Mary Blair for your pocket


Mary Blair created a lot of things. Disney's "Small World" is just one example. She illustrated children's books (Golden), did some pretty cute advertising work, and is known for her work with Disney visualizing many of the classic animated movies as well as creating the palettes that really define the early Disney animations. Is Mary Blair known for her hankie designs? I don't think so...but she should be as she brings a whimsy and yet a strong hand and strong common composition to the hankies that are out there. And, do you think they are valuable? One person noted she bought a Blair hankie at a yardsale for $.25 and proceeded to resell it on Ebay for in excess of $150. More>> That is even better than Apple stock! Here are a few examples I have gleaned from the web for your amusement and my reference.

Thinking about "My America"

My America: Big Boy, Fat Boy, Q. Cassetti, 2013,  Trumansburg, NY

My America: Big Boy, Fat Boy, Q. Cassetti, 2013,  Trumansburg, NY

I am working on a collection of images...freeflowing images of   "My America" as you know. I find that symbols and corporate logos are coming to the fore along with those personifications of brand (Mayor McCheese, Big Boy, Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima, Betty Crocker, the Android, etc.) and find them flowing into images of war and weaponry. It is wild when I let my brain relax to see which avenues it travels scare me or amuse me...but to result in images. Yes, the symbols of power and position, of money and greed, of the ordinary and extraordinary, of rockets and robots, of artificial intelligence and artificial insemination all are fluid.

Today's insanity around women's issues from health, reproduction, ability to vote and those rights we hold dear--coming under question from the likes of Governor Ultrasound and the Cooch....really are disturbing and are beginning to filter into this unsavory illustration brew. As much as we hold ourselves as so superior, I find being an American these days pretty thin soup given the low level the national conversation decended. It is appalling that the silent majority is allowing a vocal group of radical conservatives make decisions for their wives, daughters, sisters and friends. And, that those women, the wives, daughters, sisters and friends have by their silence and inaction, have condoned the eradication of rights they do not value and will not value until they too have  a reproductive issue or a voice to be heard...and have given away that right without any knowledge of what they  have surrendered.

Off the soapbox, for today.

Honeybees and Ham

Waiting. No biggie. But waiting for the car. Yes, I am finally getting the snow tires off my car and it has been not the single hour that I was promised but it is going on two. I was going to go back to the office between my two Ithaca appointments today...and now It feels as is the two are going to blur. Ah, well. Thank goodness there are no crazy deadlines today other than the great meeting of the Farmers' Market. And thank goodness I have discovered and changed to Google Mail, Google Drive and Google Calendar and I can use a dumb p.c. here at the car dealership and actually get work done. I like how simple and portable things are getting. Nice change, that.

We are on the verge of Grassroots. The cherries have been picked. The raspberries and strawberries are going full bore. Garlic Scapes are on the outs--and bunches of delightful dill, cilantro and basil are in the future. It is the season of produce and fruit, and we can plot the course of the summer by their  appearance at the CSA and at the Farmers' Market. It has gone from mild to hot very quickly with many fans and cold showers before sleep marking the change in the season. We have been in the lake to start our summer drifting under the high cloud bowl.

 How is it that the sky over the lake is so vast, so high, so much part of the moment, when, even on our plateau, it doesn't seem to loom above us? The water must change that relationship as it is a constant--and mirrors the dome above it. The cloud bowl has been particularly dramatic in the last week with massive cumulus clouds--changing from puffy, angels sit on them, clouds to towering castles changing from white, to pearl, to grey. It has been the sky of full on Summer--giving us cloud bursts and within a half hour, scrubbed skies.  It is the mid point of the year...and such a sweet spot that we are all trying to hang on to the quiet moments together before being spun into our respective other lives.

My America. I have been worrying about another body of work- stressing that nothing was clicking. Well it did. Rob asked my why I couldn't do something like the Advent Calendar annually and it forced me to think about the triggers around the Advent work. I guess what I love about it are all the "knowns" like palettes, distinct traditions and expectations, the iconography, the ideas and the global aspects of the holiday. I have been mulling over all of that and somehow it just pinged, American things... my America. It has symbols and colors. It has traditions and  expectations. Plus, there is more...things that have been bothering me that I think is time to surface. There are womens health issues. There is Uncle Sam. There is the religious right. There are the Masons and Mormons. There are honeybees, and hams. There are guns and grain. And so it begins. The research, the prep, the sketches...and then we are going to load the cannon and start firing to see where we go. It will be a fun ride, with I hope good results and interesting learning. I am ready for another journey--and you will be coming with me. It has been 6 months since the last big I am ready (as is my portfolio).

More on this later.

3x3 Professional Show Merit Winners.

This collection of five guys are from my annual (2012) Advent Calendar project, "Gingerbread Advent". They were, just today, accepted into the annual, juried competition that 3x3 Magazine has to celebrate illustration. They were accepted as a group. Hurray and Thank you to 3x3. It is wonderful to know that the freakish stuff that flows out of this brain onto digital paper has some bounce in the real world beyond the happy high (when I get the cogs and gears rolling) that this December project can give me. Double the holiday gifting for this girl. To see who else got in>>

Five Advent Guys from 2012 Advent Calendar project, "Gingerbread Advent", Q. Cassetti, 2012, Adobe Illustrator CS%

Five Advent Guys from 2012 Advent Calendar project, "Gingerbread Advent", Q. Cassetti, 2012, Adobe Illustrator CS%


Glamour Girl, Q. Cassetti 2013, Adobe IllustratorIt was a mild spring day yesterday, but this morning snaps us back into winter on the first of February. All of our mounds of velvety moss had seized up into bright green patches by the side of the house. Shady romped while Mr. White wriggled on the pavement with feline delight. Today we will be running for the radiators and prime spots under the stove. Its frosty and white.

Love Leif Peng. Love Leif Peng’s “Today’s Inspiration” illustration history blog which surfaces people, time, projects, trends of illustration. Leif recently interviewed my mentor, Murray about Herb Lubalin and more broadly, on the ’70s. Take a look. Murray and Leif surface some lovely things and trends highlighting the amazing PushPin Studios along with the work of John Alcorn (wooooooweeee!!)

More pictures of percieved glamour… Here is a vintage Barbie with the half frisbee eyelash shelves, pouty lips and the tiniest pre-surgical nose in the universe. Freakolicious! Isnt she horrifying? Not surprising, even in her updates, she continues to be horrifying though her nose gets a scootch bigger, and her body a bit less atomic…its still pretty unreal. Good thing Barbie never gets old, gets pregnant or has gall bladder surgery. Middle age Barbie goes to the PTA meeting?  Colonoscopy Barbie? And its also good that Barbie is independently wealthy, so Barbie working at the Grocery Store or Walmart is out of the question. If she does work, she is a Vet or owner of a candy store…but never a window clerk at the DMV…though I am sure she has some rocking denim studded number that would really make folks sit up and take notice.


Winter on Cayuga, 2012, Q. Cassetti, Adobe Illustrator.Wintery mix. The weather got so nice and warm this weekend, it was doors open, with Rob chipping away all the left over ice in prep for the next go round. It is white and magical this morning, with a slow fall, falling quietly albeit not too oppresively. Alex is itching to work, and I need to figure out how to get him occupied for a significant amount of time so it isnt this little thing and that little thing. I have projects to do, and with the littleinterruptions all day, it can make things a bit unwieldy and though productive for him, not so for me.

I got some bad printing back (first time ever) from an online source who has an email customers service thing…and I am anxious as the job is def needing to be reprinted and it is their problem… I think I am going to send another email with a photo of the job attached….so that the question of fault goes out the window. It is a time sensitive thing, so I need to get them rolling and I do not want to take a hit to reprint a job that I am doing as a courtesy for a friend. Quel Drag.

The winter bunny is an exploration of the color palette for a local college who has gold and blue as their exclusives, which I have pushed to a rainbow of tints, with beige. I was monkeying around with it for a legit picture, and figured I would salvage some of the parts and make my own picture just for kicks. They also are looking for another approach which dawned on me could be a photographic collage which skirts the color issues (no guidance on photography) yet, gives me some leeway with imagery and the mooshing of all sorts of ideas. So, I did one for kicks yesterday in addition to the vector image just to see what their response would be. These images may be “grandmother tested” when the kids come back to school to see what they respond/react to, and then move accordingly. Collage is a whole world of opportunity we have not really even explored! How exciting! Equally time consuming but in a different, more humorous way.


Christmas: Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty Five, Christmas Peace

Christmas: Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty Five, Christmas Peace, Q. Cassetti, Trumansburg, NYPeace be with you and yours on this day that reminds us that each new day is a new birth, a new opportunity to grow, change, give and love each other. Have a lovely and warm Christmas with those you hold dear.

Advent is done. Christmas is here. However, if you want to review the images created for this years Advent Calendar, they are all compiled here (and a few more I didnt post)… its right here

Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty Three

Christmas Eve: Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty Three, Wrappin’ Mr. Giftie, Q. Cassetti, Trumansburg, NYLove to all my friends and family here and abroad on this Christmas Eve 2012. The day looks to be promising, filled with light, people gathering, and the space for all of us to assess all that we have to be thankful for—in the past, present and hope for the future. May you soak in the day—with those you love.

Sunday Special: Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Bonus: A Little Happy Time

I know its off topic, and I know it really isnt part of the proper advent calendar, but it was created only last week, so I will post this as a bonus on a beautiful Sunday before a week of celebration and joy.
Sunday Special: Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Bonus: A little happy time, Q. Cassetti, Trumansburg, NY

Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty Three: Kawaii Snow Globe

Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty Three, Kawaii Snow Globe, Q. Cassetti, Trumansburg, NYWe got some snow yesterday. So, it is feeling a bit more like winter. Kitty made a ton of earrings out of the dollhouse treasures—and sold $70. worth to friends during the course of the day. Alex visited with friends and helped Rob get the tree. I wrapped presents while waiting for my computer to boot up from the numerous crashes while making tomorrow’s picture for the next to final Advent Calendar project. I love what is going on with this picture and my mind is whirring about what is next. So, this body of work drove technique inspired by content, and now the content is evolving for the next collection of images inspired by the new techniques.  The Catherine Wheel of insipiration keeps proving itself to me.

A person saw my food brooches at Sundrees and contacted me to create a holiday feast without the pins to give to his wife for a holiday gift. I have a bunch of small pine tables and whomped up platters of cookies, veggies, a turkey, tea in cups with lemon, bread in a bread basket, a pie and more…so cute…I think I have another product to sell for Valentines Day? I need to get the valentine printed…and create a few to sell. Maybe this little deer would like to be part of a Kawaii valentine? Or the head of antoher stratosphere suit. Why didnt I see that yesterday? Jeez. Not much time to reflect on what is being thrown out the door.

Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty: Punch in the Box

Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty: Punch in the Box, Q. Cassetti, Trumansburg, NYAlright, I couldn’t resist. There were two Jack in the Boxes done for Jennifer Houghtaling….the happy and cute one posted earlier, and the Punch in the Box (as in Punch and Judy) that I had to do (if anything, to see if I could make a monster brush, which I could)… and so, I need to post that right now as a counterpoint to cute. Punch does not have his club, but as you all know, he uses his head as a battering ram on his poor scapegoat of a wife, Judy. I hope Judy gets a break over the holiday….