I recently went on a business trip to Richmond, Virginia to represent Ringling College of Art & Design at the National Portfolio Day, hosted at Virginia Commonwealth University. It was a really great experience and always fun to talk with eager students who are so incredibly talented!!
While out there in VA, I had a bit of spare time to go exploring. It was dreary weather all weekend, and on Sunday I got up early to attend church at Saint John's where Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Ifollowed an old red brick pathway that meandered around tombstones that were so old the inscriptions had been worn off.
I love graveyards. They always stir me inside to appreciate life, rethink my priorities, urge me to pick up the phone and tell my family I love them. I love the indescribable feeling of pondering who the person was who is buried here, and wondering if George Washington or Patrick Henry or even Abraham Lincoln stood in front of the same tombstone when they visited this church.
This visit to the Saint John's church primed me for an even more adventurous walk to the Poe Museum a few blocks over. It began to rain and silly me did not have an umbrella. I was very damp when I arrived, and for some reason that feeling just made the experience of touring the Poe artifacts all the more lively! Rain has that affect of carrying off one's mind into deeper mystery and thought. All I can say is that it was REALLY COOL walking through the Poe houses, reading the original Raven manuscript, and marvelling at the very desk where Poe sat to write with it raining outside.
To conclude my thought-provoking morning adventure, I happened upon THIS BOOK in the Poe gift shop. My day could not have suddenly become any brighter!!! This book is a gem written and illustrated by one of my favorites, Scott Gustafson. OH JOY!! Inside almost every page has gorgeous dynamic illustrations. I went to lunch after and poured over the pictures, making a copy of the cover in my sketchbook. J'adore!