golden trees

Vector Pic of the day, Q. Casseti, 2011, Adobe Illustrator CS5I got a brand new project with the Thomas Cole Historic Site I have been asked to create a portrait of Thomas Cole . Thomas Cole (1801—1848) was an English born American artist who is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School. Such a wonderful romantic….and he has a very compelling visage (though his hairdo is my favorite!). And, how can you not love a guy in a cape?  more about Mr. Cole here>> Should be fun!

Am in process of finishing up the Distillery brand/look on my desk. Additionally, the Hanford Mills Ice Harvest signature is finishing up. The holiday card for my old friend client is in review. There is a ton of thises and thats on the desk, but some new fresh projects waiting to be started. Some good ones in the lineup.

It is a brilliant fall day. No rain as predicted. The leaves have fallen a bit, so the golden and light green leaves really twinkle in the trees. The grass is really remarkable and lush, the fall carpet that reduces my rain resentment. Just glorious.

We went to see Alex run in Bingamton at the Ely Golf Course which is on the top of a large hill, thrusting out and over the valley which was gorgeous and inspiring. The running course was relentless with all sorts of severe uphills, and downhills, with switchbacks and tight curves. A. did quite well as did the team with the parents and peanut gallery chasing the runners—skittling from here to there and then over and up. Shady Grove was as happy as could be, dewclaws deep in the mud.

Then we stopped on the way home at Chenango Bridge (love the name) for spiedies at the reknowned (to Rob) Spiedies and Rib Pit. Spiedies are a local (Bingampton) specialty. They are tidbits of marinated meat (vinegar based) that are cooked or grilled, and served either with stuff, on a skewer or in bread. Speidies are chicken, beef or lamb. The Spiedie and Rib Pit is stand up only…with everyone rushing with their paper sacks to their cars to devour these hot sandwiches as quickly as they can chew. We were all in heaven after all that fresh air and gadding about. We got home and the boys crashed. I did a bit of cooking and reading. Sunday was working with Alex on college stuff and assisting Rob in the solving the freezer issues. Amanda stopped by to say hi. It was great seeing her.

I am making a bunch of quicky vector pix. Its been fun, fast and pretty.

The week is short as we are taking Alex on the road to see some colleges this week. Lots to pack into 3 days. I need to call the exterminator as the groundhog hillock under our big front porch has been opened up…and we need to get rid of em. All. I was left with a have a heart trap with the notation from our contractor to just put a bunch of lettuce into the trap and wait for the groundhogs to come. Big question is then what? My contractor shot the one that was eating his garden and then out of guilt, skinned the groundhog and prepped him for the roasting pan that evening….which he then ate. I am not that responsible. I want my groundhogs decapitated with the heads displayed on the corners of our property to warn off the deer and other varmints to stay away. But that is brave talk. I need to call our exterminator, Pat the Bugman, to have his focus his tractor beam of brilliance on capturing these rascals. Maybe Pat can wrangle them while we are away.

Gotta go.

More miracles

Portrait in progress, step one, Q. Cassetti, 2011, Adobe Illustrator CS5

I have two portraits to do by the end of September. I got a crack at one of them yesterday and delighted in creating the silhouette and beginning to digitally cut the highlights out of that shape. I hope the mid tones and darks will go in today. I am always, without a doubt, nervous when I square up the paper and start these thing—asking myself if I can do it this time…as I rarely have much confidence in the reference combined with shaky personal confidence. Just picking up the pen, taking a deep breath and then the focused chipping away often checking every decision takes the time. When I have a half dozen highlights in, I know this is going to work or not….and my optimism can rise. Its a nice charge to drive the work forward. Then, I give myself a little permission to go a bit rogue with some manufactured highlights and shadows. I am optimistic I can give my client a pair of portraits that will work complete with working a hand with a smoking pipe into one of them as the pipe was so iconic with this particular artist.

Have you heard about Wacom’s newest offering, the Inkling? I discovered this wonder yesterday and currently I am transfixed and cannot wait until mid September. The Inkling is essentially, a ballpoint pen that records your hand drawing and transfers that work to digital. You use their pen, and your own notebook. I am wondering how it translates your drawing to make it better than a high res scan. Its too cool…but now that I think about it…unless it saves it to vectors or layers or provides me more than a scan, I am trying to figure out whether this is more of a toy than a real work tool. Maybe if there is a chance today, I will do a little reading on this.


“Finally this fantastic pen interface technology has made it to where it belongs, Wacom Inkling Smart Pen. The Inkling Smart Pen is a 2 part device that transfers handwriting strokes to a digital format. The technology is quite clever and extremely energy efficient which is what gives it such great potential. The base unit uses 2 microphones that give it the sound version of stereoscopic ‘vision’, allowing it to hear where the pen is moving.The pen emits a completely inaudible pulse helping the base unit track location and pen pressure. The datagrams on these coordinates are tiny allowing for cheap storage of many pages. The pen is normal sized thanks to only needing to make its silent ping while the base unit listens and records. Other competitors in the space require a hot-dog sized pen to hold all the electronics. Some of those require special paper as well, where none is needed by the Inkling.

The touch of a button on the base tells the device to start using storing the pen strokes in a different ‘page’ and it can store dozens if not hundreds of pages. An internal battery in the base is recharged by USB and the pen only needs inexpensive watch batteries. This technology has been hopping from company to company for some time now, A-open and IOGear to name a few. Both have products based on this technology but no one does pens like Wacom. We’re looking forward to see how much they’ve improved upon it while unfortunately upping the prior incarnation’s MSRP. Wacoms plan to release the Inkling Smart Pen at $199 later this year. Being able to import directly into Illustrator is probably worth double that for any serious artists.”

OH MY. v e c t o r

I wonder if one will be enough!

It was study hall yesterday at the office. It just dawned on Alex that maybe, just maybe he needed to get to work on the paper he has due next week for his environmental science class. This has a lot of research and processing of information which my son thought he could dash off….NOT. So, I made him sit with me all day to work on this paper. Unfortunately, he is busy counting words versus focusing on truly delivering on the paper’s content and requirements. I think I am going to throw the role of the heavy to Rob as I am making him sit and focus. I hope there is more we will learn about Alex from the testing we will be starting in a week or so. He just focuses on the oddest things and doesn’t really understand where he should be tracking. If I can talk him through, sometimes it hits. Sometimes he is there with me. More study hall today.

I have a meeting in a few and need to get the already foley-ed tomato sauce on the stove to simmer for a few hours to get the water out. I am a sauce making machine. I feel like there may be a few more pots out there. Loving it.

IF: [Nature is my] Influence

Greenman, Q .Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink, manipulated in Adobe Photoshp CS5“I trust in Nature for the stable laws
Of beauty and utility. Spring shall plant
And Autumn garner to the end of time.
I trust in God,—the right shall be the right
And other than the wrong, while he endures.
I trust in my own soul, that can perceive
The outward and the inward,—Nature’s good
And God’s.”

Robert Browning

last Tuesday in June.

Andy from the 1 hour portrait project, Q. Cassetti, 2011, Vector illustration using Adobe Illustrator CS5Churning away on portraits. The vector image to the left is a likeness of Andrew Cuomo, champion and Knight errant for New York State. I voted for Mr. Cuomo and am impressed by his approach, his ability to build consensus and the hard work he has to do. Being a politician is thankless work. I think  there was a lot of hard work on the phone and in person to make this vote happen to allow everyone to be married if they want to. For me, there is a feeling of optimism about being a New York State resident, versus down in the dumps over schools, taxes and services.I have never been particularly pround of being a NY Stater—but with the work and style of Mr. Cuomo, I might have to revise my thinking.

Kitty and friend Martha just bounced up here filled with news from contradancing on the Commons, bra shopping and her new job at the second, really fabulous vintage clothing store on the Commons. Kitty is enchanted with the new place, Petrune and the level of making this a really solid business—so that she is learning that its more than just fashion (which she is charmed by). She loves the skus, the book work, their Petrune Etsy shop and hasnt stopped chatting about it. This foray into fashion from book keeping to steaming clothes is a lesson that one chips away to make the frothy moment to happen.

Alex called and was exhausted last night. Guess he is getting “It” thrown at him. So, so much better than vegging in t he living room waiting for BLD (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)…and making dishes dirty. I predict a change.