Happy Earth Day, One and All!

(I hope the room mother brought a class treat!)

I was talking to a friend who had been listening to conservative talk radio this morning because she likes to get herself riled up sometimes (this is only one of the reasons we're friends) and she said they were sitting around bashing Earth Day like it was invented by Al Gore himself.

This is one of my favorite old magazine illustrations,
Pictorial Review, January 1935

Now that's just ridiculous, because no matter where your politics stand, your feet are standing on our dear Mother Earth and it's high time she had a day since she gives us the other 364 to think about ourselves, right?

Mother Nature Gives Advice, 2005

I guess we got a little more tuned into environmental issues when two of our daughters graduated from the School of Environmental Studies at the Minnesota Zoo. This was a great educational opportunity for both girls and we feel lucky that we were able to be a part of it. Our middle daughter is now studying Environmental Policy at Vermont Law and will receive her Master's this summer. So there's no Earth-Day-bashing at the Hinckley homestead! It just wouldn't be tolerated.

I was thinking that perhaps this piece might make a splendid graduation present for her,

Don't be alarmed -- the frame wasn't wonky, just distorted by the angle.
Small Works takes pride in quality framing.

but it is happily celebrating its first Earth Day with its new family. I'm always so happy to send my children to good homes! And I felt great about this one (although it would have been nice if I'd had a chance to get it photographed before it left -- alas this poor image is all that remains, but that's what I get for finishing my work at the last minute, isn't it? Lesson learned.)

A new little gem greeted me on my desk

when I went to my studio this morning, so I decided he should greet you as well. This is the only purchase I made at the show, and it is by B.J. Christofferson,

whose work I have long admired. It will live happily right above my desk next to the embroidery B.J.'s amazingly talented daughter created for us.

Sometimes I come across things that are so simple, and so simply brilliant that it just takes my breath away. The latest is a blog I stumbled across last week (you've probably all seen it -- I'm often the last one at these parties) and I must say that if I can't create Maira Kalman's blog, this is the one I'd most like to have invented:

Jessica draws a little graph of some sort on an index card every day, and they are always insightful and often quite funny (as well as addicting). I pulled a few more examples for you:

So while I was siting at the show I scribbled some ideas for graphs of my own. It's not as easy as it appears to be (as is the case with most simply brilliant things -- part of the brilliance is that they seem so simple, until you try to do them yourself).

This one sums up the total show experience in general, for anyone who hasn't done one but wonders what it might be like:

Now I'll probably get all kinds of comments about how my self-esteem shouldn't be connected to things like sales or positive feedback, but let's be honest because Small Works is all about telling the truth.

Brian Andreas said something on "The Ingredients of Stuff", (perhaps my third favorite blog) that I had to write down immediately. He said,

"Stories will forever and ever
trump facts.
Facts are secondary
to our stories about them."

So while I'm all about being honest here, I'm also of course about telling a good story -- draw your own conclusions from that about anything and everything I may have ever said or written to you.

But rest assured that the angst of shows and creativity and money and feedback and self-esteem is all based solidly in FACT.

I don't know what specific fact (is my hair grayer than it was last month?) contributed to the large number of comments I got at the show about things like arthritis, bifocals, and that my work was destined to cause and/or be affected by all those wonderful gifts inherent in age.

I wish I'd started this work when I turned 30 rather than when I turned 40 -- it's my eyes that are giving me the most trouble now, but I'm sure the day will come when my joints stage a rebellion as well. After about 3 people had mentioned my age (and impending doom) I was inspired to draw a second little diagram:

So if you see a sudden increase in the price of work, I hope you'll assume it's because it is appreciating in value at an astonishing rate, but it may be that I just need to finance a new and stronger pair of bifocals every 3 months.

True story.

And now last but not least, Dear Friends, look what greeted me outside my window on this Earth Day:

It seems like just a few days ago I was posting snow pictures ad nauseum; now there are BUDS, ACTUAL LIVING BUDS THAT MAY BE SUGGESTIVE OF POSSIBLE FUTURE LEAVES
on the trees in my very own yard.

In fact, these crab apples will be just about ready to burst when I return from my vacation.

Oh yes, did I forget to mention my vacation?

I'm leaving tomorrow, heading west to see my family and bake my bones in my beloved red rock desert. And eat good Mexican, among other things.

So Small Works will return May 4, full of both fact and fiction which I will share in what will be my 99th post!

A post that is sure to contain details of the spectacular Small Works 100th Post Celebration which will include my very first blog giveaway!

Breathless with excitement? Me too.

Until then, I hope Mother Earth will take care of these little friends

(no tornadoes while I'm away, please) so that we can have a joyful reunion in May.

And until then, all of you (both Republicans and Democrats)


Class Dismissed for Spring Break.


whimseycreations said...

I hope you have a wonderful vacation. I laughed all the way thru your blog - especially at the second drawing you did - too funny. The bird is absolutely wonderful!!!

Jake and Chelsea said...

here is a prose poem comment:

i am so glad for earth day. ours was so sunny and beautiful until just a moment ago when the clouds decided they were too hot, so they started sweating. the weather will be awesome this weekend. maybe even 80.

i am so glad for earth day.

have a great trip! love you!

VO said...

Have a fabulous time winging your way across Mother Earth towards your desert-y destination.

btw, bifocals + magnified! Much cheaper than bifocals every 3 months.

lchedblom said...

hope you have a wonderful trip, lots of delicious mexican food, and perfect dry heat for baking your winter-weary bones.

safe travels! luanne

Allie said...

Being a conservative, I say shame on them - I worship the Creator, and how can you not love and care for what He has created??? Ok, off my soapbox, lol. We have buds here too, I'm so excited! But a little desperate to get some seeds so my garden doesn't get started in August. I hope you have a lovely, lovely vacation!!!!

susan m hinckley said...

Thanks everyone, for the kind Bon
Voyage -- I will eat a bite of guacamole in honor of each of you (and for the magnifier link, VO, although it is perhaps an indictment of both of our ages, two bites for you!)

VO said...

Yay! I got 2 bites!

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