Society of Illustrators Los Angeles: Illustration West 50, Accepted!

I was delighted to see that no, I hadn’t missed this one…and that the pieces above and to the right have been accepted into the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles Illustration West 50 Show. The portrait is of Domenic Labino for the Corning Museum of Glass’ Masters of Studio Glass Exhibition for Labino. Top beehive is a personal image. The Wheatman is from my Greenman series. The image to the right is from my Ganga Devi inspired whimsical illustrations (yay!).

I am delighted with this selection as it is a push to keep going. Each of these images talk to a different hand I have been working on, and two of them representative of two of my little imaginary worlds I find myself floating in.

Thank you Society of Illustrators LA and the judges that selected these images. You make today an even sunnier one!

a snippet of summer

Bees on the Peaches, Silverqueen Farm, Q. CassettiThe bees were adorable yesterday, flying from raspberry to peaches…seeking sweetness and clustering on the peaches that birds had pecked.  Ripe fruit was underfoot in the orchard, with nothing going to waste…with plenty for us too. The ripe, rotting fruit was a heady combination of peach and vinegar—memorable but not bad.

Kitty and I chatted as we gathered the fruit, a very pleasant time just being together. We both agreed on our wonder at bees, their friendly business, industry and diligence. We also exclaimed over the opportunity to grow your own fruit—producing food enough for a big family and then some…and how so much opportunity we have in this fertile area. Maybe my cherry trees will be the beginning of an orchard with peaches, apples, and hazelnuts? Maybe a course on beekeeping at Cornell is in the works.

Oh good! Its raining. We are finally getting some water (yesterday and now today). We need it.

Today is bits and pieces. I ordered my Christmas Cards…and I think having the valentine done by the end of August would be good too. I need to pursue the study abroad thing for my boy and get Kitty prepped to pack. There are projects to start, and projects to finish. I would love to close some out this week. Maybe there is hope?



Tag Em

Heaven or Hell, from the End is Near, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink, adjusted in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CS%There are grackles on the roof looking at me with all sorts of nesting material to make their nest…probably in the carriage house to our displeasure. Rob looked at the bird leavings and proclaimed that we were going to bird proof our back porch as those critters just decide what they want to do and poop etc. everywhere.

There was a cacaphony of birdcalls, crow caws and morning doves this morning while Shady and I did the consititutional. The Garlic Mustard is just about ready to bloom (maybe I can get some help ripping it out…I ripped out buttercups this morning). What with all the rain, the air is tropical and humid. The grass is growing like crazy with all the  rain and cool humidity.

So here is another lesson for me. TAG your online work. Tag your images…and dont be skimpy. Talk about technique, tag subject down to detail, tag your name, your town, and the design elements of the compostion. I got another job yesterday from someone I have never spoken to, never marketed to, never met who, when searching the internet for bees found little old me. Quick sketch process for Friday and more finished work for next week as they are going into a test marketing process. This job has a mythological creature, limes and bees. And, they are interested in the handdrawn Q. Not the vector Princess.

So, since January, I have worked for 4 new Art Directors I have an email relationship with! Wow.

I am meeting this pm with my lovely new friends….maybe about a new enterprise they are interested in.

p.s. Harold Camping has claimed that this recent Rapture alert was just the warmup for October. Bless him, he is in bounceback mode…which gives me more time to work on my Rapture work after the new quickly job:

From The Times and Democrat:

Camping, who predicted that 200 million Christians would be taken to heaven Saturday before the Earth was destroyed, said he felt so terrible when his doomsday prediction did not come true that he left home and took refuge in a motel with his wife. His independent ministry, Family Radio International, spent millions - some of it from donations made by followers - on more than 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs plastered with the Judgment Day message.

But Camping said that he’s now realized the apocalypse will come five months after May 21, the original date he predicted. He had earlier said Oct. 21 was when the globe would be consumed by a fireball.

Saturday was “an invisible judgment day” in which a spiritual judgment took place, he said. But the timing and the structure is the same as it has always been, he said.

“We’ve always said May 21 was the day, but we didn’t understand altogether the spiritual meaning,” he said. “May 21 is the day that Christ came and put the world under judgment.”

Make plans for October. Sounds like a good day to throw a party. Right?


Harlequin Bunny, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkAnother perfect day. A bit overcast…but brilliant green popping out. TJ is sitting on my office window sill, watching the birds from our higher perch while giving himself a bath.

Apropos of nothing, IIsabella Blow was inspired by yesterday’s nugget. I learned about Philip Treacy, the imaginative milliner who created many of the hats we saw at the Royal Wedding (Princess Beatrice’s beige wreath and ribbons as the most noteworthy). Check out the hats, gallery on his site. Treacy uses the head as just an element in his scupture using felt, straw, and fabric. His work is elegant and yet can be outlandishly Grace Jonesy…Theatrical but still in the zone of fashion versus costume. Just take a little tour on his site, and you will see what I mean.

In addition to learning about Treacy, I found out about his muse, Isabella  Blow (1958-2007), English magazine editor and “international style icon”. (Interesting article from The Daily Mail written by her ex-husband).

“If you don’t wear lipstick, I can’t talk to you.”
Isabella Blow

Isabella Blow spurred some of the most interesting British fashion….Wonderful…even down to her funeral complete with a willow casket with over the top white roses, millinery ribbon and a black hat perched on top of the whole shebang. Her casket was taken to the cemetery  in a victorian glass hearse- very Edward Gorey-eque. If you search it, Treacy designed very beautiful ostrich plumes for the horses that pulled the hearse….totally stylish.

Onward to the ordinary.


Bunny Buzz, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkBuilding an ark is an opportunity here. The lake is full and cresting over many people’s docks. And the rain continues. It is cold and damp…right to the bone with the humidity being so high. 

The weekend has lapped into the week. Yearbook gets released today. I created a cute little brownie inspired by Palmer Cox’s brownie…but making it a bit more woodcutty…and colored. Also worked on an illustration for the upcoming Mt.Washington and Pairpoint show at the Corning Museum of Glass. Interestingly, it is a supergraphic illustration that is going on a 72” x 72” panel…vector/cut vinyl.

The food project is almost complete. We are getting the big pubs moving though I got three new things yesterday. So it just keeps coming. The nice thing was last night for the first time since before Christmas, we had a simple dinner and watched a bit of t.v. which was such an amazing thing. I cannot wait for our lives to settle down a bit to have more quiet time as a group. It was great.

I am working on bunnies as I am just plain stale. The addage, “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.” works for me. I am hoping that something will arise and be interesting…but now its just a movement of pen…and a chance to make pictures of sweet, fuzzy creatures.

This weekend is the Mothers Day for Peace gig at the Rongo on Sunday along with everyone on Main Street doing chicken barbeques on Saturday and Sunday. Alex has the SATs on Saturday.

Friday, we need to go see which old car owner will take Alex and his date to the prom (!). A local antique car group volunteered to take couples to the prom! How great is that? We are ordering a tuxedo from an online resource, (the name will not surprise you): You can rent online at for signifcantly less than the scary Mens Wearhouse. However, we are buying as it is an investment. Alex and I have our eye(s) on something simple and elegant with a pique shirt (wing collar he nominated). The corsage is ordered with the specificity of something that smells nice like either a gardenia or freesia….their call. We may do a nice dinner for 12 before the event. It is all coming up so fast! Tick tock.

Off to the post office and bank.

Delighted! Selected for American Illustration 30

Selected: American Illustration 30, Q. CassettiThis is a bigger deal than I had thought. This is what American Illustration 30 says about the competition:

Congratulations! Your work has been Selected to appear in the American Illustration 30 annual. On behalf of the entire jury, we thank you for your submission and support of American Illustration.
This year’s distinguished jury included Nicholas Blechman, The New York Times Book Review; Rachael Cole, Schwartz & Wade Books; Michael Ian Kaye, Mother New York; Todd Oldham, Todd Oldham Studio; D.W. Pine III, TIME; David Saylor, Scholastic Inc. and Dean Sebring, Worth.
From more than 7,000 pictures entered by over 1,100 illustrators, magazines, agencies, publishers and schools, the jury selected, by a majority vote or better, only 316 images to appear in the book and represent the best pictures from 2010. AI30 will be printed in full color and distributed worldwide in hardcover immediately after The Party, November 10, 2011 - our annual book launch event that brings the creative community together to celebrate the winners.

Delighted to say the least! and love the selection. You just never know!

Five out of six entries that got into Illustration West 49, Society of Illustrators, Los Angeles, by Q. CassettiMonkey, Q. Cassetti, 2010I was cruising Facebook to find out all sorts of people found out about Society of Illustrators, Los Angeles and what they got into their Illustration West 49 Show. I was combing my email looking for my note and kind of threw my hands up and figured I didn’t get in. But, I tried again late yesterday afternoon, to find out, yes, I did get it….and yes, I got quite a few pieces in! So, here is a posting of those images that got in. Now is the question of money and time…and whether it is worth spending a ton of money to get work framed and out to LA for a week’s show in Gallery Nucleus. Will need to weigh my options.

More talk later today. 

IF: Double

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


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

Roasted for Flavor

Lubok Hive Study, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkPrinted posters for the Zydeco Trail Riders/Rongo, so look out for them. The Trail Riders will be playing on the 21st at the Rongo…and I have a pal in the band so it was a fun illustration project. There is another one brewing for the Cayuga Blue Notes too.

Today, I have turned to butter. Absolutely a big puddle due to the heat and still air.  It is cloying…There is promise of a break on Friday. We need it. The hot air being moved around yesterday was not helpful…but about 4 yesterday, my brain just plain shut down. Tonight, the lake, the cold lake is where I am going to float and float and float until that puddliness becomes a cold core again. After looking at…today promises to be 92 and tomorrow 94…so the hot ride is not over yet. I am pushing water with Nigel and Kitty and Alex.  Need to brew some tea…somehow coffee doesnt seem to appeal.

 Yesterday’s picture and today’s unfinished picture were constructed from this weekend’s sketching/inspired by the Lubki high patterning of landscapes. It’s one decorative chunk abbutting another decorative chunk. Odd perspectives, if any…This image wants text…and perhaps a text window cut into the foliage.

More branding talk today. Its been interesting listening/ and engaging in a high level branding series of presentations and discussion. It is not customercentric…This big agency is always referencing their fees, out of contract etc. even prior to talking about an idea…Its not about solving the design and image problem…its not about making a great representation for a great company but its about fees and fee structures within a stuffed meeting with too many members of the consulting team that adds up to big fees for education and training of their team. I certainly could not get away with this sort of mischief. I guess these guys get away with it once…and once and once….I value the client/designer relationship for the longterm so that my education is amortized on a longterm basis. Should be interesting.

Tuesday: Looking towards the weekend

Sweetness Alight, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkTuesday started early. I got double thumped by the cats around four a.m.—impatient for cookies and attention.We then had to get rolling early to get Kitty and a friend to Corning with Rob for the day—to see the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, The Corning Museum of Glass and the fun on Market Street. Alex has a new job (self elected) at the Rongovian Embassy to the US on Main Street here is sunny Trumansburg. Dishwashing. He called me to say he was washing a pile of dishes and will be working until 6 p.m. Hard work, hard lessons…but all good because I am not jamming it at him. He has brought it on through his own motivation. I am thrilled.

Alex and I are going to learn how to smoke meat this summer. We bought a smoker from Josh Ozersky (now and food writer for TIME) and tried it once. But Alex is anxious to perfect his bro-meister skills…which may incorporate barbeque and smoking to the mix of bro skills. The Urban Dictionary defines a “bro” as:

“An alpha male idiot. This is the derogatory sense of the word (common usage in the western US): white, 16-25 years old, inarticulate, belligerent, talks about nothing but chicks and beer, drives a jacked up truck that’s plastered with stickers, has rich dad that owns a dealership or construction business and constantly tells this to chicks at parties, is into extreme sports that might be fun to do but are uncool to claim (wakeboarding, dirt biking, lacrosse), identifies excessively with brand names, spends a female amount of money on clothes and obsesses over his appearance to a degree that is not socially acceptable for a heterosexual male.”

The MFA program at Hartford is beginning to ramp up. You can see the work of the incoming students here>> I am also collecting the Texas contact period illustrations from the current students (classes of 2010, 2011) and this is where we are>> Take a look. Pretty exciting.

We have three screenwriters in the back room meeting. I am friends with one of the guys who was looking for a place to have a 3-4 hour meeting (not at the coffee shop) so I said “come here” as we have chairs and tables and coffee too. So we have people busy chatting about interesting things that we get snippets as we go in for tea.

Work to do.

Monday startup

Sweet Maiden, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkYesterday was quiet. I was wiped out. I guess it all added up with the passage of visitors, kid parties, and visiting family. I just needed to shut down. I knew it when the uber petty was forefront in my head and I kept cycling on the trite. So, I slept the afternoon away. And the trite went away, and in that vast vacuum, ideas of bees, of Kama (the indian cupid) and  the world as a hive filled that space. I dive into my Lubok book on a regular basis now…enjoying the odd russian tales melding Russian Orthodoxy  with folklore, legends and myths. Human headed birds, bear armies, midgets and dwarves, and strife between husband and wife. Of course there are heaven and hell infusions as well. Dreamy.

This hazy state is a nice one from last year this time with the frantic rush to the thesis finale, multiple guests in tow and flat out from June 1 to  September 1. The summer stretches ahead of us in a long green ribbon with work and play interrupted by swimming , music and the daily vacationing we have here on the plateau and on the lake. Bliss.

I just finished another bee book: Letters from the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind, a wonderful journey through the history of gathering, growing and living with bees with chapters on food, medicine, religious rites, mythology and science by an entomologist . This is a wonderful second to Holley Bishop’s Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey—The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World. Wonderful summer reading. Sweet in its depth, in it’s topic and gives more meaning to the bees buzzing in your large trumpet vines and roses. These books put nature squarely in your lap and makes the lovely agricultural lands that surround you more poignant and the cities more approachable (tales of a beekeeper, Jean Paucton at the Paris Opera who has kept five hives on the roof for a decade and sells his honey through very exclusive concerns such as the opera gift shop and Fauchon in his home town). I think another bee book is in the lineup. Just need to choose.

More later.

Feathered fun

Images of KamadevaKnocking em down. Alex is done with his exams. Kitty has a little summer bug. Mr. Percival B. White has settled in…with lots of lolling about, sleeping in odd places, cuddling with shoes. Nigel is done this week— he has a little trip planned. Rob is Manager on Duty tonight…so he will be running late.

More pictures of Kamadeva. Love the parrot made up of green sari’ed ladies…or the little cart pulled by a pair of birds.

From Indian Divinity:


Kamadeva, the god of love, is very fair and handsome and the best looking among the gods. He carries a bow made of sugarcane and strung with a line of humming bees. He shoots with his bow the five flower-tipped shafts of desire. RATI (passion)his wife and his friend VASANTA (spring), who selects for him the shaft to be used on the current victim accompanies him. Kamadeva’s vehicle is the parrot.
Lovely, lovely exotica.
Now for a channel change. Jim Reidy told me about this fabulous, free presentation site that one can create truly cool presentations in a distinct, non linear way.—defines itself as a “zoomable interface”. Not only is it cool as a way to go beyond the stupidity of Powerpoint—but as an artist/illustrator/ designer… thinking of this medium as a way to tell a story is very cool. Need to fiddle with it a bit…but the ability to zoom in /out can add focus, and draw the viewer in to a story. Take a look.
One more exclamation on the local level. We have a bulk foods store moving into the former Artisan Cafe space “Good to Go”! I found out about this on 
Facebook as they are vetting their logotype to the group at large…So, another new retailer in our little hamlet.
More later.



Love God

KamadevaDoing a little cerebral multi tasking while looking at my lovelly Lubok book, reading a book on Devi (Hindu Gods) and having (as usual) bees on the brain. The Lubok illustration just vibrates with strong power albeit naively distorting things and living very much in the land of the flat and patterned. I am working on another Lubok bee picture, picking up elements (some typographic frames and detail) as I chip away at it. The Devi book is chock full of tiny stories of different iterations of Vishnu  other gods. Of course, there is Ganesha (the elephant headed guy) and the horrifying and compelling Kali (goddess of blood and death) and now, there is Kama (Kama Deva). He is the god of pleasure— and is shown riding a parrot (!!), shooting a bow with a sugar cane bow…Kama is known by these attributes as well as bees…! Wikipedia says:

Kāmadeva is represented as a young and handsome winged man who wields a bow and arrows. His bow is made of sugarcane with a string of honeybees, and his arrows are decorated with five kinds of fragrant flowers. The five flowers are Ashoka tree flowers, white and blue lotus flowers, Mallika tree(Jasmine) andMango tree flowers.

So, there has to be a picture or two of him…as there are all things good…Parrots, bees and bows and arrows. An indian cupid albeit he is a bit more about divine love, heavenly love, and the desire for that. So, russian folk art will meet hindu gods…Yay!

Rob got home yesterday afternoon. He had a great time and seems like he learned a great deal during his journey about work, design, and perceptions of the GlassLab. We are glad to have him home.

I am clocking down the work. Tomorrow, I am really seeing the pile reduce and quiet before the craziness that often comes with summer. Its great to have it settle down.

The Yearbook team met today which evolved into a planning session for the first half of next year’s class, what we are doing, how we assign the teams, what the jobs are and how we will keep the project on target and responsible for the production of the book. I am optimistic. I bought a few of the “Day in the Life” books from Alibris—which I took over to them as an inspiration for the type of photography we will do. We have 100 pictures a week as a mandate (and the students will edit 10 out, and submit them to the yearbook team for review every three classes). Here is a link to this years book to show you what we printed with Lulu>>. There is more interest at the Middle School and other small schools around here about “how we did it”. I  predict we will be talking to others in the next few months.

First day of Summer, 2010

Summer Bounty, Q. Cassetti, 2010Not much to say. It was redding up last night and a load of laundry this morning. Shady went out with me to check on the efficacy of the Irish Spring treatment on our apple trees (its working) this morning. She managed to get herself tangled up in velcro weed and ended up covered in thorny, green pods which wasnt the end. She found a delicious patch of something that she started rolling in…ending up sticky, and appropriately stinky. Then, she shared the wealth with me. Cut to the chase, a bath before nine….for Ms. Shady Grove along with a lot of brushing.

Kitty is finishing her adirondack chair this morning. Hopefully we can engage her in class selections and take her picture for Hampshire. Long and drawn out.

I discovered my illustration work was being posted, “blogged” and “reblogged” on There are posts by people talking about reusing my artwork ( I know, I know, that this is wrong…but how do you stop it). I am fine if they want to use it, its more the sheer courtesy, yes manners, of asking before taking. But, I am showing my old age and fussy upbringing in even saying this. Erich is always reminding me that things have changed despite the laws, and that once things are  posted, they are public and out of my control. Tumblr is microblogging, in a sense like twitter, but a way to share ideas, images, photographs etc. How would you address this…? Yes, its like Twitter and Facebook but feels somewhat more random for me. Here is what I found on Tumblr re: me, me and did I say, me? 

Starting a new sweet picture in the Lubok spirit….same topic, new style (or changed style)… More later. These take a bit longer.

Sunday Berries

In Search of the Sweet, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkAlex and I had a quiet evening—chatting and hanging out. It was really nice to spend one on one time with this thoughtful person. He has lots of good insights and ideas. He has a great intuitive pulse on people and I trust his observations as they are founded in a balance of good values and clear thought.

The picture to the left is a bow to Lukok, the Russian folk art style I have mentioned in the past. I loved the playing card inspired face and the bizarre interpretation of the horse and his eyes… I was thinking of crusaders and the things they took with them or even found during their trips and decided that a skep filled with honey would be a grand thing. The torch in the riders hand is a primitive smoker that the beekeepers need to  quiet the bees before they break into the hive.  I cannot resist doing more of these goofy horses…they are so funny and rock. .Thus this image. It looks pretty woodcutty. I don’t know if we need color? Jim Reidy saw this and this is the basis for the Cayuga Blue Notes image. Fun, Right?

Alex and I and Haley all went to Silver Queen Farm (Stillwell Rd, Trumansburg) to pick strawberries. It worked out that Alex and Haley picked strawberries and peas while I gathered a bucket of raspberries, which I have mascerating in a bit of sugar right now. The plan is to break these berries out into separate containers for cakes etc. later. The delicacy of “soft fruit” was apparent to me while I cruised down the lanes of trimmed and shapely raspberry hedges. I was noting how clean and non weedy the whole operation is…but musing that if I was a snake, I would be in those toasty bushes making my nest in the quiet, fragrant, hot darkness. Creeping myself out, I shook the idea. Then as Alex and Haley came to shake me from my meditation, I was going for a dark space and a twinkle of a serpentine head with a long (2”) forked tongue appeared…and I squeeked. They were there…so it wasnt a creepy thing…it was a real part of the story!

Two double batches of granola out of the oven. A full one going in for Kitty’s teacher who is “hooked” to the stuff, and the other to fill the cache we have here that is dwindling. Need to go  finish that project and wrap some graduation presents. No rest for the wicked.