7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #40: Featuring Gabriela Böhm

h1 December 9th, 2007 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: Today, we’re happy to feature art work from German blogger and painter Gabriela Böhm, whose blog, Kampfhorn (“wee but powerful”), caught my eye a few weeks ago. And when it did, I saw this illustration we’re featuring here, and I fell in love with it (here’s the post where I initially saw the illustration, entitled “Gratitude is a force”). And then I saw posts like this (oh yes! Rilke) and this, the Goddess of Illustration. I love it. So, I asked her if we could feature some of her paintings here. For the record, Gabriela, who goes by Ella, is not an illustrator of children’s books (though don’t you think she should try her hand at it one day?), and I know that’s who we usually feature here. But her paintings were too good to pass up. Here’s a little bit about Ella, which she shared with us:

“Three facts about me and my art:

  • Because I love photography, you will sometimes find photographic effects in my drawings or paintings such as vignetting, fisheye perspective and grading. (Short) animation and movies are also a huge influence.
  • Experimenting with different textures (e.g. Nepalese paper) — either to paint on or to use as part of an image — is also something I am excited about.
  • Animals fascinate me and often find their way into my work.

(Why is it so hard to talk about what you do?!?)” 😉

You can also read more about her here at her blog’s “About” page (she’s a fighting squirrel, but you’ll have to go read to find out what that means). We thank her for letting us feature “Gratitude is a force,” and she also sent us a new illustration, “Trick or Treat,” which would have been perfect for Halloween (but is just as perfect now, too). Just look at that!

Isn’t that fabulous? I love that perspective, as if we’ve just stumbled upon that spooky cat. Or is he friendly? Or both? I dunno, but I’m glad she shared with us, even though she finds it hard to talk about her work. In my humble opinion, I think she’s a painter going places, and if she illustrated a children’s book, I’d be first in line. Thanks, Ella!

* * *

By way of explanation for any new folks (who we hope will leave their lists), our weekly 7 Kicks list is the meeting ground for listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week (whether book-related or not) that happened to you.

*******Jules’ kicks*******

1). I’ve actually been under the weather all dang week (it’s starting to get on my nerves; I’ve got stuff to do, germs. Go away), but I am feeling a bit better as I type this, which is Saturday night . . . and just in time for kick #1: My husband and I have a date tomorrow to see “The Golden Compass.” Oh yes! Pumping my arms in the air!

2). I won a small print of a Robert’s Snow mouse — and signed by Grace Lin — from Elaine Magliaro’s Blogging for a Cure contest. I tried to get her to give it to a participating blogger, but she wouldn’t let me. And I’m glad she did. I got it this week, and it’s lovely and wonderful to have. Thanks to Elaine and Grace!

3). This holiday essay by David Sedaris, which Adrienne posted this week. O. MY. GOD. So funny. Thank you, Adrienne.

4). A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohmann. I blabbed about it here yesterday (it will be released in early, early January — the 8th, I believe it is).

5). Candice Ransom sent me a beautiful, hand-made card with a wonderful Margaret Wise Brown snow poem in it.

6). Ella’s art work this week. I know this sounds perhaps a bit too earnest or whatever, but going out of my way to show my gratitude when gratitude is called for in life is important to me and is something I’m trying to pass on to my daughters, so I particularly love that first painting Ella shared with us this week.

7). I’ve been listening to “Raising Sand” lately (the new CD from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss), and on it is the cover of a new Sam Phillips song called “Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us.” Which is beautiful. Which is not a surprise, ’cause Sam wrote it. Anyway, so I finally got around to looking at some YouTube footage of Sister Rosetta Tharpe singing and wailin’ on her guitar. Awesome. Here’s the song that, quite obviously, inspired Sam to write her gorgeous song, seeing as how Sam’s lyrics include “Strange things are happening everyday/ I hear the music up above my head/ Though the sight of my heart has left me again/ I hear music up above.” I believe this is circa early-’60s, but don’t quote me on that. You’ve got to see her burn up that guitar in the middle portion of this performance.

Eisha couldn’t make her kicks in time. I hope it’s ’cause she was out, having fun. I’m sure she’ll add hers later. What about you? What are your kicks?

18 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #40: Featuring Gabriela Böhm”

  1. Would you tell off the germs for me, too, Jules? Coughing so much you can’t sleep is no fun.

    Kickiness: ooh, what a lovely painting, and I love the title. But you know what else? I went to her site and found her photoblog. Did you see it? OMG, the picture of the Black Forest! Even the trash after a soccer match is gorgeous. And I love the ones of shattered windows and other textures that she and her fellow geek-tographer have enhanced in fascinating ways.

    More kickiness: lunch with fellow blogger Jama, from Alphabet Soup (she brought me cookie bars!); I finished a major round of revisions; I was featured as the “Blogging Writer” in The Edge of the Forest; my Grace Lin mouse print arrived from Elaine, just like yours (I need mice to help with MY present making) and I won a copy of My Louisiana Sky. Oh, and my son casually mentioned he had a game review in the school newspaper. His first byline!

  2. You too, Sara? I’m so sorry. Yeah, I’ve been coughing, too, and it takes me entirely too long to get to sleep.

    Thanks for the reminder about Ella’s photoblog, Sara. I meant to look at it last night and forgot. I just went and looked. Wow. I love, in particular, those Black Forest images and the kite one. But they’re all good.

    What good kicks, Sara. I’m glad you got major revisions done. Do you all still have snow?

  3. “Graditude is a force”. Love that and love the art work. Will check out the photoblog.
    Jules and Sara, how hope the germs run far away from you. That said, they cannot visit the west coast.
    My kicks for the week:
    1. Grateful to not live where all the flooding took place in the northwest this week.
    2. Found a $10 tree at the Christmas tree farm which saved us $$ by not cutting down a tree. We go for the table tops any more. They would have been the same price as a full size tree.
    3. I posted orginal student poems for Friday Poetry. I have some ideas for some new postings(the well has been dry or too focused on technical writing).
    4. Going to a district workshop on literacy and interactive reading this week. Given validation that the library is part of literacy, (this is a looong story in the area of politics in our district.)
    5. Unsolicited boxes of books arriving on my doorstep in hopes that I will review. I will donate some to the “Books of Love” campaign.
    6, Hearing Chuck talk about his fun watching taking care of his granddaughter.
    7. Netflix! We just started a subscription and are loving it.
    Have a great week.

  4. Jules,

    I guess we’ve all been fighting some December bug. The month started off in a bad way for me. I had to put my cat Suzie to sleep a week ago Saturday. Suzie was so sweet and affectionate and often sat curled at my side as I read or wrote. She was a great stress-reliever for me. I got word on Wednesday that the eldest child of one of my closest friends lost her battle with cancer. Her daughter was the second of four children who have passed away. I haven’t felt much like blogging lately.

    On the good kick side, I won three snowflakes in auction 2 of Robert’s Snow. I was hoping to win a couple in auction 3–and then I started bidding like a crazy lady on Friday. I guess I was thinking about all my friends and relatives who were diganosed with cancer or died of the disease in the past year. I was so sure I would be outbid on a few of the snowflakes near the close of the auction–but I wasn’t! I bet you’d probably like to know how many I won in the final auction, wouldn’t you? SEVEN!!! I’m so excited. I’ll also be a lot poorer after I pay my credit card bill in January. I decided yesterday that I’m not going to open the snowflake packages when they arrive. I’m going to let my daughetr open them all on Christmas Eve and tell her to pick the one(s) she would like for herself.

    Another great kick was seeing some of the Blue Rose girls, Robert’s Snow artists, and friends of Grace at a Robert’s Snow party on Friday. Blue Rose Girls Alvina Ling, Libby Koponen, and Anna Alter were there–so were Alissa Imre Geis, Rebecca Doughty, Marion Eldridge, and some other illustrators I didn’t have the opportunity to meet.

    Another kick: Today two of my nieces, my mother, and my sister are coming to my house to help me and my daughter make pierogi for our traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner. Next Sunday, we’ll get together again to make some more. Making the pierogi at my house has become another family tradition established in the past few years. I don’t know how my mother or my grandmother used to make them without any help.

  5. Okay, guess what? I was not out having fun, I just totally forgot what day it was. Sorry, J. Anyway, here’s my kicks:

    1* The illustrations this week, esp. the first one. Gratitude is a force, indeed.

    2* I read a lot of good books for Cybils YA Fic, including The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock…

    3* …and Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr.

    4* And our panel has started discussing books, and it’s great – the other panelists are all smart and entertaining in their commentary, and we all seem to be in sync about what we’re looking for.

    5* I have another job interview this week. I’m a little bummed about not getting a couple of the jobs I interviewed for recently, but at least the opportunities keep coming.

    6* Between the new dresser and the new closet organizer thingies I got at Ikea, my clothes all have somewhere to go now. It’s awesome not tripping over laundry piles in the bedroom.

    7* Okay, I admit it: I LOVE the new Doctor Who series. We just watched the final episode of Season One and the first episode of Season Two on DVD last night (when I should have been typing up my kicks, but you know…) and they were both brilliant. I miss Christopher Eccleston already, but David Tennant is pretty damn awesome, too.

  6. OMG, that black cat is the Best Thing Ever, like it was made for me. I LOVE the purple background and my cats are black cats. (Well, Benny’s tuxedo, but still.)

    Sara and Jules, I hope you guys feel better QUICK. It’s yucky to be sick, but esp. in December when there’s so much fun to be had.

    Jules, You must report back on The Golden Compass. I love the book, but I’m kind of afraid to watch the movie because I think it will annoy me. And I’m so glad you like the Sedaris essay!

    This week kind of sucked again, but I’ve had a nice array of kicks to keep me going:
    1. My brand-new garage door opener. When I hit a button, it opens. When I hit the button again, it closes. It’s amazing.
    2. I got two new tires for my car yesterday. My dad got them for me as an early b-day present along with a gift card to a nearby bookstore, with the idea that I could go to the bookstore and get something while my tires were getting done. Seriously, how cool is my dad?
    3. I got my Christmas tree yesterday. It’s the first one I’ve had in five years. The last year my husband was alive, he was too sick for us to worry about it, and the last several years, it’s just seemed like too much work. I love my tree, though! It smells fantastic, and I’ve really been enjoying going through all my Christmas stuff.
    4. Even though I haven’t had a tree the last several, I’ve always decorated the outside of the house. Yesterday, I got a couple wreaths and started putting up some of the lights. I love this ritual.
    5. I went to see a Muppet Commercials and Experiments collection last night, which included this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ky7g1lgTwc) and this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrAVgYTTMbQ). It was awesome. I had no idea about Henson’s commercial work or that he’d produced (and starred in!) an Oscar-nominated short film.
    6. The Leaf and Bean is making these candy cane lattes that have made me even more grateful for the existence of coffee.
    7. Today is my godson Max’s second birthday. That kid is awesome.

  7. Sara: you met Jama? I’m so jealous. Is she as cool in person as she seems on her blog? And I hope you and Jules both feel better soon.

    Jone: I’m glad you weren’t affected by the flooding. And glad you got some validation about your library’s role in promoting literacy. I mean, DUH.

    Elaine: I am so very sorry about your friend’s daughter. Hopefully all that money that people like you raised in the Robert’s Snow auctions will help find a cure soon.

  8. Happy Sunday,

    Sorry to hear about those colds, Jules and Sara. My husband has been coughing all week, too, and I’m trying really hard not to catch his germs.

    Love Ella’s pictures! Thanks so much for introducing me to yet another wonderful artist. Her blog is great — did you see the illustrated banana bread recipe? I’d love to frame it and hang it in my kitchen!

    Did you know that we built our house in the woods on land that Candice grew up on? She said she used to sit on a log and write stories here. I love her books and hope to channel some of her talent. She inspires me daily!

    Here are my kicks:

    1. I won Linas Alsenas’ snowflake, “The Clauses,” in Auction 2! It was my first choice, and the perfect complement to “Mrs. Claus Takes a Vacation,” which I won from A Wrung Sponge.

    2. I got to meet and lunch with Sara Lewis Holmes! She shared a favorite cookie recipe, and now I’m rereading LETTERS FROM RAPUNZEL :).

    3. Had tea with a former neighbor and got caught up on lots of news.

    4. Saw “The Great Gatsby” (Paul Rudd and Toby Stephens version), and loved Mira Sorvino’s portrayal of Daisy. I think I liked her more than Mia Farrow in the role.

    5. Just heard that good friends from Massachusetts will be visiting during the holidays.

    6. We had another tree fall on our property, and I’m grateful that it didn’t hit the house!

    7. My half-sister sent me 2 fabulous cookie recipes, and related some of her adventures as a personal chef to the stars. There was one person she mentioned who took cooking lessons from her that knocked me out of my chair. Okay, I’m a big tease. I’ll post about it next week.

    Take care and feel better soon, J & S, and Fond Wishes for a Wonderful Holiday Season to Everyone!

  9. adrienne, your dad rocks. And I’m glad you felt up to taking on a tree this year.

    jama, now I’m jealous of you for getting to hang out with Sara. And congrats on winning your first-choice snowflake.

  10. Jone, I must go see those student poems.

    Elaine, I’m so, so sorry to hear about your friend’s loss. And the second of four children to pass away? Life sometimes is just not fair.

    Eisha, good luck with that interview. Remember, just use the SPARTAN voice and talk about blotting out the sun and all that.

    Adrienne, I just read an awful review of the movie. Let me rephrase that — a review that slammed the film. You’d think that would bum me out right before seeing it, but it doesn’t. I will let you know if it’s annoying. It may very well be. I think I’m more excited to be going out sans kids on an actual DATE. But I do hope the movie’s good. Oh, and that latte sounds great. I had a peppermint mocha last week. Mmm. Right now whatever bug I have is making me not be able to taste anything — and it has for weeks — but you can bet your patootie that I can taste a peppermint mocha.

    Happy birthday to Max, too!

    Jama, I love Mrs. Claus Takes a Vacation and reviewed it here last year at 7-Imp. Congrats on the snowflake and all your other great kicks.

  11. Oh and yes, Adrienne, congrats on putting that tree up. I hope it brings you happiness. Happy early birthday, too. My daughter made a drawing for you for your b’day and we put it in the mail. I’m telling you this in case I got the WRONG branch you work for and you never see it arrive in the mail at work! I’m not stalking you. I just figured it out from our interview with you.

  12. Okay, I just have to quickly share, since I’m a review nerd and am reading them here online before we go see “The Golden Compass,” that I just watched Peter Travers’ video review of the movie, and he said — and I quote — it blows. HOO HA. Now I’m even more intrigued.

    My husband just broke it to me that the same people who did the special effects for “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” did these special effects, and the effects in the former just downright annoyed me. Susan and Lucy riding Aslan through the countryside, and Susan’s hair wasn’t even moving!!. Screwed-up details like that can ruin a whole movie for me.

    Just sharing. As if everyone is just riveted with my movie-going ventures.

  13. All these people winning snowflakes is making me jealous. I’m glad so much money was raised for the cancer research though. (sorry to hear so many people you know have been hit with cancer this year, Elaine.)

    My list is a bit chatty this week, sorry for the length!

    1. I finally got to meet two friends from the Diana Wynne Jones mailing list. We had a lovely time touring Winchester cathedral, buying stuff at the Christmas market and generally chatting! It was so nice to meet in real life after so many years.

    2. It’s been a very social week! Various Christmas related events included a murder mystery party, which was lots of fun.

    3. We went to the movies for the first time since we got to the UK and enjoyed The golden compass (Jules, I thought it was good but not excellent).

    4. I saw my first barn owl! Despite these birds apparently being one of the most widespread across the world I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen one before. It was beautiful.

    5. We have received cards and some (light!) parcels from home. Although email is fantastic it’s so nice to see familiar handwriting and lovely Australian stamps.

    6. Australia will see it’s first female acting prime minister this week as the deputy Gillard takes over temporarily.

    7. I’m drinking a glass of New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. These bottles have to come a long way so it’s a real treat. The smell and taste makes me think of home! (Even though yes, I’m from Australia. Hey, we have a long tradition of nicking admirable Kiwi things and calling them our own. And really, NZ is closer to Brisbane than Western Australia).

    Good luck with the job interview Eisha! I’m impressed with the number of interviews you’re getting, I didn’t seem to often make it to that stage!

  14. Hello Everyone! I’m sorry to hear some of you are under the weather, and even sorrier to hear Elaine’s sad news. I hope the Robert’s Snow effort has raised enough money to make a difference.

    Here is my very kicky list this week.
    1. My interview right here at 7-Imp. What fun!
    2. I too received a package from Elaine. It not only had an amazingly beautiful print from the book Robert’s Snow, but also a copy of Robert’s Snowflakes, signed by the Blue Rose Girls.
    3. I won a book in Anastasia Suen’s 12 Days of Christmas!
    4. Nineteen kinds of cookies (my gift to the folks I work with), with 11 down and 8 to go.
    5. Holiday dinner at a fabulous Italian restaurant with 9 teacher friends.
    6. Interesting and thoughtful Cybils conversations.
    7. Winning 3 snowflakes in Robert’s Snow.
    Okay, one last kick!
    8. Reading and making origami all day with William while his dad played golf. Heaven!

    Have a great week, all!

  15. Emmaco, a murder mystery party! Ooh, who throws them anymore? So great.

    And, yeah, we saw the movie today. I’d agree with your analysis — it’s good, not excellent. Too rushed. I don’t know where Peter Travers got “it blows” from, but to each his own. My husband, though, JUST re-read the book, and he was more disappointed. Not necessarily ’cause it strayed — films are different creatures from books, and he knows that — but ’cause he said stuff got shifted around that didn’t even make sense to shift around. I could say more, but I won’t go on and on about it. Glad I saw it.

    Tricia, SCORE on your package from Elaine. Those Blue Rose Girls are special, and to get an autographed book from all of them really rocks.

  16. I’m late again! And I can’t even really remember what I was doing last night that made me forget…ah, well! I’m sorry to hear of all the December bugs around, and even sorrier to hear of the losses Elaine wrote about–my heart stops for a bit whenever I hear about a child dying. So sad.

    Jules, I agree with your husband about TGC: they changed things that it didn’t make sense to change. And I really, really lament the loss of Tony Makarios. That said, one of my kicks is still that we all (as a family) got to the movie Saturday night, and that was a fun outing!

    2. Singing a glorious Messiaen piece in church Sunday morning. I still have chills.

    3. Finishing my December column. (It’s up here:

    4. Starting the Christmas baking, with Mayan chocolate cookies. Yum!

    5. Beef stew.

    6. a friend got some good tenure-related news this week.

    7. Gorgeous illustrations again this week!

  17. Jules, I am totally open to being stalked by people who send me drawings. 🙂

  18. Libby, can’t wait to read the Literary Mama piece. Thanks!

    Adrienne, I hope I didn’t send the drawing to the wrong address. I’d think by now you’d have it. I sent it on Thursday, I think it was. Oh well, we’ll see.

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