Hannah Day flies over to the orange typewriter


    California born, artist and environmentalist Hannah Day came to Paris this year to study French and to draw trees. A constant in Hannah’s work on both sides of the Atlantic, trees have extended their roots in this young artist’s life far beyond her sketchbooks. As a fruitarian, Hanna relies on trees for everything she eats. And she helps save the trees she paints by doing much of her work on used shopping bags and postcards. Her environmental concerns, green lifestyle, and artistic passions are spiritually grounded, if that’s the right word, in Hannah’s practice of ‘Flying’ yoga. Hannah is currently working on her first children’s book.

S&D: Why do you draw trees instead of sunsets, skyscrapers, or jam-jars? 

H.D: Well, I didn’t really choose to draw trees. In fact, I resisted the idea for quite a while, beginning when I did one drawing in my freshman year of college in which trees were an essential element; I was hesitant because trees are a common subject… It ended up being the first drawing I ever completed that I felt was truly successful. At the time I thought my drawing’s success was despite the trees, not because of  them. I realized that trees are only cliché the way a naked woman’s figure is cliché; artists have returned to them over and over for a reason.


S&D: You are a fruitarian, what role has this played in your artistic life?

H.D: It was when I began eating a diet based on raw, whole fruit that I truly became enamored with trees, and as a result, came to accept my habit of drawing them. Their being the source of every piece of succulent sustenance that I consume suddenly brought trees to life in a whole new way. My drawings became illustrations of my reverence for these beings that generously dispense bushels of delicious food. Fruit trees produce more calories per acre than any other crop, and are the only crop that gives back to the soil. At the same time, their branches provide shade and shelter to many a creature, including us, and their roots wind through the earth beneath them to offer stability to the surrounding terrain…The beauty of the simple existence of something so gracious as the fruit tree makes me feel an inexplicable joy which I feel may have saved my work from rolling down a more cynical road.


S&D: But Paris is a big, dirty city…why paris?

H.D: It was kind of something that I had always planned on doing. Ever since I started studying French I have wanted to be immersed in the language. I have changed a lot since I originally made those plans; there is very little about the lifestyle here that fits with my current love of the sun, nature and fresh produce—but the art remains. There is a creative energy here that is infectious. I feel that one is encouraged in his or her creative endeavors; art is not deemed a selfish use of one’s time, but a way of life, and a way to share one’s life. 

S&D: Advice for young painters?

H.D: The best advice I have ever received, as an artist, is to just keep working. Allow yourself to produce bad work—mountains of it—and don’t let it discourage you from continuing to create. My yoga teacher here in Paris once explained that the tradition of Kundalini Yoga believes that not only can we not prevent ourselves from making mistakes, but that we can not stop ourselves from making the same mistake numerous times. We must continue making the same mistake until we learn the lesson that we are intended to glean from finding ourselves in the confounding situation over and over again. The hardest part about being a young artist is trying to find what you want to talk about in your work, how to communicate what is driving you to sit yourself down in your studio, or in your room with your guitar, or in front of your typewriter.  
S&D: Advice for young environmentalists?

H.D: It is physically impossible to live on this planet without affecting the state of it and all of the creatures who live on it. But as with being an artist, the most important thing is not to be discouraged, and more than that, to never ever believe that all that you do, or all that you dream of doing, will be for naught.
Artwork courtesy of Hannah Day,
all rights reserved.
Interview by Charlie Daly

Next Time:  Next week, poet Margaux Curcuru returns to interview Stacks & Dropper’s Charlie Daly about the orange typewriter series, sex, swimming, and Oscar Wilde.

Alizé Meurisse: 2 paintings, 1 collage, and an ashtray

The orange typewriter series is proud to welcome painter, novelist, hip-hop lyricist, and Coup de Coer recipient, Alizé Meurisse. Her work has been shown in Paris and London, on canvasses that “engulf the viewer,” as Editions Alia editor Gérard Berréby put it, and touch themes from “travesty to sacrilege.” She has published two novels with Editions Alia: Pâle Sang Bleu (nominated for the Prix de Flore), and Roman à Clefs–all before her 26th birthday. Work from Alizé’s 2011 exhibition at Paris’ Galerie Nuke is available in book form as Pen Knife, which gets its title from the couto Swiss like versatility of this brilliant and busy young artist. 
‘Salomé’ was shown in London’s Cob Gallery
and appears on the cover of ‘Grace/Wastelands’
Pete Doherty’s  first solo album.

S&D: Which grabbed you first: painting or writing, are you formally schooled in either? 

A.M: as a child I used to draw a lot, as a teenager I wanted to be a painter… I left school behind when I was 19 (after two years of “classe préparatoire”)…haven’t been to art school or followed any writing course, I’m just curious and enthusiastic… and ambitious I guess! I mean I love writing and painting, I couldn’t stop, I need it.
S&D:  Could you give us the meaning of your first name?
A.M: It’s the name of a tropical wind, from the Caribbean… but it’s also the name of a drink which is mentioned in some hip hop tracks (tupac, dre, etc), to New Yorkers it sounds like quite a “thug” name. 
There’s also a french pop singer who’s called “Alizee” (spelt with two “e”s though!) her hit single “Lolita” came out when I was about 14 so I got teased a bit. 
I think your name says a lot about you, I like mine. 
My brother calls me Zey.

S&D: Rimbaud or Baudelaire? (you have to choose…)

A.M: I like Both. I choose Verlaine!

‘Petite Mort’
from Alizé’s ‘Second Sex’ series

S&D: Why Paris?

A.M: Because I was born here…well, I’m from a Paris suburb (92) and moved to Paris when I was 10.

S&D: Picasso used to make his girlfriends and wives read the Marquis de Sade; is there a book you would prescribe to your friends and lovers?

A.M: I don’t know… there’s nothing I feel people absolutely HAVE TO have read, on the contrary I’d get bored with people who think and do just the same as I do. I’m interested in what my friends and lovers can make me discover!
Discover Alizé at
Photo by Siegfried De Turckheim

Next time: Tree-sketcher, environmentalist, and flying Yogi, 
Hannah Day visits the orange typewriter.
Ashtray by Alizé,
interview by Charlie Daly
Photos Courtesy of
Alizé Meurisse.
Read the typewritten Draft!

Tai Murray’s violin has 287 years on the orange typewriter

Tai and her Giovanni Tononi, Bologna, c. 1690.

Described as ‘technically flawless,’ by Muso Magazine, and ‘superb’ by the New York Times, Tai Murray has impressed and enchanted the classical music world with her virtuosity and energy, and secured her place as one of its great violinists. Her skills as both a concert and chamber musician have taken her to concert-halls and  salons around the world, and won her numerous accolades and prizes including: an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and two years as a BBC New Generation Artist. Her new album was chosen as a Gramophone choice disk, and this March Tai was awarded a Sphinx Medal of Excellence at a black-tie dinner hosted by Justice Sotomayor at the U.S Supreme Court.

S&D: How old were you when you started playing, do you still have your first violin?

T.M: I snacked on my first violin!  I was five when I started with both the Suzuki and Traditional methods, so my first “instrument” was a crackerjack box with a drumstick attached.  All joking aside soon after I was able to have the candy as a stale treat, and my family lucked upon this 19th century Italian half-size violin that I used for maybe 10 months. Such a nice violin of that size is really unusual; I often wonder where it is. I traded it in when I moved up to a three-quarter-size instrument.

S&D: These interviews have been with Paris-based artists. You live in Berlin, why Berlin? (We ask everyone ‘why paris’)

T.M: My only rule for a place to live is that the city have a “heartbeat”. For me this could be a community vibe, a sense of shared general curiosity, a certain crackle-and-pop that drives things. I’d found those things in New York City so when I decided to move to Europe I found what I was searching for in Berlin. I also relish the idea of learning a fourth language having studied French and Japanese as a child, so … Viel Glück für mich!

S&D: Is there a particular city or venue on your bucket-list?

Growing up we had a faux-photograph painting of a scene in Santorini, Greece.  If I ever get to experience the bright blue roofs of that photo, I will probably cry with joy.

S&D: A lot of us wish our parents had made us stick with an instrument. What would you say to a kid who wants to quit music entirely and will regret it later? 

I believe that just as I was, and am, sure I wanted to play forever, not wanting to play in the present is just as valid a thought. I would say not to self-pressurize, and realize that if music is not what you want to do with your life, it is quite alright to enjoy it in whatever capacity you choose.
S&D: Do you ever get stage-fright? What does it feel like to play to an audience?

T.M: I get what I call stage-exhilaration.  It includes adrenaline and anticipation but mainly focus, similar to the moment that a spinning top is going at its fastest, and as a result takes an incredible amount of disruptive energy to knock off its axis.

Tai Murray’s new album is now
available on Amazon and iTunes.
Next Week: Painter and novelist, Alizé Meurisse shares her canvasses and her ashtray.
Interview by Charlie Daly,
Photos & Video
courtesy of Tai Murray.



Quentin Veron Meets the Orange Typewriter


Quentin  advises young artists to take risks. He would know, Veron launched his brand at the bottom of the recession. Though economic conditions were against him, Quetin had the cumulative wisdom of an eons old craft literally in his hands, with which he crafts each piece himself. This mysterious brand didn’t stay a mystery for long; his clients include: Joey Starr, Johnny Depp and Vanesssa Paradis. Quentin launches a new line with Paris’ Springsioux this summer.

S&D: QuentinWhat is it about fur?
Q.V: Fur is the most amazing material, it moves like it’s alive when you wear it… makes the woman feel beautiful and the man feel powerful.

S&D: What influences/ inspires you outside the world of fashion?
Q.V: The fashion world doesn’t inspire me at all. I get my inspiration from a lot of different sources, things I can see in my daily life in the streets, or feelings I can have. As well as the 19th century, the middle age, Tim Burton, death,…ect…but most of the time I get some ideas in my head that come from nowhere especially and I create my own world from that.

S&D: We’ve got to ask you that ‘Any advice for young artists?’ question…
Q.V: Work hard, take risks, work hard, be passionated about everything you do, work hard, be smart, take a look at yourself often and don’t hesitate to change if you feel you went the wrong way…but the most important is to work hard.. (Quentin Winks.)

Get your Veron
before it’s too late

“The theme behind the Autumn/Winter 2010 collection of Quentin Veron opens the doors of an underground, secret and almost forbidden land where strange and timeless characters rub elbows. It is a place where androgynous guardians brush against barefoot dancers. It is a world where mysterious empresses reign and where we can hear the frightening echo of the Sabbats from the splendorous Notre Dame era. Once again, the Parisian designer Quentin Veron is at the origin of a universe whose only limits are those of the imagination. He takes you with him where the show is set, where life is always a theater.” —QuentinVeron.com

S&D: Why Paris?

Pete Doherty enjoying a cigarette
and keeping warm in a
top-hat and waistcoat by Q.V .

Q.V: Most beautiful city in the world….and the hardest one too! It’s a real challenge to make it happen here.

S&D: And Finally, if you could design one piece for one figure from the past what would that piece be and for whom?

Q.V: A huge black fur cape for Nosferatu (i know dracula is a myth but i like the idea!!)
If not, a beautiful piece like a lace dress with fur for the Marchesa Casati.

Find Quentin and his pelts at: http://www.quentinveron.com/
Interview by Charles Daly
Photos courtesy of Quentin Veron,
portraits by Marie Canciani.
Read the typewritten draft!


Next Week: Master Violinist and Berliner, Tai  Murray takes a seat at the orange typewriter.