Jules: Eisha and I were almost left speechless when we saw the illustrations we’re featuring today, ones from Italian illustrator Nicoletta Ceccoli. But not speechless enough to tell you a bit about her visit this morning to 7-Imp.
Back at the beginning of March, I reviewed Kate Bernheimer’s The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum (Schwartz & Wade, February ’08). That review is here. I was so taken with Ceccoli’s illustrations in this title—and then I visited her website and fell in love a bit more—that I took a chance on contacting her to see if we could feature her one Sunday. Lucky for me, she reads and speaks English, and she said yes! About the mermaids above, Nicoletta told us: This is a “sample proof I did for an upcoming book I’m illustrating for Houghton Mifflin, titled Dignity of Dragons . . . it will be all about mythological creatures . . . it is a very interesting theme for me. I also wanted to show you some work taken from a show I had last year in a Seattle gallery, Roq La Rue . . . these works (the tower and the angel) are not done for a story or a book.”
Utterly sublime, I tell ya. And keep your eyes out, because Nicoletta told us, “I am also working on a 3D animation film for character studies and backgrounds for a French production (the director will be Mathias Malzieu and the producer will be Luc Besson). The title will be La Mecanique du Coeur, quite a new experience for me.” I did some reading, and it turns out this is an album by the French rock band, Dionysos. Here’s the album’s MySpace page, and here’s even more info on the album and the film adaptation in the works, of which Nicoletta speaks.
Many, MANY thanks to Nicoletta for sharing her art work with us all this morning. If you like what you see, my review of The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum includes a spread from the book, used with permission from the publisher. So, there’s more Nicoletta goodness over there.
As a reminder, 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 (as well as featuring artists like Nicoletta). You — yes, you reading now — are more than welcome to leave your kicks from the week, whether you’ve ever done so before or not.
1). Nicoletta’s art work! I can’t stop looking at the water in the first image.
2). Jama Rattigan dedicated a post to me and Eisha. Kickin’!
3). I know, I know . . . you’re probably tired of me talking about Sam Phillips. But the countdown to the release of her newest CD continues. And I keep finding little surprises everywhere, such as stumbling upon a new song from the forthcoming CD at YouTube. Yes, this—and the wonderfully weird concoction under it—passes as a video for someone who is rather media-shy like she is. Don’t expect a manic, hyperactive, state-of-the-art video (thank heavens). I love the song. I love the old sound board. I love these quirky videos.
Did I just say “quirky”?
If you listen to the song (the first video), do yourself a favor and turn it up loud. (As a reminder, this is my Favorite Musician Of All Time. As Esther said about Doreen in The Bell Jar, “everything she said was like a secret voice speaking straight out of my bones.” Yup, I bet you’re tired of me talking about Sam, but that’s how her music is for me.)
For Earth Day, Sam also re-worked an older song called “Black Sky,” and it’s the first song right now that plays at her MySpace site. The second verse to that song has always been a favorite.
It’s just a good time right now to be a Sam fan. We Sam fans don’t get to say that often.
4). The score from “There Will Be Blood,” which I finally saw. (Oh, and this acting, but come on. That goes without saying.) One of my favorite pieces from one of my favorite composers—Fratres by Arvo Pärt—was used in the film. And then the score impressed me so much, I went and read that it was created by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. Here’s the story for anyone who cares.
5). This week’s co-post with Adrienne about demented picture books and all the bigger issues underlying the topic. Oh, and Adrienne sent me an ARC of Cynthia Rylant’s Hansel and Gretel, illustrated by Jen Corace (to be published in September by Hyperion). It’s just as good as she said—and for all the reasons she already named. As Adrienne pointed out over at her post, the book opens with, “It has been said that guardian spirits watch over and protect small children, and that may be so. But there are also stories of children who find the courage to protect themselves.” Damn skippy. Adrienne won’t even let me send it back to her. It’s very kind of her to share.
6). Stopping by with my girls to surprise my husband at work and having lunch with him this week.
7). My cousin’s daughter, a freshman in college now, sending me the sweetest message of hello after visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee, saying it made her think of me.
7½). Having a little bit more confidence in my job these days, for different reasons.
Here’s a bonus: Anyone else seen Nicholas Fehn, the faux political comedian played by Fred Armisen on SNL? I’m sorry, this makes me laugh so hard. I know people like this — who talk a lot but never really say anything. What a clever little comedy sketch (sorry ’bout the ad at the end and the glaring TOYOTA bit):
Jules, you can talk about Sam Phillips all you want as long as you keep posting those videos. And you’re right, that post you did with Adrienne was excellent. I know you guys worked on that for ages, and it was totally worth it for the rest of us.
1* Those mermaids. And the girl in the tower. And the winged girl on the swing. So beautiful!
2* Jama’s Tea Party, which Jules already mentioned. It had all my favorite things: Alice, the Beatles, the Monkees, T.S. Eliot, and all our blog friends. Perfect! Thank you, Jama.
3* I got a new suit, and it was a total bargain.
4* I’ve made good progress on the library project at work, and learned a lot in the process.
5* Saturday, we went with our neighbors (The Poets Upstairs) on a Wine and Herbs tour. The local wineries do this every spring: you get a ticket beforehand, and at each winery you visit you get a free potted herb, plus a sample of food made with the herb. Oh, and wine. Lots and lots of wine-sampling. It was a great way to find a bunch of new favorites, and now we have a shelf-full of plants.
6* The weather was gorgeous for most of the day, too – until we got home, when we got a huge thunderstorm. Perfect nap scenario: late afternoon, full of rich food, fuzzy from wine, and rain. I slept for about 3 hours.
7* Actually, the weather has been gorgeous all week, and the sunshine coinciding with the next-to-last week of classes has caused all the college students to lose their minds. This past week I’ve seen: an entire living room’s worth of furniture sitting on a lawn, including a white Queen Anne-style sofa; an inflatable kiddie-pool sqeezed onto a front porch that was almost exactly the same size; students camping on the quad for Malaria Awareness Day; and students lying down in the grass and rolling down a steep grassy slope. I love living in a college town.
What are your kicks this week?