Sunday, January 18, 2015

... "Never to suffer would have been never to have been blessed" ...

Had my bridal portrait by Abigail Larson framed
Brit Austin print that I bought

Last weekend, I knew that the week was going to be long and difficult. There were some evenings that I didn’t get home until 8:30pm only to have to go to bed around 9 and then get up at 4:30am and do it all again. Because of that, last weekend was more *work* than play. This weekend, I’m happy to report, has a bit more *play*.

Abigail Larson print that I bought
Birthday Bash Schedule
Yesterday, I headed to Poe’s Birthday Bash 2015 at the Richmond Poe Museum. There are so many highlights that this might be a mega-post. To start, the weather was supposed to be in the low 40s so I tried to dress accordingly only to have the weather actually be in the 30s. I ended up freezing! Sadly, I wasn’t the only one because local artist Abigail Larson, who was there was her handsome new fiancĂ©, and Alexandria artist Brit Austin of BLA Illustration & Design had set up sales tables outside. Brrr even if they were dressed more weather-appropriately than I was. I’ve been a long-time fan of Ms. Larson’s work but this was the first time I had the opportunity to meet her in person. Actually, I tend to avoid meeting the artists whose work I adore because if they turn out to be big ol’ meanies I end up loving the work less. Never fear, Abigail Larson is one of the most lovely humans I’ve ever met being both personable and friendly. <sigh of relief> To support the arts, I *had to* pick up a few prints.

Dr. M. Thomas Inge
The birthday bash featured two special exhibits including: Reimagining Poe: The Poe Illustrations of Richard Corben.      
Award-winning artist Richard Corben has been producing some of the most compelling and original comic book adaptations to Poe's works for over four decades. Experience some of his best original artwork in this unique retrospective exhibit.

Illustration by Corben
Not only did we get to view the exhibit but local university professor Dr. M. Thomas Inge presented about Corben’s work. Dr. Inge wrote the introduction to Corben's Edgar Allen Poe's Spirits of the Dead and he will be speaking about the influence of Poe on Corben at the annual PCA/ACA Conference in New Orleans on April 3rd. What I adored most about his presentation is that he shared his excitement of being young and buying the comics. I use the expression “nerd-out” and we audience members could see that Inge was incredibly passionate about his work. He also shared a bit of his uncertainty when he explained that he included descriptions in the introduction that he thought were correct. He laughed and added, “Corben never corrected me so I guess I was right”.

Shadow box by Nicole Pisaniello
The second Special Exhibit included: Chambers of the Red Death: A Study in Light and Shadow by another local artist Nicole Pisaniello from Powhatan, Virginia.     
Artist Nicole Pisaniello interprets Poe's terror tale "The Masque of the Red Death" through an exhibit of shadow boxes.

I hadn’t realized that the artist Nicole Pisaniello was at the Bash until our second trip in to see the shadow boxes. I have to admit that that was the warmest place in the entire bash since most of the activities took place outdoors in the garden. Here work is stunning though so even without the cold temperatures, Pisaniello’s work warranted a second view. Fortunately, she was there during our second visit.

walking tour
Other highlights included Elmira Shelton (portrayed by Debbie Phillips) who spoke about her engagement to Poe which concluded with a walking tour of some of the Richmond spots the two of them enjoyed together.
Elmira Shelton Richmond home at night

hand soap hee hee
After that, we wimped out and just couldn’t stay until midnight for the champagne toast.


  1. Abigail Larson's pictures are awesome. And this looked like an awesome night out. Thanks for sharing

  2. Aw, cool! You're so lucky to go to Poe's birthday bash!!! This looks like so much fun! :) And gorgeous artwork.

  3. Beautiful framing job on that bridal portrait! I'm very envious of people who get to go to Poe birthday parties. :)

  4. How lovely, glad you were able to go!! I wish I was able to attend something like this, I would be in Heaven! :-)

  5. Looks like a great night out, despite the cold. Beautiful pictures.

  6. What a great day, and I really like your Bridal portrait.

  7. I am now jealous not only of your awesome event, but that you met Abigail Larson! Wow!