Quite a week. I caught the last hour of Breakfast at Tiffanie's last night (the only way I can tie in the pictures above with anything I might have to say; other than that she is a wonder). And spent four hours today setting type - disastrous - and printing - almost more disastrous - and enjoyed the experience tremendously. About a million and one things seemed to go wrong, but when you're working with your hands, the whole process, even the mishaps, are somehow satisfying. A possible book plate project is in the works, and sun sun sun! did you notice? its spectacular. Sounds of today here, and if you are in town tomorrow, go see this.
Ta ta


"Art for me is a form of nourishment. I need the land. I need it"
- Andy Goldsworthy

I'd forgotten about this British sculptor and his earthfilled, weighty work. A documentary about him, "Rivers and Tides", is coming to Portland next weekend at the 5th avenue cinema...if you aren't around, its on youtube here. Watch it; you sense with him the same connection to his material that fine woodworkers and tradesmen have. He knows the land. And his art, although truly unique in its material and often temporary state, shares a likeness to Rothko in my mind: an almost shockingly pertinent exploration of color, form and texture. Rothko always asserted that through work such as this one can experience the Divine, and reducing it to color theory is missing the point completely. Goldsworthy's work is simple, almost primitive. Primitive like our own longing as children play in the mud, primitive like Seamus Heaney's fascination with wells:

As a child, they could not keep me from wells
And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.

One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
So deep you saw no reflection in it.

A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
Fructified like any aquarium.
When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
A white face hovered over the bottom.

Others had echoes, gave back your own call
With a clean new music in it. And one
Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.

Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

If such primitive instinct is in us for connection, for pattern and color and form, it can only be part of Something real, that nourishes, that breathes into us. Just as Rothko's work is not just color, and Heaney's not just words, so is Goldsworthy's not just earth or environmentalism. Its deeper far than that and has the power to set a whole human, heart and perception and sensation, echoing.


Again and again, however we know the landscape of love
and the little churchyard there, with its sorrowing names,
and the frighteningly silent abyss into which the others
fall: again and again the two of us walk out together
under the ancient trees, lie down again and again
among the flowers, face to face with the sky.
- R. M. Rilke


A single event can awaken within us a stranger
totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I've been immersing myself in the world of bookplates recently as part of a letterpress project. From Tarkington to Clarke Gable, each one is a little piece of personality in its own right. Apparently Kipling was in the business of designing ones for his friends, too. For more, go here.


From a trip to the puget sound, just newly developed. I'd give anything now for an expanse of water - space to breath. Listen to this and have a restful weekend.

pics by yours truly: full set here


"There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say "It is yet more difficult than you thought." This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings." - Wendell Berry

Art Hisory, rain, new jeans and oh so tired! Above is Jeremiah in the Romanesque fashion, so whimsically sweet next to his lions.



Find the shortest, simplest way between earth, hands and the mouth.
- Lanza del Vasto

In a 100-year-old factory in Williamsburg, NY, Rick and Michael Mast handcraft each chocolate batch from scratch, from grinding their own cocoa beans to wrapping each bar in their signature packaging. " The Mast Brothers Chocolate Factory is New York City's only bean to bar chocolate factory. There is a dedication to purity and an intensity of flavor in their chocolate which is very unusual." - The Selby

I feel that it must be greatly fulfilling to have one place, one pursuit, both simple; and to dedicate everything to them, thereby giving each action dignity. The most infinite artistry can be found the most simple. Leonardo da Vinci said something along that line, I believe. But it puts me in mind of Wendell Berry: “I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods.”
Pictures from The Selby


"The writer should never be afraid of staring.
There is nothing that does not require his attention"
- Flannery O'Connor


“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
- Leonardo da Vinci

Sounds of today: here
At my fingertips: typewriters (my new love), ink, letterpress, and too much art history.
Projects: this just finished. and designs inspired by this to be dreamed up soon.
For fun: valentine's day is in two weeks: send love on the net with these.
above: Mastroianni
, Pollock, Dylan and Steinbeck. My four muses this week. (from the impossible cool)