Catching up on a week

Quick scan of a piece in process. There is quite a bit of calligraphic illustration and lettering in the world of Fraktur. So, picking up my pen and pretending I am a calligrapher, this lion inspired piece is a beginning. I like what is happening with the line work. But, I wont bore you today with my blabbing on about my love of Fraktur...and what I keep learning. But, its not going away for a while, so not to worry.

I got a notice from Creative Quarterly 17 to find out that I got 3 of my one hour portraits and 3 valentines into the next publication. One of the portraits is a "Merit Winner" and the others all runners up...which according to Peg N. may get into the publication along with a posting on the internet. Creative Quarterly 15 posts the pieces I got into the its pretty nice and exciting. My Society of Illustrators LA submissions are in (09/30 is the close date)--and I am joining this group to support their existence along with some of the nice benefits they offer. Additionally, Jim O'Brien, a former SU and Hartford student (now, co alumni) is shepherding a nice show on digital art that he has invited me to be in --with sequential work on how we build our digital images. I am also pleased to say that I have two pieces in a digital article in The Artist's Magazine, written by my fellow student at Hartford, Ursula Roma.

Am rather worn out from the week. Monday we travelled in the a.m. to get to a tour/info session at Arcadia University in Glenside (a few stops in the suburbs of Philadelphia). Lovely campus, great programs, SMALLLLL, beautiful facilities, global focus (particularly study abroad) but very student focused. Nothing is impossible. Kitty was enchanted. And Oh, did I mention their Castle? The campus centers around a real castle built by a sugar baron who was exiled from Philadelphia--and became Arcadia when Beaver College (in W. PA burned down and moved to this new location). Nice and focused students. We spent the night on Penns Landing with the trip home (on Alex's birthday) planned for a brief a.m. on South Street and then home... However, it never works out quite that way. We had cheesesteaks for a 10:30 a.m.. breakfast (to Alex's delight....we somehow have created this odd tradition when we are on the road to have odd things (If we want to) for breakfast like sushi or now, cheesesteaks.) And, no one seems to think its odd. Matter of fact, I think this is part of the fun of being on the road. The day was perfect and we jumped in the car--doing a bit of rubbernecking down Market Street and then up Broad. Rob managed to find Temple and wind our way in front of a brand new building with lots of interesting, engaged students perched on the grass enjoying the day. No signage...but we found the new Tyler School of Art...and then, we found our way inside the building...the tour, and from no clear winner...Temple's Tyler School of Art spoke to all of us from the amazing energy in this new facility, to the amazing core curriculum to the actual rooms, studios, facilities. It was all about immersing yourself in art, in craft, in drawing and the pursuit of an idea and making it. We are all stunned and enchanted. Top of the list, and the hot truck directly outside the front door sells crepe "just like in France, Mom" as our excited, soon to be applicant, exclaimed!

We got home to Tburg around 8 with pizza and iced cream cake from Byrne Dairy for the birthday boy. We had a birthday brunch for him today for his grandparents and next Saturday we host " Sausage Fest 2009" for the XC boys (with sausage, kubb, doo ball and the like. We also have teeshirts coming to celebrate the event to A's pleasure. He has been a saint...and is truly a wonderful guy. He fully understands his sister (and his mom) and has been a levelset for all of us. He is now playing golf post Brunch...versus the study hall that Kitty and I have going here at the lake. Rob is working this p.m. as manager on duty at CMoG. We always have at least one bump into a holiday weekend...with the MOD job.

Wednesday, it was up and early again with a 2 hr drive to meet the kind and generous Chad Grohman and his colleague, Bob Dorsey at RIT to have Kitty get a gander at the Medical Illustration and Illustration programs. RIT reminded both Rob and me of our time at CMU with all sorts of disciplines all comingled in this interesting building. RIT is on the list--not at the top like Tyler...but def there. Chad and Bob were wonderful...showing us everyting and spending really great time with Kitty looking at her work and giving her good insight and inspiration. I think she has taking a lot in in the last week...and we are seeing change and evolution as we progress. Should be an interesting school year we are pushing into.

Thursday and Friday blew by--with a lot of office work and jobs. And now we are into the weekend at the lake--with chores yesterday to our brunch today. Nothing now...(phew) so I may give myself a break and read something.

More later. My head doesnt quite want to stay upright.

Know Exhibition

"Know" featured at this year's Gen Art Vanguard Fair is going to happen real soon. Mark Murphy, Murphy Fine Art Editions is working hard to post information prior to the show dates of December 4th through the 7th. Syracuse Alumni, Don Kilpatrick is one of the artists in this show. To find out more, here it is from Mark Murphy's Scribble 08 Blog>>

> Image is Don Kilpatrick's entry for the Know show.

Syracuse Poster Project

Syracuse Poster Project:
Out of the blue came this request...and this is the result:
"...selected two of yours to include in the supplemental aspect of the 2009 poster series: the catcher image and the homeboy image. The images should appear on our web site,, by Friday. Poets will go there to view them."

..."Thanks again for supporting the project's efforts. You were one of two artists who ended up participating in this aspect of the project. The other is Donald Kilpatrick from Detroit."

They create posters with ISDP SU artwork as a way of promoting local poets and images. This group has used ISDP students in the past. Lets see what happens.

Present Memories

Cool/cold here. Low 70s with the wind blowing. Heavy,"Big River" clouds always threatening rain. It has rained everyday so the tomatoes are not ready. The grapes will be juicy but not filled with flavor so wine will be plentiful but not wildly noteworthy. We have a bread pudding in for a late breakfast. Haircuts at 11:30. A. is on the phone arranging time and golf games with his buddies. R is cutting the hedges as its a bit shaggy. He is quite a sculptor with the electric cutter. We have birthday presents to create, guests to feed, and straightening to happen. Maybe it will warm up enough swim. I really want August to be August.

Papers are done. Lots of interesting discoveries as I wrote them. I am intrigued by the passage illustrators go through to become decorative illustrators. Many of them come directly to it, but others through more commercial means such as fashion illustration, graphic design, photography, and advertising. They get the illustration bug, and tack it on to what they are doing...evolving to becoming real live illustrators. The aspect of style is key--perhaps that being the link--where style and stylishness factors heavily into the message. Fashion does that. Logos and type do that. Painting like NC Wyeth, Howard Pyle or Norman Rockwell are essentially classic expressions of an idea. However, paintings by Austin Briggs, Joe DeMar or the ever unbelievable Al Parker do communicate a style, a period, an emotion that swings in the context it was created. And, they swing today too. So, maybe that isn't just with decorative illustration alone. But the immediacy of decorative illustration in somehow takes it further. Hmm.

One more thing. I think it is important to say a little something In Memorium for the Syracuse ISDP Illlustration Program. If it hasn't finished this week, it will finish next....and it was something that meant something to me and many more. I cannot let this slip away.

The Syracuse ISDP program was singular in it's twenty eight years of developing and training many of the leaders in the illustration education world along with many practicing illustrators whose careers were enriched and deepened by the experience. It is thanks to the amazing personal effort, talent, muscle and reach that Murray and Carol Tinkelman brought to this program inspiring students, teachers and alumni to achieve and think beyond what they thought was possible. It was the magic that the Tinkelmans brought, building collegiality, professionalism and hope that changed lives, built careers, created lifelong friendships and memories amongst the hundreds that went through this program.

The ISDP MA in Illustration was a low impact program for Syracuse University. It was a cash cow that had a low burden on the University who did not promote it, respect it nor understand the impression this program had on the world of illustration and design or the impact and reputation it brought to it's undergraduate program. The University was unaware of how this ISDP program and it's graduates burnished the image of the school, it's graduates and the excellence provided by it's program. So, while the muscle, belief and will of Murray and Carol drove this rich program, the program flourished and grew.

However, as the world changed and a MA did not suffice for teaching--only a MFA would do. And this is where it got sticky. Syracuse would not go there as it would conflict with their existing MFA program in illustration. MA was fine. The F was not possible. This along with much much more (which Murray will need to detail for us)caused the program to falter. The classes did not fill up, the excellent teaching teams dwindled to teams of one. The Tinkelmans left to create a newer, fresher and more relevant program with the University of Hartford, providing a MFA in the same timeframe, just a bit more work and the same project driven thesis. The Tinkelmans have bridged over to establish this new amazing program at Hartford while we mourn the last class of four students closing out this former powerhouse of a program.

But the seedling at the University of Hartford grows strong in the brilliant sun of new students, excited faculty, beautiful facilities, and an administration that values and supports this new program. The flowering is in the two years of alumni...artists who have grown personally, professionally and passionately thanks to the efforts of their fellow students, faculty and mentors, Carol and Murray Tinkelman. And with the amazing support and care of the University of Hartford, this program, essentially a new phoenix, will rise and inspire more generations of illustrators, designers and teachers for years to come.

teaching and learning

I am musing over the education--my education to be specific. I don't understand why this seems to be important, but this random thinking floats in, settles, irritates me and moves on, occasionally but in an unresolved way. Maybe its just that I have been so pleased and refocused with this new world of illustration, this mid-careeer foible. Or is it? The first four years of design training got me into the game--despite the really rough and ineffectual curriculum and the approach to students being more destructive and dictatorial versus what I have experienced with Mentor Murray and to a much lesser degree, at Syracuse. Versus telling students what they cannot do, the approach is more encouraging but pushing the student back to his/her own devices, pushing the good stuff and leaving the bad stuff sit and steam. It is more about learning, self learning and giving the student an empowerment to take hold of what they have, (their talent, their salesmanship, their ability to put art with opportunity) and shine it up to get the best thing to happen to reflect well on the student, moments to build a career, moments to build job upon job to gain recognition.

Maybe this is because what motivates my Mentor is different than the rest. Murray loves to teach. He loves illustration and art. He loves the camaraderie of students and teachers. He loves to put people together who will bounce off each other to teach or inspire each other. He loves making connections through his actual teaching, or his life and living...He is a great matchmaker that creates new things. He is extrordinary at this.Murray loves to motivate and promote change--sometimes its uncomfortable with the learning or the self revelation but because he knows and wants to share that...comes, at least for me, a phenomenal amount of trust that when all is said and done, I would have moved ahead at least one. At Carnegie, what drove the teachers was their personal reputations they were building or had built--teaching was a way to extend their personal reach or validating the writing or involvement in professional institutions. This is the same at Syracuse. The professors instead of focusing on the growth and development of their charges--thinking, promoting and focusing on how best to move the development of the student's thinking and skill--they communicated their impatience with teaching, time in the studio the WORK around their jobs as professors keeping them AWAY from their own personal work, personal careers. It is/was teaching which was paying the bills that was keeping them from their chosen work, illustration. I think they may have gotten it backwards. Or at least I know they have gotten it backwards. The professor who told me NEVER, ever, to consider illustration probably spat that little gem out without thinking, without intuiting the impact it could have and did have on me. Good teachers push, are sympathetic but even more so, empathetic in their chosen job and love of teaching--of extending boundries for students--empowering them to be the best and to constantly challenge themselves to grow and change. To pursue this love with joy and hope--not stopping education with a No or Never. But a hey, why it...see what happens inspiration. Isn't that a better philosophy for learning? for Living? for your life?

more later


Man, what a week. A screamer from the start til Friday. Lucky me, however--I got all the work done so Sunday is optional unless I want to wrap up (which I do) Momento Mori 2, getting the new images for the illustration site (from Memento Mori 2) and start some new pix for the Baker (a cat and a horse). I see an hour or so making new pictures for myself.

Icy on the ground here. Get on the spikes. Just standing still, and you move. Dark grey sky at a quarter to nine in the morning. Looks like snow. But, it doesnt smell like snow.

Am delighting in reading snippets from Braudel's social histories (all blocked out during time periods). I love these books as you can jump entirely into clothes, fashion and style, or food and dining, or houses and living, politics and religion. It is written beautifully, a rich slice to snuggle with before the marvelous state of dark unconsiousness I look forward to every day. I am reading about food right not...and how those foods that are out of everyman's reach (and therefore expectation and taste)--once they become adapted by the rich, having it extend into the everyman's diet is not far behind. And once it becomes an everyman's dish, it loses it's exotic quality and cuisine advances. He was listing all the meat (which he surprises us to say was really commonplace--for every plate (time frame is 1550-1650) from all sorts of four legged beasts and every bird imaginable from swans, to herons and cranes to small birds. He is talking about the development of the fork and plate--how they were expensive and very expressive of wealth and position. I need to dive in again soon...drinking my delicious Gimme! Platinum Blonde (favorite) and toasting my toes to the Jotul 602 Cricket.

Had a great chat with Carol Tinkelman about this and that and most particularly about Hartford. I may do a little copywriting (ey yi yi!) for her for a postcard (which I have been enjoying musing about) to promote the program. I am thinking we should probably have some running text with a sidebar of bullets so we get it all out---with a shortie punchlist should someone not want to read the copy. Carol sent me a great press release that they are sending out and 3 CDs of the opening slide shows for the first day of school and the graduating show for the class of 2007. The Graduating show was impressive (a tad long) but really depicts the process of the program, the camaraderie and relationships the students and teachers have, and finalizing with the work. My only critique from this show and from the opening shows is that maybe we can have some snapshots of each person to link name with face with work. She also sent me a bunch of testimonials/critiques from the students about the program. Some of the former SU graduates mouthed my expectations that they thought that the UH program would be a mirror of the SU program, its energy etc and how wonderfully surprised they were in how the UH program is a new paradigm, a new beat, a higher bar. And, what is really cool was that I had the chance to see the first slides of the same students before they entered the program and then with the graduation slide show, I had the chance to see how their work had moved from the experience. And, everyone's work significantly moved --some people phenomenally, to a higher level and presentation. How does one depict that change? And the invisible stuff like personal change and growth? Hmm.

More later.

Such politesse

I was struck with how polite everyone was to each other last night in New Hampshire--Everyone pleasing and thank you-ing each other, congratulating the winner (with some sort of nice recognition or anecdote), I thought I was losing it. What with the Brute in Chief, Rummy and all the rest of the monkeys (including Duke Blackheart) all flicking the bird at each other and the general populace, it was refreshing to see some practiced kindness and manners that elevated the playing field from the mire we have been existing in for the last eight years. It was impressive to see many of the candidates presenting themselves with intelligence, manners projecting an image of dignity. I am hopeful for many of the candidates--They seem to project a presidential air far more than anything we have seen in recent past. I don't love anyone (yet) but I am optimistic that change will be good. It seems someone is trying to listen to the heartbeat of our nation and perhaps rally us be stretching to be better versus ashamed of who we are. I am tired of Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and the OC Housewives being the stretch for all of us versus educated and capable people who aspire to excellence versus the land of bling and sex.

I did a little tour of the newly revamped University of Hartford ISDP websiteand reviewed the portfolios of the 2008 and 2009 classes. My goodness, there are a wide range of really talented people in the program! Its a bit paralyzing. I am getting very, very nervous. And the alumni (also now on the site as well)--with what looks like representative images from their thesis work. I did say I was getting wired with I got on my surfboard and wildly was searching more I could see from the program. Jim O'Brien has two blogs--one on Hartford with pages on their trip to Pasadena, Summer 2007 (with shots of the field trips, teachers, students and facilities) which is great as it fleshes out the imagination. Jim is very astute--and seeing the program through his eyes doesn't make it any less scary--but makes it very real. It looks very nice and very much like a program (not the class of 4 from Syracuse). So, it will be great to be in a bigger group of people with a wide range of skills and talents unlike the close in group of the past two years. So, yes--I am nervous...but at least I have a good idea of what I am getting into...unlike the SU experience.

Did I tell you I am was invited to join the group (HAS ISDP) in Texas as we will not do it during my stay at SU? Ticket is bought. Room reserved. I am excited to see the Texas illustrators, to see Murray at the Rodeo, and to meet with my future classmates and get some idea of what to expect for July. It was very kind of the Ts to include me.

Trying to get some work done and out today. Erich's computer got a new Motherboard from the Applecare guy that came to the headquarters. So, maybe we can get back to normal tomorrow...and get the scanner to be operational. I have a dozen sketches I need to stuff into my computer to finalize the Memento Mori book. Number two book is almost ready to go to press (LULU)--With plans for the next one being January 1, 2008- March 31, 2008-- I will have some scrap to start the thesis with. I was thinking I should really try to pencil in what I want to do for a thesis--with maybe a little statement (always good to do--lesson from August- October 2007--write a statement and you have something more than a random group of pictures--the writing makes it sensible and tangible to other people). Plus, with some writing at the same time as the creation of the body of work, it may drive more/different learning through the push pull that both activities provide.

Exciting to have the second book almost done. Not much writing or excerpts from my blab here. That was determined in October. However, the response is that people like reading it. Book Three will include writing --and continue where Book One left off. It will be interesting to see where the work goes in the next quarter. I do not feel like this is in any way exhausted...and with the reading of the last quarter, I feel ready to do a little personal riffing--and see where freeform imagining can take me. I may be looking at a font (derived from the gravestones) and /or some color palettes to take it a little bit further. I think I am still sticking with black and white. We'll see what happens.

I have been trying to work with the projector--and am inspired by what I can do with it...but it isn't something one should use all the time. Again, new tool I need to figure out.

More later>>

Speech over, life begins again.

The talk at Syracuse was terrific. I thoroughly enjoyed it...particularly being a whisker early so I had a chance to calibrate my head by looking at the student work and seeing the students interact with each other. The students were attentive, taking notes and even asked some questions. I ended up on time--which was good as I had found out the previous speaker ran on for almost two hours. At the end, the alert ones came up and introduced themselves, asked more adventurous questions and actually thanked me for coming to speak to them. They were anxious to learn more about what I did and I do it, more about print production etc. It was also interesting to be on campus with actual was an entirely different experience. My eyes were opened by seeing some old pals and actually hearing the seeing them within this context. A bit shocking.

The tiki is a sketch of something for the museum. There are a few more for them to pick from. Grandmaster Hyde, glass artist to the tiki nation, recommends us visit the Mai Kai during our visit next week during Art Basel/Miami (yeah!). He succinctly spells it out:

If you have the time in your busy schedule to make the trip, you'll never be the same. Ok, you'll be the same, but you'll have been to The Mai Kai.

The dinner show is a hoot. The food is classic tiki, which is to say like curious chinese food, a lot of sweet & sour, etc.?

The drinks in the Molokai bar are the cheaper way out, and you can get appetizers and the full tiki experience there.?

Pretty girls in grass skirts.?Puffer fish light fixtures. Waterfalls. The whole shebang.

More later::

Turning body consious on its head

R. had an interesting observation on the idea of the remains and the departed. First off, we say "Dearly Departed" and often, the phrase "Dearly Beloved" is used in wedding ceremonies or opportunities for the minister to speak broadly to the community. Remember gloves and gold rings...maybe there is a link here. Another point was that we speak about the departed and not the remains addresses the memory we have of a person. Yes, we remember their physicality and what they look like, but the memory of what they were--their spirit, their life source, their being transcends this and is captured by the word departed.

I also think that the phase some people use instead of the departed is thus and so "passed" or "passed on". Will need to ruminate on that for a while.

The slides are done and burned on a dvd and also a flash drive to have some back up in addition to bringing my powerbook to Syracuse. There always seems to be some sort of glitch that happens and want to be prepared in case today is the day the bytes byte. I think, for now, I have it knocked. I eliminated a few slides this morning and output the slides 6 up and have taken notes on it should go alright. R. proclaimed that if the slides were up, all I needed was to be brief, be myself and go on. If I forgot anything, no one would know as the pix are why they are there. So, deep breath. I am not nervous--just anxious to get this behind me as there are buckets of work and illustrations that have been put on pause to get this done. But to that, now I have a basic presentation done that will work with other clients etc. Seeing one's work in this format spurs change. We all should do it.

Change, that is.

Tully burger?

Is Tully the home of the local favorite, the Tully Burger? A Tully Burger is essentially a hamburger with lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese--a dressed burger as the New Yorkers say. We will never know...but the Tully Invitational Race was skies, low humidity, good loud music, and tons and tons of running kids. A. came in 10th and got a golden teeshirt and a pink ribbon. Once again. Not top 5 but for the first season and his third week into it...not too bad. Form looked good. Attitude was good. The girls are all over him. Do you think he might think this is a good thing. It's the teenage version of a cocktail party--where they all mingle, eat, chat and mix it up. I think it is actually on par or could be better than the socializing and party that the ski bus and skiing provides. Either way...who thought you could have so much fun with a sport and have cute girls cheering you on and hanging on you every broken sentence. Let the good times keep coming.

The Tully-ites were wonderful selling really good pizza to the kids, and had a huge, farm style crate on piece of wood to keep it off the ground for everyone to help themselves to the local specialty of the week, macintosh apples...all cold,crisp and wet...We each had one to our delight. Heaven. The school was beautiful with a brand new everything from greenhouse and track to the lineup of perfect schoolbuses K exclaimed over.

The drive over was okay..but the drive back was filled with all sorts of fun. First, outside of Homer NY is a wonderful barbeque call Bobs. It's an open air operation offering pulled pork, barbequed brisket or the NYS classic, halfs and whole chickens. No fried food. Just a good slaw, some beans (I don't get it), salt potatoes (another local favorite) with a load of pie offerings (sweet potatoe, raspberry, blueberry, fresh peach, and the "creams" (you can guess)). We sat outside at picnic tables and took in the perfection of the mowed grass, the mulched to the nines trees and these engineered plantings. It was the best of Central New York. It is a must! They close at the end of October and open in make your plans soon or pencil it in for next spring...Worth it if you are in the area.

Then, on through Homer, which was beautiful with a wonderful Main Street with truly perfect and magnificent houses with the best of the lot being over the top Victorians that have been maintained and restored to perfection. Then on to Cortland and a drive through SUNY Cortland which is a very pretty campus on top of a hill...Everything seemed very spit and polish, very maintained and clean. Seemed very, very, nice. Put SUNY Cortland on the college list (either to pursue for teaching or sending kids as an option).

We then went on to discover a place that somehow exists near a black hole. Freeville, NY or if K. had her way with the naming, it would be Free(k)ville. R. claimed it was a trip to recognize an early birthday. Whatever it was, it was wonderfully wierd. Once you near the town of Freeville, the fields get very tidy and maintained. Lots of horses. Beautiful buildings, old--but with good paint on them etc. with worlds on them like "Massachusetts" or "Cabinet Shop" and you are in the world of the George Junior Republic. Impressive facilities and scale. Money is being poured into it. In the spirit of the former millenium, read a bit of what George Junior is all about>>. It emerges and one is submerged in an almost antique feeling of community and then, you turn the corner and its vanished. But wait, there's more. Around the Corner was a stark, handlettered sign announcing another millenial community, the Temple of Truth, a spiritualist and healing community. I will put images up tomorrow just to show you what's what. It is very odd--lots of small single room, wooden structures clustered together with an odd fountain constructed of brick with an afro spray of water. There was an old 1970s style, brown bus shelter in the middle, off the single lane road that had signs designating qualified/certified healers and spirituals as the only pros that could practice on the grounds. There is a tiny building designated as the gift shop and another tiny building for rest rooms. K. likened the whole feeling and look of the place to a movie she saw on nudist colonies. Succinct. That's our girl. I am imagining a Sunday at 11:30 in the summer with the tiny church filled with seeing and healing, the gift shop rockin and people sitting on the linear benches not looking at each other, but out at the passing parade. Wierd city.. or do I just need to say Free(k)ville? Need to learn more.

One blog entry on Freeville:
There are several communities of Spiritualist mediums in the US. In NY (where I am from) there are two of them, Freeville and Lily Dale. (These are small communities...Freeville is 2 blocks long and 2 blocks wide, with maybe 20 houses, Lily Dale is 8 blocks long and 4 blocks wide with maybe 200 houses.) There are about a dozen mediums who live in Freeville and about 3 dozen in Lily Dale. In addition, there are hundreds of other working mediums who are spread out from one end of NY to the other. Most bigger cities have one or more Spiritualist churches (Buffalo, NYC, Rochester, Syracuse). I know that there are similar set ups in Ohio and Florida. (from

From the National Spiritualist Association of Churches the Temple of Truth is affiliated with--their description of what their mission/vision/values are:

NSAC …The object of this Society is to effect a complete organization of the Spiritualists of the United States of America into one general association … for the advancement of those purposes, undertakings and enterprises germane to the study of the phenomena, the promotion of the Science, and the promulgation of the Philosophy and Religion of Spiritualism.

Spiritualism is the Science, Philosophy, and Religion of continuous life, based upon the demonstrated fact of communication, by means of mediumship, with those who live in the Spirit World.

Spiritualism is founded upon a Declaration of Principles, nine in number, received from the Spirit World by means of mediumship. They provide a firm and tangible foundation on which to base the knowledge of Spiritualism.

Here is the history (abbreviated) by the NSAC ( Fascinating--that the Fox sisters were first.
Read on, dear readers. This is more "live from the burn-out zone"...

Then on the mundane:to Staples to buy stuff for the Ithaca Art Trail, and get Rob a haircut by the best barbers in Ithaca (Pesco in the Chinese Dollar Store Plaza, next to the Salvation Army Thrift Store).

We are back. I am sorting through the piles in my office to figure out what goes, what stays, what is stored, what is shelved. You get the idea. Working through the pile. Need to call Picture Salon to get some status on my cards. Holiday cards are all printed and boxed (thanks to the sleeves and boxes I got for this sort of thing from Clear Bag>>see list). Lulu book goes out early next week.

Rob put forth an amazing idea for the Betsy and Ted Lewin Book for UH next year. Need to incubate the idea...Its a winner.

Got my diploma in the mail yesterday from SU. I guess I done matriculated. And, it's finally paid for too!

I will upload the pix a little later!

(picture above is of the famous Fox sisters--downloaded from Wiki entry on spiritualism)..

IF: Melancholia: The Blue Demon

This was done during a weeklong project with the esteemed Gary Kelley, recipient of the Hamilton King Award for Illustration, wonderful inspiring man, inquisitive brain and all round terrific person from Iowa. Sigmund Freud was the first person to really put a name to that blue feeling that folks from Ancient Rome forward would talk about, but not capture as a true state. This illo is a portrait of Freud with one of those blue demons curled around his shoulders, speaking in his ear.


The dinner last night was sad. Really sad. We were given a significantly smaller room--with 4 tables of eight and in the center a table of four. Someone had created a seating plan, so the whole thing had placecards etc. As we all gathered to for dinner at our respective tables, the center table of 4 remained empty. There were placesettings for the Dean, Arthur Jensen, the temporary secretary and another person from the Dean's office. No one showed. Nothing. No one.**No one from the alumni one who cared beyond those who sheparded us through the maze. There was the traditional, not so good dinner served, and then the antics began.

"I'm one of the best students in my class"--Ken Hine

Ken Hine stood up, and tearfully began to wax on about ISDP Advertising, all the good from the program and how it changed lives and the world. He told us there were many things he wanted to say but he was warned not to be open about all the wrongs etc. which was good because his general pitch was depressing enough with the empty, set table in the middle of the room. Ken reminded us that there weren't even the folders with the blank piece of paper or even the lapel pins that were handed out last year. So. there was nothing to confer the degree with. To put it in the Wizard of Oz context, there was nothing to pull out of a bag to pin to your bosom. And, to be sexist about it, there was not much creative thinking about the alternatives that were all at the campus store, or Target that could have filled the role. But to give these guys credit, it was horribly consistent.

"..thinking, which is very high quality." Robert Colley

Robert Colley, the former ISDP leader from University College, (someone we don't know) stood up and talked about his love of the ISDP programs in Illustration and Advertising--and how through travel and involvement it had changed his thinking and world. I felt a bit sour as a representative of the University, this mouthing of this stuff was inappropriate as the program is in the process of major shut down--and no one really cares--down to ignoring the living.

" came back for information." John Thompson

John gave us hugs and said a few nice things. He was dignified and friendly. Traci Van W. gave a very cute little presentation with stick figures and pictures from our show in hand drawn frames to lead us through her narrative. Again, we were all thrilled and proud of what a wonderful person Traci is.

Only two people from the last class made it to the dinner. Nuf said.

Then the Ad folks proceeded with all the Bubbification, singing songs for Ken etc. Ken was maudlin as this was his last year with the program--turning the last year over to John Milligan. Ken proudly told us that the program had just gotten approval to have thesis defense done over the phone using "telecommunications" which would allow everyone an easy time to defend their thesis. He then continued to stick his foot into it by rambling on by name of people who were scheduled (from last year) to come to SU to defend the work but were waylaid by "whatever" and couldnt make it. The magic of telephony! He meandered to talking about the party next year etc. etc. And then there was recognition of wives and the travelling teachers and alumni who were with the Ad folks. It was sad that no one from SU management had anything nice to say about Prof. Hine--and his contribution...sad.

We covened at the bar for a bit after the dinner. John expanded on working dogs--a possible project he has (mr. Jealousy is raising his head)--which was funny listening to him expand on the topic. Darren told us medical and spa stories as K is going to start having facials as a way to manage the acne..and give her a little boost. I promised A. to Traci if she would just wait. I suggested she could be my daughter in law...with the diff of 10 years if she could wait...Lotsa laughs. Ross and his wonderful wife Heather were funny and chatty. The Williams were holding court. They are wonderful. Jen looked totally tall and beautiful--regaling us with tales of her sister who is a Civil War reinactor out of Florida. They make up fake battles just to wear the costumes etc.

And then exhaustion called. Ross will (good chance) be joining me at HAS. Traci is thinking about it. Hugs all around. And then off to dark oblivion...and sleep. The home team came for the drinks etc. complete with the black velvet enliven things a bit. Maybe hugging Shady Grove (which each of the graduating class did) was a way of conferring the degree.

Totally exhausted.

Am at the lake. Slept the better part of the day. Dinner is cooking. I am musing over my book project. The wind blows, the sky is high and cloudless. We bought a bag of the krispy creme donut peaches and box of tomatoes. A simple dinner with my favorite people will be the ticket to transition.

More tomorrow. My brain needs to stop.

**Note: Thanks to a graduating Ad student, the dinner might have not happened due to the ball being majorly dropped by the front office...but it was a save thanks to her.
A bow to her efforts.

Cowardly Lion

This program is, for me, a training up, a freshening up and as in the Wizard of Oz, the token that celebrates knowledge that is already there. The Lion, when asked what he would like as an award, he quipped, "Courage". He already had it, but when presented the token Medal celebrating his Courage--he understood the gift and could move forward with the knowledge and confidence in his courage. Like the lion, we too, are realizing something that has always been there...twisted and turned for us by the teachers, the professionals and the travel. I plan on wearing my badge of honor with pleasure. The next step will be more than the confidence in being able to create an image...

Whitney Sherman was great. Really great. I loved the fast paced projects that forced everyone out of their respective corners. Every CD was good, every multiple panel job was good. She is very prepared and organized, very articulate and not shy to share every and anything she had/ knows to the students. She is constantly thinking and working, focusing on her students and the projects. She is extremely realistic about the world of illustrations with her focus on non-direct illustration related jobs and projects. She is also not spreading the good news about the life one can make in the world of editorial and book jacket cover illustration. She is focused on personal branding, entrepreneurial behavior, spinning your work into another dimension(ie "this Monkeypus is a great character, why don't you make a stuffed animal of it?"). Good thinking during this time. The industry needs to change it's thinking before it is eliminated. If we can turn our sights, there is plenty of work out there. Whitney is a beacon for change, careful thinking and study, and a positive force for students of all ages and experiences. She was SU's graduation present to ME.

Illustration West 46
Society of Illustrators Los Angeles

Deadline: September 17, 2007
(Terry Brown recommends)

The Society of Illustrators Annual Show
Submissions due October 1, 2007
(paperwork not distributed yet)

More later on ICON

MA Day

The work is done. The paper presented. The show completed. All that needs to happen is the work is taken down and the "elegant" dinner at the Sheraton. My brain is marinating over the work from yesterday, the promise of the book (Whitney's assignment that both Traci and I are going to do--albeit as graduate girls) and think that I may do something with valentines, hearts etc. and mesh my desire to do a bunch of vector illustrations of the bluebird of happiness, sailor's valentine, saint valentine etc...and sketch and draw alongside the vector stuff to stretch the work to at least 32 pps. Maybe "The Book of Love"? Would make a nice client valentine--So I am way charged. I can also make up a ton of clippie illustrations (like the butterflies from the papillon picture) to create patterns etc. to knock into the layouts as well. This approach seems to embrace more of me--from the drawings to the vector stuff I don't want to leave behind...but mix and blend with. Both approaches have value...and this new thing takes the slash look/feel to a fresher, wider place. So...away we go!!

Roger DeMuth is inspiring due to his energy, his production methods (letterpress, 4 over 4 printing, die cutting etc.). He creates this funny art boxes (case bound) with little boxes and bottles inside for his al fresco work, for his work on planes etc. He has embraced the computer--and generates tons of patterns and pattern books for merchandising...with his work in black in white being very striking..and very merchandisable. He had case bound boxes of little houses. He had big dollhouses in papers. He has complete stationery sets with pencil cups, etc. that are striking, sophisticated and works with a broad range of stuff. He has got something going on..not sure about the wild presentation...lots of laughing, joke making--but he seems to genuinely love his work and projects is. I am inspired by the sheer volume at a very high level. If I were a student interested in children's books, or character creation, I would spend some time with Roger as he understands the "legs" that illustration can have, and the decorative qualities of illustration. More to learn from him.

The burly men surrounding the Williams brothers last night were many of Richard's tango buddies. They loved the work...and it was great to see Richard's alternative family. The advertising folks who were at the show saw my notebooks wanted to know why my work didn't look like the notebooks. What's to say? Is there a message there? Also, a pal of mine wanted to take output of the Whitney stuff to show to some art directors at his agency for a possible project on the table. Imagine! More reason to draw all the time. Maybe knock out some different skull stuff (people love it)--to have developed that a little further. Our show didn't have the energy of last year's show--not the troops of people, no attendance by anyone from the Deans office, not a lot of families.

So, in place of melancholy, and in place of my continuing to kick myself in the head...the horizon is much wider today. I have work to do--drawings to make, ideas to think about, projects to do and a focus to develop as the future is bright for illustration. Hartford awaits.The orange experience is almost done.

Promises to rain and be cooler today.

Ain't life strange?

My eyes are shutting due to the illustration party I threw last night, all by my lonesome. Really energizing time with Whitney--and I am off on a new tangent that somehow is frightening but the right thing as I depart the land of the ORANGE. The kick in the booty is taking advantage of the wealth of my sketchbooks, the new vector point of view and the merging of textures--both hand drawn and photoshop manipulated photos. I am on a whole new tangent. This accordion folded project was an impressive project--everyone rose to the occasion-- and the work had some magic in it..matter of fact, for some, it was the best work they ever had done. In 24 hours, there were fresh ideas--some of them progressive, narrative stories, some of them moments in time, others experimental using the xerox, and xerox tricks to move the work somewhere. Next step is 8-12 new images (this is for NYC), expressing a personal "look book" which could be anything from a progression of work, a work process/methodology, or random can be comprised of sketches and/or finished work, and/or inspiration or writing etc. etc. The work needs to be delivered as a Lulu book>

Lulu (or Blurb)is a network of on demand printers that can deliver black and white or color books(hardbound, perfect or wire bound)--also comic book (newsprint) books either as a one off or more. Relatively quickly turn around. Provided as a pdf (Adobe InDesign)--etc.Not only will Lulu create the books, but they also will market etc. Whitney showed us 4-5 different books her students created--and the color is acceptable quality color--and definitely "real". One of Whitney's students created a screenprinted dust jacket and screenprinted vellum pages that were tipped into the books that were created by Lulu. Another student embellished the book by enclosing it in a custom envelope with art letterpressed on the envelope along with reinforced holes with a ribbon binding/bow. This really looks like fun for me. I am thinking of a book of random images with recipes from the Luckystone Kitchens with nice quotes from the past year from the blog. Maybe a wrap cover from the epson...Or maybe a bird book with quotations..? There are 22 bird images...which with quotes etc...could easily do 32pps or a little more.

Whitney's books were 3 student books (one a children's book, one a recipe book, the other an art book) along with a book of personal photographs with derivative typeface (by Whitney) recapping the french month she spent last year and a book of student work from MICA of the Katrina work done for the Wendy Popp illustration initiative for Katrina. Very polished and refined. Nice typography--a museum catalog at a discount. Inspiring. These students have the world at their fingertips. Think of all the opportunities with the bookmaking.

Now, my notebooks make more sense. I am jazzed about them again. My work is not ridiculous and the notebooks stuff does not have to be held to the chest (at least not as tightly) as there ia wealth of personal scrap work right there. Now, how to build a few bodies of work--with and without color. The vector time has been worth it. And what about printing/engraving/ etc. How does this filter in? I am leaving Syracuse with questions. No answers. I would say worth the past two weeks of work. This will keep me pushing until Round Two begins.

We had a talk by Roger DeMuth. He is a lot like people I know. He is a Mr Make It-He can bookbind, garden, illustrate, comp, print on a letterpress, illustrate etc. No shortage of energy and talk. He merchandises his work--and is conscious of all of that...(reminder, need to go to the Merchandising/Licensing Show @ the Javits to understand what all that is about). His work is very antiquitites inspired, typographic conventions inspired, in the world of the original "MacKenzie Childs"--with pattern, color, William Morris etc. all folded into a children's book whimsical style. His energy is infectious. He is prolific and is probably an inspiration to the undergraduates. I have a bunch of notes.

Our opening was semi quiet. SU did a nice job...but tranquil with only 5 of us graduating. It is def. that next year's class will not have the SUArt Galleries or the Lubin House as they are both scheduled for rennovations. John will need to get creative with this.

Tomorrow, more work on the future book...drawings. And, the packing of the work (and moving to the hotel room. We have a dinner and then farewell.

I think I have had enough. I am wasted....and lost. I think I got my money's worth this session.

A reminder to me, I need to talk a bit about Whitney's sketching out of the possible feel and what's fixed for ICON 5 in NYC>

More later.

One down, one rushing

We all got the CDs to the crit by 10 this morning. After a little talk etc.until 11, we were then assigned this project: Create an eight paneled, accordian folded book (either 6" x9" or 7.5" x7.5" formats) that are autobiographical. We were to interview each other and then after the art history time, we had the afternoon to essentially draw and noodle and doodle to then construct these pages. All due by eleven tomorrow a.m. Its late here. I need to sleep. I have done around 6 of these things (mainly rendered in the ever wonderful Dr Martins Black Star Matte on weighty trace(dreamy)--and then worked on in illustrator/photoshop. I will talk a little about Whitney's coaching and words of wisdom tomorrow.


Just a note before I forget. Terry Brown is using Keynote and loves it. Whitney has discovered the benefits of using the Macintosh "Preview" feature to give a slide show. It can do some cool stuff ( like show thumbnails of all your images on the screen at once that one can select an image from and it zooms up (kind of like the way the faces of albums zoom up from flipping them in itunes). It looks good, its built into Macs and it's pretty generic (assuming you are bringing your own computer etc.).

Need to google this to get more information on this one.

More later. Need to move.

Single Day Project

To design and illustrate a CD (all graphics and type) for a CD we each were to bring to the class. Only big requirements...One color, black and white xeroxable. Had some fun fiddling with the type and monkeying with a photograph which seemed to be okay with Whitney. The crowd was grumpy with this project except for the two of us who come from a graphic design background. I like the way the type is looking.

Whitney presented her work, her viewpoint and her hopes for the MICA program under her direction. What is great about Whitney as she is constantly changing and growing, shedding a former skin as she moves forward and all builds one idea on top of the last. She had a lovely month in France last year--under a MICA managed program in France that she encouraged all of us to apply for. The work she accomplished was beautiful and thought provoking. I am very inspired by her as an artist, a person with lots of gumption and brains with a lovely personality and sense of humor. Her strength and opinions should hold her in great stead with her work, her students and her passions benefiting from her energy and intelligence. Whitney Sherman has been a terrific add--finally a thinker that lives beyond oil painting for all of us...not to denegrade the unbelievable Gary Kelly.

There is a lot of talk about the class behind us having their show in NYC during ICON. It worries me as the messaging seems rather wierd...somehow celebrating the knife being stuck in the 28 yr progression of illustration study (ISDP) at Syracuse--with 4 future graduates that might not be as strong a group as there have been in the past. I posed that to John T. and he blew it off as it it was of no import to him. I pushed him to say, that it might reflect badly on the institution or even his undergraduate program...and he again, said it did not affect him. Whoa. I cannot control this, so I need to let this go. It freaks me out a little--it somehow feels sad and tacky at the same time.

More later>>