A Biggs Eye ReView: HEART STONES by Josie Iselin

Book Review by Adrienne Biggs, Biggs Publicity & Events
www.biggspublicity.com, @AdrienneBiggs

Just in time for Valentine’s Day (and American Heart Month) comes a subtle yet powerful picture book, the perfect gift for yourself or someone you adore: HEART STONES by San Francisco-based artist Josie Iselin (http://www.josieiselin.com). This hardcover book is just one title in her popular series of nature-based photo books, which also includes Beach Stones, Leaves and Pods and Seashells (Abrams publishers).

For HEART STONES, Ms. Iselin captured images of a magical collection of dozens of heart-shaped beach stones using a flatbed scanner and computer. Like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack, collecting and capturing nature’s anomalies has been a fifteen-year love affair for this Harvard and SFSU-trained artist. For this visual subject, she explains, “Heart stones, lifted from their obscurity, with all their cracks and blemishes, lopsided and imperfect,…(their) shape arises, without artifice, from the geologic weaknesses and variations within them…Love is where you find it.”

In this 5-1/4” x 5-1/4” book, each stone expresses a universal feeling: Love, strength, wonder, imagination, sensation, esteem, adventure, congruence and many other human emotions inspired by the solace found in nature. Some of the stones included in HEART STONES were graciously loaned to the author “in a leap of faith” by friends who consider them powerful talismans, intimate vessels that contain deeply intimate connections. My favorite heart stone images were titled Intrigue, Reliance, Gesture and Solitude. Spend some time with this book and discover which resonate most deeply for you.

Josie Iselin has exhibited her work at several coveted art spaces, including in the Bay Area at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Intersection for the Arts, SF Camerawork, SF Art Commission City Site and other venues. She lives with her husband and three children on a steep hill in San Francisco.

The next book in Ms. Iselin’s popular picture-book series, Beach: A Book of Treasures, will be available mid-April, published by NCBPMA member Chronicle Books and available here http://tinyurl.com/y8zu62o. Look for a Biggs Eye ReView of Beach in a summer edition of the NCBPMA Newsletter!

P.S. Did you know that February is also American Heart Month? Annually since its congressional approval in 1963, the President has issued a proclamation to this effect, to help raise public awareness of heart disease, the leading cause of death among women. For more information, please visit http://www.americanheart.org and http://www.goredforwomen.org/ – Adrienne Biggs

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