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December 3, 2012

Sorry for the unexpected hiatus, dear readers! My senior thesis show goes up this week, and I’m spending all waking moments on that (and eating, of course). I’ll post some shots as it gets installed throughout the week!

Thank you for your patience!


Bright Spot: November 27

November 27, 2012


Today’s bright spot is cool, contemplative grey and blue. Goes well with the sudden change of seasons we just experienced in Minneapolis. This time last week, it was over 60 degrees and sunny. Today, it’s 36 and a bit cloudy. Welcome back, winter!

Visit to the Minnesota History Center

November 20, 2012

Wow, what an amazing trip! Today I had the opportunity to take a peek at some of the books in the Minnesota Historical Society’s collection. There’s quite an amazing range! I went with the bookmaking class I’m currently taking, so we focused on artist books, but the curator also showed us some really old books and maps, as well as a quick tour of what he calls the Batcave–the room where all the archives are stored. Think the warehouse from Indiana Jones, and you’ll be close.

Unfortunately, all I had with me was my phone, which takes terrible colour photos.

An oversize, antique book lays propped on a table. The pages are open to an engraving.

One of the largest books we looked at. I am a bad student and forgot who made it or the date it was created, but it was made before Minnesota was a state. The drawings were documentation of an expedition.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of the oldest books in the collection. One is from the 1490s. The pages were surprisingly supple, and it was printed in Latin and Italian in Venice. The other is one of the original books by Father Hennepin, who explored Minnesota (at least, that what I was told–not being a Minnesota native, I’m not up to snuff on my local history). It had fold-out illustrations and maps that were highly detailed, including one that included a buffalo and a possum hanging from a tree.

A portrait-oriented view of a long hallway, lined with rows of boxes on shelves.

Part of the main hall of the “Batcave.” Each of those offshoot rows is lined almost to the ceiling with boxes, each containing archived books, maps, newspapers, and ephemera. The room wasn’t actually magenta, I promise you.

Another view of the long hallway. A fire extinguisher hangs on the wall.


A black and white photo of stacks of boxes on metal shelving.

This might give you a better sense of scale.

An older man in a button-down shirt and tie stands in front of a shelf of boxes. His arms are crossed.

The curator, who was one of the most personable men I’ve ever met.

A tall, slender corridor between a shelf of boxes and a wall.

To give you an idea how off my camera is/was, this forklift was lime green.

Freight elevator with horizontal doors.

This elevator was the coolest.

View of freight elevator interior.

20,000 lb capacity, if I remember correctly.

A moderately inaccurate map of Lake Superior.

To paraphrase the curator, all maps lie. This map, from 1755, was made during a French expedition. The artist, knowing his employers would never go out to the region, added a few…embellishments, let’s call them. It actually took me a moment to realize the obvious flaws, as I was too caught up in the weird shape of Superior’s nose.

Such a treat!




Sunday is Mouse Day

November 18, 2012

A white and black mouse pokes her head out of a cardboard tube.

Penny and Parsnip hope you had a nice, relaxing day today! As you can see from Parsnip’s glazed expression, she had a full day of sleeping and being cute.

Comfort Food: Pot Pie

November 15, 2012

Growing up, pot pie was a staple for my family, especially in the busy winter months. My mum would buy the premade, frozen pot pies, usually with turkey in them. You’ve probably seen them in the freezer section of the grocery store–red box, Banquet brand, I believe. Anyway, they were a quick, delicious meal that made everyone sit down for a few minutes. (They were also one of the foods that made me realize that the taste and sound of metal sets my teeth on edge, but that’s a story for another time.)

A woman with pink hair sleeps peacefully in a giant bed of pot pie. Steam rises around her.

Digital painting. 12″ x 16″. November 2012.

For the first illustration in my comfort food series, I wanted to depict my own comfort food. I love the soft potatoes and pearl onions, the carrots and peas, all floating in gravy under a flaky crust. The top of the crust is my favourite, because it’s chewier and a bit soggy compared to the crisp flakes elsewhere, and I always save that portion for last so I can savor it.

And yes, the right side of my hair is buzzed short, while the left is dyed pink. It’s odd, really, because I’ve been blonde my entire life, so I never realized that my roots are actually much darker than the rest of my hair. Ah, Scandinavian blood!

Bright Spot: November 13

November 14, 2012

Still technically Tuesday on some parts of the globe, so I’m sliding in to my posting deadline!

This week’s Bright Spot is a tried and true standby. It can be a little boring, but with the right accent colours, it pops and evokes thoughts of the outdoors, whether that be summer, winter, or any seasonal shift in between.

A basic, calming colour combination for a hectic week!


November 11, 2012
An elderly, bearded man sleeps against a tree. The rolling forest in the background is changing hues for autumn.

Digital collage with cut paper elements. 11” x 23”. September 2012.

An illustration for the prompt “island.” After doing some research on Beaver Island, Michigan, I learned of Feodor Protar, a Russian disciple of Leo Tolstoy who chose to live in solitude on the island. Though he was a hermit, he often helped the islanders where he could. An island within an island.