Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Distance of the Moon is a Google Doodle

google doodle for October 15, 2011 This was the Google doodle for Italy on October 15th, 2011, the 88th birthday of Italo Calvino. The image illustrates "The Distance of the Moon," the first story in Cosmicomics. This is my all time favorite book and story. It's beautiful, poetic and full of imagination.

artist's book made of brass, copper, formica, illustrating Italo Calvino's story The Distance of the Moon
I was so inspired by the story I made an artist's book to illustrate it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Spectacles for Viewing Christmas on Mars for My Mom

Spectacles for Viewing Christmas on Mars. ©2011 Life size paper Christmas card spectacles. This pair was printed on Epson's double sided Premium Presentation Paper. The slip case is red cardstock. The pattern is a free download here. On the same page there is also a plain pair (no collage) that you could decorate yourself or use as a pattern to design your own. Merry Christmas, really early! Spectacles for a Fish Goddess ©1993, 3 x 6-1/2 x 6-1/4 inches, Brass, copper, sterling silver, 14 karat & 18 karat gold, shell, coral beads.

For years I have fantasized about making some paper spectacles. I made a whole series of spectacles years ago in metal, plastic and found materials. More recently I thought they could be done in paper - fun, fast and much easier. I thought the simple ones could become another free download to add to my web site. I have a part of a maquette on my work table for a simple pair that has been chewed on by cats.

But I haven't made them, until now. The tipping point was my mom. She asked for some homemade Christmas cards. She is 88 and has some dementia. Mom often says to me "you know what I would love? Some handmade Christmas cards!" Or "A handmade birthday card would be so nice." Is she thinking I'm 10 and bored? In my 30's and broke? I'm not sure. But it's fun, and she's so sweet and upbeat, which is remarkable given how much her life has changed in the last few years. When I think of my sources of inspiration I don't consider my mom. I should. She has been there cheering me on all of my life. What a gift.

Christmas on mars, ©1988, 3-1/2 x 7-1/4 x 1/2 inches (open). Cover: brass, fabricated. Pages: collaged watercolor paper. I wonder where people go when they die? What do they do for Christmas?

The two pairs of paper spectacles I just made are based on a little book I made years ago, Christmas on Mars. I don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, but I'm also not crazy about using "Seasons Greetings" on cards. It sounds like a generic, all-purpose solution. But I do like the stamp, it was the best of the batch I had in terms of color and orientation.

Now I have to get back to the cover for my Spirits Under Glass book. After I make 20 more cards.