Song of Myself, on a barge in Red Hook

Saturday evening there was a fundraising event on the historic museum barge in Red Hook; the reading of every last canto of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, as read by a number of local luminaries. It began before and ended just after sunset over Brooklyn’s Buttermilk Channel and Erie Basin, the once-Dutch, fierce little neighborhood called Red Hook.

I’ve long had emotional ties to ol’ Walt on account of my father having been a fan; he passed it on to me. So when I read him in high school (the same all girls Catholic school with fierce teachers that managed to get A Handmaid’s Tale on our reading list), I was all in.

Walt Whitman reading on Red Hook barge
Interior of the barge from where I stood
Walt Whitman reading on Red Hook barge
My dear friend, Tara Lynne, reading Canto 23
Walt Whitman reading on Red Hook barge
The program
The drawing as it looked when we left, in pencil.
Walt Whitman reading on Red Hook barge
The plants in boots nearby the gangway

A pleasant surprise (in addition to some celebrity personages) was that one of my classmates from aforementioned high school was among the readers. I ought to’ve stayed to say hello, but it was crowded and felt like it may have been complicated after so long. Her name is Alison Smith; I read her book Name All the Animals a few of years back. It was really well written; poignant and heartbreaking. It was the first time I’d seen her since high school, and brought some memories to mind.

Proceeds went to the ACLU, PEN America, NEA, Sunny’s Bar (Red Hook), and to the Waterfront Museum (the host of the event). It was a fine reward after a seven mile wander, followed by a feast at Ice House.

Indoors, outdoors, and the wrong number


Some sketches from last weekend. For some reason last week I kept using the number 4 instead of 5 on the dates of things, despite it being May.

Below is a pencil drawing I did in a backyard (the words are from an earlier day, unrelated to the sketch). I;d like to bring a pencil more often. It was nice to go slow; not have to commit to every line. I initially intended to paint it as well, but it was getting late by the time I finished drawing. 

The Comme des Garçons show at the Met

Comme des Garçons show at the Met
Some friends and I took a trip into the Big Town on Monday to check out a couple exhibits at the Met. One was the Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons exhibit of works spanning some decades. The gallery space was designed specially for this, a collaboration between the artist and the Met, and the whole experience was stunning and ethereal, and sometimes creepy (in a great way). We really enjoyed it, and I wish it had been less crowded even, so I may have spent more time sketching.

We also looked at the Irving Penn retrospective, also pretty damn wonderful and inspiring. Below are some photos from the first exhibit. Enjoy!
Comme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the Met

Sunset Swing beer can labels

Here’s a first for me: Beer can label design for the Sunset Swing annual gala, held by one of my clients (Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corp.). Five Boroughs Brewing Co. created a brew just for the upcoming event, and this is the proof for the finished labels. So fun!

Below are some photos of the can and the ad journal from the event last evening. They were printed with printed a metallic gold for the lettering and windows, which looks fantastic.

The flapper!


Here is a glimpse at number three in the ongoing series of illustrations for a book. Finger waves on a flapper.

Luck is a residual of preparation: visiting artist talk


Monica Forsythe wrote an an article on Medium regarding my visiting artist talk for UMBC at the Spark Gallery during the Light City Festival in Baltimore. I’m honored and gratified to have made such an impression. It was a curious and enlightening endeavor. The preparation for the talk took me backwards through time, and reminded me where I came from. In college I was, oddly, a technophobe about computers— I was all about physical media.

In recent years, conversely, I’ve found the opposite to be true. The blank page or canvas can hold a terror it never did when I was younger; a result of reliance upon ‘save as’ and ‘undo.’ Yet I’ve never given up on the analog. I found ways to incorporate the flexibility of digital into my analog works. Scan, scan, scan; add, edit, layer.

The preparation for this talk had me go through years of process; recalling how I got from one place to the next. It was a revelation of remembrance; a kind of rejuvenation. It also reinforced how quickly things tend to change (the thesis for my whole talk)— how that’s more true than ever.

Thank you, Monica! I’ll be reading more Between the Frames in future, and keeping an eye out for your work.

Below: some selects from the presentation, for fun.
Title slide for ELizabeth Daggar visiting artist talk at Light City for UMBC

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