Inspired by a Massachusetts Headstone, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkOnward! It was a quiet day yesterday with projects and nonpaying jobs. I worked on the Hangar work and Rob worked on the bathroom imaginings. Kitty slept and relaxed. Alex visited with friends. I got a little bit ahead, but now, back to the drawing board with late late thinking and amendments.

The snow is melting…as we continue to get icy flurries that dust the mud piles. We are looking at the season of mud in front of us…We all just hope that we can move forward with the brighter and longer days. We have had enough of the miasma of mud and ice.

Thanks to the intellectual salad bar that the iPad provides at quiet time, trolling or shopping for cool ideas surface things that are out there that are wonderful, interesting, useful and thought provoking. Here are some new cool discoveries:

In the tradition of Rip Van Winkle, I always find myself shaking my head and feeling like somehow I missed it again…and this emerging approach to type for the web and mobile devices (the WOFF Standard). The blog, “all Blogging Stuff” highlights some of these changes and resources for Web Typography in their entry (03/12/2011) “8 Essential Web Typography Resources.”

I also found this wonderful website: The Grid System, a resource and forum for grid systems. I love grids and the way it formats and puts bones into any publication or design program. And with a  Josef Muller-Brockman quote to open this site (I mean, he is the MAN)—how could any girl resist?

“The grid system is an aid, not a guarantee. It permits a number of possible uses and each designer can look for a solution appropriate to his personal style. But one must learn how to use the grid; it is an art that requires practice. ”   Josef Müller-Brockmann

83 Awesome Links for Cartography Geeks>>

Teehan+Lax speaks about “Designing faster with a baseline grid” by Pierre Marly and even provide a grid to download (a 960px grid system designed by Nathan Smith) as tryout.

Love the writing and simplicity of Graphic Mac/ Smart Typography Tips A terrific starting place. I wish I  had written this.

And, totally off topic, but part of the salad bar concept (this is the pudding next to the vinigrette), The Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilizations from DARMC/ Harvard.

And now, to move onward to cook dinner.


Flippity Flop 2 with tone, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink on moleskine (A3), digital toneAnother tease from Spring. Blue skies, blue shadows, and bright light. The snow is still on the ground but the little flirt, Spring, is waving us on with the birds cheering time on and inspiring us that change is in front of us. I am anxious to buy some montmorcy cherry trees so make those little promises even more tempting. Lets see if the 4 hellebore I put in last spring (inspired by the few hellebore that Rebe left us) bloom and tempt.

Crazy today. Phone calls galore. Work galore. Track dish to pass at six promptly. Am worn out before we even get started. Not much time to chat….but figured I would post the newest with tone for your amusement…and say hi.


Wait long enough, something will happen

Laylah Ali, Untitled, 2006-7, pen and inkI know this always happens. But everytime I go through this incubation time, it is frustrating and maddening. I wait and look, see and wait, search and try…and nothing moves the needle. It is stale, cold and hopeless. I am thinking something is happening now…and funny how it is all fusing together (and who knows what will happen). It all clicked when I revisited the work of the wonderful artist, Laylah Ali (b. 1968).

I first saw her work at Mass MOCA in an exhibit and I was stunned by her work, her simple vision and the design of her pieces. Since then, I have gravitated towards her images (often in Miami at Art Basel)—finding joy in ther clear perspective, the underlying wit and flow. I remembered her line work last night and it clicked with the work I have been studying of Ganga Devi (1928- 1991). Funny that this wonderful artist who now teaches at Williams College, and this intense Madhubani artist had an overlapping sense of line, of spirit, of design and use of white space. Now, how do I fuse it with what I have —? I love Ali’s closely cropped portraits of these spooky, androgenous people ( I think “creepy” in the good sense might be applied) and the way she allows the lines to define wonderful headdresses, clothes and sometimes even the texture of skin.

Ganga Devi’s work does the same…only she decorates the backgrounds, gives the figures a context and placement, and does more story telling. The connection came for me with my favorite, and the oddest of all of the Devi illustrations shown on Will Schofield’s A Journey Around My Skull>> her image, Naina-jogin (1988-89) (thanks to Will for posting to Flickr so as to be able to see the tons of detail). Look at Devi’s woman, how androgenous, so creepy as well. Same insane patterning and open space. And, in the Naina-jogin image, the figure is independent of context or location. She is the story. 

So, now I have these two guardian angel artists, one on each shoulder, waiting for me to put the pen to moleskine (new book, new size, new opportunities which I think is key to shift out when stuck in the mire) and see what evolves. I know you all have not be on the edge of your chairs over this one, but just saying…

But it feels like a journey is about to begin. I am packing my bags, finding my reference…beginning to think afresh. Who knows. Ganga Devi, Naina-jogin, 1988-89

Wonderful Jason Koski is here taking pictures for 3x3’s article on me, my space, the work etc. He is nicely doing all the pretty work, but a portrait is in the mix, and I hope like blood drawing, it will be quick, and not too memorable. Ursula Roma wrote a wonderful piece(3x3 requests that an illustrator write the article and Ursula is an amazing writer and illustrator…so she was amazingly gracious to do this for me)…. So we are tying up all the loose ends to make this piece happen.

Jason prompts me to get ahold of our friend Chris to see what we can do to move the 10x10 project (a music project with local musicans). Need to send a FB message.

There are phone calls today. Projects to do. The upstairs studio is progressing with the new bathroom and newly configured smaller room getting “mud and tape” today. Mandy is delivering a huge load of thises and thats to the dump…