24 January 2015

I had to post this because it's cool on sooo many levels...

The Incomplete Book List

I am a voracious reader.  My brain gets restless when I can't read.  Recently, on my short bus commute to work, I have even started listening to audio books. It's not the same but it does help.

This morning I woke up and made a book list.  These books have left a lasting impression in some way or another, whether they influenced my thinking, inspired me, or the simple beauty of the writing itself.

With the exception of one or two authors, I have tried to limit the list to one author, one book.  However, usually when I find an author I like, I want to read everything else they have written.  So yes I have read more than one Ray Bradbury, and definitely more Kurt Vonnegut.

Anyway, here goes.  If there is a book or author you think I might like, leave it in the comments

  1. The Light Boxes-Shane Jones
  2. Choke-Chuck Palahniuk
  3. The Last Magician-Janette Turner Hospital
  4. The Dharma Bums-Jack Kerouac
  5. The Journal of Albion Moonlight-Kenneth Patchen
  6. Tropic of Cancer-Henry Miller
  7. Steppenwolf-Herman Hesse
  8. A Brief History of the Dead-Kevin Brockmeier
  9. Neverwhere-Neil Gaiman
  10. Doctor Sleep-Madison Smartt Bell
  11. One Hundred Years of Solitude-Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  12. Nausea-Jean-Paul Sartre
  13. Cat's Cradle-Kurt Vonnegut
  14. Trout Fishing in America-Richard Brautigan
  15. The Romantic-Barbara Gowdy
  16. Hallucinating Foucault-Patricia Duncker
  17. The Dogs of Babel-Carolyn Parkhurst
  18. The Boy Detective Fails-Joe Meno
  19. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting-Milan Kundera
  20. Motherless Brooklyn-Jonathan Lethem
  21. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay-Michael Chabon
  22. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell-Susanna Clarke
  23. Ghostwritten-David Mitchell
  24. The Black Book-Lawrence Durrell
  25. The Razor's Edge-M. Somerset Maugham
  26. Where I'm Calling From-Raymond Carver
  27. Collected Stories-Andre Dubus
  28. Galore-Michael Crummey
  29. Daniel Fights a Hurricane-Shane Jones
  30. A Fairly Good Time-Mavis Gallant

Let me know what you think...

23 January 2015

A Short List of Movies

I love movies.  I have movies on most of the time when I am sitting back in my studio.  Old movies, generally, old horror movies, specifically.  I go beyond just the horror genre when I talk about my favorite movies.  There are movies that are guilty pleasures, the ones I rarely admit I watch. There are also those that have made a lasting impression.

So, I made a list, in no particular order.

  1. Fight Club
  2. Murder, My Sweet
  3. Touch of Evil
  4. Experiment in Terror
  5. The Big Lebowski
  6. Snatch
  7. The Devil's Backbone
  8. Adventures of Baron Munchausen
  9. Frankenstein (1931)
  10. Don't Look Now
  11. The Maltese Falcon
  12. Snatch
  13. The Razor's Edge (1984)
  14. A Fistful of Dollars
  15. Moonrise Kingdom
  16. Away We Go
  17. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  18. The Seventh Victim
  19. Planet of the Apes (1968)
  20. 12 Monkeys
  21. Halloween
  22. Trust
  23. A Night at the Opera
  24. Blue
  25. The Illusionist (2006)
  26. Mindwalk
  27. On the Waterfront
  28. The Last Seduction
  29. Orlando
  30. The Fisher King
  31. Blood Simple
  32. Chamber of Horrors (1966)
  33. Miller's Crossing
  34. My Favorite Year
  35. Becket
  36. The Devils
  37. The Pope of Greenwich Village
  38. War of the Worlds (1953)
  39. Jacob's Ladder
  40. A Perfect World
Bear in mind these are the first 40 that came to mind right away.  There are more.  A lot more.  I'm thinking of more as I sit here, but I will stop at 40 (for now).  The movie titles with the years after them?  I wouldn't want you to think I even finished War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise.  Please...

And yes, this list, upon review, is all over the place.  I make no apologies for my eclectic taste in movies.  I tried to restrain myself from listing all the old (bad) horror movies I enjoy.

Please feel free to comment with your list.  I'm always looking for new movies to check out.

15 January 2015

The Other Blog

Perhaps you've noticed I haven't been posting quite as much here.  Maybe you haven't.

I'm finding it more difficult to juggle two blogs.  I have this one and one on my website.  Since my website is Coffee Fish Press it has mostly my linocut block prints.  Lately. though. I have been using the blog feature as a showcase for my drawings and sketches.  A long time ago, this was my only blog and I used it for all art and writing.

So, I think I might be facing a tough question somewhere down the line.  The options are to make this blog my "sketch blog" and keep the website for just the printmaking.  Or ditch this blog and just make it a "one-stop" website.

I'll get back with you when I decide....

16 December 2014

Sketching Pens

crossposted on www.coffeefishpress.com

I have been taking a short hiatus from printmaking to re-acquaint myself with sketching.  It's a basic skill that I occasionally lose touch with.  I forget how to get out of my own head and see the world around me.  This results in feeling stuck in more ways than one.

My plan, starting this Spring, (and when I'm not doing an art fair) is to venture out into the world and sketch as much as I can.  Whether it is outdoors or in a cafe, I hope to fill several sketchbooks by Autumn.  And then I plan to just keep going.

Of course, there will still be lots of printmaking.  Even though it is only December, the Summer art fair season is looming ahead.  I've already applied for one show for 2015.

I hope you can join me on the journey.

10 December 2014

A Rare Poem Jumps Out of My Brain...

For Kent W.

(On finding that a mutual friend had passed)

And even though it has been six years since his

demise I imagine the true cause of death 

was a profound

bitterness of what he thought the 

world owed him.

I imagine what you are thinking.

I can only imagine because I had stopped

talking to either of you years ago.

I imagine that you mourn him although you know

deep somewhere where rational thought still prevails

that it was he that caused everything

to go downhill for you. 

You climbed into the car even though

you knew he was a bad driver. 

And yet you mourn that his life has come to an end, most likely

from his own undoing.  I myself am glad I escaped

from the influence of one who did not befriend

so much as he inflicted himself in one's life, 

infecting the way one viewed

all the possibilities of beauty.

-Mark B Hill

08 December 2014

Podcast Addiction

Hi, my name is Mark and I am addicted to podcasts...

My gateway podcast was This American Life.  From there, well, there's always a reason to subscribe to one more.  I mean, what can it hurt, right?

There are certainly worse things to be addicted to, right?

I do highly recommend Serial.  Seriously, it's engaging.

07 December 2014


A long time ago, I started this blog as a sketch blog to showcase my sketch journals and drawings. It was a transitional time and I had a lot going on.  The fact that I started drawing again was very happenstance.  I had spent the few years before this trying to be a book artisan.  I did, well, okay, I didn't do very well.  I participated in art fairs for a few years but I found it not to be very worthwhile. So I thought I would take a break from art fairs for a year or two and explore my possibilities.

Within a couple months of this decision I was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm and was told that I needed open-heart surgery.  So, that happened and I was laid up recovering from the surgery for at least six weeks.  I was on weight restrictions, as in, I was not allowed to lift anything more than about six pounds. This also meant I couldn't cut the boards required for making books. I wasn't sure what I was going to do.

To make a long story short, I started drawing again, or rather, I felt I needed to re-learn HOW to draw.

That's when I stumbled onto the world of sketch blogs. It began with a simple Google search.  Then I found an article in HOW magazine.  That was where I first encountered the art of Tommy Kane. From there, I became acquainted with Danny Gregory's book Everyday Matters, which I devoured in one sitting.  Then came his books Creative License and An Illustrated Life.

From sketching I went full-on into linocut printmaking and sketching kind of fell by the wayside. The last five years or so I have pursued learning everything I could about printmaking.  I'm now in my second year of doing art fairs and am already gearing up for next year.

But drawing and sketching have always been there.  And now, I am happy to say, I feel like it's come full circle.  A few days ago I started a sketch journal again.  I admit I was a little rusty but it came back to me pretty quickly.

I have become friends with so many wonderful, supportive artists over the last 6 or 7 years, mostly through Facebook and Twitter.  I am indebted to each of them.  In the next few days I will be adding a "blogroll" of the artists of whom I am referring.  Until then, just Google search Everyday Matters, Sketch Blog, or Artist's Journal.

09 September 2014


Balance.  A 1989 award winning short film by Wolfgang and Christoph Lauenstein.

We all strive for a little balance in our lives.

07 September 2014

Poetry Sunday- William Butler Yeats

When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

    --William Butler Yeats