We heard the Chicken Tractor at Felicias last night to our delight. So much so, we are going to hear them again tonight at the Rongo. It was a bright and breezy summer night last night with the crowd being at the Ithaca Festival, so the Atomic Lounge was not insanely crushing…and the music was brilliant and fun. Kitty was the dancing princess at the contra dance at the Bethel Grove Community Center. Alex was doing the festival, movies and then more bro time. So all were engaged…albeit not as a tribe. But, everyone is growing up and need their own groups, their own communities to flourish and identify with. I know this…thanks to being a member of my own community of artists, musicians, localvores and the fine IthaTrumansburgers.
I am working on a new body of work that I am not going too public on as it is a warm up for a project that hopefully start soon. Alex was asking my why I needed to do this warm up, this sharpening up— and I likened my process to that of a musician doing the scales, or singers doing trills—I love getting my eye “in” and sharpening my sensitivity to the work through practice works. I guess it comes from the calligraphic work with the esteemed professor, Arnold Bank.
I might have mentioned this before, but Arnold Bank was my first real art/ design teacher. Quite honestly, there have only been two significant teachers in my visual career—those being Arnold Bank and Murray Tinkelman. Arnold Bank was a self taught calligrapher who had studied at the Arts Students League—perfecting his thinking and teaching. His course was a disciplined self study to learn a letterform from drawing the forms with different pens from a pair of flair pens taped together to simulate the thick/thin to ink and pens. From music pens to metal brushes to flat brushes. We worked from big to small producing a poster/placard, a poem and then a small book to explore text sizes. This work to learn a “hand” led the student to fully understand and build fluidity in the letterforms, leading, spacing and design in the most granular way. There were pen warm ups that needed to be done prior to picking up the pen to start the work….and these warmups are the source of inspiration for these pre illustration, illustrations…to get the eye in, to tune the design sensitivity, and think about the black and white, designing the negative and positive as the pen hits the paper. I really havent given it much thought, but I do not think other illustrators do warmups…but for me, it is imperative to do the warmups along with thumbnails as it is the physical and spirit aligning….in preparation for the trance that can happen with the work.
Forgive me for not sharing right now, it just is important that it stays with me. So, I will share photos and other things for while until I am ready. You will get snippets of my concerts, my friends, whats growing…the color, forms and shapes in my world.
Must go. I have Kitty and 4 friends, Bruce, Rob and soon Alex who will be anxious to eat. Now, what to cook?