Well, almost exactly five years and four months to the day from when it opened (yes, I am a little embarrassed about this), my husband and I finally decided to take a stroll on the High Line. It was a perfect early fall morning in NYC: wind blowing, sun shining, thickets of tourists wandering about, and the din of jackhammers and excavation trucks filling the air. The High Line is truly a marvel of architecture, vision and extraordinary landscaping. And yet, I am left feeling that it is a part of a city to which I no longer belong. I know there are a lot of voices on this matter of change, and loss of what was, and I don’t wish to delve into that conversation right now. However, let it be said that, while I don’t necessarily begrudge New York for what she has become, I don’t recognize her any more. In all of the ruminations, I did manage to catch this little snippet of ivy…undulating in the storm.
Medium? Large? Or Jumbo? Ever wonder how, in the pre-mega-industrial age of farming, they graded eggs? Well, the Acme Egg Grading Scale is the answer. Friends of mine have one, and, for the past three or so years, I have seriously thought about swiping it. No need. This year, for my birthday, my friend Craig sent me my very own egg grader!!! Best present ever, if you aren’t counting the vintage apple peeler that arrived in the same package. Anyway, fast forward to a hot summer weekend. Some other friends of ours were visiting us upstate. Over cocktails and dinner preparations, they decided to start grading our eggs. Here is the end result. Lovely type treatment…don’t you think? Keep in mind that just because an egg looks large, it may not rate as highly as a smaller egg of denser proportion.
For some it’s shoes. For others it’s bags. While I have an affinity for both, my real weakness is the label. Plain and simple. Always has been. Always will be. See here. My friend Craig gave me this roll that she found in her parents’ home. She knows me well. And yes, Craig is a woman.
If Werner Herzog‘s rhythmic phrasing and distinctive lilt aren’t enough to get you to see this movie, than maybe the story is: it’s a sparse portrait of three men — though mainly of Gennady Soloviev, who wins my heart — making a life for themselves and their families in the Siberian Taiga. A large portion of the year is spent completely alone (except for the company of their dogs) in the wilderness, maintaining their huts and trapping sable. The movie was marshaled out of Dmitry Vasyukov’s four hour documentary originally made for Russian television. In a reversal for Herzog, the main characters are self-possessed, and at one with nature, instead of being on the edge of insanity and at war with the elements. Whatever you may feel about the killing of animals (note, there is no gore depicted), I cannot recommend this film enough. It is a mesmerizing snapshot of a people who are largely self-reliant and almost completely off the grid. Pay especially close attention to the woodworking!
Oh, and if you are looking for a related “truth is stranger than fiction” read, go here.
This is one of the very few things that I kept from my mother’s house. Most of the photos I have posted from there are just that, photos. This little gouache is one of the exceptions. If ever there were an argument for doing a rendering by hand, this would be it.
Been taking a leisurely stroll through one of my favorite blogs, Present & Correct. If you decide to pay them a visit (and I think you won’t regret it if you do), you’ll find an expertly textured curation of great visuals…new, old and somewhere in between. Case in point, these handwriting analysis charts. What does your penmanship say about YOU? If you think about it, this chart is nearing obsolescence.
Oh, and don’t forget to visit their shop.
I assume that these studies in perspective, drawn by my stepfather, were from his freshman or sophomore year at art school during the early 1930s. My assumption is based on my own first year in art school. I did many of these same types of drawings for a class called “Drawing Perception.” The only difference being that our professor had us using a No. 2 pencil on a kind of drawing vellum, and erasers were absolutely verboten. Even, in some cases, grounds for failure. The pieces here are yet another part of the analog trove of work found at my mother’s house. Note his very stylized signature.