We boarded the big red and white bus this morning after coffee with Chad and Linda at the italian coffee shop around the corner from the Handlery. After an hour on the bus with Murray regaling Linda and me with tales about his exchanges with Maurice Sendak which were telling, charming and sweet but depicting a rather prickly, edgy smart man--which makes sense given his lovely line drawings with pigs in poke bonnets, or little stolid girls doing sensible things, or the Night Kitchen (referencing his childhood), Wild things, of course, and his love of opera and theater which he uses as a device for many of his illustrations.
We got to our destination with our 89 year old hostess greeting us at the end of the driveway (framed by robust, blooming rosemary and fragrant and full lemon trees)--ushering us into her house (where I had visited with Syracuse) and directing us to boxes and bushels, bedtops and flatfiles filled to the top with illustration that represents the who's who of the profession. Children's book, commercial illustration, from big oil paintings of iced cream in a glass, to Cornwell, to Rockwell Kent to the rare and totally adoreable Lorraine Fox( grey and pink and table top illustrations at the bottom of this mix)--Al Parker and Lawson Wood...something for everyone from paintings to a proliferation of pen and ink that I was, this visit stunned and delighted by. It was a visual feast that by the time the two hours planned rolled around..we had all reached critical max--and needed to change channels as it was just way way overwhelming. The house is simple and very lived in-- with the bathroom art as curated as any exhibition in any museum. Even the laundry was surrounded by images and art. Our hostess showed us Gibsons and art that were used for the covers of sheet music that she used to learn to sing from which she demonstrated for us. And, to top it off, as she was getting out of the driveway to attend an appointment, she opened up the trunk of her car to get something and showed us a mask she works on repairing for a volunteer job she does. The owl is our hostess.
We were dropped off in town for lunch and had a great assortment of restaurants to pick from for lunch. We settled on indian and had a lovely time outside in the weather which had changed from a misty drizzle to a beautiful blue sky. Trees were out, flowering trees were popping, it is extrodinary and spring in paradise.
We then visited Patrick Coyne, editor at CA Magazine. (Communication Arts). We were greeted by Chester, the CA Beagle who sniffed and wagged and was the perfect welcoming committee. Patrick is a gentle kind man who told us all about his open, green building. The magazine is celebrating it's fiftieth anniversary this year. It was started by Patrick's father and a partner who had a small agency and needed to find more work for the printing press they acquired. The magazine became very important for Mr Coyne, and he then worked full time since for the publication. It is mainly a subscription business which is beginning to expand into the web...creating an added electronic value for the readership at a nominal price. It is staffed by 20 people, whose offices were determined in location by a feng shui expert--funny but kind of worked. Patrick told us that the Illustration show gives them about five thousand entries that are winnowed down to 150--which makes last year's entry of shady even more meaningful for me. I didnt know how rare this is. He was insightful about his shows, the juries and how they try to talk about the "beat" that is happening annually in the work--which sounded like the real treat for our guide and editor. Mr Coyne was open and engaging, wanting to talk with us as much as to us..and my heart was lightened by this quiet energy that came from this very esteemed publication. Key take away was essentially enter often and many...
Off with a small troupe for sushi in the neighborhood.