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April 2009


Lucky me. I just bought this painting by one of my favorite artists, TMNK - The Me Nobody Knows.

TMNK, The Me Nobody Knows, Bird, street artist, african american artist, new york city artist,


Bird Seeds. Copyright 2009 TMNK (The Me Nobody Knows) (mixed media on masonite 12" x 12" approx.) Used with permission of the artist

"Notice the happy sounds they make as they flutter about munching on their tiny morsels. It’s the bird seeds. The little things in life they enjoy. I’ve decided to learn from them, as I too rise early each morning, feeding my mind positive little thoughts. And reminding myself to be grateful for the small things in life that we sometime overlook. And though many say I inspire, this painting was inspired by a tiny little bird chirping in my ear. Not the one outside my door, the little bird I’m referring to is my youngest daughter. She’s made many attempts at goals, sometimes not achieving her desired result. Yet, I’m amazed as I speak with her, she’s like the birds outside my door, happily chirping away despite what some might call disappointing results, continuing to try, determined to fly. Hungry for something different? Allow me to suggest some bird seeds." - TMNK

Nobody will be here at Pine Street Art Works with his wonderful work on Sept 11th and 12th for Art Hop.
Check his blog for more wonderful images, inspiration and buying opportunities.


If Charles and Raye Eames had designed for pets this is what they'd have made.

pet furniture, modern pet furniture, hepper, jed crystal, burlington vt designer, black pug
Dog bed by Hepper.

I had the pleasure of spending some time recently with industrial designer and fellow Burlingtonian Jed Crystal who I met through Paige Russell when she and he had a show at PSAW a few years ago . Now Jed's  up to something new: modern pet furniture. His company is called Hepper. They sell online and in select locations around the country.

My own pug, Saki,  has a habit of chewing the furniture - she's already destroyed a couch - so there's no way I'm buying her this gorgeous ensemble. But if I could, you know I would.


Pine Street Art Works has been specializing in vernacular art since we opened. The May exhibit, BLOOM, focuses on seed packets from the beginning of the 20th Century. These gorgeous lithographs are beautiful enough in their original size. Enlarged, they become even more interesting and monumental, as the dots of the lithographs become more obvious.

Burt's Seed, Watermelon seed packet. 1915 Modern Litho & Ptg. Buffalo NY,
Genessee Vally lithographers Rochester, NY Cowan Ephemera Collections


BLOG watermelon detail
Detail, Burt's Seed, Watermelon.


Burt's Seed, Antirrhinum Snapdragon. 1916 Genessee Valley Lithograph Co,
Rochester, NY.Cowan Ephemera Collections.

BLOG snapdragon detail
Burt's Seed Packet. Antirrhinum. Detail. Cowan Ephemera Collections.


Gailardia Seed Pack. Genessee Valley Litho Co. Rochester NY
Cowan ephemera collections.

BLOG gailardia detail
Gailardia. Detail.Genessee Valley Litho co. Rochester, NY. PSAW ephemera collections



Houston photographer Cara Barer has scored again, with a stunning cover photograph on the new book, The Late Age Of Print, by Scott Esposito. Published by Columbia University Press - kudos to them as well, for having the great taste and style to publish one of Cara's 

The late age of print cara barer photo whirigig
cover image Whirligig, by Cara Barer.

Cara has had two solo shows at PSAW and we always carry an assortment of her prints.


This is written by Ronald Petrou. Ronald and I first spoke on the phone about a year ago, after he had read my posts on Zina. He sent this yesterday as a response to one of my Zina posts, and he gave me permission to reprint it here as a blog entry.

I knew Zina and Conrad Rooks in Athens in 1962-63. She was my living example of a "White Goddess." I had been reading Robert Graves and found Zina to be the embodiment of a woman with the gifts of beauty, generosity of spirit, and inclination whose task was to inspire men. One day she gave me as a gift, Ziddhartha, by Hermann Hesse. She was the only woman I have ever known who in conversation looked directly at me with her wonderful, large blue eyes, and asked me, "Ron, what do you think?" with such sincerity that awakened a new sense within me of who I was and what I could do.

I became friends with her husband and was for 6 months involved with him in New York in 1964-65 while he was making Chappaqua. I met Zina for the last time during that period and went for a walk with her from her midtown hotel to the hip restaurant, PJ Clarks. She took my hand and we walked along the electrically charged New York City streets as if we were two children or two lovers. Her nature was sexual and innocent at the same time. After I dropped her off at her hotel a few hours later, I accidentally put my hand to my face and discovered the scent of Zina’s perfume. I smiled and her presence remained with me for several hours. I can recall in detail that walk and that scent even now.

The poem by Robert Graves, “The White Goddess,” captures some of Zina's magic.

All saints revile her and all sober men
Ruled by the God Apollo's golden mean --
In scorn of which I sailed to find her
In distant regions likeliest to hold her
Whom I desired above all things to know
Sister of the mirage and echo.

It was a virtue not to stay,
To go my headstrong and heroic way
Seeking her out at the volcano's head
Among pack ice, or where the track had faded
Beyond the cavern of the seven sleepers:
Whose broad high brow was white as any leper's
Whose eyes were blue, with rowan-berry lips,
With hair curled honey-colored to white hips.

Green sap of Spring in the young wood a-stir
Will celebrate the Mountain Mother,
And every song-bird shout awhile for her;
But I am gifted, even in November
Rawest of seasons, with so huge a sense
Of her nakedly worn magnificence
I forget cruelty and past betrayal,
Careless of where the next bright bolt may fall.

Zina is a living presence for me even now, 47 years after I met her.

However, although she once invited me to go with her to Katmandu when she was having difficulties with Conrad, who was then known as Russell, not as her lover but as her friend and the teacher for her young son, Alexander, I recognize now that I was wise to go my own way.

I am sure that in the spiritual world or here in our world if she has reincarnated, she carries with her gift-giving capacities few human beings possess.

Ronald Petrou