Beauty Business

My America: American Royalty, Latrice Royale, Q. Cassetti, 2013, Trumansburg, NY

My America: American Royalty, Latrice Royale, Q. Cassetti, 2013, Trumansburg, NY

New haircut. Rob found the perfect picture of my soon to be hair --a current picture of David Lynch--with long wavy hair on the top and short on the sides. Mr. Lynch and I have similar hair...and I have a wave too, so Emma was charged with this direction. My hope is that by Christmas, the hair will be 100% there. And, my thinking is that we go for foils to make stripes of white... just to really jazz things up. I cannot be as fabulous and gorgeous as Latrice Royale ( a contestant on "RuPaul's Drag Race" who both Kitty and I admire). We'll see. But this is the latest beauty and fashion update.

I just stopped by Sundrees to see that the rack of my cards are severely I need to crank up my printer and get things going to fill those racks. I am so surprised that these cards are selling so well, but it is little business worthy of nurturing. To that, should I be considering going to the stationery show and seeing if there is more to it than this little business I have going here on our beautiful plateau?  Should I just spread my wings locally a bit more to see if there is traction? How would I need to staff to make this happen? Could cards do well on Etsy? Boxed or singletons? More on the retail front: We also worked up some inexpensive little neckaces of teacups and of teapots...and it seems that these are selling as well. I have Kitty's retail intuition to thank! Maybe I can put jump rings on things as I travel out to Utah next week?  I have resin gummy bears that need little hooks and jumprings as well as silver teasets and slices of cake. There may be a bit of traction re: skeletons etc. as the black and orange holiday is on us.

Four months to Christmas. Time to update my mailing list. 

Remote me

Finnish Chicken, Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalI am waiting for the Sears repairman to come chez Luckystone. We have been doing the cha cha with the local appliance guy re: our refrigerator, and with two fruitless and expensive visits, we decided to throw in the towel and call in the big guns— Sears. The compressor seems to conk out and allow the fridge to heat up after two days. We have been nursing it with ancillary ice chests at the ready.

I worked on the happy brand yesterday. I have a bit more to do, but will break today to work on holiday card illustration/ design. Hopefully, i can wrap some Girard inspiration and wit to this work. I am intrigued in the way Girard cut his work, his patterns into rectangular shapes that he either worked within or cut out of. He developed iconic forms of birds, flowers, leaves, seed pods, berries on branches that fit together like a joyous jigsaw puzzle, humming happily together in vibrant colorways. His work is very derivative of the sublime work of Matisse’s old age, and a body of work I have held dearly, his cut paper compositions. There is also a dose of Mary Blair in his figures when Girard creates them—

The Hangar Theatre’s posters for next summer awaits. I have been given a sneak peek at the offerings which is very broad and ranging from serious to silly. Need to put a pencil to these as I would love to get these done by the end of November so as to get them on a schedule that is not so last minute as it has been in the past.
I also raised my hand to volunteer for next year’s Ithaca Triathlon. Another waterfall coming up! I think Girard may take a hand in this one.

Alex is moving up the corporate ladder at the Rongovian Embassy, from dishwasher to expiditer to his pleasure. Kitty is busy at Silk Naturals, our Main Street makeup business in the Masonic building.

My phone battery is almost gone. Must wrap this up— William Walton’s coronation march is playing on the radio reminding me of my wedding— as Mr. Whitman played Walton for the processional and recessional— shaking the pipes and pulling out all the stops on the massive organ at Shadyside Presbyterian Church to my delight. A good way to start today.


Messing around inspired by Alexander Girard, Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalReally going deep on a project I have wanted to resolve— and now, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thought out enough to show—with some ideas roughed out on a grid with black and white to color rollovers, using the standard html font I like the best (Georgia)—a website layout designed to be implemented in Drupal using the grid system that “Blueprint” offers. So, with this gridded approach, my publications background really is holding me in good stead. Not a lot of fancy schmancy, but simple is elegant. This design is a little black dress. I think I may have to be the photographer on this job with my point and shoot…but I enjoy that, so no biggie.

Fixed the Farmers Market graphic from yesterday. tweaked a few things along with adding and subtracting (digital plakat) with the eraser and blob brush. Then. did the little doodle diddle to the left just messing around with those same tools. It was fun, quick and I like how rough it is. Need to work on more rough stuff. I would love to work up a little linoleum block look for fun.

Got Alex rolling and scheduled for the PSAT prep. He is surprising all of us by willingly picking up books and The New Yorker and reading them. Happily. If you wanted to know what I wanted for my birthday, I have already gotten it. I never thought I would see the day that my dear boy would actively engage in reading willingly…and happily. Now, as his reading coach and librarian, I need to put my head around what is next? John Krakauer’s Into Thin Air? Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential? Albert Goldman’s Elvis? Need to worry this. Any suggestions? Its gotta be good and engaging. He is reading Neverland by Neil Gaiman, a very interesting, simply written, visual book about an alternative world. Love Neil Gaiman. We could try William Gibsons Idoru.

It’s 7:30 and it’s getting darker. Imagine. We are on the downside of the bright side of the year. Rolling into August is just plain shocking. Christmas design work and Christmas presents are on the list of things to do. I am def. going to do a letterpress valentine. I think the Luckystone card is going to be derivative of the Advent calendar work from last December. Likely nutcrackers.

Off to the Pourhouse to buy teeshirts!

to a "T"

Redraw of the Farmers Market Weathervane, inspired by Durand Van Doren’s workBeautiful weather here. The Farmers Market Building moved yesterday from the fairgrounds to the Market Site. We got shots of Durand’s weathervane, and I asked him if I could generate a flat illustration from his work to make a shirt/graphic from. Here is my shot of the thing from his metal illustration. It was kind of cool as I took Rob’s photo of the weathervane against the sky, translated it via photoshop to a high contrast black and white image. I selected the darks and created a workpath that I imported to illustrator to work on. Cool. I think this will be converted into white on black for a teeshirt to give to the guys that worked on the creation of the bandstand during Grassroots. Need to price that one out. Alex’s shirts turned out nicely and inexpensively.

I was given next year’s Hangar’s productions (shhhh) and need to start mulling over what the images need to be for the posters/advertising etc. I would love to have this all in hand by the end of October/first of November. It would really give us the jump on getting in front of this for next year. I also committed to doing the graphics for next year’s Ithaca Triathlon. I didnt do this year as it was getting a bit tedious, so the break gives me a bit fresher look at the design/illustration problem. We will see. That too, has a near and dear expectation too.

Speaking of local projects, look what just arrived today! A tee for the Pourhouse! So, get yourself down toTburg’s very own funspot and get a shirt (guys or gals) to show your civic support. Limited edition.

Someone has posted a request for a Hangar Poster to frame. I am thinking that there might be something in having this stuff early to send out for prints. Also, the new thinking is the $2. gumball art thought. Which is, that people have no problem plunking down a buck or two for a button, a sticker, or a tattoo. They do not even need to think about it. NO problem whatsoever. So, what if I were to create a cool point of purchase, hippie display that gives the person a choice of buttons, stickers, postcards, tattoos…at a good price with the price getting better and better as one nears $10. and $20 a shot. This would be put in places that Q. has relationships with (Grassroots, The Hangar, a gallery, chez Camp, or any of the restaurants etc that I do gratis work for). Build the local brand in a very local way. Adding value  and allowing the individual to take a little bit (bitte ein bit) of Q home with them…priming the pump (?) for an incremental build of sales. That’s today’s thinking.

Just started reading The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. Delicious summer readling! 

IF: Double

Sweet Twins, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and ink/digitalInspired by the British portrait of two sisters married on the same day, and bearing children on the same day, The Cholmondeley Ladies (c.1600). My beekeeping sisters live here in Central New York, maintaining their hives, and keeping their world buzzing with activity.


The Cholmondeley Ladies
circa 1600-10 
Oil on wood support: 
886 x 1723 mm frame: 
1074 x 1914 x 100 mm painting Presented anonymously 1955 T00069 
Tate Britain, London

Monkeys on the Brain.

Musical Knights, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and ink.Sorry for the delay. I thought I would get to a blog posting yesterday…but, thinking is not doing. So, please forgive me.

Sunday was filled with getting people places and then having a moment to swim and in my case finish the picture to the left. Lubki inspired, three musicians on a horse riding to who knows where. That’s it, plain and simple. I have a rooster to celebrate tomorrow that takes the Lubki idea once step further which is to hand draw the main lines and then scan it into photoshop (b+w at 600 dpi). Then I exported a workpath from photoshop into illustrator and filled it…giving me nice fat objects to work into. From that I have developed (and continue to do so) a series of tapered brushes (art and pattern brushes) that I use to make up the pattern and texture I have to restrain myself from doing. However, it comes up with a very interesting and energetic effect that I think I am on to something. You can judge for yourself tomorrow.

Speaking of Lubki, hear me out on this one. Just to set the stage, Lubok or Lubki (plural) is a Russian illustration style that depicts Russian folk tales and mythology (as one of the channels of how the work is carved up). Okay. Point two, I love that wild work that the Russian artist did with Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings etc. Right?

I love popular culture, the wierder the better. And, to take that out a bit further, that becomes, to some degree, another type of current mythology storytelling that we, and the New York Post seem to glom onto. So, with that in mind, I am thinking of doing a few lubok illustrations around “The Tales of Travis, a Connecticut Monkey”. Remember Travis? The chardonnay swilling, lawnmower driving chimp who seemed to be game for anything? Xanax? Sleeping in beds? Working the television? Hot tub soaking? Plant watering? Teeth Brushing? Wearing clothes? Car Driving?  Being a child to a lonely woman who needed a special friend. Travis was for me, one of the Red Rose Tea Monkeys come to life! And HE LIVED IN CONNECTICUT! Not the forests? Not the zoos? No. Suburbia. Bliss! Now, play that through the Russian Folklore lens…and you get the idea. Fun! Unfortunately the Travis story ends sadly…which I do not think I will touch…but the description of this chimp and his owner is enough to make a few pictures to test the waters.

Grassroots in in full swing. Rob and Alex have been wielding hammers while Kitty was pressganged into helping decorate the new Cabaret Hall. Surprisingly, everyone is happy and very engaged. Rob just took two of my pieces down for the Art Barn (my beehive valentine/big, and the Forever Valentine (smaller) as we think that might make someone happy. They are for sale— and we will see if anyone comes to the table on them . I doubt it as they are priced to replace the printing and a little more but the Grassrootsers are not there to buy art. They are there to buy CDs, iced tea and eat. But we will see. You never know who might be needing to decorate their tents?

Beautful clear day. Hope the trend continues.