Over the span of three days, I painted a mural of Vermont bird species on the wall of the wood-fired pizza oven in the soon-to-open Woodbelly restaurant in Montpelier, Vermont. The process was thrilling, from the initial stages of sketching and planning to the finishing touches of brushwork on the wall. I wanted to keep the color palette simple, three colors at the most, so I selected birds whose plumage naturally display black, red, and yellow. This triple color combination actually generated a long list of birds, so I narrowed it down to the loon, red-winged blackbird, saw-whet owl, yellow warbler, crossbill, cedar waxwing, cardinal, crow, pileated woodpecker, and chickadee. And, on the last day, I painted a few quirky robots in the corner to decorate the electric panel. I can’t wait for the restaurant to open to sit at the bar with a pizza and a beer and see my mural as the backdrop to culinary action.
I wrote and illustrated two new graphic book reviews of recently published collections of poetry, and the reviews have been published by the Green Mountains Review. The books are “To Make Room for the Sea” Adam Clay, read it here, and “Soft Targets” by Deborah Landau, read it here. Thank you to the Green Mountains Review for publishing this series of mine, and thank you to the authors of these books for giving me fodder for creative response. Here are excerpted panels of the Adam Clay review,
And here are excerpted panels of the Deborah Landau review,
Oaxaca is one of my favorite cities—what a robust art culture, both traditional and contemporary. I spent hours in museums: the contemporary art museum, the contemporary painting museum, the textile museum, and Francisco Toledo’s restored art center in San Augustin in Etla, called C.A.S.A., where they make handmade paper with natural dyes, and pottery, printmaking, you name it. I filled an entire notebook of paintings of trees, flowers, foods, people, sculptures; here is a small handful of paintings from this recent trip.
Sometimes I’m too productive for my own good—I lose track of art and writing pieces as I start new projects, and I’m grateful that my old computer hasn’t kicked the bucket (yet), for I often rediscover artwork that I forget even having created. Here’s a painting of mushrooms that I made to compliment and article I wrote for Vice magazine’s food imprint, “Munchies,” many years ago, although I’ll admit that they didn’t choose to include the illustration, and they gave my essay a new title which I’m not as fond of (so goes the editorial process!): This Man Believes Mushrooms Can Solve Virtually All of Humanity’s Problems
I’m thrilled to announce that a new collaboration has been released into the world of hybrid art and literature—poetry and paintings, the former by the lovely and talented GennaRose Nethercott, and the latter by yours truly.
GennaRose is the author of the highly acclaimed and stunning book of poems, The Lumberjack’s Dove, which was published by HarperCollins, and was selected by Louise Gluck for the National Poetry Series in 2018. A hearty cheers for all of this, but more importantly for me, GennaRose is a delightful, enthusiastic presence in Vermont, where I have crossed paths with her in literary and artistic circles over the past decade. We finally came together to collaborate on this exchange of art and poetry, for the series published by 7×7.la, who describe their project this way:
“Launched in 2015 to facilitate a new kind of interdisciplinary collaboration, each 7×7 invites one visual artist and one writer to engage in a two-week creative conversation. The format, inspired by Surrealist games of the early 20th century, challenges participants to improvise, in their respective disciplines, a spontaneous story that pushes into ever-wilder imaginative terrain. Every finished 7×7 is singular, unclassifiable, and wholly original.”
I loved this process, and the results are pretty dandy.
Green Mountains Review just published my graphic review of Taneum Bambrick’s new book of poems, Vantage. Read my review, and then read her book:
How delightful! The writer and editor Cammie Finch recently interviewed me about my recent book for the Michigan Quarterly Review. You can find and read the interview, titled “Resurrecting Walter Benjamin’s Archival Spirit”, via the link below.
Also, follow Cammie Finch, she’s a bright beam of intelligent light.