Thursday I went to The Sketch Club's circle for professional artists. The Sketch Club is the oldest arts organization in America, founded by Thomas Eakins and five other miscreants it exists today as a members-only club in a wonderful section of philadelphia. (Imagine Dr. Watson saying to Sherlock Holmes "I'm going to my club," -- that's what it looks like. Libraries of art books, leather chairs, fireplaces, pool tables, and wonderful artists.) The professional artists circle was tasked to figure out how to make the club more useful for professional artists. A lively, useful, and wonderful conversation ensued. There were also little sandwiches.
Here I am with Bob Byrd who just won a freaking Newberry award for illustrating Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a medieval village and Don Meyer, the painter.
Bob is very kind and generous -- exactly the kind of person you want to see playing pool at your club when you show up in the evening, because he always has a kind word, sagacious advice, and an outlook that makes you look forward to growing older, wiser, humbler, and more successful.
After that, trillian_stars and I went to the opera. We saw Rossini's Italian Girl in Algiers and it was awesome! It was funny and it was staged brilliantly. We laughed - we did - at all the appropriate places. I wish I had photos, because it was so wonderful. The physical interaction between the performers was wonderful. I particularly loved Kevin Glavin as Mustafa, and Kira Duffy as Elvira, though Lawrence Brownlee as Lindoro was absolutely inspired. It was a stupendously wonderful evening, which we topped off by going to XIX, high atop the Bellevue (the very hotel that was the birthplace of Legionnaires disease!).
Saturday morning I got up stupefyingly early and went with Mike and Mike and Brian over to New Jersey to the Philadelphia Science Fiction Convention (I think the irony is lost on no one) where I was able to continue my stalking of Tom Purdom
"the Dean of Philadelphia Science Fiction" -- I swear that guy gets funnier and more intelligent and kinder every time I see him. He was on a panel with Michael Swanwick and some other lovely people. I later ran into J.R. Blackwell and Jared Axelrod and we wandered around the hotel, I bought a comic book about Carl Kolcheck (dude!) And sported the H.P. Lovecraft t-shirt that leemoyer sent to me. Many people were impressed.
Then the three of us grabbed lunch at a Japanese restaurant where I was horrified to discover they put thinly shaved fish on top of my tofu (it waved around and opened and closed like some sort of dying sea anemone, which both fascinated and horrified me (I didn't touch it)) then came back and went to a terrific reading by Michael Swanwick
who read along with his delightful wife Maryanne. Some people are authors, but Swanwick is an artist who sometimes commits acts of writing. He read only from unpublished works, then he signed and dated everything he read and gave it to members of the audience. He's very into creating unique pieces of art. He was really charming. He showed me a rough draft he'd done of a story that HE WROTE ON LEAVES AND THEN PHOTOGRAPHED and then, I think perhaps because he mistook me for someone else, he invited me to a party at his house on Sunday that he was throwing for famous Science Fiction luminaries. The leaf photo book was nothing short of inspired -- as are many of his art projects.
I left the convention and went back to Philly to catch the Amanda Palmer Show. I got there early and visited a record store where I saw my album cover photo of Gary Billings on display
and then I saw, right across from it, my photograph for Amanda's album
Woohoo. I also discovered one of my photos of Bow Ever Down. I bought a Siouxsie and the Banshees t-shirt and an Edgar Allan Poe t-shirt. Then as my head expanded slightly I met up with Amanda's assistant bethofalltrades and we went out for dinner with The Vermillion Lies. After that, I met up with shadowcaptain, a DJ friend of Amanda's, and some other people. We went to Copacabana for a bit, watched people out the window, and then went to the TLA.
I had decided long ago I was never going to do any more live shots because it's too random and I need to have control over everything and was enjoying the concert strictly as an observer but since I had all this camera equipment that I'd been hauling around since photographing the convention, I pulled out a camera and snapped a couple of photos. It's a good thing that I did.
What as the concert like?
Posed Amanda Palmer
Kyle Signs Stuff
Kyle and Trillian make a poster for Angels in America
Kyle photographs .... three hundred pounds of dead meat and animal guts
Kyle goes to Michael Swanwick's swank party
Kyle and Trillian visit Nicki Jaine
and we did all this in like, the last five days.