Saturday catch up

Big news. The portrait I did of Jiri Harcuba for the Masters of Studio Glass Show at the Corning Museum of Glass just got accepted into Illustration 52 (a juried competition sponsored by the Society of Illustrators, NY).I am delighted. This is the third year (last year was the Willow head from the Memento Mori work, the year previously, was the Chicken Chokers Poster). To be honest, I was fretting a bit on this one. My friend, the very talented and smart, Lori Ann Levy Holm emailed me earlier this week that she got a piece in the 52 and had gotten the phone call. I didnt get any call...and was being calm about some years you get in, some years you don't. Despite the fact that my head was rationalizing it, and integrating it into the push forward, to keep going, to keep heart was reluctantly following. But, yesterday around 3 p.m. the call came, and they happily told me the great news. Hurray!

Kitty is plugging away on the college stuff. Alex is out with friends and Rob is asleep. I have a cranberry sauce done, potatoes cooked and an apple tart finished and cooling. Gloria is back from California and we will have an early Thanksgiving with the family tonight.

Alex just called. He missed the bus in Ithaca, and could I please come down to pick him up. I guess I have no choice.

More later.

catch up

We have been so busy, not a chance to post a note. Friday was heads down work. We went to Cornell around six to attend a big Central New York indoor track and field event with Alex running in a singleton (1000?) and a 4x8 relay. It was quite a scene,with the Cornell facility--gorgeous, with a crowd of boys and girls in amazing shape doing amazing things. The 300 for the bigger schools was spectacular with these boys running like freight trains at startling speed was stunning. The teamwork and attitude of these students was affirming. I loved seeing a slice of New York State under one roof. We had a great time on the floor (versus up in the stands) mixing it up with the team, their teachers and other parents doing the same thing. This was done around 10:30 for us..We rolled over to the Nines in Collegetown and had a pizza with Kitty--bringing one home with us for Alex.

Saturday was a shopping day. Singlehandedly, the recession "the meltdown" should be partially recovered thanks to our vote. First there was a Wegmans cartorama filled with vegetables and bread, grass fed meat (small bit) and super bowl cuisine supplies (read chicken wings, pizza, tortilla chips). Then there was the purchase of ski goggles for Kitty. And then, we went for it. Alex has wanted to learn the bass guitar. He has been talking it up...and if there is a significant talk up--then we invest. So, we went to Ithaca Guitar Works and bought a cherry red bass guitar and mid level amp. We brought it home and he immediately started poking around on it...So now, I need to get some lessons cranked up with someone local. There is, there could be passion. And with passion comes involvement and energy. So. This week.

We went to the Pourhouse to hear the Chokers last night. It was really fun and the Chokers were ON. They were tight, the sound was terrific. Full house--with lots of musicians crowded in to mix it up--

Gotta go. Up against the SuperBowl as a deadline today.

Pomegranate is it.

Working away. Baker card is in refinement...but we have a direction. Am trying to get into a sync for the picture due Monday...and though I dont know if we are "there" yet, but I prefer yesterday's coloration...taking it a bit further than the ink drawing. I am anxious to get this further refined while doing a pagination of the book (32 pps. of the Creation story--working title, "In the Beginning"). I have posted a group of these trees in facebook here>>I am musing over spreads of all the animals, the creatures under the sea, the birds of the sky...the separating of water and land. The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was never named, as I mentioned before, and I think that fruit will be a pomegranate in this body of work. Wiki confirms this might be a nice thing to do as there is symbolism in Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions:

Exodus 28:33–34 directed that images of pomegranates be woven onto the hem of the me'il ("robe of the ephod"), a robe worn by the Hebrew High Priest. 1 Kings 7:13–22 describes pomegranates depicted on the capitals of the two pilars (Jachin and Boaz) which stood in front of the temple King Solomon built in Jerusalem. It is said that Solomon designed his coronet based on the pomegranate's "crown" (calyx).[30] Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol for righteousness, because it is said to have 613 seeds which corresponds with the 613 mitzvot or commandments of the Torah. However, the actual number of seeds varies with individual fruits.[31] For this reason and others, many Jews eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah. It is also a symbol of fruitfulness.[32] The pomegranate is one of the few images which appear on ancient coins of Judea as a holy symbol, and today many Torah scrolls are stored while not in use with a pair of decorative hollow silver "pomegranates" (rimmonim) placed over the two upper scroll handles. Some Jewish scholars believe that it was the pomegranate, not the apple, that was the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden.[32] Pomegranate is one of the Seven Species (Hebrew: שבעת המינים, Shiv'at Ha-Minim), the types of fruits and grains enumerated in the Hebrew Bible (Deuteronomy 8:8) as being special products of the Land of Israel.

For the same reasons, pomegranates are a motif found in Christian religious decoration. They are often woven into the fabric of vestments and liturgical hangings or wrought in metalwork. Pomegranates figure in many religious paintings by the likes of Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci, often in the hands of the Virgin Mary or the infant Jesus. The fruit, broken or bursting open, is a symbol of the fullness of his suffering and resurrection.[32] In the Eastern Orthodox Church, pomegranate seeds may be used in kolyva, a dish prepared for memorial services, as a symbol of the sweetness of the heavenly kingdom.

According to the Qur'an, pomegranates grow in the gardens of paradise (55:068). According to Islamic tradition, every seed of a pomegranate must be eaten, because one can't be sure which aril came from paradise. The Prophet Mohammed is said to have encouraged his followers to eat pomegranates to ward off envy and hatred.[32] The Qur'an also mentions (6:99, 6:141) pomegranates twice as examples of good things God creates.

The Tburg Farmers market was gorgeous last night. We got containers of red and yellow raspberries, lemon basil, red basil, tomatillos, cilantro, and enormous organic tomatoes bursting with flavor. Rob bought a honeycomb of honey,and basswood honey, as pale as pale can be. I bought Fall flower honey, almost as dark as Buckwheat honey. There were peaches, apples, and all sorts of freerange meat (pork and chicken). It was a cool, bluesky evening. Perfect.

I am thrilled to have made a new friend through Facebook, the fabulous and madly talented Brian Dudla, CObP Design. He invited me to be his friend, and then we did a bit of chatting. He has asked me to help with a brand for the new Ithaca band, Family Knife. I am totally flattered and excited to be working together. The Knife is a reconfiguration of Plastic Nebraska without Gabe Tavares--and it shares some band members with the Horseflies. Amazing energy, amazing sound..."darker" as Brian says. Something to look forward to.

Speaking of musicians, The Chicken Chokers had a great showing at Wheatland--hooking up with other Festival people with more festivals in the future. It's great they are getting some traction--and that it is all positive in the future.

Work awaits...I feel right up against it...and its a bit uncomfortable.

A Connecticut Picnic

Luxuriant, sleeping until 8. Strolled down to the breakfast spread to find a roundtable my fellow students actively engaged in talking about art, illustration and their learning. Whoa. A lot over hard boiled eggs. Really fun hearing the recap of yesterday's museums, their impressions, their understanding, their personal work and collections. No shortage of brains, experience and ideas. Indeed, the students do a lot of teaching.

Have spent the last two hours modifying my business plan which, surprisingly has moved since 2006. It has been very enlightening and fascinating to see what my goals and hopes were in 2006 and where they have gone combined with my new understanding and knowledge. I feel I have another few hours on this--and it is extremely gratifying in the growth and in the anticipation of future growth in the next year. It's really encouraging to realize that the platform I start this program on is at a much more mature place as a designer and as truly, an illustrator. Two years ago I was reluctant to even call myself an illlustrator with belief, and now I can almost say it with my heart. The business plan says I am an illustrator...(and a designer). I have made money as an illustrator. My clients think of me as Q. And Q. can do all this stuff...which includes illustration. This is a lens I should use more often.

The images above are portraits from the New Britain Museum. I love the naive qualities of these images...the sheer graphic impact, the way they are designed, and how fresh they feel today.

We are off to a picnic at Jackie Decker's house. Not only is Jackie (look for the beautiful bear on the bottom of this post) an amazing person, but she is a charming, a top drawer children's book illustrator who, with the right connections could become a celebrity. She deserves it. She is taking on so much with the added week of work, but why not have 50 people on a Sunday afternoon descend on you? When does the sanctification begin? Maybe they would like a Chokers CD??

Gotta wrap it up. More later>>

More later>>

July 1st is a week away!

Here is another of the Marie Antoinette sketches. The heart shape works as a frame and device to develop the images in. I am thinking that the heart is used in 3 of the images having to do with her/her hair/ her person and a shield shape would be used for the other three. Gives a nice rhythm to the collection.

I've been messing around with the drawings in my sketchbook. Some of them I have scanned, brought into photoshop,amended, saved and brought into Illustrator. In Illustrator, I have used the demon tool, live trace, and then amended that image with cutting away and adding. Makes a pretty cool thing to happen. Refinements can happen live. The other thing is that I took the scan into Illustrator directly, and then totally redrw the image to good result too. Lots of editing at that level too. This line drawing thing is interesting as i can begin to apply some of the Memento Mori, Andy Warhol inspired coloration to this as see where it could go. I wonder if it would be okay (why shouldnt it) for me to take the 6 Marie Antoinette images and render them differently--some vector, some hand drawn, some a combo...and see what could evolve from this. It is a fluid working environment that could allow me to experiment with the imagery and the hand. I am feeling no confidence in being able to mess with both imagery and rendering would be good. A protected playground...? This is where I need confidence so I can continue to do this outside of the world of academia.

Am printing 75 Chokers posters for July. Tweaking the colors rather hard to get more vibrancy than the original starting point. It has a granny smith apple background with some green and red hanging lanterns that need to pop. I think there might be three times through with the color on the Epson before we nail it. Speaking of Chokers, the Choker poster is coming back from the Society (had a very positive and happy exchange with Kate from the Society who was tremendously helpful and "can do").

Was googling my name to see where it popped up (which can always be curious)and found it on Zina Saunders page on Drawger. She mentioned the two people that shared her spread in Communications Arts. Her work is beautiful, luscious and very well crafted. I like her portraits and how she seems to capture the moment with the person she is depicting. Her use of unusual color, sometimes way too hot for the place she applies it...but it works is inspiring. Her writing is good, engrossing and also captures the beat, the moment of the picture.

It was so nice to be in such good company. The only troubling thing for me was the endless backslapping and praise that always happens with the Drawger posts. It is just so self feeding which as an illustrator I find amusing but insular and extremely clannish. As a graphic designer, I find repellent as it seems they all need each other, like self-help groups, to support their work. It does not communicate confidence or a level of professionalism. It seems so inside and so precious. I think I am just jealous of the folks on Drawger and how they are the "popular people" in our class of illustrators. I don't need to think. I am jealous. I really should be cool about this. Make a note: work on being cool. Oh, and did I say it? keep working and pushing it. This Communications Arts entry is the kick in the booty. Pretty select group.

Maybe my new eyes coming in this week. I wish this allergic, headachy lethargy would go away. Threatening more rain. its nice and cool. The grass is singing. It is perfect weather to grow.

Winding up

Allergies and a nasty dry cough is keeping me down. I feel a tiny bit terrible...but not enough to send me to the land of horozontality...just bad enough to make the day to day hurt. Urg.

Last night's concert was good. Lots of singing and playing (2 hours worth) with lots of smaller groups, lots of solos, lots of kids--all of them bigger than the last year--amazing to see the change.We came home and discussed the concert and all the social dynamics of the eighth graders, boy/girl interaction and the whole pack think that goes with the eight grade girls. It is fascinating to get my head into the whole middle school thing that has been decades past. It is interesting to try to walk in the eighth grade shoes--without the erosion that goes with age, time and experience.

I am back on with Marie Antoinette. I started reworking some of the ideas I had, thinking about frames, shapes, layouts and the way they all play together along with the color, pattern and line I want to work in. I pushed the original picture of her peeking out from behind a fan into a heart shape(I love valentines and thought I would like to do a group of valentines at some point) and the shoe could be captured into a group of 3 the shapes could be a driver to these images to add another aspect. I am tracing the original drawings (working 2"x3" or so) and continuing to trace the tracing...and think that refinement will happen but still be rough for the first presentation of the 6 Dream Project images.

Finished up the Grassroots poster for the Chokers. Just need dates and times --and it will be done. Finishing up the buffalo and started the grackle (see above) for another Texas picture. The grackle and a prickly pear cactus...with a beautiful prickly pear blossom. It is a slightly different layout than the usual. Got 6 new big frames in prep for the new big images for the Art Trail. Once again, I know October is months away...but it feels like it's right in front of us and need to put some new images up to seem like something has changed in the last year. I will need to get into this soon-- as it is something I am not going to want to deal with October 1.

More later>>


Pushing on getting the little stuff done. Toivo, done and out. Carol Elizabeth, done and out. Hartford slide show, done and out. Chokers at Grassroots poster (2008) in process. Tweaking my buffalo picture. Adding a frilly funniness to make it seem more like a bandana/vintage tablecloth...that feels so much like that area and the styling there. Black/white/grey and yellow: reduced palette. I walked away from this image for a while...and it feels far more like its gelling. Plus, redid aspects of the eyes, and reduced the color further.

The image above is from Calico, the Wonder Horse written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton (of Saturday's post). This piece shows off her linoleum cutting--but what I love is the explosion shape that she captures the bucking horse in response to her studying comic books at the time. This device really works for me. This sort of energy is great...I wonder if current comic books have this sort of inspiration. Maybe a trip online? or down to Ithaca?

Am developing a table to capture the things and quotes for my color book. Look at this cuteness...I looooooove this-- this is a benchmark of fabulousity:

What Is Pink?
Christina Rossetti

What is pink? a rose is pink
By the fountain’s brink.
What is red? a poppy’s red
In its barley bed.
What is blue? the sky is blue
Where the clouds float thro’.
What is white? a swan is white
Sailing in the light.
What is yellow? pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.
What is green? the grass is green,
With small flowers between.
What is violet? clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.
What is orange? why, an orange,
Just an orange!

The Ispot contacted me as they are posting a story about the SILA winners and will post the submission/image. When I get a link, I will post for you.

Concert tonight. K has exams at noon. Cold and humid so the plants are happy and the grass seed, ecstatic.

little bit of Spring

Got A off to his track meet early this a.m. Today seems to be an undeclared holiday here in Tburg. It is yard sale central--particularly on Seneca St. with everyone randomly parking and all sorts of buzz. The high school is having a chicken barbeque and car wash alongside the NYSSMA (New York State Music Association) event at the school. The Ulysses Historical Society is having a bake sale/white elephant from 11 to 2. So, its easy to part with your money. Our new store on Main Street, Gorges Kids, a gently worn children's clothing store, is open and is very cute and looks like worth the trip if you live in Ithaca. Worked a bit on my turkey, did some car errands (post office, hardware store, drug store)) getting stuff done and looking for a key chain to put my random keys together as the fear is mounting that I am going to lose my keys. No key rings--but the rose plants were knocked down pricewise--to $4.95--so 2 more are in a waiting pattern. The earlier ones are really coming on...with nice new leaves, big leaves and new shoots.

Here's A. He's back with a first place in the 400 to his delight. He is thrilled and detailing every step and every thought. Man, does he love this stuff.

Here's K. ready to go. Lets see...Cinemopolis is having a special matinee of a movie" Jodhaa Akbar"--a bollywood style historical movie which we thought would be regular time...a feel good, sing along, jump out of your seat and dance movie. After the Intermission at the 3 hr. mark...A had to leave. K and I were enchanted for another hour--and it still was not done. Warring elephants. Taming elephants, Great Headgear. PMS 123, Warm Red and Brown for days. And unimaginably amazing jewels. Love it. We stopped by Alphabet Soup with K and A and were delighted by browsing the children's books--Jan Brett, Betsy Lewin, Paul Zelinski, and many of our old favorites. This nostalgic time with the littles is alway amusing and quite heart warming too. We got some cool Faber Castell pencil sharpeners there--which is always something I love to do at the gourmet children's stores as the european art supplies for kids ae often great, more pigment than US stuff for kids...wonderful. We had wings at Wings Over Ithaca to A's pleasure...and now we are back to settle down and catch up. I am going to jump on the CD for Carol things are going to get focused pretty quickly.

Jim stopped by to show me the new Choker's package. Looks good--but I prefer the first version in it's simplicity and its environmental quality. However, Jim says that the record stores are beyond delighted with the new presentation. Tonight, the Highwoods String Band, the granddaddy of the local oldtimers here in Tburg are playing at the Rongovian Embassy. You can listen or buy cuts here>> Per the historical piece on Old Time music in the New Yorker, here is a snippet on the context and what the Highwood String Band represented in it's time and to this area (from Amazon):
Any time the word "revival" pops up in connection with a given style of music, it often seems to be the case that a certain tension develops between those who take an academic, preservationist approach, with recital-style performances, and those who seek to recapture the original spirit of the music as something that was done for the sheer joy of it. In the case of the resurgence of interest in the old-time string band music of the Appalachians that took place in the '70s, it would be unfair to say that even the most serious and academic of the folklorists and collectors weren't also having a good time playing the music, but when it came to making sure everyone was having a good time, there was nothing quite like seeing the Highwoods String Band. As banjo player Mac Benford liked to say, it was, "all about fun -- fun for us and fun for our audiences."

Any discussion of the music scene in San Francisco during the late '60s certainly brings to mind images of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, and many others, but a vibrant mix of many varieties of street music was also an integral part of that era in the Bay Area. Among the bands that eked out a living busking on the streets were All-Skate, a band that performed on stilts and that included fiddler Bob Potts; Dr. Humbead's New Tranquility String Band, whose banjo player was New Jersey native Benford; and the Busted Toe Mudthumpers, featuring fiddle and banjo ace Walt Koken, a New York native. When their respective bands dissolved at about the same time, the three of them came together as Fat City, specializing in driving fiddle-and-banjo tunes from the repertoires of such early country recording artists as the Skillet Lickers and the Georgia Yellow Hammers. Having two fiddles in the band was unusual enough, but the ability of Potts and Koken to play differing yet complementary styles made Fat City one of the more distinctive outfits in the Bay Area, and all three of them had wry, wisecracking stage personas that added much to the entertainment quotient.

Their profile outside California began to grow when they appeared at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, D.C., in 1971. When Koken returned to his Ithaca, NY, stomping grounds in 1972, Potts and Benford followed a short time later. The metamorphosis from Fat City to Highwoods String Band took place when they added a driving rhythm section to the band in the persons of guitarist Doug Dorschug and bassist Jenny Cleland. The guitar as rhythm backup had been a part of old-time music for decades, but as John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers would later note, Dorschug's playing often contained an element of ragtime that lent even more character to an already potent musical sound. Cleland's pulsing bass, on the other hand, was an almost radical departure from tradition after all. Bass fiddles weren't exactly something every Appalachian family regarded as a necessary part of their household décor. It all added up to a mix of attitude, showmanship, musicianship, and entertainment bang-for-the-buck that appealed strongly to the remnants of the '60s counterculture who had become jaded with rock and heavy metal.

As festivals like the Brandywine Mountain Music Convention began to spring up around the country, the Highwoods String Band became the marquee act for these events (or, they would have been if these events were the type that had marquees) for most of the '70s until road weariness and family responsibilities caused them to disband at the end of that decade. Benford formed the Backwoods Band and cut an album for Rounder Records before that band broke up in 1981. After heading up Mac Benford's Old Time Band for a few years, he formed the Woodshed All-Stars in 1990 and toured with them for most of the '90s. Walt Koken released a couple of solo banjo albums on Rounder in the early '90s before forming Mudthumper Music with Benford and releasing another solo album, Finger Lakes Ramble, in 1998. As of 1999, all five members of the Highwoods were still living in the Ithaca region and still playing together occasionally on an informal basis. Their legacy is that, more than any other band of their time, they were responsible for drawing a legion of new, young fans into old-time music by the force of their musicianship and the fact that they were having such a damn good time at it. Looking back at their '70s heyday, Walt Koken summed it up by saying, "Ironically, the more well-known we became, the less necessary we were to the growing old-time music scene, since one of the messages is to do it yourself -- unplug it, and take it home!" ~ John Lupton, All Music Guide

More later>>

Try reading...

"A good folk song is easy to learn and hard to forget. Its melody is brief, its chorus repeats, its rhymes lead from line to line like the base pairs in a chain of DNA. A folk song is a meme, an evolutionary biologist might say--–the cultural version of a gene. It passes from generation to generation, evolving as it goes, till every clumsy or extraeous line is stripped away....You only have to hear it a few times to know it by heart"

Burkhard Bilger
The Last Verse: Is there any folk music still out there?
The New Yorker
April 28, 2008

I cracked open the New Yorker last night (it promised to be good with a cute illustration by William Steig on the cover (see left) to find this wonderful article which I am chugging my way through about folk music, it's origins, John and Alan Lomax, and it's migration to the current day. The current Old Time music as defined by the musicians I know is a definite descendant of this tradition--albeit one step away as some of it is interpreted with a new twist--or maybe it is as grandchildren are different from their grandparents but carry the same genes but different histories. I am thrilled with this piece as it is rich and a primer on how this american tradition got from here to there and some of the personalities and people studded in the mix. The Lomax father and son were predecessors of Peter Hoover(who is a Tburger and Godfather to many of the musicians here on our little plateau) and group of field recorders in the Lomax spirit, the men who went into the hollers of Virginia, West Virginia and other parts south in the mid fifties and sixties to record musicians and their music. These closets of recordings are now being opened and pressed into CDs now that it is cheap and easy to do so--and you can get snippets and buy collections from their site>>. Now how does this tie us closer and closer to our local music. Well, because even some of the newer recordings being pressed are recordings made in the eighties by none other than the Chicken Chokers. And now, the Chokers are new and revived--so the energy is around moving the music and attracting old and new friends. Thus, my interest as it is what is old is made new. The clothes of the ancestors worn by the children with great style and panache without forgetting aspects of the past but styled to be "now". I guess this is the context of the americana illustrations I would like to work on for my dream project for my first week at the University of Hartford's MFA illustration contact period in July.

As an aside, Mr. Bilger, the author has written on spiritualism, Lilydale and all sorts of other terrific and quirky things (I searched him on the New Yorker site). I think he is a kindred spirit. I need to read more of his stuff.

More later>>

gotta go

Rushing about to the store and back to get ready for a gathering of the clan chez Camp today. There will be food (cornell chicken not withstanding), there will be a limitation of dust, and there will be the great pushing of dirty clothes into closets and under beds. There will great chewing and talking. There will be the smaller members of the clan that the buckets of legos, and boxes of long haired ponies will be presesnted to. There will be more eating, and talking (and maybe wine drinking) and there hopefully, will be some fun!. But, we need to gird our loins.

Had a great chat with Jim Reidy, musician extrodinaire, about Drupal and what it can do. My engines are revving and there will be a Drupal blog for Hartford Art School that I think may be called "Squint"--which is Murray Tinkleman saying that if you just squint (I know he will correct me on exactly how he says it..and I will give you a ps) you can essentially earn a MFA (and forget about the three summers). We will have RSS streams of anyone who talks about Hartford's Illos program, a list of students and alumni (offering a small portfolio page for the students), an open forum page for students to share sketches, A blog, a place where the Carol Tinkleman epistles are posted, Alumni news and so on. As Drupal is very flexible, if we find we do not like some thing or we want some other type of content, we essentially change the frame or the"theme" and away we go. So, next week the sketch to Jim and we move forward.

Gotta go.

Its nice that we can extend this look for the Chicken Chokers for another year. I think we will be messing with the backgrounds for this year--with Amazing Things being being the kick off. I got an email from the folks at the Ispot about an article they are doing online and requested a jpg of the Chokers Poster in the Society of Illustrators Show (#50) to post online with the piece. That was really nice.

Spoke to Carol Elizabeth Jones. We may take her artwork back for another looksee. No pressure as yet. She, poor, poor, thing--has to re-record all of her vocals as the original recording was unsatisfactory--She is putting a brave face on it. But, as we all know, the second time around, you have a better handle on where things are going--but you lose the inspired/ free thing that happens with the first try.

keeping afloat

Back from my physical. Have a subdermal tracer for TB (for Hartford) and they will be taking blood to see if there are antibodies for Mumps,Measles or Rubella. If not, then I will have to get a shot for Hartford too. Really, we might as well be going to India or some other place than Connecticut considering the medical hoops they are insistent we have. But, worth it....just seems a bit over the top. Hello blood tests and all sorts of other screening. But hey, good to get it done.

There are doors being cut through 150 year old lathe and plaster upstairs...lots of banging and dust. This should open up the various bathrooms to other rooms and give us the laundry upstairs versus in the kitchen. By freeing up the laundry, we can then move to the back (old kitchen area) for the new kitchen and morph the old kitchen/ and historically, the servants dining room, to a back entry hall versus what we have now that is an explosion with laundry, kids backpacks, thousands of shoes and the kitchen stuff...not to put too fine a point on it. So, by beginning to move the parts, we free up new areas to get to the endpoint.

Spent the better part of Sunday working on a waterfall image for a teeshirt for the Cayuga Triathlon. I was working from reference I took earlier this year--and the water had a lacy/frothy quality that manifested itself in an almost hairy looking waterfall...more like the back of a teenaged girl and not the iconic waterfall. R. remembered an old, antique (1865) photo we had of the same image at the lake. So we rescued that, and as it was an image taken with the lens totally open, the water did not have the lacy thing, but really felt vertical etc. So, R. saved the day as the refernence took it to another place. I have finished the image and am waiting to hear from the Raceteam as I think we have in in hand.

New poster for the Chicken Chokers (they are playing at Amazing Things--the Amazing Firehouse in June).

Possibly a new winelabel in the near offing. More as it becomes known. Also, working on a document approval process for Quest which is hard but interesting as it is totally not creative. As I was talking to my client, she encouraged me to see their new "guerrilla" campaign for colon cancer>> which is interesting as they link to a guy (in the mummenschantz mode) being a healthy colon (youtube footage) and the point up the reasons to get the screening as colon cancer is treatable if caught early. But why swish with a brush when you can get the full monty like I am going to get.

K is off to France in 10 days. Very exciting and just around the corner. Track training is good...A is very impressed with how K is no powderpuff with her training (would she be anything else?). Lots of hard sleepers.

Most go as the morning is gettting away from me.

eye on you

My head is splitting. I entered Communications Arts, Print Magazine, The Schweinfurth Made in NY 2008 show and prepped for the American Illustration/ American Photography--which is an online entry. Also entered and R got the art to the Kitchen Theatre for an art auction and art auction website going up in March. Each show was different, with different rates, expectations etc. I hope its worth the effort! It generally is try try try and you are out out out. But, who knows. If you throw enough seed, maybe some birds will circle...and if you are lucky, one might land to eat.

Had a lively chat with the cute Murray Tinkelman this morning. He was full of all sorts of news, ideas, thoughts. He wants me to give Memento Mori a break as it might not be the right project for my thesis. I will give over and see what happens. There is a wealth of stuff to do--and this work is not for naught as my hand has freed up; I am working positive/negative, negative/positive again; and I am taken with the content regardless of the final. Maybe something having to do with Hindu mythology? Likenesses? Images from the Pool of Dilemma? The Chinese signs of the zodiac. Murray hinted at more than a single potato from a composition standpoint. That's what I do...a potato...thats it. So maybe layouts with two potatoes, three potatoes and a radish, four potatoes, a radish and a daisy? If this thing doesn't push me, then what sort of educational bang for my buck will I see? So, now I have something new to worry in the timecracks during the day.Lucky you. You get to go up and down the rollercoaster with me while I piddle my way through all of this.

The eye is the graphic for a possible 1" button for the Chicken Chokers (along with some copy? some color treatments of the Chicken etc.)? Should be fun. The buttons are really cheap (500 pieces for $65).

Spoke to the fabulous Richard Williams. He is teaching everywhere--but on a class by class assignment which sounds like lots of time in the car. It sounds like he is getting worn out. We talked about possible other ideas for bodies of work that might really get him noticed....and he seemed excited about one in general. It would be cool if he pursued he truly has the skills to do it...just the push to make it happen and do a bang up job would get it noticed for the content alone. If it starts happening...I will give you a peek under the tent. Also heard from Ross Hogin, SU classmate and Art Director extrordinaire, who is painting up a storm in Seattle. I betcha he is getting there was tremendous promise in the paintings he did while he was with us at Syracuse. Maybe I should beg for a jpg?

Gotta go. Mike Callahan, a friend that goes way back with us, is playing at the Pour house.

A domani.

Honk for Service

Guess where the Wonderbus is? Right! at the House of Service at Ithaca Honda (with an interesting waterfall, yes, Taughannock Falls from Tburg, as their logotype). Hopefully, we will have a functioning sliding door (which hasnt worked since day one)--and which, we have tried more than two times to get fixed. Always an issue--a part, a this, a that. I am optimistic. They say third time is the charm. I am hoping.

New CD pack designed for the Chokers along with a sticker (from Sticker Guy) and possibly some collectable pins too. They are doing a "repressing" which is exciting as they have sold out of their stock. Jim Reidy has mentioned that there is another CD in production from old performances possibly coming out in the next year. I will, of course, update you all as we go. Chokers to play with the Toughcats this Saturday at Castaways. Chad Crumm and Friends are playing at Felicias from 5:30-8:30 this Friday. So--amusement galore.

Got the samples of the Memento Mori Vol2 in the mail. Overall, the square format is working, bigger type is working and the brevity of copy is a nice change. However, there were some fingerprinty types of white marks in the luscious blacks that I need to check the files to see if they somehow are there. It looked like a onesie...but, it was marked the same way in all 3 books. Wierd. Will amend and then do the first printing. Movement.

Another bit of Memento Mori news: Amanda! Amanda, our gal Friday and future Cornell student (we hope) has tattoos. Yesterday, she asked if she could use one of the illustrations from the Memento Mori Vol1 book to be tattooed on her upper arm. She is going to get the"deco" area (I hope) and we will revise accordingly (adding another thistle etc.). So, that will go in the thesis as well as the other random stuff that has been falling out of this sketch process. How does one work the rights? I guess its a one time use?!

More later>>

Chokers and Toughcats 2/23/2008

at Castaways. Should be really fun. The Toughcats describe themselves as "We are a three piece band (resonator guitar, banjo/mandolin and drum kit with vocals) from the Fox Islands in Penobscot Bay, Maine". They are very tight and their drummer keeps the room warm with his high energy, silly behavior from rapping on drums to the full deal on a series of suitcases. NPR says"This trio uses vocal harmonies, uke, banjo, mandolin, suitcase and percussion to blend a mix of folk, rock, ragtime and bluegrass into their music. The track "043," off the 2006 album Piñata, features their brand of thumping percussion and energetic strings.

Along with making music, The Toughcats spend time in lobster fishing, carpentry, emergency medicine and other jobs. They have played live film scores for Bird Dog Productions and written music for Cecily Pingree's documentary film about designer Angela Adams. The Toughcats mix acting and movies into live performances, trying to always keep the audience on their toes."

NPR also has some mp3 files to listen to, too. The Phoenix is interesting too.

Pencil it in.

Chokers: The 2007 Jimmies: Best of the local music scene

Ithaca Journal says (along with Jim Catalano):

#6 Overall
#1 Acoustic CD: "Chicken Chokers, “07” - "Chad Crumm and friends return to the studio for the first time since the 1980s and come out with this raucous collection of old-time tunes"

.....and, they are now on ITUNES! (along with a teensie little chicken done by yours truly!)(and lets not forget getting into 2 illustration shows!).

Holiday doings

Amendments to the poochy yum yums (dog biscuits)  posted yesterday:

--use a full cup of parsley and 2 tbsp. italian seasoning instead of the parsley mint combo
--use a mixer instead of the food processer--makes a more textured, more "healthy" cookie
--the mixer blends the herbs need to knead as much. Just roll and cut. Keep em 1/4" thick..thicker gets gross.
--I used a juice glass to cut them. Made one big star for the top of the box...(chinese food containers)
--measure the dry stuff as the batch bakes so you can keep the trays  and dough rolling through.

I just made about 7 batches. Nice.
Also, made a twenty five pound lasagne for my tiny, baby son. When they started to proclaim that we were getting 10 inches of snow, a girl starts worrying about how to feed the children. Lasagne seemed to be the thing that popped into my head. Now we have enough for a football team anticipating the end of the world.

Planning around our trip to LA. Hopes to see lots of mexican stuff, skate and surf stuff, and find those magic screenprinters and sticker makers that the skate and surf guys use. We are looking forward to mexican food, japanese food, passion fruit iced tea, fresh rosemary growing in the parks by the seaside. Swimming and maybe a little relaxing.

Chokers are playing with a musician, Spider John Koerner at Castaways in Ithaca on Thursday, January 10, 2008. From the Castaways site, Bonnie Raitt is quoted saying:

He has a real unique style of guitar playing & a great talking blues style of delivery. They just don’t make anybody like Spider John Koerner. They broke the mold. As all great originators, like Woody Guthrie or Bob Dylan, anybody else who tries to imitate them would just look like that, an imitator. I do "I Ain’t Blue" in my shows and recorded it on my first album. It’s one of my favorite songs of John’s, but his other songs I love to play just for my own enjoyment; but I can never come close to playing them as well as he does."

Bonnie Raitt ~ NPR's Morning Edition

So, I have a poster to make for the Chokers with a spider. Fun...but need to gun it out tonight. My pictures taken in the blue alley at Felicias on Flickr is on the Castaways site is also now on the Felicia's site. I guess this is a prompt to keep taking snapshots as there is a need for that sort of thing.

All the packages are in the mail. Now I just have to remember who I forgot...there may be some outstanding cards...I think the labels may have gotten mixed up...but I have Wednesday with my girl Friday to change that out. We leave on Sunday at the crack of lots to do between now and then.

Another possible customer at Cornell for a holiday card (2008) based on the work I did this year for the Baker. You know, one could make a bit of money just doing holiday cards....hmmmm.

more later>>

Society of Illustrators 50th Annual Show

The Chicken Chokers at Grassroots got into the Society of Illustrators (truly, the best of the best when it comes to illustration) show in the advertising section which delights me to no end as it was a job done out of love for local culture, an admiration for the musicians and the tremendous spirit and verve they have and an opportunity, yet again, to do a chicken illustration. Three for three. And it gets into a fairly tough category to boot. Now, let's see who else is in? I heard Scott Bakal got in too! Yeah Scott!

The Awards Gala is March 28th, 2008 and exhibition from March 29- April 26. Artwork is to be picked up April 28th -May 30th, 2008.