Getting in the groove.

Halloween Mask: Bunny, Q. Cassetti, 2011, Adobe IllustratorStill stinky here. The black one wafts around with a little cloud of diesel inspired scent…and we always know where she is. Its a bit tedious— and its only been a day. From what I have read, the oily skunkiness can last as long as 2 years. I am bored now…imagine two years from now. Maybe we will be lucky enough that she will not be sprayed again (or at least for two years so it can wear out).

Alex’s first show was today. Unfortunately, I had a phone call that I had to make so as not to make the elementary and middle school performance. Poor dude, he is worn out and done with all of this. Next week, no play and no XC…so its from pressure to other pressures and work. It just keeps going and going. I am looking forward to his work as the wind (he is the wind in a fable…and it seems he is feeling it).

Justin, the big California Horse (Cap C, Cap H, Cap HORSE), arrives via the night train tonight (anytime after 5) to the cold weather. Gloria told me that his long coat was a problem in LA and she was constantly worrying about his electrolytes and water consumption. This big warhorse will grow a nice long coat and hopefully be able to handle the snow and cold. There is a lot of excitement around his arrival. Its been a long journey for him. A nice dry stall that is not moving will be a relief.

Ben Cooper 1980 (catalog page)

Busy with the masks as you can see. Between this bunny and the cat, the idea of developing my own character designs seem feasable. I am learning a bit about this styling, how things are handled for cute, how things are handled for scary, how things are handled for funny/cute. I am curious about the illustrators/artists who created these mask characters. Need to do some research and see what I can dig up. I was reading another internet clip, and they were referring to these halloween costumes as folk art. Hmmm. What do you think?

Check out these cool box graphics from the Ben Cooper Boxes. I love the benday dot…and the line treatment. Does this look like graphic design work? or illustration? Which side of the desk will this sit on? Neato Coolville>> I just ran into a bunch of vintage Kiss masks…Whoa. Kiss…and some of them have yucky frizzy hair attached to the vacformed face.

Morning, Glory!

Pastel Rabbits, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink, Colored in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CS5Cool and Humid. Looks like rain just like yesterday so that we have a mid day downpour so we have golden dusks. Kitty, bless her, went out yesterday and ripped out weeds. Today, I think there may be more yard work and then some filing for me. We could get rid of the heaps of paper…and she doesnt have the emotional thing I have with the paperwork. If she could sort and plan them for me, I can act.

I am doing a bunch of layout work along with having a few illustrations that need to be finished and inked for tomorrow. There is something I do not understand. The current illo project I am working on is a less than 3 day project on something that is going into testing next week. If they are going into testing, then why didnt they have  a little time to get the work done versus the ole 3 day, acid stomach thing. Little guidelines and fast timeframe… It just seems that the illustrator picks up the slack on some less than stellar project management. Not a problem, just looking at it as a designer and saying “why?”.

Speaking of illustration, I need to order a few of the 3x3 Magazines to have on file. Also, the pastel Q. is happening. I like the softness of the colors on the image above, with the pastels being soft and not necessarily sweet. Color is hard work worth pursuing. I need to take my woodcut headset (black, brown, cream, red) to another place just, if anything, to push the work.

Gotta go. Morning is speeding by.

Monday update

Chequered Bunny, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink, colored in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CS5Monday. Things have changed. We have two kids in the house with a summer guest in the offing. Today is Rob’s birthday! We will hopefully have dinner out at our nice restaurant a block from here. There is an awards ceremony we need to attend…so maybe a late dinner.

We had a nice evening with all sorts of “Facebook Stalking” (Alex’s phrase) with the review of all the prom pictures (which is almost as much fun as the prom)—the dresses, the hairdos, the white dinner jackets etc. Kitty and our friend Thea were very consumed by looking at all these pictures—sort of a yearbook of some sort. Shoes and hairdos took the lead insofar as conversation. 

Interesting. Behance Network, a free, social networking page for visual people is a terrific resource to share (and get interesting feedback) where you can post projects and follow others. I have gotten some interesting leads on work from folks that have seen my work on Behance, so I cannot say enough about it. Also, Behance and LinkedIn, have an app. that allows you to post Behance projects (known as portfolios) to LinkedIn as soon as its posted. So, that is a nice extra to make your content get out there, easily. Now they are doing a Beta on easy up personal websites that parse the same projects/portfolios to a central page with a series of simple but really nice skins to show your work. One has choices in background, background color, font selections etc. This is something I may look into because of the reach, simplicity and to better understand what these two social networking sites can do with/for each other.

Wow. Look at this! You can flow the Behance stuff to your Facebook page! I need to try this out! I guess it pays to wander a bit on Monday morning! You never know what you will find! From the Behance Blog>>


Work beckons. There are a bunch of little projects gathering around my ankles…and should get them moving.

It is so so great that it is cooler and raining as it is changing the high pollen content here. Everything has been coated with chartreuse pollen from the walks to the cars, to even our furniture inside as it wafts in through the screens and windows. Shady is snoring.


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.

Racing Bunny in Technicolor, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink, colored in Adobe Photoshop CS5Beautiful spring morning. I just got back from the Shure Save—getting basics and the requisite case of “sports drink” that I was informed we needed to provide tomorrow for the day long tennis tournament that Boy Wonder will be participating in. What a nice respite from school work and testing for Alex.

Alex will be going to an amusement park as a Physics field trip in the next few weeks which I think combines fun with teaching. Good for Mr. Flood (Alex’s Physics Teacher) for being so clever. This sort of demonstrating the concepts day is the teaching that will really stick with our student. See it, experience it, remember it.

Today is more to do…with banking, phone calls, some little webbie things to be designed, amending a brochure (I am sure) and a list of lots of little things. I have a field trip this afternoon with a client to do a look see at the market.

The tuxedo came (without the shirt) and it fits and looks great. Alex keeps trying to shove the pants way way down below his hips—so we will need to amend this. I will need to hem the pants in the next few days (and then we will take them to a real live tailor post fact to have them really hemmed and cuffed (?). Perhaps a double breasted vest Morning Coat-itisso as to emulate the Windsor Family. Look at the boys in their soft colored double breasted vest. And Charles’ lovely blue vest with something else (white) peaking underneath before the blue shirt happens. I guess I am a sucker for a morning coats Need to research this. Not that Alex gives two hoots, but somehow I am bitten with this one. Beyond that, the sheer Englishness of doing it so right, so bespoke. Those of us in the colonies do not have this proper dna encoded in our makeup. Prom pictures will be coming…if you get my gist. Orange vests, white suits and glossy satin orange ties….and so on. Oh my, look at this, a combo of my favorites: a camo tux. Nuf Said.

Gotta go.

Sunny with a chance of Spring

Twinnies, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkSunny with a chance of spring. Lawnmowers mowing. A Zillion chicken bbqs roadside this morning. Alex up and early for the SATs…girded for battle with his batteries, pencils, pencil sharpener and peanut butter sandwich. We had breakfast and more coffee at Ithaca Bakery (always a big treat to see what yummy they have concocted for all of us using the best of local, local, local). After buying a few loaves of bread and a dog biscuit for our black friend in the car (Shady Grove) we cruised up to Pesco’s Barber Shop for Rob to get a haircut and catch up with Ed, Brian and  Mr. Pesco.

It is a bit stunning that our boy is taking his SATs and that senior year and colleges are not much far behind. What happened to the 17 years of time we have had together? It is shocking.

It was a late night last night working on the chicken boy. Need to get the stripes  in his shirt and a delineation of his short short crewcut a la tigertooth versus the workpaths brought into illustrator from photoshop. Long work…but I am making a bunch of brushes that may make the work convincing, a little easier to do, and a bit more like drawing than vectorizing. The recent job (to be announced soon!) had hair that needed to do more than what my hands could do given the time constraints…so brushes were made for that.

Brushes here> here> here> here>

Brushes are the max. I had an illustration for the Museum for a show they are mounting on Mt. Washington and Pairpoint Glass. The trick to this illustration is that it is a pointillist illo to reflect the peachblow decorated glass (see to the left) that is going to be cut out of signage vinyl and applied to a 72” x 72” glass panel. So, I drew the shapes with vectors and manipulated the shapes to make them nice and regular.  I then applied a dot pattern to the line and released them to stand alone objects. Then, once each petal was complete, I saved them as symbol files, and then rotated them behind the center so though there were a lot of dots, there were not a total zillion to do. I used the blob brush sized to match the dots that make up the brush. So the prompt from Nancy Stahl and Jean Tuttle at Hartford to learn more about brushes truly have merged with my work.

Speaking of Hartford, I was thinking this morning that I should review my business plan and revise it. I first wrote it for Syracuse, updated in 09 for Hartford….and it feels like its time again. Funny…but true.

Gotta go…a linear crew cut awaits.

There's the Sun!

Bunny Matchup, 2011, Q. Cassetti, pen and inkMore tedious drawings of bunnies manipulated in photoshop. I am coloring this one as I like the rope heart and the challenge of pastels. I need to better understand this lighter palette and thus the coloring. Black to grey or tan, no white…less harsh.

The Yearbooks are done! Hangar is back with changes…so that gets fit in by end of day today. I have a brochure that is a field guide to glass patterns and some illustration for the big client (a continuous line illo which can be hard to do, but entertaining in the puzzle like aspect. There are lots of random thises and thats, alterations of the food illustration and others. Need to start setting up appointments for Kitty and Alex this summer…check ups and dentals.

Nice chat with Kitty last evening. She has her birthday to look forward to—with contradancing as the cupcake with candles for her. I put her little somthingsomthins in the mail…which should make the day a bit brighter. Her first birthday away from us. Another first.

But, she is worrying her classes, full on angst and sadness around what she didnt get out of an art class…full of anger and misunderstanding that this emotion is actually part of the learning. Learning comes in all ways…and she seems to have learned a lot about what she doesnt like. We will have a lot of talking to do over the summer.

Alex and I figured out the tuxedo dilemma. We measured him according to the directions we found on the web, consulted all the sizing on the site and then printed the buy button.  Its a simple tuxedo with notched lapels, and plain (not pleated) pants. Alex gravitated to the style along with picking out a cotton pique, wing collared shirt. No cummerbund. Black silk bow tie. He will be perfect (at least to his mother’s satisfaction and his…I hope). We should have it by Monday.


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.

Lapine Heraldry?

Lapine Heraldry, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink (sharpies)Inspired by the golden stump work, the red gold jackets with bumblebee stripes on the footmen, the hats, the heraldry, the flowers, union jack, golden stripes, satin rosettes, and high stepping glossy horses— I rolled through yesterday indulged in all things British—inspired by the full visual splendor that the English excell at. Did you see all the tassels on belts, on ties, on bunting, with draperies? Golden tassels shining in the sunshine. I loved all the carved crowns and laurel wreathes, the top of Charles and Camilla’s carriage—a mass of golden sculpture, the pristine courtyards and the politesse of the admiring crowds (albeit dressed and painted as it it was Super Bowl Sunday). It makes me want to go all Anglophile and whip out italic handwriting with heraldic gouache paintings.However, in the interest of my time being consumed by the yearbook, you get the dashed out picture of heraldic bunnies which I think may evolve a bit more. It think they are funny. Now the big question is what goes in the shield. Carrots? a chick? chicken? eggs? Or perhaps a beehive? or a house in the country or even a leaping rabbit (a  la stag leaping)? I love all this stuff. Now the question is how to take it to the country? or the barnyard to make it a fusion.

I am five pages away from being done with the yearbook. Divine. I am chugging away on the chicken illustration (held by a little boy) and a limited (truly limited…4 shades of grey including black as one of them). The little boy has a very tricky patterned shirt and a crew cut which the tigerteeth could not really capture. So, thanks the tricks my friend Chad Grohman taught me about work paths, I was able to fuse photographic with handdrawn. As an aside, take a look at what Chad is working on these days. This guy is soooooo excellent and inspiring. I want to be as good as Chad when I grow up.

I have a few illos for the Museum of Glass and find myself doing illustration for the big client too!

Tomorrow, we go to Rochester to look for evening clothes for the younger Mr. Cassetti. I actually cooked last night (knocked off at 8:30) making 2 quiche and a big batch of granola that the boss said was a good one, a batch that confirmed I had lost my mojo. The work has just been so tremendous, I am sad to say that cooking and  house related work has fallen by the wayside. Soon…I hope…soon.

Big Air

Perplexed Rabbits, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink.Alex and I huddled in the basement last night (and identified new things to be fixed!) for the 15 minutes that the big Tornado was supposed to whirl through Tburg. Rob got our neighbors to move into their laundry room (no windows). I couldn’t find our flashlights in prep (along with filling water bottles) so off I went to the dollar store to see what there was to add to the collection. Now we have an extrodinary collection along with batteries to boot. The lightening was brilliant blue white without any thunder, just barometric rage, wind and persistent rain.

Lots of rain so the the buds on the trees are really coming on. My lovely $5. rosebushes from the drugstore are leggy with greenery. Tons of things to do outside too from raking to planting, pruning (my fave). Speaking of my fave, Mr. Hair is coming today to do a walkthrough with me around all the downed trees, things in need of help etc. Time spent with Mr. Hair (along with $) gives us the wonder of going through these big windy storms without a big tree across the road or  on the house. Time well spent.

The work list continues. Lots of thises and thats along with some leviathan scaled projects that are all ticking against the same “need it tomorrow” deadline. Looks like Saturday is a workday.

I plan on a royal bunny to celebrate the wedding tomorrow. I got up for Diana..but these two do not rock my world though the horses (plumed destriers) might prompt me to plunk myself in front of the tube. We’ll see.