what my mind dreamed up…

What would you envision for a customer who requested a book for an ‘intellectual soul mate’ lost at sea?

It look me a little while to land on a motif for this one, but one of the things that helped my creative process was the obvious passion of the person requesting this custom book, which would be a gift for someone special. He wanted me to incorporate the phases of the moon, and the sea…so after a few weeks of methodical brainstorming, I landed on a big idea, and started to get to work.

I love custom orders because I end up making books I’d never create otherwise. And I loved that I was able to take my time on this one, enjoying all the symbolism that it involved and the subsequent ways that it helped me to make meaning in my own days of late.

A week ago I watched a beautiful Taurus baby come into the world. And though I have wavering interest in the influence of the planets and sun and moon, I appreciated the meaning created around this brand new person’s timing of when to be born and lock eyes with her mama for the first time.

In short, my love of making significance out of circumstance loved this nice juxtaposition of the moon, lost and found companions, and all things beyond our control…each a lovely part of life under the sun.

before and after

I spent several of my early spring Sunday mornings at Malaprop’s, one of my favorite places in Asheville, giving theĀ  old paper mache tree a makeover. It really needed some love and care…

Over the years the poor tree had taken a beating and was covered with scribbles and signatures, and it looked kind of like a late-fall tree, with just a few leaves left. I cut the new leaves by hand, and the inspiration for the paint style came from the Sibley Guide to Trees, which has beautifully painted images of all the tree varieties.

(click photos to see enlargements)

It’s been forever since I’ve painted anything, and I have to say that I was nervous about executing the paint job that I’d envisioned. In the end, it was fun to work in a different medium, and when the tree was done I felt honored to have been asked to work on the project. As I’m becoming more focused on our upcoming move, it’s nice to think that I’ll be leaving a pretty, public work of creativity behind. I love how the tree turned out, and it was great to spend some time with my old buddies at the store!


the holidays passed in a flash! things should be winding down in the next few weeks, and while I ease into working a temporary full time job for the next month or so, i’ll do my best to post photos and updates of what i’m working on.

now that the holidays are officially over, i’ve been working on various custom orders. these are from a set of stab bound sketchbooks:

thanks to everyone far and near who helped make rockpile’s holiday season productive and prosperous…i am so grateful! i have high hopes for 2011 and i’m looking forward to new creative endeavors.