A short while ago, I wrote a post titled fatto a mano con amore (handmade with love), where I described an initiative by TypePad to connect bloggers involved in making things with their hands.
In the post, I mentioned Molly, an artist and teacher in Seattle, whose blog (subtitled Artist's Journal) includes pages showing her beautiful illustrations, bird and landscape paintings, and prints. After "meeting" online, Molly and I corresponded and organized a little exchange: I sent her one of my handmade journals and she sent me one of her prints and a card. Neither knew the content of the package until she opened it: we gave each other a nice surprise.
You can see the journal I sent Molly and read how she "inaugurated" it in this post.
The print I received from Molly will be framed, but I took a photo of it before it is put under glass. In Molly's own words:
Tree Swallows is a woodblock print... I printed on one of my favorite printmaking papers: Magnani Pescia blue — I love that color, and used water-soluble inks. I carved two woodblocks, one for each color. I saw those swallows perching at Union Bay Natural Area in Seattle...
Indeed, the blue color of the paper is really nice.
The scientific name of the Tree Swallow is Tachycineta bicolor. In Italian, the bird (uccello) is called rondine arboricola americana (or rondine arboricola bicolore).
There is a popular saying in Italian: una rondine non fa primavera, literally "one swallow does not make a spring," meaning that one instance of an event (such as the arrival of a single bird) does not necessarily indicate a trend. I have read that in English there is the similar saying: "one swallow does not a summer make." Molly's print has three swallows, and in any case, looking at the little birds gives me a feeling of spring regardless of the number.
The card Molly sent me (a reproduction of a relief print she made) also has birds on it: cardellini (Goldfinches).
I have been following Molly's blog and looking at hers and her students' work since we've met. I am already inspired and we'll see where this will lead me.
In the meantime, outside the kitchen, I am working on another artist's book, and my friends Christine of Christine Cooks and her husband got a preview of it a few days ago. More details will follow.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the rondini e cardellini audio file [mp3].
[Depending on your set-up, the audio file will be played within the browser or by your mp3 player application. Please, contact me if you encounter any problems.]