So there is the old one, S is for Salmon, which has been out a little while now and is up for a Washington state book award this weekend. Cross your fingers that I win, or at least get to meet Tom Robbins, who is a finalist for his new memoir. Come join the fun, its open free to the public, at the stunning Seattle Central Library, Oct 10th at 7pm.
Then there is the new one! Presenting B is for Bear, on shelves Oct. 13th wherever books are sold. It is the same format and tuck-in-your-bag-ability as its predecessor, but with all new colors and characters. When I was first approached about this project, I said “awwww, no way, i dont think I do series” But they said, “we want you to make an alphabet that can be for everyone, not just those Northwesterners”. So I said YES and I look forward to seeing it ramble its way to the edges of our broad nation and beyond. In the book I try to mix a little bit of science, a little bit of silly, and a few of the things that most captured my imagination when I was a kid.
Give this new one a look, and maybe turn your sister-in-law in Des Moines onto it too. Ill be doing a little contest on instagram (i’m @hannahviano) later this month to see just where Bear shows up. If you happen to be in the media world and want a review copy let me know, and if you are wishing that I would come spread out my bits of black paper and jars of things like bear scat at your fave indie bookstore, also let me know. The list of book events is just solidifying but will be posted as things settle in.
This spring there is a frenzy of action, movement, and change in all directions….
1. I had an awesome time as artist in residence at the Portland Childrens Museum, and got to watch the spring blossom on long bike commutes and afternoon sketching sessions. There is an exhibit pulled from my time there which will be showing in their gallery space though July.
2. My new book Arrow to Alaska hit the shelves… Find it at your local bookstore, or on my etsy site when i’m back from #4 and #5
3. Last weekend I celebrated summer weather during a Nature Journaling class put on by Cedar Root Folk School. We sketched and rambled and wrote and enjoyed Marrowstone Island. Above is a fish-head collected during my drift exercise.
4&5 Not one but two trips up the Inside Passage to Alaska! Tomorrow I steam off on the mighty salmon tender Chichagof, for some kids on boats fun and a week of pouring over charts and current tables in preparation for trip two. The “R2AK” or race to Alaska is a wild idea dreamed up by the head of the NW Maritime Center in Port Townsend, WA. For its first year in existence, 40 teams will sail or row or paddle (no motors allowed) from PT to Ketchikan. The first team gets 10,000$, the rest just aches and glory. Its a crazy field of boats and competitors. Check out www.r2ak.com for full hilarious details. I’m team GRIN. Ill also be posting a bit on instagram when service allows (@hannahviano). Look for field sketches done along the way, and hopefully a show of artwork inspired by the journey in the months to follow.
Art is adventurous work these days, and i hope to keep it that way. Wish me luck.
Ive been working on an artful identification guide to 6 Northwest trees. They are some of our most common and types that all of us trailrunners, dogwalkers, and urban wanderers should know.
I was inspired by my own lack of knowledge, one of those “think you know but really dont” times. When my 5 year old can rattle off the tree species in Discovery Park faster than I can (thanks to the awesome Nature Kids Preschool there) then it gives me pause.
I received a grant from local King County arts funder 4Culture to make this set of images. They have been reproduced as a cardstock take-a-way, and piles of them will be available free for passerby at parks and outdoor recreation spots around King County in November. Sites include; Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center, Camp Long Visitor Center, Seward Park Aububon Center, Lewis Creek Park Visitor Center and the Ballard Branch of Seattle Public library.
If you are interested in seeing the set of papercut images full size and all together, and presented in a cool printed metal format….. they will be on display at Venue in Ballard through November, if not longer.
For a great book that is a beautiful and broad reference for us treehuggers, check out “Northwest Trees” by Arno and Hammerly. It has excellent pen and ink illustrations and sets each species in its place in the larger picture of our forests and history.
One mayday morning I woke up in a strange and almost empty house deep in bright green leaves. The house was still asleep, so I roamed. A stuffed iguana on the mantlepiece scared me half to death and woke the house with my 14 year old screech when It lept out from under my curious hand. Not stuffed after all…. Some things are surprising. Like the moment of calm in a week of busy-busy-rush-rush-what-are-we doing-with-our-lives. Suddenly time stops, the iguana blinks at you, and cherry blossoms fall so gently in our glowing, sunny city. It will all be just fine. Mayday can downgraded to a mere Securitae
Last week it was the HOH Haul trail marathon, my first, check, done, saw a bear. Now I am on to an epic framing marathon to get ready for all of my alphabet book originals to go on display and up for sale at CLICK in West Seattle May 8th. There will be a lively artwalk at the Junction ( 6-9pm) and me signing books, I might even bring the Octopus.
Limited edition prints of the letters will be available (by special order through CLICK). Also a few wispy winsome new pieces will be up and more to come as the show progresses. Its up for May and June, if you cant make it next Thursday.
If you are mostly wanting to make sure you see the Octopus in a jar that has been my traveling companion on the northwest book tour of late, come to my reading at Elliot Bay Books this Saturday the 3rd at 11 am. Wiggly kids welcome!!!.
Mockingbird books is the following Saturday at 11 if you are more of a Greenlake type than a Capitol Hill type, we love all kinds.
And after that, let the spring wind blow away your list of things to do.
“S is for Salmon” comes out today…. officially to be found all around in indie book stores and library shelves and of course online. Boy does it take a long time to get to this point, but it feels lovely to hold the finished product in my hand and see it going out to a new generation of little naturalists/artists/superheroes.
And as is the way of publishing, we are already deep in the next project coming 2015. It might be titled “Through the locks”. It might have a small naturalist/explorer/ninja fighter for a main character, and this might become the idea for the cover……stay tuned, and see you in the book stacks.
Click here to buy signed copies of “S is for Salmon” from me via Etsy, or shop your local indie book store.
Three months on the road, and in the sea…. a huge expanse of freedom. The desert had been wet and was in bloom. The winds were strong and sent us back to the beach to explore many a day, but we covered 6,000 miles by oars and wind and chevy van. And none of it was black and white.
These images are notebook sketches made with watercolor and ink along the way.
At home now the color sneaking into my life continues despite the grey weather. “S is for Salmon” comes out next week in full color! Signed copies can be pre-ordered now HERE.
Bands get to go on tour, usually stay-at home moms, sadly, do not. Usually…
But how can one refill that well of inspiration, look at the dilemmas of life from an objective distance, and reconnect with beau and babe in a not-so-9-5 kind of way?
Just pack up and go. Anyway. In spite of all excuses, and fussing about not enough time… (thats really the crux, we never know how much time we will have, right).
Not that there wasnt a year of planning and angling and giant piles of anchors and spare tires and expired safety flares growing in the garage. But now there is a tiny green boat hitched up behind an unpredictable old van and piles have been pummeled into drybags and an artkit has been made for the road. So work can continue as inspiration flows with the miles, land and sea-miles. They say there is no sky like a mexican sky, so perhaps I will use colors, like prickly pear skin and the burnt orange of desert rocks. Cortez blue and Saguaro green to fill up the well.
*The images in this post are a set that is packed in the depths of the van to be dropped off in Truckee, CA at Riverside Studios, a wonderful shop/gallery that carries my work. Both are 16″x20″.
Silver lining 17″x5″
Every year the fall comes and I get itchy, antsy for the crispness in the air and for new adventures and change. When I was young, Maine’s Common Ground Fair marked the change with bluebird days and annual sighting of my blacksmith friend Zack, (who still exists, see his wonderful workHERE) then dockside departure preparations for sailing ships, and winter work seasons in the sun or even southern hemisphere….
Now its the first day of preschool.
But im still itchy, expecting that change to come that will somehow re-arrange complicated life into a new and clearer path.
In the meantime, standing by…. i am preparing,
Sneak peek of Emergency Preparedness Poster Series, coming soon to an Island near you.
It has also been a summer of love in the studio, with a bunch of commissions for anniversary gifts and wedding Kettubah. here are some snippets, and best wishes to all the happy couples.
Sadly, this summer has also seen the passing of loved partners and changing of longtime loves. It is an imperative reminder to me that we can never be prepared to loose someone, so instead may we have and hold and love so sweetly, making the most of whatever time we get to share.
Last year I bought a 1969 chevy van. It is so great, it has its own corny, sexy, song.
It was bought to haul around the region my large pieces of framed artwork. 6 feet of glass, times many such pieces, quickly overwhelms even a stationwagon. Not to mention installation projects and 50 gallon drums to fill with message bottles.
This year, big art pieces….not so much. As my path with this art-work thing goes on its winding way, all roads lead to books, and illustrations,and less 6 foot sheets of glass (for the moment). Luckily the van has another purpose and is gearing up to haul my small family and our tiny boat to Baja for an expedition in the Sea of Cortez this winter.
Currently on the docket are illustrations for a collection of sailing stories and thoughts from the smiling guru on simple living Teresa Carey. I am also working on the mock-ups for a Northwest childrens’ adventure story. Already on their way to print are “S is for Salmon”, made from the Salmon and Salal Alphabet project images, and a cameo illustration in an upcoming book from Ivars.
Perfect work to be done with nothing but a pencilcase and travel-size drawing board as the summer unfolds and we trundle around in that van full of food, bikes, running shoes and playing gear instead of frames.
Sometimes life fits into the space it has. Like Goldfish.
Dear Lake #6 from Urban Lakes install.
For this year i am thinking that i want to make more things for myself and my loved ones, there will be plenty of art, but i want more banana breads, and jars of jam, and hand stitched curtains, and superman insignia silkscreened on everything my son owns. I want to turn off the internet, (wasnt blogging intended to be done at a cafe?) read more books, plant a not so improbable garden, and listen to all the stories my mom can tell me.
Resilience and Revelry are what im thinking of this year. …. and maybe running, ive been doing lots of running.
12 miles today and more to come thanks to some lovely inspiration tangled up in an art contract. This year I will make a series of images for each of Rainshadow Runnings’ trail races and ultramarathons. As we started to go back and forth to make it all happen I began to think that maybe it was a little bit of fate that they contacted me, and really what excercise do i have time for if not running? No, crazy gear, no pool schedules to wrestle with, and as it happens the dog needs to get walked and the kid needs to get to school anyway. So ive been running, recently in the rain, and along the Truckee river during a trip to set up a show at Riverside Studios, and over Christmas in frozen midwest cornfields reminiscent of the movie “Winters Bone”.
It is clearing my head, and letting fresh ideas flow….
So the running part is not my resolution, its the making space in life, so that these new ideas and old ideals can grow.
Happy new year.
“Along Highway 139″ 18″x24”