Monday, August 11, 2008


Yours truly

I've changed the heading on this blog, now that I no longer have a bookshop. I've also updated my blogger profile and soon I'll have a website for my paintings. Meanwhile, here are a few photos of yours truly. I revisited the two-person exhibit I was half of, last week, a few days before the show came down. My sister Kate took these shots in the gallery. The first two are in the entryway, with our names up in lights, sort of:

When you come in, you look to the far end of the gallery along this thirty-foot wall:

Here's another wall in the gallery, showing more of my work. Of course you can't really see the paintings in detail, but this gives a good feel for the gallery space, at least:

For some detail, here's a close-up of the painting on the announcement I mailed out, The Road to the Meadow, Great Spruce Head Island, Maine:

Overall, the show was a success. Some great folks purchased work. Many more expressed interest, and I've got a few deals in the works. Thus my transition away from the bookshop is sweetened somewhat. Of course I've barely painted at all since June, because of moving, mostly. That, and the fact that I can't clear my head enough to paint when there are piles and boxes and heaps of stuff all over the house. From the bookshop. I'm slowly sorting and unpacking and finding new homes for some things, selling this and that, storing stuff, dealing with the books.

My last carload of things from the shop included all my shop plants (one is a small orange tree in flower, so the car was blossom-scented for a day), old bookshelf-building lumber, the vacuum and cleaning supplies, and a few special items I wanted to be the last things to leave the shop, besides myself: an old framed print of the patron saint of my bookshop, Robert Burns (this hung behind my desk the entire time I was there); a miniature antique printing press named Gaby; the very last book in the place, my desk copy of The Practical Cogitator (the penultimate book to leave the shop was the compact edition of the OED, which presided over my reference shelves); and a tiny slip of paper which I found tucked inside a book, and which resurfaced when I was packing - printed on the paper is a simple little picture of a ship and a shoreline, and the words: "The winds are blowing out to sea. Take up thy life and go." I thought it was fitting.

H.M. Tomlinson update: I took many of his books out of the library. Then spent two weeks moving and sleeping and not much else, so I had to return them all unread but one. Fearing the fines. In my Tomlinson enthusiasm, I forgot that it really is not good for me to have library books out of the library. I begin to consider them mine. I love them too much. I don't take them back when I should. I know this about myself, I don't know why I thought this time would be any different.

A quick aside, about my new blog header. For those who don't recognize the quote, I've slightly modified one of my favorite opening lines in literature. While looking over my first edition of this book, I find the following on the leaf just after the copyright page: Equitare, Arcum tendere, Veritatem dicere, and as I read it I wished for the thousandth time I had paid more attention in my high school Latin class. Well, we can't have it all, can we.

congrats on show...must catch up...chaos reigns supreme...
Ian, darling - thanks, I know what you mean - on this end, the quiet life isn't so quiet much of the time. Can't complain, though, too many good things in the works.
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