Flowers, Fruits and Frames…


 

                                      New York artist Bob Kulicke always said he didn’t want to be the biggest collector of his own work. Whether as a direct result of this attitude or not, he painted the most refined, nuanced, exquisite pictures, kept the prices tantalizingly low and sold at least 95% of everything he painted. An absurdly generous man, he gave most of the rest away. He was in no danger of becoming his own biggest collector. Owning a painting … Continue reading Flowers, Fruits and Frames…

Embracing Constraints


 

Is graphic design art? The debate, for me, started in art school and now lives on in the offices of Journey Group, the creative agency where I work. Although there are convincing arguments for both sides, the argument for me revolves around the idea of constraints. As design director at Journey Group, I have had the good fortune of designing a wide variety of projects for many clients — websites for international relief agencies, wine bottle labels for wineries, books for the U.S. Postal Service. One reason I love design is that, unlike art, constraints … Continue reading Embracing Constraints

Earth, Sky and Sea…


 

Artist Gray S. Dodson, Tidewater born and bred, moved to the meadows and mountains of Nelson County in 1995. Dodson’s wide array of “en plein air” oil paintings now reflect her Virginia journey as well as scenes painted onsite throughout the U.S., Canada, Curacao, France, Italy and Mexico. Fifteen of her works illustrate SUNDAY DRIVES, Cruising the Back Road of Amherst and Nelson Counties by Margaret Myers and Ann Rucker. “Nature captured me from the moment I stood before it with easel and paints and wondered how in the world I could do it justice,” … Continue reading Earth, Sky and Sea…

Insomnia Meets Cartoons


 

What about doing it, if not on the beach, then in bed? Reading that is—it seems nowadays the only time I find to read is when I stumble (an exaggeration, but not by much) up the narrow backstairs to my bedroom. Less than two feet away from my bed, several shelves line a brick wall. At three a.m. I grab a magazine from the stacks and stacks of New Yorkers. Why can’t I throw a New Yorker away? Am I deluding myself into thinking I’m going to read them sometime? But I do read them, … Continue reading Insomnia Meets Cartoons

Dear Johnny… by Margaret Thacker


 

I read your obituary in the paper today. It said you were 49 years old when you died. You left to mourn a wife, three children, one grandchild, a sister, and foster parents who steered you in the right direction. You worked for a construction company and were a volunteer fireman. It had been so long since I’d seen you. I was nine and you were ten. You came to school mid-year, after everyone had been assigned a desk and knew their place on the bus. I was in third grade and you were in … Continue reading Dear Johnny… by Margaret Thacker

Un-beach Books


 

I’ve always been irked by those lists of “beach reads” that turn up online and in magazines every summer.  In the first place, it’s difficult to actually enjoy the experience of reading while on a beach.   You get put off by the glare, the blowing sand, your children who stand around and drip on you.  The only time I really took pleasure in reading at the beach, it was a subversive pleasure.  I lived in a seaside town where the public library was ruled over by one of those martinets who is drawn to the profession … Continue reading Un-beach Books