Call them festivals, retreats, or extended workshops. They all have many things in common: the well known faces, the intensive sessions, the performances, the camaraderie. As Chaucer noted so long ago, folk like to go on pilrimage and we don’t seem to have discarded the idea. All this comes to mind for me right now because it’s time to sign up the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, the one actual writing workshop I’ve ever been to. I won’t be going this year, but I wish I could. Sigh. The Palm Beach Poetry Festival, besides being representative … Continue reading Are You Going This Year?
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 of his routinely led buyers to become obsessed with owning more, and many of his collectors owned 20, 30 … Continue reading Flowers, Fruits and Frames: Art of Bob Kulicke
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
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 by Gray Dodson
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
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
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
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying. I suspect the above is familiar to most readers, even though it was written mid-seventeenth century and so much from that period would seem totally closed to us, or at least, unfamiliar. It’s from a poem called, “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” by the Cavalier poet and clergyman Robert Herrick. It was a big hit at the time and it seems to have stood the test of time. … Continue reading Whaddya Mean Rosebuds?
Our guest blogger this week is Miles Fowler, who lives in Charlottesville. In this blog he talks about the Shakespeare Controversy and a part played in it by one of his own relatives: At the same time my mother told me about the Shakespeare authorship controversy, she told me one of our relatives was an anti-Stratfordian, someone who believes that William Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon (1564-1616) was not the true author of the plays and poems attributed to him. Later I got to know that relative as “Uncle William.” William Plumer Fowler (1900-1993) was an attorney, … Continue reading Uncle William and the Bard
I’ve been reading some of Ruth Rendell’s work lately. That sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it? Just picked up a couple of her latest, enjoyed the experience, had a nice day, eh? The fact is I have, over the past couple weeks read every single one of the Inspector Wexford series that the Charlottesville Public Library could provide for me. The whole series comprises twenty-five books, but that would be expecting too much. I did find some twenty (or rather, they were found for me), going back to From Doon With Death, 1964, and ending with … Continue reading No Spoilers Here