The need to surround myself with beautiful, comforting things becomes more acute when I know something bad is coming. (It’s winter. Winter’s coming.) And I guess winter isn’t bad in the moral absolutism sense, but it does make everything more difficult. The past several years, I’ve been setting up ways to stay awake in the winter (this is a real problem) – things like coffee dates, classes with lots of homework, volunteer stuff, cooking dinner for people, etc.
So, here are some things I’m infatuated with at the moment:
- I love anatomical art. If you’re in the Twin Cities area, the Wangensteen Historical Library is showing an exhibit celebrating Vesalius’ anatomy artwork from the 1500s, when autopsies were conducted as performance art, and mortsafes (metal grills) kept graves safe from body-snatchers looking to make some money from eager surgeons. (Here’s something interesting: mortsafe usually autocorrects to mortgage.)
- If you can’t handle some of the weirdnesses of the Renaissance, check out these contemporary artists. Lisa Nilsson uses quilling (rolling paper with extreme precision) to create anatomical cross-sections. Katie Scott’s use of color in her biological illustrations is…well, candy-like.
- Hilary Williams’ screenprints. If I had tons of money, I would buy all of the rural ones.
- Yuko Shimizu’s illustrations. Always Yuko.
- MIEL Books, which will be publishing my chapbook next year, makes beautiful little books of poetry, nonfiction, and art. You can buy a subscription or purchase books individually. Right now, Nancy Campbell’s HOW TO SAY ‘I LOVE YOU’ IN GREENLANDIC is flying to me from Belgium, and it will be so lovely that I’ll be scared to open it for a few days.
- And speaking of being awake, my friend Elise just released her first album, titled AWAKE. She’s also documented the process on her blog, which is entertaining and touching.