what is it about writing? … a leap across a gap?

I was updating my links and found this incredible post from Jonathan Harris – August 21, 2010.  “What is it about writing?”   Worth reading all the way through.

This post was part of his Today project, where he posted a photograph and usually a story a day, starting when he turned thirty. He kept it up for longer than a year … here’s a film about the project:

His work is an interesting mix – the word innovative doesn’t quite cover what is neat about what he does. Wish there were more web artists like him – or maybe I just haven’t found them yet.  Too many web artists are caught up in the newness of the medium … I don’t think we’ve seen what this is going to become yet.

Jonathan Harris website


art moment: comic book artist Eddie Campbell

elephant man at night, From Hell

I’m doing a presentation for my Reading Comics class on From Hell – a book written by Alan Moore, illustrated by Eddie Campbell. It’s a graphic novel retelling of the Jack the Ripper story. My cohort is a fiction writer and wanted to present on Moore’s work so my part of the assignment is to research and talk about Eddie Campbell and his work.

I got the good end of this arrangement. Campbell is a very cool comic book artist – originally Scottish, but now lives in Australia – and I like his independent work much better than From Hell … at least what I can find piecemeal published along with interviews. He’s published too many to list here. Three I’d like to track down are Bacchus, The Fate of the Artist, and The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard.

an interview with Campbell
a 30-min video presentation on BookSlut

Even better … he blogs, regularly … here’s the link:
Eddie Campbell’s blog

friday art: Richard Carlyon

The Richard Carlyon retrospective exhibition opens tonight. Four venues around Richmond are celebrating an amazing teacher and artist. D (my artist/teacher husband) studied with him. I wish I’d had that privilege.

What amazes me about Carlyon was how steady / stable his artist life was. It’s what I aspire to. He taught. He worked in his studio every day … walked to it from his house. For fifty years he taught artists and he made art. To paraphrase Julia Cameron, he kept the drama on the canvas.

Here are links to the four galleries participating in the retrospective.
The Anderson Gallery at VCU
His recreated studio is part of this exhibit.

The Reynolds Gallery
Early / late work & Eleanor

The Visual Arts Center of Richmond
This site has links to the other galleries, plus a podcast and a link to Style Weekly article about his life.

1708 Gallery
Interval – re: his interest in the “in-between” spaces

cool stuff from my comics seminar

This week we’re reading Alias the Cat by Kim Deitch … what an interesting, cool graphic book. Deitch is a well-known underground comics artist who definitely writes for adults. He’s apparently influenced by 1920s / 1930s pop culture including animated cartoons, so our instructor told us to look for some of these old cartoons on YouTube.

Here’s one from the 1930’s, described as “another weird and surreal Waffles and Don cartoon …”


been bookmaking, not blogging

Took a week off blogging and farm life interviews to take an intensive bookmaking course at VCU. And I finally made it to the National Gallery of Art to see the illuminated manuscripts. The pigments, especially the blues and the gold leaf, really need to be seen to appreciate their vivid materiality. Reproductions, in this case, don’t capture the beauty, the aura of the object. Sometime in the next few months I’m going to try a hand at my own Book of Hours.

This is a Jenny Saville piece from a fantastic special exhibition at the Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle … Paint Made Flesh. It’s worth a special trip to DC. It’ll be up through September 13.

art as experience

One of my graduate teaching assignments this semester was working as a writing coach with seniors in the sculpture department, helping them with artist statements. One of the coolest things about this GTA was that I got to see so much great work and hear about their artistic practices. Wish I could do this sort of work full-time!

Art’s not just about making a thing (although it can be) … sometimes it’s about documenting an experience – or creating an experience for the audience. Made me think about what we do in the MATX program – about ideas and diversity and cross-pollination.

I’m thinking about this because I stumbled across a radio piece on Studio 360, about the artist Josh Greene whose work is experiential. Art as life as art.


In this particular piece unlicensed therapy he does pretty much what he says – he creates a therapist’s “office” and takes “clients.” In this project he listens, in real time and real space, to his “clients” (one at a time) for a sustained period of time, just like a licensed therapist does. Gives them his attention and support. What interests me is that despite the multiple communication spaces we use daily – communicating through email and facebook and twitter with multiple people all day long – wonder how many of us are starved for one other person’s undivided attention – in real time and physical space?