Last Monday of Eleven Month

Swan Heart from Sketchbook 3, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpiesPiles of work…yikes. I am pleased I got the little done yesterday (thank you Rob) with the NYFA application and the scans as they were just hanging there wanting to  be done. I also had a really nice time with a little drawing in the evening complete with peppermint tea. It was just nice.

In hindsight, it was interesting to complete the NYFA application because it was all about funding artists to continue to build their voice and vision—so everything is pointed to showing that. I am pleased that I made a list and created a flow to the imagery to show how the styles and imagery flow (which, interestingly they do) prior to uploading them all. The images will be shown really large—in two groups of 4…so a progression from the SOI Willowhead (from Memento Mori) to Forever Love (from the Valentines) to The Fraktur Angel heart, to Valentine “Sweetheart” (bees),  to Bee Mine Valentine, to Bee Goddess, To Bee Twins, to in Search of the Sweet (Lubki illos). It looked good and consistent. The drawing group is assessed with Book Arts and Printmaking. My work fits right in there. Additionally, they have a folk art subset they judge mid year, next year which I plan on applying for. This foundation work is appealing because it has a fiscal piece to drive the work versus trying to sell it.

What is this with Wikileaks? What is going on with this world?

Another just as important, I called The Regional to see if they had another delicious turkey for Thanksgiving. The home team is wild for it.

More later.

Saturday catch up

Big news. The portrait I did of Jiri Harcuba for the Masters of Studio Glass Show at the Corning Museum of Glass just got accepted into Illustration 52 (a juried competition sponsored by the Society of Illustrators, NY).I am delighted. This is the third year (last year was the Willow head from the Memento Mori work, the year previously, was the Chicken Chokers Poster). To be honest, I was fretting a bit on this one. My friend, the very talented and smart, Lori Ann Levy Holm emailed me earlier this week that she got a piece in the 52 and had gotten the phone call. I didnt get any call...and was being calm about some years you get in, some years you don't. Despite the fact that my head was rationalizing it, and integrating it into the push forward, to keep going, to keep heart was reluctantly following. But, yesterday around 3 p.m. the call came, and they happily told me the great news. Hurray!

Kitty is plugging away on the college stuff. Alex is out with friends and Rob is asleep. I have a cranberry sauce done, potatoes cooked and an apple tart finished and cooling. Gloria is back from California and we will have an early Thanksgiving with the family tonight.

Alex just called. He missed the bus in Ithaca, and could I please come down to pick him up. I guess I have no choice.

More later.

Monday first Monday in November.

Working a bit on the Star poster. Its a hand holding the star (which up until now, they have not done one like this)--with some little flying spirit effigies in the background. Not sure on the coloration, and may put a little banner with the word "Onward" or something along that line in the layout. I am planning on a tone on tone thing in the background/some floral insanity hopefully. But, this is the beginning (as you can see the star is still being worked on.

Yesterday afternoon, I generated dinner for the week: a pot of chili, 2 pans of lasagne, a shepherds pie (with leftover mashed potatoes from last week and the left over browned meat for the chili), along with roasting 4 chicken carcasses with leeks,carrots, celery and leftover parsley stems for stock. It was a cooking afternoon of cranking. I feel like the cook has been here and all I need to do is pop it in the oven and not have to scratch my head and wonder what I was going to serve up. It was a great exercise in opening up boxes and bags to also see what weathered the constant summer infestation of "flour" bugs. I just hate them...but, those bugs force one to review, compost and or devour quickly all flour related food as they have the ability to dig into any vessel (except for mylar sealed packages).

It was deadline on top of deadline today. So much so that I worried about it from around 3 a.m. until 5:30 a.m. without any real solution other than to call the client and ask her to help us prioritize the emergencies that were heaped upon each other. That drove a lot of sanity for us...and surprisingly, we got through quite a bit of the work that was there. Tomorrow, I feel I can catch up and get back to zero/ or at least a levelset I can handle. I laid out 2 dozen slides from scratch, amended a logotype for the Museum, reviewed a bunch of stuff, reconfigured final art for a tradeshow exhibit skin, and began a layout for a tradeshow "abstract" paper. Numerous emails and confirmations along with a few scheduled calls. Yikes.

And, now I need to worry about tomorrow. Also, need to worry about Christmas, cards and the whole shebang around that. And, did I mention the taxes due in January? It just keeps coming. Bring it on... I will try, try very hard, to be ready!

IF: [Homer's] Opinion

Thus has Homer proved his opinion of our poor sex—that the love of beauty is our most prevailing passion. It really grieves me to think that there certainly must be reason for the insignificant opinion the greatest men have of women—at least I fear there must.—But I don’t in fact believe it—thank God!

Frances Burney (1752–1840), British author

slow morning

I think there is definitely something here>>I love the idea that one can take notes, listen to a lecture and if you want, listen to the lecture again. I love it that there are podcasts on art already accessible on the web. Why not chunk out the History of Illustration and have a representative few postcasts on an illustrator or two (one obscure, 3-4 "known" like Rockwell, Gibson, Leyndecker, Cooper Studio?) posted with images to the Hartford Website (and also that of Tinkelman Studios) to really get some attention. Maybe this isn't a university thing, but maybe that of SOI--in the advancement of the understanding of illustration, illustrators and the world they live in, the vision they have and change? The Rockwell Museum could do it and use it as a way to drive attention and credibility beyond the small community it attracts and speaks to.There might be an interview or two with illustrators that are specialized like children's books, storyboard, character developer or even with the great art director from the New Yorker. it might cost a bit, but would be a gift. I also think, it would be a way to broaden all of our understanding of this field--and how it all isn't editorial work, covers of magazines, or almost passe applications that with the changing media--so the need for illustrators to be informed, educated and involved to be able to practice their art (and craft) in a viable way.

It all comes down to relevance. R mentioned the aspect of relevance with regard to an older friend whose career was based on a powerbase that is no longer here, doing things that are really no longer important or significant. With all of those pieces having lost their power, their position, their relevance--all that this man is/was has no more import. That is, if you base today on the activities of yesterday. We all need to stay relevant--relevant each day looking forward, which pushes us to stay current with media, clients, where the money is spent and how it is spent, and the voice of the time. Illustration as a practice must stay relevant or it will be relegated to a place where printing presses used metal type and engravings. I feel that illustration is as relevant as it has been since cave dwellers just might not live in the business world in the same categories as it has since advertising and print has come on. Thus this nod to the podcast.

Hot and still this morning. Summer has arrived with a blast. We are putting up hanging baskets and clothes lines for wet towels. I have a batch of muffins going as the home team devours them all week as they struggle to get out of bed and out the door to school. Making is faaaaar cheaper (and better) than buying. I am seguing to almost all "from scratch" food. Not a huge move...but a bit more. I cannot wait for the local stands to open up with the produce from the backyard. The Trumansburg Farmer's Market opens this Wednesday (the elegant Ithaca has been open since April with both Saturday and Sunday open now) with 27 vendors including grassfed meat, a smoked meat vendor, of course the local CSAs (Community supported agriculture)--and the wonderful blueberries. Bring on the heat because that brings on the agricultural wealth.

Get the work out there

Meet Amanda, our friend, our helper and all round amazing person. Amanda is an equestrian, a dog and animal lover, student and soon (hopefully) to be studying at Cornell (landscape architecture). I gave Amanda one of my Memento Mori books and she showed it to the tattoo artist she consults and decided to have one of my illustrations tattooed on her arm. Amanda is a tattoo pro--she has a full back tattoo filled with color and very complex illustration. She has a tattoo from her neck down filled with all sorts of color and imagery (including a pierced heart). So,taking the encouragement/ charge from my mentor, Murray Tinkelman, you need to do the work and then get it out there....we are gettting it out there. And, surprisingly, there are takers. We hopefully will celebrate Amanda's new tattoo with lunch with the artist and maybe with a show at the tattoo parlor.

What you can see on Amanda's arm is the outline of the proposed design. The design is transferred to her arm and then is outlined with a fine needle on her arm . Amanda told me that the artist had to get an extra fine needle to do this detail work...the extra fine schaedler pen of the tattoo world. In about 2 months (the artist is way booked up until then), the flat planes of black will be filling the outlines. Wow.

Up up and away

Well, she is off! We woke K up this morning with the packing still randomized...with polka dot piles all over her floor. I must admit, this is not my style and it makes me nuts--but it works for K. She blissfully tended to this and that, surrounded by dust and yesterday's laundry, neatly packing her bags. After two bowls of scotch oatmeal (the fine stuff), we hurried over to Palmer Pharmacy to greet her fellow travellers and teacher (and husband) who were attired in black with berets. OOOOOLa La! Then, en masse, we caravaned up to Syracuse to get them all checked in and through security with tears from our girl--and great hand waving from all of us. I am looking at the clock and thinking about her as we talk. I know she will have a great time...its the settling down and getting there that can be the trauma. We all have been there...we become deadened to the green saplings our younger selves were...and the mix of fear, excitement and the unknown which can be a frightening cocktail. Once she gets to Chicago and has settled in a bit, maybe the fun will begin. If not then, then when she gets an eyeful of the cute french guys in the aeroport! Mais Oui!

More news. One of the Memento Mori illustrations and the chokers poster got into American Illustration 27. So, that is good news. I did not, however, get into the Schweinfurth Show in Auburn New York. Declined, Declined. But CA and SOI isn't a bad second to that! I am sickly gloating over all of that. Next, I am planning other rejections--like the Made in NY Show at the Everson in Syracuse so I can feel like a loser again. (Don't tell anyone, I AM a loser).

Tomorrow is basically unscheduled! Maybe I will treat myself to a trip to Agway for grass seed along with the nascent publications I have on deck. I hope I can do a bit of illustration work tonight. Maybe a yellow rose?

Back to the Hartford Blog. Back to squint as a name. Squint and squinty are taken for URLS---however, is available. Maybe we will have a little call for illustration to see if people can send me pix for squint for the masthead (which could refresh on a regular basis. I think it would be fun to have little amongst ourselves virtual shows on the holidays, on politics, on ideas. I wonder if that would make sense? or if the students and alumni would be game. Need to reach out to the head of illustration alumni to see what her wish list might be...maybe even query the crowd to see if they have ideas, wants, needs? I dont need permission to ask? do I (at SU I would).

Gotta go.

Jim O'Brien's Barack Obama

Jim O'Brien is doing some beautiful work for his thesis: likenesses of the candidates which he is screenprinting. I was taken with how wonderful they are--His theis blog gets into the detail--and was thrilled to see them up close and personal last week in Fort Worth. If you would like to own one, he has posted them to etsy, to illogator,or ebayHis Hillary is in the works and looks promising. Also, Jim's Obama buttons (I only saw 2) are a real find. Be the only one on your block to show your support with such style (and great illustration,too!).

No snow day

Everyone emerged from their dens groaning this morning as schools were not even delayed here...with roads a bit sloppy and snow a bit deep...with 1 to 3" expected during the day. Will be entering the 3x3 show today...and start two pictures for the Baker Institute's front lobby. Am working with the intrepid Erich to make some tweaks to our illustration site and may link the new site to Little Chimp (which I haven't done). Now that I have an exclusive illos site, there are other free/cheaper sites I may post to to work around the "I" site. Am having lunch with an artist jeweler who does lovely work and is the designer of the medals/medaillions for the Triathlon in July centered around Taughannock State Park (waterfall pix from last week). My hope is that we can work collaboratively--teeshirt illustration with the medals--so we can develop a stronger annual look/brand.

Off to the whiteness>>