I went into Asheville yesterday and did my favorite thing there --- browsed my way through bookstores. Malaprops is my favorite. It's a smallish new book store, but they always have unusual and enticing selections that I've never seen anywhere else. This is my main reason for supporting local book stores instead of just ordering online. Browsing can't be beat for discovering new treasures.
I left with one utterly charming picture book for kids (though bought totally for myself --- monsters and patchwork cats and tea and toast were irresistible) and one grown up picture book, a travelogue by a 27 year old woman having an adventure in Europe.
She sketches her way through the trip and is an accomplished cartoonist. I love her storytelling and labeled sketches of food and sites. My friend Elizabeth Alley is also a master of those quick, narrative sketches. The book made me want to document this trip, but I'm such a landscape artist at heart. All I've managed so far is a series of watercolors out the window of the view from my work table.
Here is last night.
At least I got fired up to paint reading Knisley's book. (I also loved her emotional honesty about the life choices she faces. A very courageous book. I highly recommend it.) I would love to try more narrative in my work, and maybe I'll push my limits this trip. Though I didn't bring a second sketch book, so I may have to truck into Asheville again if I really catch fire...
Here are this morning's series of watercolors. I lingered over breakfast and tea and just kept painting.
And my work table with simultaneous breakfast and painting going on. Now on to some printmaking.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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