Cold here at the lake. The picture to the left is of the Luckystone at Sheldrake thanks to the satellite imagery found on the web.The wisteria is robust because I cut it within an inch of it's life (hoping maybe to stall it's persistant accumulation and acquisition of real estate--winding it's stems and tendrils through and about any fence, upright, or object that is within it's grasping reach. The trillium have gone from white to pink. The end of the daffodils are in sight with the floridly fragrant narcissus coming on soon. We have multiheaded narcissus chez Camp (purchased from Van Engelen) from the annual "lets put 400 bulbs in" program. These multiheaded ones are extrodinarily fragrant especially paired with these tiny white "doubles"that we have as well. I picked a bunch of them and pinned them to my jacket the other day for a bonus that it is spring. Def. more narcissus when I order the blockbuster mixes this year for fall.

I think I am going to order pencils for graduation favors this summer. Perhaps six pencils with a quote about illustration with a red and black ribbon for each place setting. My treat...but I think it would be nice. I have the one Luckystone Prize in my office, ready to prep. The other is still in fabrication, but coming along. I have my big experimental piece of output coming (36" x 48") on stretchers coming for review this week. And, Busy Beaver say the buttons are shipping as we speak. Peter H. is getting my paper to edit...and then pending the design changes to the few illustrations (and a few more I might do), I will be done. Or maybe I will be done and do the few later to add.

We do have the Tuttle/Stahl prep which is a portrait of a Connecticut person (historical or otherwise). Initially, Travis, the wine drinking, Xantac taking chimp was my first "go to"--but instead of going rogue on this project--I will keep tight. So, its going to be on Olivia Langdon Clemens, wife of Mark Twain and local figure at Hartford and here in Elmira. Mark Twain said about his beloved Livy:

"I never wrote a serious word until after I married Mrs. Clemens. She is solely responsible - to her should go the credit - for any influence my subsequent work should exert. After my marriage, she edited everything I wrote"

Elmira College has a center for Mark Twain Studies. I plan on calling this week to see if there is any good primary source material to work with. If not, I like the picture to the left as it shows Olivia simply...not all glam that other pictures capture. This is the girl that Samuel Clemens fell in love with. I plan on integrating a profile/silhouette of Clemens into the image (something I have wanted to fiddle with) to say that she lives behind or within this profile despite her being the engine behind Mark Twain's work.

Look what I found, a note from Twain to Thomas Nast, premiere caricaturist and recognized illustrator of the time:

To Th. Nast, in Morristown, N. J.:
Hartford, Nov. 1872.

Nast, you more than any other man have won a prodigious victory for Grant--I mean, rather, for civilization and progress. Those pictures were simply marvelous, and if any man in the land has a right to hold his head up and be honestly proud of his share in this year's vast events that man is unquestionably yourself. We all do sincerely honor you, and are proud of you.

This note has currency today with the work of Barry Blitt and the witty Mr. Brodner. Nice that people were so courteous in sending notes to each other....recognizing those moments that change people and the world.

More on Livy. Hope to find some elicidating quotes or ideas. My work is going to be a poster about a fictitious play or reading of letters to and from Mark Twain and his wife...to depict their relationship and partnership...and how she is the one who is highlighted, not the larger than life celebrity she was married to.

Rob is measuring. Kitty is doing puzzles and I am going to order pencils and ribbons.
More later!