Tuesday, December 27, 2005

travel blog

Thinking we might not score another hotwired hotel for a while, I uploaded photos of the trip so far to a new blog: stonepoem. Not enough time for commentary.

Monday, December 26, 2005


Here begins the start of a mon- umental trip. Karl and I flew to Vegas and are driving back home over two weeks. So far internet access has been sketchy, so blogging won't be so easy as I thought.

As well as camera, laptop, credit card, and 14 days of underwear, I've also brought 21 small stones lettered with French and Latin sayings that I'm dropping across the country as we go, something I used to do with great pleasure in art school. We've made it to the Grand Canyon where I'm working on a spot for #3.

Photo: the first stone, AB OVO, in front of the Golden Nugget on Christmas day where it was discreetly deposited. And my new Cirque du Soleil shirt which I'm very taken with. Another blog to come for these.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

fortune cookie #2

Advice to self, as I spend the night packing for a 2 week drive cross country: calm the hell down.

I've been terribly negligent for months. I've been maniacally chasing after new experiences like a hound for a fox, while not looking around on the way-- something I know very well not to do. It's been a fantastic year, I've done tremendous things, met wonderful people, and let many moments of profundity and mystery and love pass by without noticing them until after they were gone. I stopped looking and listening and missed the grandness in small gestures, the significance in silent pauses.

I'm not ready for this trip. I am filled with anxiety as we send our animals away with friends, as I try to squeeze shampoo into a travel bottle, as I agonize over a package I forgot to mail. But once we're out there I'll look for a new pace to cure this problem.

An eloquently thoughtful gift, torn in a rush, but now carefully taped back together: "You will always be surrounded by true friends."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I used a little free time between book signings and a holiday trip west to go to Vermont this weekend. Every time I reach the southern border on I-91 where the hills that are unlike hills anywhere else begin, I remember believing that I could never live away from this state. Yet it's 10 years since I moved to Connecticut.

My mom and I spent an afternoon driving north from Putney to Bellows Falls and Weston. It was beautiful weather, a bright sky of fast moving clouds reflected on the snow and made me think about paint the way I used to all the time when I lived here. Connecticut has its own beauty, but there is something specific about the soft angles of Vermont landscapes that stirs me.

We spent the evening going through old little boxes of things belonging to my father, who I've had much cause to think of lately. I didn't know him well other than what I've been told, that he was an artist, he loved skiing and planes, and was an extremely gentle person.

I found many small clues to the details of his life; his Air Force ring, a carved pipe, pilot's license, foreign coins, appointment cards for radiation treatment, and pictures of my mother and me. Photo: the back of an emroidered jacket he commissioned to commemorate his time with the Air Force which I'm finally beginning to understand.

Friday, December 02, 2005

hallelujah! hallelujah!

Today I went to NYC to drop off the last few pieces of a picture book I've been working on for a long time, What Could Be Better Than This.

I hand deliver as much of my work as I can now since FedEx lost my last book, and that adds to the stress of a job. Not just the cost of trains and taxis and a good full day of time, but I also can't bear having an editor open up a package of my work in front of me. I always try to pass as a messenger, drop the package and run before I'm caught. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

I've got a ritual of listening to Handle's Hallelujah Chorus as soon as the last art from a book leaves my hand. The moment I left Penguin Putnam's 345 Hudson Street building today I got out my iPod, ran ecstatically back to the subway and celebrated my victory on the wrong train.

Here I am in one of my less attractive moments. This is what illustrating a 32 page picture book does to me. I need a vacation.