Springing into April?

Work in Progress, Green Beans, Q. Cassetti, 2011 digitalThey are saying 6” of snow between now and end of day tomorrow. Wow. Maybe this is the “last gasp” storm that we always have at the end of the season—heavy snow that breaks branches, stresses the poor willow trees and leaves as quickly as it comes.

Things are still wild here. However, I am starting another illo (above) in a new way. I need to get a picture of some sort of produce for Edible Finger Lakes Magazine done soon. So, I have decided on green beans. I love the vines and the curlie little greenery, the bean blossoms, and the green bean thing. So, I did a big line drawing that I was planning on inking and doing the “Q” to it. However, looking at the line drawing  made me think. I had it designed and had the shapes where I wanted them…so why not finish it in illustrator using my new favorite tool (the variable line tool (shift W)) to help me out with the more calligraphic things. As I got into laying the color in, and fiddling with all the illustrator toy tools, I figured why not open up some old brushes and see what I could do with the scallops, tiger teeth and lovelies from my personal brush set. I will keep you abreast of where this goes as it is fast and furious (the image above took about an hour to do). I need to take the eraser to the blob brush curlies to give them a bit more thick/thin. They seem too clunky.

We had dinner at the Rongo last night with the wonderful Long John and the Tights playing. Great music…and lots of fun with Bruce and Rob and local news. It was good to get out and take a little time out. Alex played a bit in a tennis tournament…and had lots of physics and the like to do. He is busy but will have a nice evening on Friday with the “bros” (I am making chili) and Saturday as a date for the Senior Dance at the Clarion Hotel.

Gary Redmond, Founder of the Regional Access and a civic leader, passed away on Tuesday. (for the Ithaca Journal Obituary>>)Gary was an amazing man who moved the needle with local food—getting it our hands and in New York as well. He was known for inspiring foodies and producers in Central New York to engage in creating the best food from the best local ingredients. I did not know Gary but his reach and influence was tremendous. He will be missed.

From the Regional yesterday:

It is with a heavy heart and an incredible sense of disbelief that I write to share the news that our founder, mentor and patriarch, Gary Redmond, unexpectedly passed away yesterday.

From those who knew him well from his many years of diligent, smiling commitment to the work he loved most, to those who may have only recently made his acquaintance-my condolences go out to you as well, for Gary’s touch and vision were both singular and enduring.     
In this time of mourning, I am thankful for that vision and for all of the opportunity Gary created, both within our immediate community and the greater region that he so deeply believed in.   His ability to connect producers with markets and to forge fast friendships through a common belief in great food has, and will continue, to impact us all.   
Please know that I, along with my incredible Regional Access family, will be striving to uphold, strengthen and grow Gary’s clear vision of creating a sustainable regional foodshed for the Northeast.   
For those able to attend services, they will be held at Greensprings Natural Cemetery at 293 Irish Hill Rd in Newfield, NY this coming Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 2pm.  Please wear seasonal attire (it’s 10* colder in Newfield and it’s really muddy!).   

Live from the Regional today:

Regional Access started 21 years ago at the old Grange League Federation building in Trumansburg, NY.  This building was the heartbeat of Regional Access for many years and also home to Gary.  One of Gary’s dreams was to build an outdoor brick oven at the old warehouse.  We are planning a project to repair some things at the old warehouse and also to build that oven!  Of course our immediate priorities are supporting Gary’s family through this difficult time. As the oven project is finalized in the coming weeks, we will be able to offer more details on how you can help. 

Will keep you abreast of all of this. A sad time for the greater Ithaca area.

Another thing to do today (last day) is to sign up for either the Fiction Project or A Million Little Pictures Project from the ArtHouse Coop in Brooklyn. These were the same folks that brings you the notebook project I am involved in. A Million Little Pictures is a photography project that everyone engages with a disposable camera—shooting on a topic you pick from. The images will be part of a Photomobile exhibit and a book. Alex, Kitty and I will be doing it this spring. However, The Fiction Project looks like fun (though time consuming) This is what The Art House Coop says:

“Send your stories on the road.

We’ll build a library with your words.

The Fiction Project offers a new way to channel your creativity. Combine text and images to tell a tale. When you’re finished, share your hard work with the world. We’ll make sure you stay contacted with your book as it tours the country and after we catalog it in the Brooklyn Art Library’s new fiction archive.”

Today is the last day to sign up for either the photo project or the fiction. Doing the Sketchbook Project was a great kick in the booty for mea creative jumpstart. Now, I  have web presence, and a homepage through this group and my sketchbook is on the road going across the country in this show. I hope that doing the photography project with Kitty and Alex will give them a boost too. Should be interesting.


I have lots of changes to make and need to figure out how to drop a YouTube video (or a link or something) into a Powerpoint presentation. Its a grey day…soggy and it seems like a good thing to just camp out behind the monitor and see what I can sweep away.