Almost every year at the end of March I go to a dance weekend in Cincinnati and get there early for a pilgrimage to the Ohio Book Store. It's a five story second hand bookstore with a bindery in the basement. Amazingly cool.
This year I went up to spend my birthday there, so I managed a whole, deliciously slow afternoon crawling through Ohio Books, and I ended up with a lovely stack of books as my birthday present to myself. I didn't manage a tour of the bindery, though, so maybe I can take some photos there in a couple of weeks, when I'll be back for the dance. They have a bunch of machines that are cousins to my beautiful Chandler and Price 1909 press.
For my actual birthday, I had chicken and waffles for lunch at a Belgian place (surprisingly delicious) and visited the Cincinnati Art Museum. I had never been, and they have a marvelous collection -- a gorgeous late Van Gogh, a Georgia O'Keefe, a couple of lovely George Inneses, a delightful Rubens preparatory oil sketch (I love his sketches best of all), an El Greco, several Corots and Courbets, a Manet, and four lovely Tiffany windows. Among many other beautiful things. I was really impressed.
The Urban Sketchers have been a good influence on me about keeping a sketch pad with me at all times. I'm not 100%, but a little 3x5" one lives in my purse, so I did a couple of fountain pen wash sketches as I went through the museum. It always helps me remember something if I look at it long enough to draw it. I loved the Medieval painted statue of St. Anthony Abbot clutching his fat book.
My day ended with Parisian-like patisseries from the Findlay Market, which brought back happy memories of my travels last year.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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