“Usually I circle around an idea, coming at it from many angles. In the process it seems to me as valid to move from abstraction towards realism and back again as it is for a poet to move from Lyric to Villanelle and back. The process of work being the discovery of the idea. Sometimes an idea which has been inchoate is defined. Sometimes and idea is inchoate–a song or a poem can help to define it. Or hold it in focus.”-Judith Rothschild, 1976 (Judith Rothschild: An Artist’s Search by Jack Flam)

Poetry in Art: I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth

Charles Demuth’s fabulous painting, I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold, was inspired by his friend William Carlos Williams’ poem, The Great Figure.  The artwork is full of references to the poem and poet.

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth, 1928

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth, 1928. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

It’s always nice to see artists inspiring other artists, especially when they work in different mediums.

The Great Figure by William Carlos Williams

A Brief Reading Q&A with Diana Shafer of Terrific Friends!

A Brief Reading Q&A with Diana Shafer of Terrific Friends

  1. Who are your favourite writers? Jonathan Lethem, John Steinbeck…it’s difficult to choose a favorite because I feel I haven’t read enough of one’s work for them to qualify. I once read just about all of Katherine Anne Porter’s works, but she ended up not being a favorite.
  2. What are your favourite books?
    Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
    The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
    Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
    The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  3. What is your favourite genre? Contemporary Fiction and short stories, but I enjoy taking occasional fiction breaks and reading more meditative writings on food.
  4. Name your favourite dead writer(s). Carson McCullers, Raymond Carver (and of course Steinbeck).

The Terrific Friends Edgar Allan Poe Print giveaway has ended! The winner will be announced later today!

Profile: Diana Shafer of Terrific Friends

Diana Shafer is the talented artist behind Terrific Friends and sponsor of our Edgar Allan Poe Print Giveaway.

She most graciously agreed to tell us a bit more about herself, in her own words.


I live in Nampa which is twenty minutes outside of Boise, Idaho. We are a couple blocks from the historic downtown center where a tight-knit community exists. There’s a budding art scene happening here and it’s exciting to watch. It’s not a glamorous city but my husband and I chose to live here for its affordability and supportive community.

I went to school in Portland, Oregon for fashion design. We moved to Nampa after I graduated and I worked as a seamstress for a while, before I admitted I hated sewing. I ended up opening a clothing store that focused on local and handmade. Unfortunately, the timing was poor (September 2008) and the economy gave us a really tough time. We kept the shop open for five years and I think that was all because of the amazing people around here who made an effort to shop local. I’m grateful for the experience but by the time my lease was up, I knew I didn’t have enough passion left to fuel the struggle, so I closed up shop.

When I was in art school, my favorite classes were drawing and fashion illustration and I kept practicing through the years, developing my own style. My first author portrait dates back to 2008, when I was just playing around and drew Carson McCullers after reading The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. I really started getting to work on the collection in 2012 and finished it in 2013, shortly after I closed the store. Since then I’ve been selling prints on Etsy and in independent boutiques around the country. I’m working on illustrating a children’s book and a friend and I are just starting a new project focused on food and illustration. My latest work can be found under the name D.Shafer Illustration.

Aside from maintaining my Etsy shop and relationships with retailers, I spend a lot of time snuggling with my husband and two adorable dogs (a rambunctious boxer/poodle and a sleepy cocker spaniel/pug) while watching movies or listening to music. We have a close group of friends that we see regularly. I help at a community garden in the summer. There are a couple of chickens in our backyard. I listen to podcasts throughout the day. And of course, the time I’ve spent making my way through our book collection is what inspired Terrific Friends.


Thanks, Diana!

Happy Birthday, James Thurber!

James Thurber, my hometown boy, was born on 8 December 1894:

James Thurber by Fred Palumbo, 1954

James Thurber by Fred Palumbo, 1954

“It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”-James Thurber

Also check out: A Sunday Afternoon Virtual Tour of the (James) Thurber House Museum