Sunday redux

I apologize for being so silent. It just been too much with the work at hand (endless variations on a similar thing to finally get to the end, plus new stuff with 2-3 hour turn arounds that can really be trying). It really is quite a bit to stay on top of that pony, blog and just get the day to day resolved. I will try to be more communicative this week.
Yesterday (and I will post the pictures later) we visited Durand's Forge, the blacksmith shop and world of Durand Van Doren, an amazing artist, clever and funny person, generous host and remarkable blacksmith. He works outside of Mecklenburg in a few small buildings heated by big woodstoves, with his work, his collections, his inspirations all nailed to the wall or arranged in little story telling vignettes that depict an active brain, a wit and humor that goes with the work. He showed us gates and benches he had done on commission along with enormous groups of chandeliers and lighting for Cornell and other big institutions. But he also had a wrought iron Kissing Booth and Good Luck Bench (made from horseshoes)... There was a lovely named dog house for his little confident Jack Russell, Mick--along with all sorts of personal totems posted on the wall around Mick's abode. Duran had mini forges in the yard to the back of the shop where he teaches blacksmithing...all sorts of machines made of this and that to create small approachable forges. He had a pot of beef stew going on one of them...and kindly offered us this hospitality along with his stories and ideas. He had all sorts of fruit trees (which Kitty identified confidently, thanks to the kindness of Ian and Jackie Merwin's tutorial)) and a real live chestnut (not horse) tree with it's nuts standing proud in the spiky shells.

Durand is a man of many talents. He is a big Trumansburg Rotarian..a giver and there at the chicken barbeques, the golf events, the races, the meetings. He always gives when people need things for auctions and raffles. He also is one of the refs at our only Pro Sport in Ithaca, rollerderby with the SufferJets. He is a remarkable artist--and his world at the studio invites you into his thinking, ideas, and life. If you have a chance, or just an hour, I highly recommend you visit Durand next weekend during the second weekend of Ithaca Art Trail.

We then, visited friends in the Cayutaville area. They have recently built a studio/ house compound--with lovely porches springing off each level to overlook a spectacular valley (which yesterday with the Fall colors was dumbfoundingly beautiful). Their work space was great, and their living space, equally so...with vibrant color on the wall--unexpectedly wonderful, and the beautiful cabinetry and woodwork creating a very happy place to spend all your days. They have a wonderful, happy garden with an enclosure as happy as the parsley framed walkways, energetic nasturtium, a pineapple sage...all poetry...abutting the most perfect chicken coop with tailored black chickens happily chasing each other down one end of their run and back again. Shady Grove was with her best dog girlfriend...and enchanted by the chickens. She didnt know what to make of them. We were so honored to have a chance to visit these lovely kind people in their paradise as well. And, on such a beautiful day--with the evening sky moving from blue to purple with red edges in the sky, to shimmering gold trees. Breathtaking.

And to cap it off, we went to see Julie and Julia at Cinemopolis. Bliss..and a gumdrop to finish a wonderful day of seeing and meeting, color and light, ideas and brilliant work. What a blessing we have .

Nice Pie!

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"One of the Italian professors took care of ordering all the pizzas and one-by-one they came to our table. First to arrive was tomato, olive and feta, followed by sausage, ham, mushroom and mozzarella. Next came eggplant, ham, and mozzarella, then spinach, tomato and mozzarella, and finally a vegan pizza, which featured a number of vegetables and no cheese. I did my best to sample as many of the pizzas as I could and found that each had a unique flavor and was extremely delicious. It was as if we were no longer in dreary upstate New York, and instead had been transported across the ocean. I know New York Pizzeria is a bit far to go for a slice, especially with Collegetown Pizza right around the corner, but if you ever find yourself in Trumansburg or just want to go on a road trip, make the stop and try this pizza. You won’t be disappointed."

From "A Little Taste of Sicily in Our Background"
by Alissa Auerbach
May 3, 2007


I want to sing the praises of a new website/community called Illosaurus. This is how they describe themselves: illosaurus aims to offer the illustration community a single point of reference for all its business needs. The site encompasses a unique list of resources and recommendations aimed at the freelance professional artist: everything from useful tools for self-promotion and workflow through to advice on tax and copyright.

And, though they are new and growing-- it feels as if illosaurus will be a great resource for all of us who love illustration and the world that surrounds it from the profession to the cool stuff we get to buy to do our work. The illosauri are looking for links to resources you have used or know of in categories from art supplies to type and much more. Stop by, say hi and leave a little calling card or a resource.

I figure anything the great Ape (the ape leader of The Little Chimp Society) is involved in will have good energy and be a fun place to visit.

Good response to the work in progress with the dogs. Psyched. Maybe something will evolve. Two clients are already talking about Christmas cards. Imagine. More good news--the presskit we designed for the Corning Museum of Glass for their new summer show, Botanical Wonders: The Story of the Harvard Glass Flowers won a first place in the Press Kit category for the AAM (American Association of Museums). The pullout copy on the AAM site said:

"The folder has a texture and pattern repeated throught. They thought through the branding from the inserts to the CD lagel to the postioning of the business cards. It has simple but beautiful packaging. We thought they were real--not glass--flowers."

Whoa. To think they could be so nice. That presskit was a real toughy as there initially were not many pictures and a bunch of drawings the Blashka's did in preparation and design of the pieces before the lampworking began. So, with a hodge podge of stuff...we took a scan of an ratty old piece of paper and began to start layering, sihouetting and moving the pieces all around to get the general look. The idea to continue the show brand to the enclosed CD and print pieces was obvious. Its always an interesting process as the presskit needs to be designed at least six months before the show opens and the Museum team is pushing ideas around..but there is no single image to work with. The presskit is the kickstart to the visual clues we will be working with in the pubs etc.

More later>>