Jules: AUGUST 3rd?? IT’S AUGUST ALREADY? Mercy sakes.
Whew. Yes, it’s the first of the month. And that’s when we feature a student of illustration or a brand-spankin’-new illustrator here at our seven kicks list, our 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. And I can hardly believe it’s already…well, almost Fall. Sorta.
This week we’re featuring artist Eric Lamson, who studied illustration at Montserrat College of Art in Massachusetts. As Eric’s bio at his site—featuring his award-winning, Poe-esque “Gold Bug”—states, he works in pencil, acrylic, and oil. He also creates illustrations in relief, “using a unique method that he originated, utilizing: masking tape, cut illustration board, glue, joint compound and gesso.”
HOWEVER, that bio—and Eric’s site, for that matter, and the artwork on it—is dated 2006. And it just so happens, Eric told me, that he has been “kind of on a soul search. I’ve been struggling with finding the right way of working that best suits me…I’ve been kind of moving away from children’s illustration lately.” So, the opening image up there, “Shiva Monkey,” also a Montserrat award-winner, and these three below images—one from a fable of Aesop; one entitled “Introvert,” and the 1984 image—are examples of Eric’s earlier work as student of illustration:
And now…well, now Eric—who was was involved in a group show last April at the OneWay Gallery in Narragansett, Rhode Island—is doing something different. In his words:
The last four images are examples of the current series of paintings that I’m working on called the Lapis Series, which you can see are quite different from my early work…There are a total of 11 paintings for this series thus far. Most of them are large paintings averaging 32″ X 48″. I paint with acrylics on gessoed board.
Eric wasn’t sure if we’d want to feature his work at 7-Imp, what with his new direction. BUTOFCOURSE we want to feature him.
Also, I don’t know if it’s pleasing or irritating to an artist to hear a person say: I had to do a double-take. I thought that was a photograph. I guess it depends on the artist’s intent behind each piece. But I really did have to look twice at some of the Lapis Series pieces and wonder at the skills it must take to make acrylics look like photography. Pretty amazing.
We thank Eric for sharing his art work with us this week, and we wish him the very best.
Kicks time! Eisha, are you able to break away from Breaking Dawn to talk to us?
DANG, those paintings really DO look like photographs. Amazing.
1* My brave thing for this week: actually having guests in my apartment, despite the fact that we’ve been here a year and still have boxes sitting around. Some of them I’ve just decided to pretend are furniture, and have distributed coasters and table lamps on top of them. Thanks to everyone who’s visited so far and didn’t say anything like, “So… when did you move, again?”
2* One of those visitors was Adrienne. It was excellent! The X-Files movie – not so much. Seriously, people. It’s bad. But I had a blast anyway. And I was so very glad I had a fellow librarian sitting next to me to share my horror when I’m-a-doctor-now-not-FBI Dana Scully just up and used Google to do her very serious medical research. I am not even kidding. If she hadn’t turned into such a boring-ass character over the past 8 year hiatus I would have offered myself up as her personal research assistant. For free. Because, dude, for serious. Google?
3* I had a lovely long phone conversation with a Cambridge friend that I had shamefully fallen out of touch with for months.
4* The friend and I decided that I’m way overdue for a visit, so I’m gonna go hang out with her over Labor Day weekend.
5* I finally got an appointment with a new primary care doctor, and I LOVE HER.
6* I went to a Breaking Dawn release party at a bookstore. I got a great big dose of something I’ve missed in the past year of not working in a public library: seeing teens excited about books.
7* And the book itself: [DON’T WORRY, NO SPOILERS HERE] I just finished it (it’s Sat. afternoon as I’m typing this) and I’m still trying to figure out my overall reaction to it. Parts of it were very satisfying, but parts of it were so unexpected I still can’t get my mind around them. But I’ll definitely say this for Ms. Stephenie Meyer: the woman has an imagaination that will not quit. Pretty much every major plot twist had me thinking “What?! Whoa! Did NOT see that coming!” What more could I have asked for?
1). I met two friends and their children here this week. One friend’s in Oak Ridge; the other’s in Atlanta, so we occasionally meet up in Chattanooga. And one has cancer, but is—at this moment—cancer-free, so that is excellent news. And we had a really great time catching up, despite our children running off at every moment in five different directions.
2). I’m reading the ARC of Emily Jenkins’ Toy Dance Party to my girls, and my four-year-old and I were laughing so hard at one point that we were both in tears. And, to boot, we read the first chapter sitting on the front porch right before a big rain.
Eisha and I plan to co-review it, too, since we adored its prequel.
3). My mother-in-law watched my girls all day one day this week so that I could catch up on work in BLESSED SILENCE. And boy howdy and howdy boy do they LOVE going to her house to play.
4). My friend, Andrew, called me yesterday. He is on a reading spurt, as he described it, and he had JUST finished Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (for you Shelley Nerds—and I say that lovingly—he read the first edition, the 1818 one, and not the revised 1831 edition). He said he absolutely had to call someone who would appreciate how much he enjoyed it. And he went on and on in his wonderful Andrew way about the writing. He was all, “JULIE, SHE WAS NINETEEN [EXPLETIVE] YEARS OLD WHEN SHE WROTE IT! When I was nineteen, I was, like, ‘You want me to write a paragraph? Can I get back to you in a few days?’ SHE WAS NINETEEN! HOLY [EXPLETIVE]! I MEAN, [ANOTHER EXPLETIVE. AND YET ANOTHER creative EXPLETIVE] IT WAS [EXPLETIVE] GOOD!”
Now that, my librarian friends, is a booktalk.
5). My four-year-old and I somehow got into a conversation this week about where she was, if anywhere, before she was born to me and how she chose me to be her mother. And she said: “I was crawling around in the forest and I found you and went into you and I SAT in you.”
6). Running and playing at a water park with my girls, as in getting buckets of water poured on my head, and going to see a marionette production of The Frog Prince and looking forward to watching Simon Pegg’s “Spaced” with my husband, which he purchased this week, and starting Haven Kimmel’s newest novel, Iodine.
Impressive how I crammed four kicks into one, huh?
7). My brave-ness of the week: I don’t mean to bring the room down, but my be-brave moment was spending the very early part of last week trying to track down friends who were in this church when this happened and being terrified that some of them might be hurt…or worse. But, whew, they are all okay, though my heart goes out to the loved ones of those who didn’t make it or were seriously wounded.
8). BONUS: Haven Kimmel’s blog post on “The Sopranos” has a special place in my heart right now. I’m still not done watching the series yet, but I understand these feelings she has.
9). BONUS, PART TWO: I like knowing Sam’s about to start touring, but WHERE IS HER “NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE” SIGN? JUST WHERE O WHERE IS IT?
What are your kicks—or bravenesses—of the week?