Day by day with Island calendars
By Eric Hawkes, www.eshworld.com $15.
It's difficult to describe the artwork of Eric S. Hawkes without slipping into Zen-flavored clichés, e.g. "The silence between the notes is what makes the music happen." Yet that metaphor seems to fit Mr. Hawkes' creations. With the 2007 ESH calendar, his 15th in the series, Mr. Hawkes continues crafting striking black-and-white images that capture the eye. These images, ranging from the sardonic to the majestic, show Mr. Hawkes' command of this unique black-on-white genre. While much of life is cast in shades of gray, there are moments where seeing things in black and white is a virtue. The ESH calendar is a perfect example.
January depicts a boy making a crude sketch of a rabbit as the rabbit intones, "Nice....you could be a starving artist!" In the margins one finds a black cat in front of a white snowman and an oblong object that reveals itself on closer inspection to be a seagull's yawning beak.
While each image has its charms, the cream of the crop belongs to May (a woman sniffs blooming tulips), August (a Sponge Bob-type lobster, jellyfish, and pair of clams inhabit a seafood concession stand), and December (a fish swims in a circular snow-globe fish tank).
For those with a taste for the avant garde and the offbeat, the 2007 ESH calendar is an ideal pick to navigate through 2007. Copies can be found at Beetlebung Coffee House and Leroux.
By Lisa Vanderhoop, Kirkwood Printing, 2006, $15.95
Were it just a collection of large colorful photos of cute dogs, it might suffice. But the dozens of pictures of wet, sandy, curious, playful, alert and at times slightly goofy pups included in Lisa Vanderhoop's 2007 calendar are more. These dogs have attitude. Each is a hairy bundle of personality that Ms. Vanderhoop captures in a cunning and expressive moment.
The calendar project, the first of what we hope will be more, was inspired by Amos (AKA Mr. January), the five-year-old Weimaraner belonging to the Vanderhoops. Ms. Vanderhoop, who formerly worked with wildlife filmmakers, says, "I was going for real Vineyard dogs - not posed - but just doing what they do." The wife of charter boat captain Bubby Vanderhoop, she has ample access to her subjects on docks, beaches, boats, and water.
Ms. Vanderhoop admits, "I went into this project liking dogs, and I came out of it loving dogs. They are amazing creatures."
The calendar includes informative captions, months at a glance, and precipitation and temperature averages.
Wings over the Vineyard
Designed, published & assembled by Conservatree to benefit Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, $10.
They are all here, the gull, Razorbill, Cormorant, Chickadee, even moths and butterflies, perched or in flight over the Vineyard. What makes this handy calendar (five and a half inches by eight and a half inches) striking are the slick and polished photographs taken by Bill Ewart Jr., Ron Howard, Lanny McDowell, Matthew Pelikan, and Julian K. Robinson. These photographers' stop-action images contain crisp details, along with the rhythm and spirit of their subjects.
Although there is very little space to make notations on the days of the month, this attractive calendar offers bits of information about the birds and insects it identifies, and includes a Dates To Remember page in the back.
The 2007 calendar is dedicated to Gus Ben David, who for 36 years served as director of Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Vineyard Calendar 2007
By Peter Simon, Simon Press, $15.95
Once again Peter Simon has compiled oooh-ahhhh photographs of Island scenes: a rainy day outside the Black Dog, a jumble of boats outside Gannon & Benjamin, brightly lit town scenes, and up-Island landscapes, in a large calendar designed to dazzle. Using color in a painterly way to intensify the scenes, his is the Vineyard that visitors come to here to discover.
The familiar format (this calendar marks its 20th year) includes captions for each month written by various Islanders, temperature and precipitation information, and listed on the appropriate day, bits of Island history and current events.