Advent Day Seven, 2011

Scherenschnitte for Advent Day Seven, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink“Somehow, not only for Christmas
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart’s possessing
Returns to you glad.”

John Greenleaf Whittier, The Joy You Give

Snip snip

Papercutting, Christian Schwitzgebel (1914-1993), SwitzerlandBack from Brattleboro and Northampton. We went to Landmark College spending the night in adorable Brattleboro and having dinner at a very chic pizza place “Fireworks”. It was perfect and all of our spirits lifted with the hope that maybe we would be pleased with Landmark. We went to an open house on Saturday to get the lay of the land, feel out the  types of students there and see if this is/was an option. Yes, it is an option but probably not our first choice given the feeling of the program relative to Alex. But, I am going to call and get some clarification on my thinking and really better understand what the options are  for someone with language based issues as it is a small population compared to the larger percentage of ADHD students that Landmark admits. I am thinking that we will need this sort of organized help to move Alex to the point that he can keep up with reading and learning at the college level.  I want him to have the tools to succeed…and need to come up with a few options to really analyze what is best for him. I am not optimistic about what the school here can offer in the next six months.

We visited the amazing Brattleboro Food Co-op which was hands down, the best coop I have ever visited with it all organic and or natural with a wealth of things to choose from and not so crunchy and groovy that it didn’t have a reality to it. The Food Co-op is as sensible and organized as any great grocery would be with prepared food, beautiful meats (affordable) and produce for everyone. Gorgeous (my italian grandmother (even though I do not have an italian grandmother) is channelling). We went to the great outdoor store (equally as remarkable and bought socks and scarves for Alex (his gumdrop for being a good boy) and then down to visit Kitty in Northampton.

It was great to see our girl. She is in fine feather—filled with stories and opinions on her new world at the costume shop which she adores and is finding herself camped out in. She is involving herself in all aspects of costuming and costume development and is poking into new projects for next semester along with taking a costume class at Smith (which she was anxious to be a part of). She is bubbly, talky and a bit tired but sparkling like the gem she is…and we are so proud of. We will see her on Wednesday.

Johann Jakob Hauswirth, paperDuring the little bit of downtime in the hotel room while Rob slept and Alex made mashups, I got rebitten by Scherenschitte, swiss papercutting. I found a wonderful fabric source that had the work of three remarkable swiss artists, Louis Saugy(1871-1953), Christian Schwizgeben(1914-1993) and Johann Jakob Hauswirth (1809-1871) . And so I googled away. I am struck by how much there is to learn between the three of these fine artists from the way they subdivide their page, the use of black, the use of tiger toothing (my phrase) and how much the work is prime for vectors. There are aspects that morph from artist to artist from technique and style to the actual iconography they use—I  plan to develop my own pseudo swiss illustrations to mimic to learn what they are doing. My hands down favorite is above. Wow. The floral frame is as right and embracing as the story inside. And the use of the central celebration of the flower basket in an almost heraldic way is such a kick. Deer and cattle. Houses and flowers (psycho flowers like I do), birds and squirrels, trees upon trees, rabbits and people, farmers and floral arrangements—all together regardless of scale, of story or of anything but black and white boldness.

Katie Rose Barnes from Manchester UK, a student of interactive arts wrote some wonderful short blog entries at her blog “Drawing a Blank, Art & That” on these fellows that I will link to as her writing and storytelling is lyrical and lovely. Thank you Katie. On Johann-Jakob Hauswirth, Louis- David Saugy.

I am loving this.

More miracles

Portrait in progress, step one, Q. Cassetti, 2011, Adobe Illustrator CS5

I have two portraits to do by the end of September. I got a crack at one of them yesterday and delighted in creating the silhouette and beginning to digitally cut the highlights out of that shape. I hope the mid tones and darks will go in today. I am always, without a doubt, nervous when I square up the paper and start these thing—asking myself if I can do it this time…as I rarely have much confidence in the reference combined with shaky personal confidence. Just picking up the pen, taking a deep breath and then the focused chipping away often checking every decision takes the time. When I have a half dozen highlights in, I know this is going to work or not….and my optimism can rise. Its a nice charge to drive the work forward. Then, I give myself a little permission to go a bit rogue with some manufactured highlights and shadows. I am optimistic I can give my client a pair of portraits that will work complete with working a hand with a smoking pipe into one of them as the pipe was so iconic with this particular artist.

Have you heard about Wacom’s newest offering, the Inkling? I discovered this wonder yesterday and currently I am transfixed and cannot wait until mid September. The Inkling is essentially, a ballpoint pen that records your hand drawing and transfers that work to digital. You use their pen, and your own notebook. I am wondering how it translates your drawing to make it better than a high res scan. Its too cool…but now that I think about it…unless it saves it to vectors or layers or provides me more than a scan, I am trying to figure out whether this is more of a toy than a real work tool. Maybe if there is a chance today, I will do a little reading on this.


“Finally this fantastic pen interface technology has made it to where it belongs, Wacom Inkling Smart Pen. The Inkling Smart Pen is a 2 part device that transfers handwriting strokes to a digital format. The technology is quite clever and extremely energy efficient which is what gives it such great potential. The base unit uses 2 microphones that give it the sound version of stereoscopic ‘vision’, allowing it to hear where the pen is moving.The pen emits a completely inaudible pulse helping the base unit track location and pen pressure. The datagrams on these coordinates are tiny allowing for cheap storage of many pages. The pen is normal sized thanks to only needing to make its silent ping while the base unit listens and records. Other competitors in the space require a hot-dog sized pen to hold all the electronics. Some of those require special paper as well, where none is needed by the Inkling.

The touch of a button on the base tells the device to start using storing the pen strokes in a different ‘page’ and it can store dozens if not hundreds of pages. An internal battery in the base is recharged by USB and the pen only needs inexpensive watch batteries. This technology has been hopping from company to company for some time now, A-open and IOGear to name a few. Both have products based on this technology but no one does pens like Wacom. We’re looking forward to see how much they’ve improved upon it while unfortunately upping the prior incarnation’s MSRP. Wacoms plan to release the Inkling Smart Pen at $199 later this year. Being able to import directly into Illustrator is probably worth double that for any serious artists.”

OH MY. v e c t o r

I wonder if one will be enough!

It was study hall yesterday at the office. It just dawned on Alex that maybe, just maybe he needed to get to work on the paper he has due next week for his environmental science class. This has a lot of research and processing of information which my son thought he could dash off….NOT. So, I made him sit with me all day to work on this paper. Unfortunately, he is busy counting words versus focusing on truly delivering on the paper’s content and requirements. I think I am going to throw the role of the heavy to Rob as I am making him sit and focus. I hope there is more we will learn about Alex from the testing we will be starting in a week or so. He just focuses on the oddest things and doesn’t really understand where he should be tracking. If I can talk him through, sometimes it hits. Sometimes he is there with me. More study hall today.

I have a meeting in a few and need to get the already foley-ed tomato sauce on the stove to simmer for a few hours to get the water out. I am a sauce making machine. I feel like there may be a few more pots out there. Loving it.

More Corn, Q. Cassetti, 2011, vector, Adobe Illustrator CS5Grinding away. Getting some things off the top of the desk, but it just keeps coming. Waiting to hear from the big pub insofar as the image I submitted was good…to go. Then, I think I will crank out a little postcard to send out to my friends with the image and the boasting that goes along with it.  

Waiting is hard…but it will be over (at least I hope end of day today). Knocking down a tabloid sized pub (redesigning a few spreads as the positioning of these articles are becoming clearer). We are updating the new branding files that were released last week…and starting to redesign things in the new format that we were trained on last week.

The Entourage thing is not working for yearbook. So guess who is laying out the current one? InDesign, Yeah! No problems, just another kooky deadline.

Kinneys Drug store have some glorious big rose bushes for $5.00 with big fat canes that I snagged as the deer cannot bear thorns…though that is the only thing that keeps them from eating the plants. I took easter baskets to the Yearbook class, which went over real well. Candy holidays are the best…everyone loves it, and one size fits all. Need to fill a basket for little Alex full of peanut butter and chocolate yummies and bandanas. That is his weakness. I have a little quelques choses for Kittybit…that maybe we can deliver next week-ish.


Inspired by a Massachusetts Headstone, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkOnward! It was a quiet day yesterday with projects and nonpaying jobs. I worked on the Hangar work and Rob worked on the bathroom imaginings. Kitty slept and relaxed. Alex visited with friends. I got a little bit ahead, but now, back to the drawing board with late late thinking and amendments.

The snow is melting…as we continue to get icy flurries that dust the mud piles. We are looking at the season of mud in front of us…We all just hope that we can move forward with the brighter and longer days. We have had enough of the miasma of mud and ice.

Thanks to the intellectual salad bar that the iPad provides at quiet time, trolling or shopping for cool ideas surface things that are out there that are wonderful, interesting, useful and thought provoking. Here are some new cool discoveries:

In the tradition of Rip Van Winkle, I always find myself shaking my head and feeling like somehow I missed it again…and this emerging approach to type for the web and mobile devices (the WOFF Standard). The blog, “all Blogging Stuff” highlights some of these changes and resources for Web Typography in their entry (03/12/2011) “8 Essential Web Typography Resources.”

I also found this wonderful website: The Grid System, a resource and forum for grid systems. I love grids and the way it formats and puts bones into any publication or design program. And with a  Josef Muller-Brockman quote to open this site (I mean, he is the MAN)—how could any girl resist?

“The grid system is an aid, not a guarantee. It permits a number of possible uses and each designer can look for a solution appropriate to his personal style. But one must learn how to use the grid; it is an art that requires practice. ”   Josef Müller-Brockmann

83 Awesome Links for Cartography Geeks>>

Teehan+Lax speaks about “Designing faster with a baseline grid” by Pierre Marly and even provide a grid to download (a 960px grid system designed by Nathan Smith) as tryout.

Love the writing and simplicity of Graphic Mac/ Smart Typography Tips A terrific starting place. I wish I  had written this.

And, totally off topic, but part of the salad bar concept (this is the pudding next to the vinigrette), The Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilizations from DARMC/ Harvard.

And now, to move onward to cook dinner.

Winter Bear

Winter Bear, Q. Cassetti, 2011, digital, vectorLittle messing around with simple shapes working with my new favorite tools  (shift W: which monkeys with line widths and shift M which can join shapes —additive and subractive). I love messing around in the land of vectors so I can make little ditties like the bear to the left. Key learning from this rush job is that believe it or not, if I draw my designs, scan them in and then have them as guidelines underneath the vector work, the images are better, happen faster and are more designed than just randomly drawing on the tablet without a plan. No duh. But hey, that’s why I had to go to graduate school was to have my mentor, Murray, surface these things because the basic stuff is something we forget. Sketch first, finish last. So my desktop is littered with thick trace with tons of line drawings waiting to turn into vector shapes.

Another thrill is that I am building a wonderful library (in the symbols library in Illustrator) of all these critters and shapes. I need to draw some racoons, squirrels, bears, deer…woodland animals as they have a place far beyond the zoo/tropical animals. I have also made some way cool brushes (thanks to the prodding of Jean Tuttle) of vegetation, leaves, holly….So the toolbox expands and I am building my own version of Design Elements.

Love the Ultimate Symbol and its CDs. Check em out. They are such a wonderful tool to help get the jobs done. Check em out. New to the collection is a rights free disk set of Seymour Chwast illustrations. Interesting that Chwast has gone into business with Ultimate Symbol (which I think is a remarkable and very design forward organization) to get a library of his illustration back into circulation. For me, this moves the needle significantly in the world of rights free illustration. What is your thinking?

I am beginning to get that frisson of excitement around just doing illustration and graphics. I feel a wave is coming.  A sunami. Yea! Its about time.

We had a great chat en famille last night with Kitty—a virtual valentine for all of us. She was in good spirits mixing it up with a new group of friends referred to as “Skull Cave”. These are interesting folks who are not as crazed as others with World of Warcraft and other consuming electronic games. There is a high zombie factor with students studying and then spending a lot of their spare time playing these games.She was in great shape, centered, happy….laughing. I miss her so much.

First Day of Advent

Russian Nesting Doll 1, Q. Cassetti, 2010, Advent Calendar 2010, pen and inkFirst day of advent! Its raining buckets with the promise of ice and colder weather. Today is the beginning of the second year of my advent calendar project. Last year, I went wild and discovered all sorts of interesting characters (framed around companions of St. Nicholas)…and who knows where it will go this year. To see last year’s calendar pix: This year, I have begun by working smaller and faster. I am going to keep it to black and white. I am starting with a little collection of nesting dolls which may evolve to Mother and child stuff…and there are nutcrackers (both wooden and squirrels) in the mix. Maybe some references to the Peaceable Kingdom by the ever wonderful, Edward Hicks. So, stay tuned… New work made daily.

Rob is off to NYC early. I need to get the amazing pressure cooker stoked for soup for the team (they are laying a floor in the garage/carriage house. and will want some hot stuff for lunch).

More later.

Indian summer today

Sketchbook Project 10/16//2010, Q. Cassetti, sharpie and prismacolorSketchbook project almost done. I was thinking of pasting stuff in to not see the showthrough as the Moleskine Cahier paper is a bit thin…but you know, I really like the way it looks. Makes it look like the continuous document that it is.

Rolling on a ton of stuff. Picture selection, new edits, finishing up some spectacular microsoft word centered design. What a tool. What torture.

There is a slight chance I might be able to ride in the spare seat on the corporate plane to Denver and back next Monday/Tuesday. Just a fun change of scenery. Forget the art museum. I am going as fast as my legs will carry me to the Rockmount Ranchwear store>> Just to see the wonderful snap shirts…the embroidery…the sheer wonderfulness of this type of clothing. Or for more mainstream stuff, maybe Sheplers>> or Cry Baby Ranch! to see the turquoise Frida Kahlo flaming heart boots or the skull boots for men. There are these remarkable shortie cowboy books for women (“cuties”?). As I keep googling this…it seems like a western wear immersion might not be a hard thing to do. The Museum is closed Monday…so Tuesday morning would be an option. Yelp is telling me about Soul Haus. Check out all the Western Wear offering on Yelp>.Then there is mexican or barbeque for dining…

I think I could keep myself amused…don’t you? Even the thrift stores look like going to another country. Exciting though I would rather be pal-ling around with Alexander or Rob or Kitty.

Need to do some picture research today on happy cats. No grumpy cats albeit someone (stinking TJ is my guess) delivered a big stinky one in my office in the corner today. Yuck. Being the backup crew to the pets is just plain gross. I do not know whether I like cats enough to want to continue to do this after they move off this plain. Thank goodness I didnt do what I normally do which is to step in it (preferably barefoot).

Rain with a chance of more rain.

Edge Lit Mr. White, Q. Cassetti, 2010Here he is. Mr. Percival B. White (be is for Barry as Alex couldn’t handle the prissy Percival name). Rogue cat. Rabbit killer. Mr. Making Friends with all the Bed and Breakfast Guests So They Give Him Tuna Fish. Mooch Meister. I liked this shot as the screen sets up a scrim of the background facing the quadrangle and the clearing with his pink ears complementary with the bright green in the foliage.

Working on a phoenix. You got the first shot last night. Working into it…more tone, more flames, twistier, better curves (at least I hope). Its a nice respite to be among my vectors while I brew and stew in the world of the handdrawn. Next step, really focus down on the Hangar posters…and spend some time on them. Time, which I will have next week!. News is that I will go with Rob to the Great Camp Sagamore for his week of conference with Museumwise. I thought I would stay home, mind the shop and tend to Alex (which is a good thing) but the time in quiet would be a break and a chance for me to really think about things with a pencil…or without. I think I will take an iPod along with my phone with books on tape…and settle in with Hangar, illustration and some other work to not dash it off…but draw it and have the time to do it. Need to make some lists too…but the ISDP/Hartford travel schedule and enforced getting out there needs to switch to my life. Thus, the decision to do this for temper my thinking and sharpen my pen—and push ideas around in that beautiful place.

Have meetings tomorrow. One regarding the Annuals for Cornell along with a new piece for Ithaca College. Good stuff. New stuff. If I have time, I will search my images next week too for the Cornell piece. Should be good.

News from Kitty Section: (quoted from Facebook)

Kitty Cassetti  thinks its funny how we all go through high school saying “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do!” but once one gets to college all we can say is “I wish we had more time.” Fifty pages of the Ramayana left and several new documents on dancing on the way. DO I EVEN HAVE TIME FOR HAMPFEST????

Kitty Cassetti  gods cursed with a thousand female organs all over their body, the room of anger, scheming wives, beds feeling like rocks and birds being too loud all because of a spontaneous love. Oh Ramayana, you are so hilariously awesome… I think that Hampshire needs a Room of Anger to just go into and rant…

Kitty Cassetti  has had two separate conversations today about how misunderstood sharks are and how evil dolphins are. God I love this place…

Please note. All seems good in Amherst.


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 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>

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.

Three's the charm

Angel, Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalI wrote two entries yesterday. I lost two entries yesterday…so I am trying again and hoping that this entry will not get lost or go down the digital black hole that yesterday’s efforts so happily did. Sorry for the grousing.

Sunday’s trip to Cheryl Shaefer’s yarn sale was better than I could have even anticipated. It was totally in the Central New York experience of fruit stands and vegetable tables in the front yard. The garage and a side bay of the garage were open on Cheryl’s property, with a little “canning room” sized niche starting the grand tour of skeins upon skeins of colored, hand dyed fibers suspended from nails, and often 6-8 skeins deep. There was every gleaming color—some brights, some drabs—painted in gradients and blends, some complementary colors, some not—all the promise of scarves and jackets, socks and baby sweaters. There were two bays of all these fibers, all this future. Kitty and I frolicked in the wool, in the color, in the wonderful hand of the silk mixes, the mohair, the lovely washable superwash merino—trying to pick the skeins we wanted to do projects with. Kitty quickly settled on a bright bundle which when knit (as its almost halfway done) becomes a red fabric with colored flecks. I picked a range of sock wools (which is a wonderful thing I love) and a hank of “Elaine” in olive and khaki for a scarf that I may stripe with another, cooler green. When we went to check out, Cheryl, her husband and her design director were there with happy patter and editorial on the colors and skeins we had selected. There was a little basket filled with little folded pieces of paper. We were instructed to take one…which we did, unveiling our discount (55%) which made the shopping even more exciting. A younger member of the Schaefer clan was selling lemonade and brownies which the boys happily bought and devoured while we girls frittered away the time.

There is a possibility of doing a little branding work with Schaefer (which is something I have been thinking about for quite some time) as a trade, which could be very cool. I am meeting with them Thursday to see what happens. Interesting how things just sort of happen.

The hosta here at the lake are huge and full and fragrant. We have the front of the house planted (original plantings) solid with these yellow green plants which around this time of the year, pop open these enormous flowers, white easter lily sized blooms, which emit the most glorious, waxy scent in the spirit of lilies and gardenias. At dinner, in the cool humidity of the day, we are gifted this lovely smell, which only comes at this time, in this place for which I am always delighted and amazed. It is that time of the season.

Alex has started Cross Country training. He is all over it and able, this year, to articulate why it is he loves this. It is the running against oneself, but also it is the comraderie of his teammates…the spirit of individual by himself and individual as part of the larger group. Kitty is winding down. We get her to Hampshire by the first of September. She just got her classes and dorm assignments—so we will call with questions today to see if we are missing anything. Kitty is interestingly putting a lot of her people issues to rest in anticipation of the new future. I do not know if this is conscious, but it is fascinating to see her preparing for the next chapter in such a mature way. She is resolving old conflicts, talking to folks that have made her nuts, and setting her old relationships on new paths for the future. Now, (this is her mother speaking) if only she could focus on packing. But she will…just not much in advance of the move.

I am working as Alexander Girard these days. I made an angel yesterday in the spirit of the Nativity poster—but it became mine as I gave it a fraktur face and changed the hands/body a bit. I am fascinated with his approach and how he is very decorative but deliberate in his placement of frivolity. He lives in the world of negative and positive which is comfortable for me too…so I really need to let that go a bit. Girard also worked in a “making icons” way of work where each image was more of a single “potato” and not so much a storytelling process. It is more “here’s an angel, here’s a series of sunfaces, here’s aheart” driven by his love of type and folk art. Interestingly, his three dimensional work (his people, his nativity) is more narrative, but personally, I think he treated each figure the same iconic way—but allowing for the viewer/owner of these figures to make narratives by the placement and use of these forms. Girard got down to the basic design elements of color, type, form. He revelled in them that the simplest use was often his final resolution (ie the colored planes for Braniff). And in that pure use of these design elements, the sheer confidence in saying that it was okay for a plane to be lavender, it was an entirely appropriate and successful solution. So Girard’s charge to me today, is to go forth, be simple and bold, and love what you do and what you depict.  And so it goes.

Today is clean up and make plans. Alex works. Kitty doesnt. Radio the Ape, a band comprised of Kitty and Alex’s friends play at the Rongo as a farewell concert. Rob has a village board meeting. And I have time for me….I think Alexander Girard and I have a date.

Take Off

Pair of birds, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkBack to summer after the rain and cool last night. We spent the evening in Tburg with Kitty running late and Rob having an evening meeting. I have been rolling about, like Shady Grove, in Alexander Calder and Marimekko design work…and hoping…as Shady, that the more I roll in this work, the more I will become one with it. Thankfully, this lovely illustration vein is not as stinky as dead deer parts. What I am learning is that the actual illustration needs to be designed before the ink goes down…this approach is far from random. Also, simpler is much much better unless the pattern becomes secondary or subtle. I also think that the pattern making or that of fabric design should be designed in a full yard’s size (that would be the repeat: 42” x 36”). Adding more color often does not help the work. It takes away from the design. Sure it will be colorful, but if you look at Marimekko fabrics, the simpler, the better from a palette and design standpoint.

Here are some designer illustrators from Marimekko that are currently inspiring me to move the needle a bit:

Maija Louekari
Sanna Annukka 
Pia Holm 
Maija and Kristina Isola 
Erja Hirvi 

Some of its blocky. Some linear. Some linear married to blocky/simple color. Basic palette. Simple palette. I need to dip into the IKEA offerings as well to see where their design team is pointing pattern and graphic illustration.

Just got the holiday comps done. There are quicky projects for the Hangar Theatre to do. After the Mainstage Season ends, the Hangar will be presenting a series of short time, smaller productions grouped under the Cabaretc. heading. So, need to get jumping on the design/illustration for next season.