Wooooooo! It’s getting close to Halloween, and we’re in a spooky mood here at 7-Imp. So we’re pleased to be featuring art by Jeremy Caniglia. Back in August, we co-reviewed Margo Lanagan’s Red Spikes, for which Caniglia did the cover art. As Eisha put it in the co-review, the cover painting is lovely in a slightly creepy way, and we thought that Jeremy could send us some slightly creepy-spooky Halloween-esque art (we’d like to do that for each Sunday in October, leading up to Halloween — did you see Frank Dormer’s mummy last week?). If you visit Jeremy’s site, you’ll see he’s capable of creepy and creepy-verging-on-disturbing (he does a lot of art for Adult Fantasy and Horror titles, as he explains below), and no matter the tone, he possesses much talent with the paintbrush.
But then he went and sent us these not-so-creepy and more eloquent, more whimsical paintings instead. And we’re still just as pleased that he did so, even though they’re not Halloween-esque spooky in tone. Here’s what Jeremy had to say about these works:
“People always ask why a majority of my work centers on birth, love and death. I guess the answer would be it helps me understand the impermanence of life on this planet.
I have always felt that by bringing ego and materialism into perspective we will find wisdom lying within those willing to listen. Our gift for generations to come can be realized through the seed of hope we plant in our children.
I have always found hidden hope in art, music and books. They are all doorways to very special worlds if we open our minds. I really feel Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan is one of those collections that takes us on a journey in which we find love and hope in the darkest of worlds. It was such a challenge and great experience to create the cover for Red Spikes. I tried to create a cover that was elegant, haunting and beautiful all in one cover. This was my first cover in the Young Adult Reader section. I have mostly created covers and illustrations for Adult Fantasy and Horror. So it was great to finally have a chance to break new ground.
I have attached two new images for you to see some of my other works in progress I am currently creating. These are personal works. The first painting is called ‘Birth of Spring -– Butterfly Kisses.’ This is a painting of my daughter, Vivian. I felt this painting really captured the beauty of being a child and experiencing butterflies that are like little fairies. The darkness in the painting is brought to light by the kiss and promise of the rebirth of Spring.
The second painting is called ‘He came Forth to Unveil the Forgotten Stars.’ This is a painting of my son. The painting was a vision I had of when I was a child and would try to climb trees in hopes of touching the night sky.
No matter how old we get, I feel we should always try to reach for our dreams and stay young at heart.”
Many thanks to Jeremy for sharing his art work with us this week — and for sharing his thoughts about them as well. We’re excited to be featuring his paintings today.
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.
I’m writing this super-early (Saturday), because B. and I are going to a wedding Sunday. For the next 24 hours I’ll be far from my computer: driving for hours, sleeping on a sofa bed, wearing hose, eating tiny food, and making small talk with people I don’t know. So, it’s a good time to remember the good things from this week:
2* I’m sad I won’t be there, but I know Jules will kick ass like the juggernaut she is at the Southern Festival of Books. Break a leg, Jules!
3* Got late-pregnancy tummy pics from my sister’s BFF who’s pretty much part of the family. Wow. I haven’t seen her in months, so it’s pretty amazing. She’s calling it “The Great Pumpkin.” Also got new nephew pics. Squee!
4* Walking home Thursday, I caught a whiff of dill from someone’s garden, and I had the most overwhelming sense-memory of being in my grandparent’s garden when I was little. Nana always grew dill to make pickles, and the whole garden smelled that way.
5* “Robot Chicken,” Season 2 on DVD. We had to pause several times to get the laughs out over “My Little Apocalypse Pony” and “Composite Santa,” not to mention “(Doctor) Who’s on First?”
6* I usually save them for dates and special occasions where I know I’ll be sitting most of the time, but I wore my high-heeled boots to work Friday, and didn’t break an ankle or develop permanent Barbie-feet as I had always feared.
7* A snippet of loud, impassioned conversation I overheard walking through the Common Friday, between two people who may have been homeless, or maybe just Ithaca-eccentric:
“…he made it, but it didn’t want to serve him. It didn’t want to serve Gollum, either, but there was no one worthy…”
Do you ever commit to entirely too many things in one week and then feel like you’re being spread way too thin? That was me this week. By Friday night, I was practically in tears at the thought of simply opening my email and the fear that I’d have one more thing to do by reading my email messages. I’m not trying to elicit pity, I know I sound rather pathetic, I know there are way worse problems I could have, and I know everyone’s dang busy. I think we all have weeks like that sometimes, and since mine was like that this week, I haven’t a) read any blogs (except for super quickly — and not as many as I’d like) and b) haven’t cracked a single book this week. What the . . .? I need to find a better balance here. I’m blogging about books, but I had too many other blogging-related responsibilities that left me no time for, uh, books. Not right, huh?
Anyway, I did get to attend some — not all — of the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, hosted by Humanities Tennessee, and I’ll talk a bit about that at the end of my kicks. My experience there today (Saturday, as I type this) was SO GREAT that it made up for my otherwise crazy week.
Here are my kicks, then:
1). My daughter’s birthday. She turns two on Sunday, and we partied down today. Elephant and Piggie did not show, despite their love for parties, but we had fun anyway. And my husband hung short, blue streamers from each blade of the ceiling fan in our living room. They’re still up there, spinning around, and they sound like a soft rain.
2). Al Gore and the U.N. climate panel winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
3). Watching (most of) Season One of “Weeds” (which has great music) with my husband this week.
4). Getting responses for an upcoming interview with Phyllis Root. She is so smart. And tough. And neat. And did I mention smart? And she talks about Big Momma Makes the World, as well as other books. But I ask you: Does it get any better than Big Momma Makes the World? No. It does not. Her responses were a big ‘ol honkin’ JOY to read. They reminded me why I love children’s lit. (The interview will be in November).
5). Modest Mouse has a new CD. Or so I thought. I’m just hopelessly behind. I see — after a quick web search — that it was released in March. But I just heard this song, “Missed the Boat,” this week. Eisha, dude, you’re supposed to have my back and tell me about new Modest Mouse CDs.
6). Listening repeatedly to “The End” on Abbey Road this week and playing air drums while my three-and-a-half-year old and my youngest play air guitar and air keyboards, respectively.
7). And last, but not least, the aforementioned Southern Festival of Books. Yesterday, I saw a session on middle-grade novels with Jack Gantos, which made me really happy (I’m a big Gantos fangirl). He always revives my faith in children’s lit, should it be lagging (which it often isn’t), and I just want to buy that man a drink for being so smart and honest and tellin’ it like it is (we’ll also be interviewing Jack in November). He presented with Jacques Couvillon and Jeff Kinney. Did you know that Kinney set out to write Diary of a Wimpy Kid for adults? He was envisioning the Humor section of the Adult part of a bookstore, he said. Go figure.
On Saturday, I hosted a session on gender, identity, and sexuality issues in YA lit — with Perry Moore (Eisha and I will be tri-reviewing his first novel, Hero, with Roger Sutton, coming soon to a 7-Imp near you), Ellen Wittlinger, and Alex Sanchez. I also knew that Adam Rex would be at the festival (have we ever mentioned here at 7-Imp that we’re fans? HOO HA! This could be the Adam Rex Blog these days. Big, geeky fans we are), and — since I knew that my busy weekend plans would prohibit me from seeing either one of his sessions (wah) — I was hoping to spot him from afar and/or run into him to a) say hi and b) get him to sign my copy of Pssst! for my daughters, who adore that book (as their mama does).
So, I had very limited time, but I walked into the Author Hospitality Room Saturday morning to meet up with Perry Moore before his session, which I was hosting, and there was sitting Adam Rex, doodling in his sketchpad at a table. I could tell it was him from behind, what with his plaid shirt and glasses and such. So, I got to sit and chat with him over coffee, and what a great end to an otherwise stressful week that was. He’s very friendly and sincere and funny and, well . . . all that good stuff. Am not surprised that I enjoyed chatting with him . . . And then here comes Kerry Madden, whose latest book (Lousiana’s Song) I adore (just haven’t gotten to my review yet). And she was lovely and fun and friendly (have you READ this woman’s bio? She’s also tough and neat and smart. Go see her great new web site, too. And I got an ARC of her new Weems-family novel. Woot!). And then Perry showed up. And it was really nice to sit and talk to these authors, who were all terribly interesting and very friendly. And then, although Kerry had to leave, Ellen showed up and we all conversed some more. Adam Rex is particularly nice for listening to me ramble a moment about children’s theatre while two authors talked near and over and around us. He never once wavered and is a good listener and nice guy, that Adam (and did a dramatic reading of his new poem for us). And do you know that he doodles in his sketchbook all. the. time? Heh.
And the Perry, Ellen, and Alex session went well, too. They’re all very eloquent speakers. Woo hoo all around! I got to hear Rosemary Wells speak for a bit and get her to sign a copy of Noisy Nora for my daughter, complete with a “happy birthday, Ada!” Excellent.
I hope I don’t sound all name-droppy or too terribly hero-worshippy about authors/illustrators. It was just a great way to end a busy week, sitting and chatting about literature and blogs and wanting to be a Greek Mythologist when one grows up (long story).
That’s about all I can report right now, due to extreme fatigue. And this is long enough. So, what are your kicks this week?
(p.s. Happy birthday, E.E. Cummings) . . .
(p.s. again — no, I did not have my camera yesterday — doh! — and the picture of me and Jack Gantos didn’t come out at all . . . as in, it’s totally black. I think my digital camera’s on its last leg. Ah well) . . .