Advent Day Twenty

Advent Day Twenty, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkKitty and Rob come home from New York City today. I had a nice chat with Kitty about her relief in gettting the semester done and the fever done. She has had a flubug. We are looking forward to her time here.

Alex, Elly and I had a little time yesterday evening with Alex playing music from his computer featuring an artist Boniver…and dancing in a very cute and funny way. We are nosing the applications along…with hopefully some closure in the next week. Wouldnt that be amazing?

Tucker is here trying to make a little money for the next semester. He is stacking wood, raking etc. with such happiness bringing lots of chit chat and a big appetite (so going to the store is going to be central to the holidays). Mandy just poked her head in…to say hi. She will be here tomorrow—so there will have to be a big, inexpensive lunch (like pancakes?).

I bought a bunch of synthetic, cheap round brushes this Sunday at AC Moore. I was beginning to do some fill work with ink (not the wonderful Pentel Pocket Brush Pen) and found that the watercolor, sable brushes I have were way too wiggly, too long, too fluid…and what I wanted was something a bit stiffer, bit shorter and in a few sizes to do the big stuff and try to do the pointy stuff too. So, I bought these brushes and discovered (at least with these “Majestic” Royal and Langnickel)  there is a range of play/ stiffness in acrylic brushes. And you know, I think I can work it out from here. I tried two of them out this morning to pretty good success with my most favorite, rich carbon inks, Dr Marten’s Black Star matte ink. However, this is not the most fluid…so I may try using Noodlers this evening just to see what the difference might be. Either way, ink on Moleskine watercolor paper is divine. Love how the ink just works with this lovely rich paper.

Another nice thing to muse over is this remarkable book I discovered, The Liber Floridus. What is the Liber Floridus? The site says: “The Liber Floridus (”Book of Flowers”) is an encyclopedia compiled in the early twelfth century by Lambert, canon of the Church of Our Lady in St Omer. The Ghent University Library possesses the autograph of this work, i.e. the actual copy scribed by the author himself. Illustrated autographs of twelfth-century encyclopedias are so rare that this manuscript is now protected by the Flemish Community’s Decree on the acquisition and protection of rare or exceptional movable patrimony.”

A medieval encylopedia! There are some great architecture pix that I plan on learning from, in addition to some insane lettering (above). I am taken with a few styling things…the way the line is handled…So  you probably will hear more about this Belgian book, The Liber Floridus.

Day One, Week Two

Was surfing around to find a placeholder to celebrate the week of the history of illustration genres (from this British site>>)
with Vin Di Fate. Vin was really great with a cultural overview--pointing up political, arts, celebrity, music, space exploration, nuclear/ technology in a chronological context. He set the stage for the discussion this week to delve into all sorts of pulp topics--which promises great hilarity and new insight into these historic genres and how to approach them now.This is not my world so there is a lot to learn. All of it is new. Should be wonderful.

The Lewins dove in and gently took us through a review of "how to" along with stories and approaches as it relates to the zillions of excellent books they have done. They are so engaged and kind--helping each student on his/her way to accomplishing a 32 pp. comp at the end of the week.They truly love their work, the process and creation--with a direct point of view that allows them the space to say no (an inspiration for me). New for me is the book real estate devoted to the title and half title page (3 pps of the 32 that is dedicated to intro--and not directly the story). I have collaped the "What is Pink" poem by Christina Rossetti along with the color detail spreads showing butterflies, bugs, flowers, grasses, leaves, ferns, birds, fish and such in a "find it" format. Have some work to do tonight. I am working small, and plan on scanning them in as we go through it. More tomorrow.

Murray introduced us to the Cooper Studio at lunch. He took us through the wonderful story of how he got the job at the studio--the sheer intimidation of the waiting room filled with starched men with wingtip shoes and leather portfolios with our Mentor arriving in a baseball jacket with a red rope portfolio with his drawings glued to board. It was a quick in/quick out for the other illustrators and Murray rolled in to meet Charles Cooper who silently reviewed his work and then, reviewed it again...offering Murray a space and representation--and a start at the foremost studio at the time. The artists at the Cooper Studio were compadres/family supporting and teaching each other, working on the jobs brought in by the sales staff-- The key take away was this was the finishing school for Murray, a place for him to grow as an artist and professional--working cheek to jowl with Joe deMers, Jon Whitcomb, Bernie di Andrea, Joe Bowler, Coby Whitmore, Bob Jones, Herb Tauss and many many more. I had put Haddon Sundbloom into the Cooper group and was corrected by my mentor and member of the Cooper Studios that Sundbloom (known for his Coca Cola Santas) never was part of Cooper. From Murray: "Coby Whitmore met him in Chicago and Coby was his apprentice and driver.He also gave a copy of "The Art Spirit" to Coby." That is the link.Another interesting point was that Murray was the decorative illustrator amongst all these "kiss kiss" boys. We were chatting about this in the car back to the dorm tonight--with my companions wishing that the studio system was still in place--allowing an apprenticeship program for the new illustrators and as a centralized way to promote and build a business.

Good news! I just got a note from Communications Arts!
This message is intended for Q. Cassetti at Luckystone Partners.
Congratulations! One of your entries has been selected by the 2008
jury to appear in Design Annual 49, the November 2008 issue of Communication

And that piece was the Chicken Chokers CD cover ( in the audio/visual packaging category). Guess where the Carol Elizabeth Jones album is going!