The day is almost done, and I feel horrible that I havent put up a post yet. However, now is the time. Spent a bit of time with Chad Grohman on IM with him giving me a teensy tutorial on how to take my inked drawings into illustrator as vectors without having to use the magic instant tracing tool that gives the images a ton of chatter etc. This method isnt perfect, but as you use huge files to create work paths from and then exporting those work paths to illustrator--gives you more points and more of chance for the image to be slightly smoother. This is very cool, and Chad was/is a prince to have spent the time patiently getting me to better understand this interesting process. Its great to spend a little typing time with Chad as his energy and sharp mind are inspiring..nothing gets past him. Plus, he has this wider life view that seems to open up the windows and let the cool air in. He has a good sense about what is important, and what isn't. He is another reason I am happy I am doing the Hartford MFA right now. And, there are about another solid 50 reasons why as well...but today,Chad gets the gold ring.

I am enjoying making these patterns (above) just for the sake of making more patterns inspired by Indian painting styles for their vegetation. There are a few more techniques that they use that I need to get comfortable with too, as they take me places beyond the illustrations at hand. To be honest, these sketch processes spin pictures (soon to be more real, more environmental than before) and patterns that could be applied to a lot of things. These vegetative patterns would be great on high end papergoods (like Caspari) --plates, napkins, towels etc. Perhaps the merchandising trip would work. Maybe I should just chase down Caspari and Cranes and see how one can submit designs for consideration. I also really want to begin to internalize an Indian inspired palette beyond curry and orange...but dirty light blues, pinks, mauves, tans etc.Its not a mainstream palette that I find beautiful and very sophisticated. As an aside, we had dinner last night at friends of my in laws, both language professors from Cornell. One of the professors' expertise is in Sri Lankan languages..and their lovely house was laden with books, hindu carvings and magical persian miniatures. Amazing what those miniaturists could pack into a tight two inch square. Makes my eyes hurt.

Working on peacocks like I had mentioned in previous post. The Baha'i use a peacock as their symbol and have spoken of the broad symbolic appeal. They say on their website:

The peacock is an ancient symbol found in many cultures throughout the world. The richness of meanings attributed to it matches the ornate beauty of its plumage. The peacock is often depicted in Hindu mythology as a steed of the gods and is considered sacred. It is associated with Japanese and Chinese goddesses of mercy. In the Buddhist tradition, the peacock’s ability to eat poisonous snakes can be understood as a symbol of the transmutation of evil into good. In some Islamic traditions, it has been portrayed as the greeter at the gates of paradise. In ancient Persian texts the peacock represented eternal life. The early Christians praised the many “eyes” in its feathers as signs of the all-seeing God. Though for later Christians the peacock came to be regarded as a symbol of vanity, they found its usefulness in the idea that just as the beautiful peacock considers its own feet ugly humans should take note and lament their own imperfections no matter how great their worldly glory.

Later depictions of the peacock continued to attribute to it spiritual significance. In his poem, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, the mystic poet William Blake wrote: “The pride of the peacock is the glory of God.” Given its enduring symbolism, the peacock was seen as an appropriate decoration by Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, who used it as a motif at various Bahá’í settings.

In his Spiritual Couplets, the famous Sufi poet Maulana Jalalu-'D-Din Muhammad Rumi tells the following tale:

A sage went out to till his field, and saw a peacock busily engaged in destroying his own plumage with his beak. At seeing this insane self-destruction the sage could not refrain himself, but cried out to the peacock to forbear from mutilating himself and spoiling his beauty in so wanton a manner. The peacock then explained to him that the bright plumage which he admired so much was a fruitful source of danger to its unfortunate owner, as it led to his being constantly pursued by hunters, whom he had no strength to contend against; and he had accordingly decided on ridding himself of it with his own beak, and making himself so ugly that no hunter would in future care to molest him. The poet proceeds to point out that worldly cleverness and accomplishments and wealth endanger man's spiritual life, like the peacock's plumage; but, nevertheless, they are appointed for our probation, and without such trials there can be no virtue.

Masnavi e Ma’navi, Book V, Story III (E. H. Whinfield, tr.)

so get ready. They are coming. Plus, they will maybe be figures in our Genesis story.I was musing over the possible spreads and am getting excited over the entire project as I will have to work at a bunch of images I have little confidence in doing. Nothing a few zillion gallons of Noodler's Heart of Darkness"> won't hurt.

Speaking of paper goods....I am going to have a party with a big guest list in the next month or so. I was taken, at the wedding in the field last month, that the caterer had paper plates, plastic flatware and cups that was all going into the compost pile. I loved it...and still do. So, in my Mrs. Party Planner mode, I googled away for compostable, affordable paper, plastic and cups and this is what I found>> The plates are all made of a biocompostable fiber from Bagasse, a form of sugar cane. The flatware is made from 80% non GMO corn starch resin and 20%"biodegradable fillers". The cups and glasses are polylactic acid (PLA), which is derived from corn grown in the USA. So, we can have paper and compost it versus dumping it to have it act as more landfill. I am thrilled about this source and hope you are too!

I am still reeling from the sheer energy of these High School runners. If they could bottle the vibrancy, the focused power, the zone these guys get into, it would the the fountain of youth. Plus, the way they look, young Davids, oblivious of how they look, their look, their passion, dumbfounds me. No folks, no one is in middle school any more. If only they weren't so clueless (forgetting my dinner! what me, holding on to this one?,forgetting whats in their lockers etc.)--they would be the final level of cheribim on earth. But, they are flawed angels.

The exterminator came to check out the bees in between the walls in the kitchen. They have been entering and exiting a hole under the windowsill...and we really do need to solve it because if you don't, they end up somewhere else (perhaps swarming over you while you sleep) and can be very unpleasant. We will wait to see what happens.

The cat is lying on my wacom. Holy territory. I think this cat wants to fly a bit. What do you think?