in person. There will be a large collection of polymer clay artist selling their dolls, it is sure to be a fun time.
I know this is unrelated to writing for children, but there were children in the audience as well as every other age group. And, this was such a great concert I had to write about it.
The concert was at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, CT and is was spectacular. The show opened with both dynamic and powerful singers on stage performing, and without any breaks they sang for two hours straight. At the finale, they took a couple of minutes to change their outfits and came back out in black pants and black tops for another three songs.
The two sang an array of each others' songs and with two of the best singing voices in the business, it was an electrifying experience. Even during their solos, the other singer sang backup on stage. They were both dressed simply in jeans and sleeveless tops. It was truly all about the music.
I went especially to see Reba McEntire and it was my very first Reba concert - the added bonus was that it was with Kelly Clarkson. The two gave 110% and it showed. They make an unstoppable duo.
If they are ever in my neck of the woods again, I will definitely go to see them. I highly recommend their concerts to any and all - you will not be disappointed.
I am a huge Reba fan and now I am a Kelly Clarkson fan also.
Tomorrow is the City of Craft crafts sale and I'm puttering around getting ready. I have things to sort through and find, things to finish up and new things to make. Everything is lined up on my dining table so I can see what I have: shoppers, totes, messenger bags, earrings, necklaces, pincushions, pouches, one hat, one flower brooch, one eyeglass case, trivets, bracelets, bird postcards, and last but not least needle books!
This picture shows some completed needle books. Please visit me tomorrow and don't forget the first 100 people in the door get free swag in a fabulous tote that I'm coveting myself!
City of Craft was amazing! Everyone was raving about how well organized it was and it was so busy. It's so much fun to have lots of people visiting and to walk about myself and chat with fellow crafters. The ceiling was decorating with tons of beautiful tissue snowflake hangings and the whole place looked so busy and full of so many great things! I was so busy managing my table and looking around at everyone else's I didn't think to take any pictures of my display. This is a quick pic taken with only three needle books left and only one deer pincushion.
Some little gift tags, with my Thumbelina illustration and a detail from my Owl and the Pussycat illustration
As usual I bought lots of things that I couldn't resist and there were a few more I barely resisted. I noticed a few things at the beginning that I liked and many of them were gone by the middle of the day. I'll show the things I bought in the next post...
Karen Greenberg is the Executive Director of the Center on Law and Security at New York University School of Law. Her newest book, The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo’s First 100 Days, is a gripping narrative account of the first 100 days at Guantanamo and an analysis of how this time set up patterns of power that would come to dominate the Bush administration’s overall strategy in the “War on Terror.” Below is an excerpt from the very beginning of the book. Be sure to watch tonight when Greenberg appears on The Daily Show.
Two days after Christmas, the decision was announced to the public. Donald Rumsfeld made it official. The new detention operation would be set up at Guantanamo Bay. SOUTHCOM would supervise the activities on the base. The 2nd Force Service Support Group, normally based at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, would run the effort. It would be a joint command, combining the efforts of the various branches of the U.S. military. The name of the joint task force would be JTF 160-the very same label that had been used for the task force during the migrant crisis.
Relying on the patriotism of the forces on the ground and their obedience to the chain of command, Secretary Rumsfeld anointed Guantanamo in defiance not just of warnings from the past, but of military professionalism.
True, the military men and women on the ground, their superiors at SOUTHCOM, the interagency group in Washington, and the Pentagon all seemed to agree with one another. In the shadow of 9/11, they all wanted to do the patriotic thing-which in this case was to help General Franks get rid of the prisoners under his command. But the ready assent was the beginning of a long, slow slide into an untenable and, as it would turn out, extralegal situation that would be more and more difficult to end with each phase of its existence.
But underneath the narrative of agreement lay missteps and warning signs that would come to plague Guantanamo going forward and that were apparent even before the operation was up and running. Chief among these exceptions to the norm had been the subversion of process that had been illustrated in the exclusionary and secretive way in which the Military Order of November 13 had been drafted and turned into policy, a habit that would come to define the Bush administration through its eight years.
This bureaucratic exclusivity would grow in its destructive impact as Guantanamo came into being, but for the moment, there was a more pressing danger, one that lay outside of the usurpation of powers in Washington or the extralegal premises of Guantanamo, and one that was overlooked by those making policy in D.C. This was the danger posed by the fact that the United States military was not quite equipped to handle the mission that was about to be handed them-that of detaining prisoners of war. It wasn’t just that the naval base itself was being asked to perform well above its capacity in terms of resources. It was also a matter of professional expertise. The nation’s military did not have the requisite expertise in prisoner of war detention, as the United States had not had to deal with prisoners of war on its own since World War II.
Nor was it helpful that the military was to conduct the operation on the blueprint of migrant detention operations. The task at hand and the professional skills readily available to the Pentagon did not match up. The plan for the detention effort that JTF 160 was given stood on the books as a migrant crisis operation, a template that ironically had itself struggled with definitional terms when it forbade the use of the term “refugee” for the camp’s residents. Now, in the year 2001, the definition of terms was intentionally obfuscated once again. No matter what words were used, prisoner incarceration was not equivalent to migrant detention. Captives were neither refugees nor migrants; they demanded a whole other kind of treatment and a separate set of policies. This lack of expertise was further hindered by the fact that the job of SOUTHCOM was to deal with the countries and of the Caribbean and Latin America and issues germane to that geographical part of the globe. Thus, its knowledge base was largely irrelevant when it came to Middle Eastern and South Asian culture.
Though Guantanamo may have provided a legal godsend and a logistically manageable environment, deeper realities suggested that trouble lay ahead for the detention facility. It stood not just on historical precedent and legal opportunism but on the unstable ground of secrecy, disregard for professionalism and expertise, and a legal flexibility. The deployed of JTF 160 to Guantanamo was an emergency act, done in lieu of a better option-the least worse choice for the least worst place.
No one understood better the treacherous pragmatic-and moral-implications of sidesteppping established law and policy than the man chosen to command the detention operation there.