IF: Dusty [and smoky]

Suburbia, Q. Cassetti, 2010

Smoky and dusty…this time of the year with all of our fireplaces and woodstoves churning away to keep us warm.

Every life has its years in which one progresses as on a tedious and dusty street of poplars, without caring to know where he is.

 Max Muller 





Bright Skies

Dear Deer, Q. Cassetti, 2010, digital.It has been cold and rainy…a bit dreary. But here we are, on a Friday afternoon, and there is a beautiful, high blue sky with Maxfield Parrish clouds rising out of the brilliance. Can make a girl giddy.

I am going to morph back to being ink girl again. I am not charged up by this graphic stuff. I am intellectually, but emotionally, its not grabbing me between the ears…and after posting the Home Sweet Home image, I got all shivery about how much I love this technique and need to take it further. I am a bit concerned about the shows coming up for the next year. I have not been cranking the vector portraits recently, so my handful of show hopefuls are more limited as I have been stretching out a bit more as a decorative illustrator, and not as  the vector Queen that I have been in the past. I should get my eye back into that— freshening up my viewpoint, and building that book back up. Granted, I have some new images for the Hangar that could be submitted, but frankly, I am a bit concerned about not getting into the shows with the more diverse body of recent work. I did get some of the advent calendar work in American Illustration (a decorative approach) that was the hint that the Memento Mori work could take off (the willow skull got in American Illustration and Society of Illustrators (along with the traveling show to universities). So I should have some hope that the decorative stuff may possibly get recognition as well. It comes out of the same head and out of the same hand. Different technique..but still me. We’ll see.

Phone is ringing with new work. Some paying. A lot not paying. I got a wild bundle of “due immediately” work from the theatre (a quarter page, a small poster, a large poster, two banners, a playbill cover) and I whomped it out yesterday. Not much time to pfutz the details..but its all done and at an okay level. Another rushmo was a package for some flourbased mixes (a canister layout) that will link to the bread bakery in a way…so the need for a levelset was there. Albeit is was very quick—I am pleased with the general direction that is going too. And! Two pieces for Cornell is happening. And, a brand new something for Ithaca College too. Bizzzy me.

Alex is wild with school, training and hanging with the bros. There is a cookout/tailgate party post training today associated with the soccer game. Rob and Bruce are knocking off early to go to Watkins Glen for the antique/ vintage cars. Kitty news from Facebook reads:

Kitty Cassetti: dancing modern was absolutely intense. A semester filled with Kabuki, Ballet and Indian Dance are in the near future. I’m so excited!”

Kitty Cassetti The professor is this adorable little old lady who kind of threw us into the class first thing. It was pretty marvelous.

So, she is good…and loving it. Already has read a play for Theatre class. I need to go work on relaying out a brochure (miscommunication from the client). Ah well.

More later.

The Verge of Fall

owl sketch, Q,Cassetti, 2010, digitalNelly Charbonneaux featured me on her blog, “Nelly’s Blog” today. Nice write up. Nice exposure. I am very grateful to her attentions~! And further down on her list is another Syracuse ISDP MA in Illustration graduate, Dave Devries. Connecting again…The marvel of the web, it’s reach and the new people I have met through this wonderful connective medium is truly amazing. I can live in the country and reach the world. This is from the girl who, when graduating from college, used a miraculous machine called a fax that we had to shave our mechanical artwork off the boards to then wrap the art around this large glass cylinder to then have it scanned (took hours) to send to another place. Faxes are so passe with the internet and mail. No more high jinx like that!

School started yesterday as did yearbook. It was great seeing the teachers who I love and the new faces around the room. This year it is going to be tough going (100 pictures a week edited to 10 for presentation to the room)…with cameras we are providing. I bought some refurbished Olympus cameras for DIRT Cheap from Bargaincell.com over the summer to contribute to the pile. And, the Day In The Life books are there too—as a source of inspiration and ideas for good pictures and how to just keep shooting. Every other day from 8-9 is the class. We will see….we also have homeroom which means I get to hear the daily events (and menu) to my delight. It was pizza yesterday.

Alex is back in the swing of things. He proactively got in front of his schedule and switched out his English for a more advanced one as well as pursuing AP Music Theory in one of his two study halls. Impressive. We are bidding on a synthesizer on ebay for composition and fun—and I have his attention fully on that.

Kitty starts classes today: Dance, Theatre Production, Women in Animation and Indian Epics. She is doing swimmingly well and talks about the insanity around how everyone is befriending each other in an extremely competitive way. She calls is “competitive friending”. The dorm is great. The dorm friends are great and they all love tea….so there is lots of tea drinking in the hallway (and an opportunity to provide biscuits for this event). She sounds tired…but good and fully ensconced. Loves her room, her sanctuary. She has made a few “go to” friends and hopes to find more. This is all good given her quiet year here in the burg….a shot in the arm. More on her as it evolves.

The Fire Commissioner is enjoying that role. The Museum’s attendance has been very good (to his delight). He has dinner out tonight (for me to sketch and bake), a village meeting tomorrow and then the antique car show at the Glen on Friday with Bruce and Alex (no thanks!)….So, I have some me time in the near future to make stock, make soup (mushroom on the stove today using up all the slippery leeks and celery on the edge). I think a trip to Sauders in the near future will be on the list. Maybe Friday night?!

Holiday card for my big client to go out today. Need to talk to my contact at the Cornell Vet School about the Feline Health Annual Report and the Baker Annual Report. We are doing both books and I have some content ideas that should be interesting to push around with my associate.

Was talking with Deirdre C. about tees and a totebag for the Tburg Farmers Market using the derivative illustration from the work Durand did with the weathervane. We are pushing around an idea to celebrate the people who contributed (time/money) to build the market and bandstand…for sometime in October. More on that later. I need to wrap up a sketch for her today for the shirts.

More later>


Holiday illo, Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalThe wheels are in motion. Granola is baking for Kitty to take to school. Kittyn gets dried cherry, Robbie gets golden raisin. The totes are lined up in the hallway. The new bedding is in it’s packaging ready to be carried off to Amherst. Kitty has finally completed the reading required for Orientation (I have been on her all summer…and need to learn that she operates at the last minute to my frustration….all the haranguing just does not work). All the bathroom stuff is jammed into a waste paper basket. Shady Grove has been planned, walking scheduled, food figured out. The cats have moved back to chez Camp and are now snarling and fighting in the backyard over who is the King of the Cat Empire.

Now, I am wrangling the printer to get our hot wire reservations off it, print the schedules and parking stuff for our tour for Alex of U Mass Amherst in preparation of round two, college visits with Boy Wonder. Rolling from getting one settled to the next in the waiting line to launch off to the next iteration of education. It should be a new adventure not of biology and art, bad haircuts, and cute guys to music theory, club scene, bromance, cross country and team sports. We hear there are a bunch of unclaimed golf scholarships out there. I think, as I am sure you do to, that Alex C. may be on the golf team next spring. Running and Golf, drama and music theory. Large School feeling, small school intimacy. Oy.

The destruction back of the house has been completed. Bathroom with all water and electricity gone. Rob and Nigel emptied the closets yesterday along with the tool and household fixings gone— either organized or bagged for Salvation Army. Team David Burke will be here soon to begin to get it back in order, take the sheetrock off the ceiling to the studs, so that a brand new metal roof, all nice and clean and grey, to be put in place on the new/old roof.

Monday Morning.

Love Birds, Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalYesterday was the posterchild for summer. Perfect day. Cloudless, warm but not overly so. We got into the brisk water twice. We did little things ( laundry  for me, lawn for Rob) and then relaxed on the porch until it was time to visit neighbors at the blow out party next door. We took Shady on a leash (as having her stay at home has her howling and crying with sadness that we have left her). And, as you know, having a dog at a picnic makes you a dog magnet. Having the magnetic dog attracts dog lovers, little chldren who want to poke your dog in the eye (which Shady is good with), and others. We were approached by  a nice lady from New Jersey who was staying at the Bed and Breakfast the party was thrown at…and it turns out after talking about her dogs, the West Highland Terrier breed, and her kids, that her husband works for Estee Lauder and we then got in the way back machine to find out that he works still with people I had worked with prior to moving up here. It was really fun…and kind of blew Kitty and Alex’s mind to see how we got from here to there.

Must go as I have a drive in front of me for a doctor’s appointment. More, hopefully later.

little thoughts

Home Again, Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalMore thinking about this graphic illustration approach. I have been digging in with this style and approach. I have broken my own illustration rule of “no tricks” and am using gradients with this style when it’s appropriate or a need a little boost or delineation that I would have drawn in during my “I’m not an illustrator” prismacolor  past. My palette and these little short gradients (sometimes just tonal, other times quite colorful) are peeking out of this work which is affirmative as I feared this approach as it was easy…but I didn’t see how the tools that I have been working with ( blue pencils, black pens) are helping me to better really design these forms allowing me more room for refinement when they get popped into illustrator and formed, redesigned and finalized. I am enjoying the purity of the forms and see that having this sort of tool in my toolbox gives me another place to land when confounded. Just need to work on a body of work to click the “triangle of learning” into gear (design>technique>form) for a range of content to test my metal.

Alexander Girard keeps his illustrations simple and singular. Essentially a potato or a thumbprint in the middle of a page—an icon, or to some a “spot”. He does not create swirly borders…and if he does a pattern, there is often a colored basic shape popped into the background to hold the black…or the form of the critter or landscape. There are images (such as his Garden of Eden picture I found embellishing a bicycle being sold in England) that have swirly forms that hold the icons all together. His patterns are gridded with some overlap, but drawn shapes held to a border form so they are used like building blocks and could/can be pulled apart for other applications.

I think this bold, gridded  is what draws me to the vector work of the Finnish/English illustrator, Sanna Annuka. Her work takes very geometric forms and creates more complex (equally as graphic work) , often more embellished and decorated patterns and images. The work she has done for Marimekko is inspirational as she has created a library of creatures, birds, foxes, flora and fauna that playfully mix into different arrangements, making a symphony to nature in the various iterations. Annuka builds these graphic pictures in a more organic way than Girard—but building blocks still…and those images inspire me to try the same.

As I was thinking about all of this, it dawned on me that I had cool tools to take this approach from fun to out of control. I am a vector princess (not quite a Queen but aspirational Queen) and my tool is Adobe Illustrator. if I could work in one tool all day long, it would be illustrator, but its kind of like mixing up a cake with a drill press. You can do it…but why do it when you have to fight it so much. So for pubs and the like, I use other tools. But Adobe Illustrator is my go to tool.

I have been taking my knowledge of brushes and making it more and more part of my illustrator mis en place—relishing the freedom and fluidity this allows me. And, in the past, I have been enchanted with the “symbols” palette.  The Symbols feature allows you to store logotypes, images, clips, thises and thats in a frozen way that can port from job to job, project to project in a library. A box for all the illustrative building blocks. One just drags and drops to save these things, and the symbols palette can be used to hold images as you go in case you want to keep copies of the work you are doing as you go..giving you a golden parachute should things go south. Love it.  Perfection! The symbols function freezes the image making it scaleable but non-editable until you release the illustration or object from the library by unlinking it. Once unlinked, you can mess with it as you did the original. And, then if you like, continue to add these newly amended images to the pile in the library. So, I continue to build my own clip file—my own Design Elements—that can be drawn on for illustrations, designs, and adds. Seems so simple. It has been under my nose…but now I scented it again. And off we GOOOOOO!

What to do today?

Suburbia. Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalWow. Wow. Wow. The quiet afternoon yesterday stopped the minute we went to the Parade! (I will have pictures, but first I need to charge the batteries and find the connection cord before I can get them to you). First off, the Fireman’s Parade is the Trumansburg Parade. It’s the one! We have always gone to the Memorial Day event, and it is much quieter and respectful than the blow-out we saw yesterday. There was our high school band (very good this year). There was a Dairy Princess and her court float (along with a large tipping carton of milk spilling between the ladies). There were the singers and military tableau vivant from Freedom Village. Grassroots was represented by the adorable green and yellow caboose being pulled by a large John Deere tractor. Speaking of tractors, there were antique tractors and antique fire equipment, pumpers and the like. Speaking of fire equipment and companies, the whole of central New York: Odessa, Waverly, Endfield, Tburg (of course), Romulus, Ovid, Mecklenburg, Interlaken and more. The pride of Central New York, proudly walking in front of us. The Fire Commissioner couldn’t stop smlling. It was amazing and delightful. Ambulances, baton twirlers, little children and convoys of tow trucks for cars to trucks. There were teams of horses pulling carts and carriages, and civil war historic reenactment folks in costume sitting on the back of trucks.

The whole procession took us from 228 to the Fair Grounds where there was food galore, a fireman’s picnic, rides and fun…with the foremost fun being the minivan demolition derby, the roll car event and the “Krazy Train” monster truck that jumps over trashed cars (with teeth painted on the front!). Kitty and I left the Commisioner to pay our $6. a head to watch the Krazy Train and all the colorful people and things around us. When that big wheeled monster truck came speeding up to the three demo cars and flew into the air, bouncing like a big ball with Kitty screaming with laughter, face pink with hilarity. I took a ton of pictures of the rides, the prime examples of folk painting and lettering and throughly enjoyed the evening of smoke and flames, flipping cars, and people eating gigantic bowls of greasy chili fries, blinking lights, color and laughter of the fairgoers.

More later. Peter D. just came off his beautiful boat and bacon is begging to be cooked.

Big Shapes

A Moment of Peace, Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalAnother day predicted to be early Fall. Cool days and nights, though there is talk that the weekend will be summery and warm enough to swim. That would be excellent. Never enough swimming this summer.

I had a nice lunch with the artistic director of the Hangar Theatre, Peter Flynn. We talked about the outstanding things that kept people from their expertise this summer and then settled down to talking about next summer’s Mainstage performances. As we ate lunch, I was delighted and thrilled as Peter told me the stories of these performances so we could suss out what the imagery might be for each piece. The plays are: Rounding Third, Ragtime, another August Wilson: Gem of the Ocean, Tim Pinckney’s Ever So Humble, and the stage version of Rocky Horror Picture Show. Peter took me through each one, entertaining me, underlining important stuff…so I feel like the pen can hit the paper and start going. I am most puzzled with what to do for the Rocky Horror as it is so well known ..from the movie, that breaking from the iconography of the lips and the dripping type will be hard (and maybe not recognizable. So onward. I am aiming to have the graphics completed by November to get a jump start for the next season well in advance of 2011. It would be so great to be able to get the Hangar on a schedule that is more like a retail one (all the holiday stuff done and printed by August 1)…or in the case of Mainstage, all the stuff ready to roll by January 1. I can hope for that.

I am surprisingly liking all this graphic illustration work. I have gotten my head out of  “its a logo” to its a picture…enjoying working the curves in illustrator (with a fineness that even my hands could not render and a knowledge of french curves beyond my elementary understanding). Making lovely shapes, reversing shapes out of them  As I was coming back from dropping Alex off at the park this morning, driving through all the greenery, the lake views and the summer fields, I thought about this emerging approach, and would like to do some more pattern studies in a grid/or in a grid with some obvious overlaps per yesterday’s Bird Collection. I have broken my own rules by adding gradients to this style (one of my personal rules has, until now, been no obvious Adobe Illustrator tomfoolery with filters and the “cheats”). But this work occasionally wants a bit of gradient and I do not think the tiger tooth approach is as nice in this approach. If I were working with cut paper or screenprints, a gradient or screen blend is not out of the palette of options available. So, you will see a bit of tentative gradients plunked into this work.

Gotta go. I have to dial into a call.

Ping Ping

Bird Bundle (sketch), Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalRaining like crazy yesterday. Tree debris everywhere from the big blows we had last night. It was remarkable. Alex was busy with music and friends. Kitty packed. Rob was busy planning rennovations, demolition and the finalizing the woodstove wall in the kitchen. The team is demoing the downstairs old bathroom and the back walkway. So the ping ping ping of hammers and the great heaving into dumpsters is the topline sound  today.

Its cold out. Wool undershirts are being worn happily by yours truly. Scarves are appealing again.

Seems the the man from Countywide Appliances needs to be chez Luckystone this afternoon to install the new compressor for the fridge. Finally. Its been a summer of planning around the status of the bags of ice in the ice chest at the lake…with our planning, more often than not, not being highly successful. Will take my sketchbook and see what comes off the pencils. I am enjoying these graphic illustrations and the pencil drawings in advance make the vector work so quick and clean…and gives me the time to work on the curves being better and honestly, with pencil on paper, allows me to plan the work to make it go more smoothly. Liking the process. Liking the results. Like the fluidity. Now, I need to continue to work like Mr. Girard in strips. And, I need to work on some more figures like him. Maybe work on the hands too.

Publications and illustrations await for this week. We will see what happens.


Pattern, Alexander GirardThis is Alexander Girard. Love this pattern. Feels Matisse-y, but cut papery, and also the sixties/ pop/ Herman Miller rules the universe as well. Love the way the counters work with the forms, where the pattern of one is overlaid on the other and vice versa. The palette is not totally corporate crayon box, but the greyed out greens, blues and warm greys really make it along with the ballet pink which sort of quiets the magenta down. Hot and brights against greyed and quiet. Really works in a nice way. I need to learn about this. And, it is not blocked out in squares, but more free range/ organic grid versus the crap I have been doing that is all gridded out. Forget that. Need to work on this…maybe in the tradition of CF Payne, just see what they are doing by beginning to copy this to really understand what is going on.

I got up early this morning to take Alexander to his running practice. We all had an early night of it at the Luckystone after a late dinner thanks to you know who not getting her stuff in gear. Albeit, I made a really great tomato tart (from M Stewarts little pocket cooking magazine) and we had corn from the stand which was extrordinary. The produce, as an aside has been amazing this summer. Plump, sweet and robust. And with this thinking, I took myself to SilverQueen (you pick) after dropping A. off in the middle of the Hector National Forest to pick something (I was hoping peaches). Instead, I picked raspberries. Yellow gold ones and red ones. They were as big as wild strawberries…and in the cool morning with the bumblebees working diligently at their tasks, the quiet drone of the work and getting lost in my thoughts really was quite meditative and wonderful along with picking a big bucket of berries to mascerate and freeze for colder times. What a gift. And what a time to think and collect my thoughts. There is so much going on, it was good to let the ideas mascerate themselves, and see what could bubble up that was interesting and actionable from not focusing but randomly letting the ideas float and flitter like the buzzing bees.

Was back on the Fraktur and Conrad Beissel reading last night. Was re-reading about the identification of David Kulp, the Brown Leaf Artist, a known (and newly identified Fratktur artist and itinerant schoolteacher and scribe). I adore Kulp as I love his use of color, his calligraphic vines and florals, his confident use of the brush/pen, and his naive angels and figures that charm me to no end. Kulp was finally identified by a book he penned that was found in the bottom of some ordinary German texts. This book Kulp wrote/illustrated has his teaching book, his tools to illustrate concepts to his students, along with tables, notes, lists all in his handwriting which matched the script of the Brown Leaf Artist. The Mennonite Heritage Center speaks about this type of teacher/scrivener this way:

Bookplate (Bücherzeichen) for Barbara Meyer, David Kulp, 1805, Philadelphia Free LibraryThe colonial schoolmaster, Christopher Dock, introduced to the Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite community a folk art form known today as fraktur.  Earlier known as fraktur schriften (literally broken, or fractured writing), this was a type of decorated or illuminated religious writing which has origins in the monasteries of medieval Europe.  Dock taught at the meetinghouse schools of the Skippack and Salford Mennonites during the 18th century. 

Other schoolmasters who followed Christopher Dock and continued the fraktur tradition in Mennonite schools in Montgomery County include Huppert and Christian Cassel, Henrich Brachtheiser, Andreas Kolb, Jacob Gottschall, Jacob Hummel, Isaac Z. Hunsicker, Martin & Samuel Gottschall, and Henry G. Johnson.  Bucks County schoolmasters whose work has been identified include Johannes Meyer, John Adam Eyer, Samuel Meyer, David Kulp, Rudolph Landes, Jacob Oberholtzer, and Jacob Gross.

The use of fraktur schriften played a significant role in the educational process.  A writing example, called a vorschrift, was used to teach the students to write the alphabet and numbers, and to learn hymns and scriptures.  The texts on the vorschriften encouraged and admonished the children to fear God, lead pious and obedient lives.

The schoolmaster also drew colorful birds and exquisite flowers on small slips of paper, which he gave to industrious children. He decorated bookplates for handmade hymn-tune notebooks.  Later, in the first half of the nineteenth century, schoolmasters created many delicate bookplates for printed hymnals, Testaments and other devotional books.

Fraktur writing flourished in this community from approximately 1750 to 1845.  The reluctant acceptance by the German-speaking Townships of the state sponsored public school system in the 1840s brought the decline of fraktur writing in the schools.  These vibrant treasures were cherished by the children, safeguarded in family Bibles, and passed from one generation to the next.

Isn’t it remarkable that futher I get away from Fraktur and Folk art, the closer I am to getting back to it again? I marvel at the work of Alexander Girard and David Kulp. Same sensibility, same vision just different eras, different times. Am I throwback too? or a continuation of the same song, just a different place and time. Or, is this somehow a creative wormhole? Love that idea. A creative wormhole where something that happens in one place can be happening in another place in another time.

The Internet Encylopedia of Science tells us (dumbed down for artists!):

A hypothetical “tunnel” connecting two different points in spacetime in such a way that a trip through the wormhole could take much less time than a journey between the same starting and ending points in normal space. The ends of a wormhole could, in theory, be intra-universe (i.e. both exist in the same universe) or inter-universe (exist in different universes, and thus serve as a connecting passage between the two).

Must go. Hometeam is here.

Thinking sideways

Love Dove, Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalJust had a great meeting with a knitter, designer and amazing woman, Laura Nelkin. Laura lives in a greek revival house (with a mini version of our handrail that she exclaimed over!) here in scenic Tburg and runs a very cool business with knitting patterns and  an amazing knitting network and engaging in the national/international knitting scene. She is a real shot in the arm. Laura was full of all sorts of cool information along with referencing Knitty (an old favorite of mine) and now Ravelry (an amazing new website filled with tools, patterns, and community). I hope we will have a chance to work together. She is someone I can learn from and help.  I am enchanted.

Last night was filled with music after a bit of driving around to take Bruce to drop off his car at Shadetree and pick up AllieBob at a friends place. Then it was Jim Reidy/Dee Specker/ Silas Reidy at the Rongo and then the Grady Girls at the Pourhouse. We had a wonderful dinner (!) with a chance to visit with all sorts of people. It was a fun night out. Kitty met us at the Pourhouse after an afternoon with friends and swimming along with new clothes (cast offs from a friend) and a sparkle in her eye. She settled in for the last part of our visit along with Alex showing up after expiditing at the Rongo. Alex is working like a nut these days along with playing the base, reading books and trying to do a little training too.

As an aside, I ran into Alex’s music teacher who was so positive about Alex’s work and involvement in his music composition class he took last year. She was talking about his skills, his music, and his ability. She also spoke about his quiet leadership and how he is there for his peers and they look ahead to him. It was wonderful to see him through her eyes. Confirms my thinking…which is always tentative, but having it repeated to me was illuminating and comforting.

As you can see, I am still fiddling with Girard inspired work. I am working in hardline in my notebook and am scanning them into my computer and using them as an underlay on illustrator. Simple is elegant…and I am striving to strip stuff out to work within the solids and shapes that Girard worked in. Who knows if its a look/ or approach, but with a body of work,we will see. Need to continue with critters with wing— which includes bees!

Goodness knows where this will go


Angel 2, Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalIt’s soft pencil city here. Normally, you can see me with a pen in my hand. No questions, no changes…that is, after I work the original idea in blue pencil. Today, its  Caran D’ache Pablo pencil in black. Sharpened within an inch of its life…to make hard line drawings to make my “red headed stepchild” pictures…trying to the exemplary Alexander Girard.  Interestingly, looking at the Girard work, I have been surprised that his body of illustration work is not too deep/broad so it leaves a lot of space for me to continue with his spirit and fuse it with Q.

I did just find a bunch of stuff that Girard did..applied to bicycles. He did a fun butterfly/butterfly pattern that maybe could be applied to bees…Also, he did a tree of life that was on a bicycle here>So, I am not really too off point with content. Maybe I need to do a tree of life in this spirit. The folk spirit, the whimsey are in these pieces. I am going to go with this for a while and see where it goes. I am finding my advent calendar work to be a good starting place for this new Girard inspired grouping of work.

I am planning to drive down to Ithaca this a.m to get my new specs. Just slightly blinder…but looking forward to a bit more sharpness in my life. I will keep my short glasses for the computer, but migrate to split lenses for the long vision. I also have my new toy glasses on order and coming this way (striped frames and a pair of metal frames). Argyle frames in the sights (zennioptical.com).

Holiday cards await as does a publication. Worked on some work for a very politically inspired friend yesterday. I am liking where it is going…and hope that I can be of help to him, his message and agenda.

more later.

Painting with scissors

Hemlock Grove, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and ink“painting with scissors.” Matisse said, “Only what I created after the illness constitutes my real self: free, liberated.” 

Nice, fun search on Matisse yesterday. Taschen (Henri Matisse: Cut-Outs - Drawing with Scissors (2 Volumes Splip case) ) has a lovely new book just on the cutouts that looks wonderful. Its too new to get used, and its $125. a casebound set, so I will wait. It was fun to pull images and immerse myself in the bright palette and free expression Matisse used. An old high school friend mentioned Matisse’s methodology with his cut outs (gouaches decoupes). And yes, as he aged this was his process (from henri-matisse.net:

“With the aid of his assistants, Matisse invented a systematic approach to the technique of his cut outs.. First, his studio assistants brushed Linel gouaches on sheets of white paper.

Once dry a stockpile  of colored paper were available to Matisse at any given time. He often quite spontaneously cut out elements and placed them into compositions. As the play between consciously sought-for and the fortuitously-arrived at effects worked into their balances the projects moved toward completion. In the meantime many of them were posted about the studio walls.

The Linel gouaches were employed because they “directly corresponded to commercial printers ink colors” (Cowart 17) and would reproduce perfectly. The cut-outs pulsate with energy. The bright, vibrant Linel colors, deep and Light Japanese Green, vert Emeraude (Imitation veridian), Deep Cadmium Yellow, Deep Cadmium Red, Deep Persian Red, Persian Violet, and Yellow Ochre (Cowart 274), keep leaping in front of our eyes.”

The holiday card project is benefitting from the search. Additionally, I am pressing the new proposed color palette into use to see if it works or needs a bit of amendment. I need to go find human body engravings for the next image. I am hoping the NYPL (New York Public Library) Digital Library might have something to work with. If not, maybe a trip to Cornell’s Mann Library? First the simple desktop stuff…we’ll see. Its coming on nicely.

Eli and John are cranking on the rebuilding/ restoration of our pumphouse in the side quadrangle. Nigel is attacking a new swathe of grass to liberate the property further. I have pizza dough in the cold fridge for our lunch (its now between 8 and 10 folks daily—so creativity is a bit more necessary). Though it will be hot, I think I will make a pizza rustica for the crowd tonight…and tomorrow’s lunch.

I am deep into the second book of the trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl that Played with Fire.This heat has to stop…but reading this fun book keep the synapses jumping.  And the fans are helping too. The weekend and the promised break in the heat is welcome. More later.