Jules: Happy Sunday to one and all . . . We’re happy you stopped by today, as we’re featuring some work this morning from artist and illustrator Gianna Marino, a.k.a. “Boomerang.” (And that’s because she’s done a wee bit of travelling in her lifetime, as you can read about here.)
As I was linking to Gianna’s site in the fairly recent Jim Averbeck interview (even though I’ve linked to her site before), I went and explored there and fell in love with her botanicals, painted in gouache and all featured here at her site. Pictured here is her Himalayan Blue Poppy, and below is “Chocolate Cosmos.” She also has some mixed-media paintings featured here, created using Japanese and mulberry papers, pencil sketches, gouache paint, and acrylic glazes over canvas. At her site, she writes:
“Like preparing for a journey, my paintings begin with a place, a direction or a story. I am inspired by the migration of animals, the origins of where something comes from and how it got there and why it remains there…. or leaves. Human expansion changes nature and its course and I find a layering of maps and natures path the perfect place to tell that story.”
Gianna has also written and illustrated Zoopa: An Animal Alphabet (Chronicle, 2005), which I happen to own, thanks to Jama! Kirkus Reviews called it a “lively, engaging debut.” In Zoopa, Marino brings us an alphabet soup quite unlike one you’ve seen before. It’s a search-and-find game, and it’s a fine book for helping children learn their letters (and animals). Each spread gets increasingly more crowded, as more and more animals gather around the soup bowl in this wordless book to find the letter beginning their names. The energy in Gianna’s art work in this book is infectious, the colors bold and the animals always entertaining.
Gianna’s site states that she also has numerous other children’s books in the works. Indeed, in preparing for this feature, she told me, “I do have some other things I am working on, but running out the door. Rats!” Yep, she’s travelling now, but perhaps we can chat with her later about what she’s up to.
Here’s one of the children’s illustrations featured at her site, “They Danced on his Tables”:
Many thanks to Gianna for stopping by!
As a reminder, our 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. Anyone is welcome to come list their kicks, so have at it.
But, before we list our kicks, I’d like to quickly say a Happy Father’s Day to my husband, pictured here with my oldest when she was wee. I wanted to surprise him, but I decided to ask him for permission to post this, since he can be kinda shy about this kind of stuff. Ah well. Happy Father’s Day to him — and to any fathers who may be reading today. I’ll not get syrupy-sweet on everyone here, but let’s just say my girls are the luckiest ever to have him for a father.
eisha: Aw… Can I chime in? Happy Father’s Day, Blaine! And Happy Father’s Day to my brother, too!
1* Speaking of Blaine, he sent me a CD – a classic hard-to-find album from my semi-goth youth: The Glove’s Blue Sunshine. It was a totally sweet and unnecessary gesture, which I can only imagine was brought on because I actually knew who he was talking about when he mentioned them recently. Thanks, B!
2* That Blue Poppy up there. I love it. I want it on my wall.
3* I started my new temp job, organizing the books for another academic department’s collection. It’s going pretty well so far.
4* The temps have receded to a much more manageable high-70s-to-mid-80s range. My computer likes this much better, too – she kept overheating there while temps were creeping up on 100.
5* I’ve been eating lots of yummy summery food, like broiled asparagus, gazpacho, and tzatziki.
6* My neighbors came home from their wedding & honeymoon, and shared a bottle of champagne with me as we looked at their pics and chatted.
7* And she loaned me Twilight, which… I seriously can’t explain how I hadn’t already read it yet. But I totally get all the fuss now. Dang. I lost a whole day to that thing.
I had a kick-y week. People were very kind to me. I don’t know what I did to deserve it.
1). Eisha sent me some very yummy coffee from Gimme! Coffee in New York. It made my mailbox smell very good for a while. And it’s making my taste buds very happy.
2). Illustrator Polly Dunbar sent me the Long Nose Puppet’s soundtracks of Shoe Baby and Flyaway Katie. The music is by Tom Gray of Gomez. It’s wild to hear a singer from Gomez singing for children. It’s good stuff.
Sam is a good sport to say hello to a geeky fan she’s never met (actually, Eisha and I met her briefly in 1994, backstage at a Nashville show. I CAN’T BELIEVE SHE DOESN’T REMEMBER ME FROM FOURTEEN YEARS AGO. Jeez.*)
4). Adrienne sent me some snail mail, just so I could see Jen Corace’s stationery. It’s very lovely, and I always love real snail mail AND real snail mail from Adrienne! P.S. Jen Corace will be stopping by one Sunday very soon.
5). This super-cool write-up on Knoxville, Tennessee, from The New York Times (if you want to read it, I think you have to register. But registering is free. If you’ve ever lived in and loved Knoxville, it’ll make you go WOOT!).
6). My husband and I saw “The Hulk” yesterday. Arrrggh! and Rah! (It was good. I’m just trying to grunt and yell like he does.)
7). I survived a visit to the dentist this week. Drilling was involved. Drilling. And I survived.
7½). This week, my four-year-old and I take a parent-child summer camp art class thingy. Woot! again.
What are your kicks this week?
* I’m not actually being serious. I don’t expect people who met me LAST WEEK to remember me.