night and day

I am just beginning to get my wits back from a master blaster weekend, week and weekend before. Saturday it was packed with life stuff, Art Trail and then a party of 130 friends who figured in our moving and living in Trumansburg. Sunday was up early to get A to the Chris Bond Run (he placed first in his age group), see the run and then another day of Trail. Sunday was by far the better day with more interesting people, chatty high school and college students who wanted to talk about studies, their work, schools, and people who were more of the "tribe". So, we finished on a positive note down to selling all the Garden of Eden pictures (framed) confirming I might not have to dump this work as they liked it. The yardsale approach ("I am emptying my portfolio concept...all prints on the dining room table $25.") worked. Those who understood it..bought 4-5 images, those who didn't, didn't. Cards sold at the new price. So, the Trail paid for our party and the frames.

I have since last year moved in my thinking. I want to have national noteriety. That is what is important to me. Being celebrated locally is more important to me as a civic moment, as a good neighbor, as a illustrator/designer for parents of artistic kids--a posterchild for the ability to make a living as a "creative". That is what makes me tick more than local illustration jobs. As art directors who visited and dangled sad carrots (free poster illustrations, or holiday cards), I found myself not psyched about that because the only art director I want to work for is me. R. and a few more...but not these simple people who will put a wingding type treatment on my work. It may sound snotty, but this is where it stands. If I am going to work for any other art director, they need to be of the highest level...not a tertiary player with little experience. I didn't understand this at the last Art Trail. I do, now. I would rather develop work for Surtex, for merchandising, for books or self driven projects. If I can sell Memento Mori illustrations on projects for wine and glass, or a not even fully fledged Garden of Eden project for a holiday card...I am at least pursuing my interest and making it pay a bit. No interlopers. Just me and the end client.

The food from the Regional for the party was perfect. I bought a case of smoked trout, an enormous pate de campagne, a jug of pitted greek olives, a wheel of Maytag Blue, a wheel of herb brie, and a big hunk of pink peppercorn chevre from our local Lively Run Dairy. We got crackers and filo crackers. Snack mix with those lovely sesame sticks, packages of dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), baba ganouche and humus. Every scrap devoured. I bought vegetables and bread Saturday morning--and I had K and M conducting the chopathon Sat a.m. I also bought some nice italian sausages, artichokes and roasted peppers to add to the general cru dites that normally show up. I bought 6 baguettes, 6 packages of pita, 3 cibattas along with 6 packages of crackers which manifested itself as an empty basket by 10 p.m. We should have had a spiral sliced hunk of meat...a "centerpiece" or sorts...or even a box of spanakopita to flesh things out. But it was all done by K, M and me. No caterer. Just cutters and stylers. The music was fabulous and I think the musicians had fun too. We had people dancing and many of my favorite people from our plumbers and electricians and contractors to professors, artists and glassmakers, to bastions of our community. All ages and sizes. We had teachers and writers, nurses and naturepaths. And they all seemed to get along together and talk and talk and talk. With the ease of how this all came together, we should do it again, soon.

Back to the Eden Story.

"First God made heaven & earth 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. "

How does one depict the Spirit of God moving over the face of the water? What does that look like? There is a lot of abstract energy. Hmmm.

Pix up top are of my office, our hallway ready for the Art Trail, our dining room table sale and a corner about Memento Mori.

"key learnings"

* You probably didn't know I have a thing for corporate speak. I adore it. Collect it and whenever possible, use it. The phrase "Key Learnings" came from one of my corporate jobs where essentially, one used this phrase in place of "In Summary" or as a "recap". One might have one of many meetings, and at the end of the meeting, "key learnings" would be bulleted on a flip chart. This entry is about yesterday's "key learnings".

Art Trail was slow yesterday...with lots of interest and for me emotion over the imposition of certain people on my attempts to show the work and welcome my visitors. It really upset me...and got me off my game. I know it's very petty of me, but this Art Trail takes time, effort and work to make happen, and I do not approach my work, my self promotion lightly. So, as it's my gig, control is important to me. Funny thing, as I had mentioned before, the Art Trail experiences forces me to actually think about what I want to do, really want to do, and how I feel about myself, my work etc. What I discovered is:

> If I am doing pro bono work for ANYONE, its my rules, my design, my work. No second guessing, no criteria, no politics, no showing it to a zillion people for input. If it's pro bono, its a gift from me to the recipient and as with gifts, the giver picks it out. Gives me something back in better work, fun work and work that can be shown on a national level.

> Showing my work in a local dark space as a "payback" for possible probono work to "promote myself" is not something I value. Surprisingly, my work has had local recognition and I guess for me more celebrated national venues also have recognized my work. Some pokey little poke poke space to the side of a main venue (that is not a visual arts venue) to show my work to an audience of non-buyers, non-specifiers is work for me with not much emotional/professional payback. Not worth the time.

> I am not starting my career. I have got some miles on me, so my work needs to be seen on a much bigger platform/stage which the Society, 3x3, Communication Arts, Print Magazine will do. Web a bunch of places. A more focused approach. More national approach. Do the work that will be seen at that level. That is the playing field that is important to me. I have moved beyond the local status in my head.

> Sure, its nice to do this thing to let people know that we have a concentration of people in Tburg, but I am not the Chamber of Commerce...and I could do a more focused Open House and accomplish much the same thing on a nicer level, even tagged into the Holiday Festival here. Still nice, but not 4 full days with very little to speak of-- which feels like work.

> I am losing confidence in my hand drawn work. I am worried.

> To confirm it one more time, I have no patience for fools. Absolutely none.

Off this topic and on to the week. Things to do (tons), prep for next week's Art Trail and party for 150 (the regional truck comes!), teeth for K and A in Corning, 2 guests coming, and prep for a client visit. Of course, there is project work to whale on.

On a nicer note, we heard an owl in the darkness last night, hooting, and hooting with a remarkable little trill occasionally at the end of his cries. He sounded as if he was almost on my shoulder he was so close in the darkness. It was a quiet way to end our otherwise wild weekend.

Ithaca Art Trail: Week One: Day One

None of us wanted to get up. We shirked our work last night to eat dinner and go to bed at a reasonable time. So, up we got to hang, clean, dust and stuff our trash bags with ancillary paperwork and trash. Now, the junk is not on our desktops, but in the bin. Yay. Frames are put on new work and you know, I like black and white more for the Garden of Eden  than the color. The color sucks some of the whammy out of the image. My new reduced palette work is together...and suggesting I do a few more to really have it function as a body of work. So, a woodpecker is in  line and a cat (big shape with the face really worked out) and perhaps a deer head (another request) which could be great silhouetted letting the antlers go a bit wild.

We got a steady stream of people throughout the day. The new pricing strategy (lower) is working a bit, but folks are not parting with their cash happily--but we are still moving stuff, talking to people, talking about art, their passions. A form of encouragement for me...a form of counseling for them. The chex mix and puppy chow (chex with chocolate and peanut butter that is shaken in a mountain of powdered sugar) was a hit. Interest by a lot of the local professional bird people that perhaps there is a link up with the Lab of Ornithology (at Cornell, referred to casually as "the lab of O"). What do you think of Q. at the O.?  Lots of interest in the birds, the dogs (if you have the breeds I have images of) and nature oriented stuff). I am thinking that there is more to the wildlife and solidly designing some new images not only to push the single color work which is really working in frames etc), allow me to really get my eye tuned into what is working and what isn't.Perfect Forget Me Not blue skies. The trees are peak. Golden and red.Twirling leaves. Green green grass. Grey mists, blue lake, purple hillsides.

More later>> people on the porch

long day, long drive, short meeting

It was a long day with an early drive that started a bit late as I was slow getting my wits about me. Northern Pennsylvania was brilliant, with red and yellow trees, pumpkins galore, inexpensive mums, and low hanging clouds, puffy and suspended in the valleys. I listened to a book on tape--so though the time seemed to drag a bit until I started timing milestone to milestone of the trip. Our meeting was beyond positive--with terrific results allowing me to move quicker on the design work...pushing the work ahead a month or so to everyone's pleasure. So all on the up and up.

I hope to get to bed early to be back in the office by 10:30- 11 a.m. I am meeting with a member of Toivo to see where they want to set up next week for our gathering after work. There is more stuff to do for the Art Trail from getting signs up (which they want us to put balloons around ( I cannot handle that) or ribbons or more stuff) to more framing, to creating and cutting the tags/price tags (and pricing! OUCH). We have change, a reciept book, envelopes, and the basic doing business stuff. Then, of course, we have coffee cakes to make to offer....I don't know when, but its on the list unless I buy a few boxes of donut holes and stack them into pyramids. I have to order the food that Barb and I planned from the Regional Access and then generate a list for the other stuff that we need to chop and bag (crudites etc). How much seltzer, how much lemonade, how much wine? beer? We are expecting a TON of people. Yikes.

Head down time.

wake up!

You know, as I get close to another idiotic, self imposed deadline I mutter about my own stupidity etc. etc. but find that in this time of crunch and focusing down, I discover stuff about my work. What I have been discovering in the framing and making sense of the illustrations from Memento Mori and now the sketches/illustrations from the Garden of Eden are the following things:

> I have changed and improved since last October when the original roll on Memento Mori happened. The design is better, tighter, and the hand is surer. The black and white patterning is more deliberate and considered.

> Since Hartford, the work has gotten better, tighter and more graphic. Versus fighting it...I am giving it a bit of head...and trying to really work with it. R. says to the better. Yes, there is a place for my obsession with detail and twiddly stuff...but to have some restraint versus binging in every image with pattern, line and swirl.

> This decorative, hand drawn work, I felt was weaker and not at strong as the vector work. Well, when printing it out bigger than usual, matting it and treating it with a bit more respect than a wiggly ink drawing in my sketchbook--these babies can stand up as well as the vector work with a bit more whimsey and imagination than the original group that comprised my Syracuse thesis. To my great surprise and astonishment. Hurray for the Art views.

> The new vector studies (something I want to tune my hand and eye do do)--essentially limiting the palette to maximum 2 greys, black, white and a single color) really sing. I hadn't really finished one up until yesterday and they are really going some place. So, new goal in place (which I was mouthing but not believing) is that I need to do a few more of these (maybe with the city pictures) to build that work out as well. This minimal vector approach was inspired by the first one of the series, the Chicken Chokers logo/illustration which was/is harder than it looks...but with it's success...these images have potential insofar as shows, but also in the world of graphic design as logos, images, symbols beyond the usual cutting into letterforms, spinning shapes etc. that often become rote. Acceptable and to many companies, well worth the investment...but not putting more me,, more humor, more touch to their marks. I am hoping that the logo I may be working on soon (this week we work on names) may have some of this illustration assigned to the process. Plus, the portraits I have done for the Masters of Studio Glass.

Recycled soup is on the stove. A gargantuan lasagne using up all sorts of bits and pieces from the refrigerator is done and ready for this evening. K R and I have bets on how many sittings this monster will last...I have it that it will be gone by tomorrow dinner ( size: 4" tall, 16" x 20"). Wow.

Gotta go now.

One more year

Today is my birthday. One more year. Three hundred and sixty five days to make pictures, read books, make lunch, shepherd teens, sleep deep sleeps, swim among the clouds. Three hundred and sixty five opportunities to change, evolve, and try to keep things interesting for myself and others. Three hundred and sixty five wishes and lists. Three hundred and sixty five (plus or minus) blog entries for us to share. And so it goes. Keeping the wheels spinning. Maybe more hair dye?

No plans here. Need to get ready for Art Trail and for my mother in law's guests coming in this weekend. Bathroom needs to be tidy, bed and towels new and clean. Grass seed replanted where the wonderful Dare Daniels dug up the stuff we planted this spring (which really fully integrated (complete with the crab grass and plantain weeds) and looked just like it had been there forever.

Working on a bunch of approaches to Genesis 2--the separation of the firmament. But need to also do a Winter Solstice picture for the Museum, recolor the Tree of Knowledge for my client to use for a holiday card. Found these images from the New York Public Library Digital Archives. Love the bony Adam and Eves with with skinny dumb tree with the crowned snnake tempting them. Such a sad little scene, a bit of knowledge of good and evil looked pretty good. So somber and sad. And the miniature painting in a psalter of Adam and Eve being expelled by a bronzed angel is the polar opposite.

More later>>


This painting is from photos taken of Muff and Real Musgrave's collection. The image is by Jim Christiansen, a celebrated fantasy illustrator who has been recognized as a “Utah Art Treasure,” one of Utah’sTop 100 Artists by the Springville Museum of Art and received the Governor’s Award for Art awarded by the Utah Arts Council recognizing the significance of Christensen’s artwork to Utah’s cultural communities. He was inducted intothe U.S. Art magazine’s Hall of Fame. Jim and his wife, Carole, co-chair theMormon Arts Foundation. Muff always got a painting from Christiansen for Christmas until he became fully recognized and collected--stopping that tradition.

I learned that there is a category of illustration called "Decorative Illustration". I think that is what I am....and I find it somehow reassuring that my work fits into a type--as SU promotes painters--and if you don't fit into the schema for painting, you are left hanging. I should google this to see if there is anything out there that speaks to this tradition. Hmm, let me see--Here's a nice link to a page that speaks broadly about illustration:

ILLUSTRATION. In a general sense, illustration (or the art of representing pictorially some idea which has been expressed in words) is as old as Art itself. There has never been a time since civilization began when artists were not prompted to pictorial themes from legendary, historical or literary sources. But the art of illustration, as now understood, is a comparatively modern product. The tendency of modern culture has been to make the interests of the different arts overlap. The theory of Wagner, as applied to opera, for making a combined appeal to the artistic emotions, has been also the underlying principle in the development of that great body of artistic production which in painting gives us the picture containing "literary" elements, and, in actual association with literature in its printed form, becomes what we call "illustration." The illustrator's work is the complement of expression in some other medium. A poem can hardly exist which does not awaken in the mind at some moment a suggestion either of p icture or music. The sensitive temperament of the artist or the musician is able to realize out of words some parallel idea which can only be conveyed, or can be best conveyed, through his own medium of music or painting. Similarly, music or painting may, and often does, suggest poetry. It is from this inter-relation of the emotions governing the different arts that illustration may be said to spring. The success of illustration lies, then, in the instinctive transference of an idea from one medium to another; the more spontaneous it be and the less laboured in application, the better. continue>>

I spoke to Murray and Doug Anderson about the dream project, the first project we have that could evolve into the thesis. Taking the idea of working on a series of illustrations that might be able to be used on a series of old time cds seemed to be okay as long as I didn't start working on it--the rules are to just think about it, do some reference work and (they didn't say it) relax. I figure this could evolve into a thesis. I do not want to find myself up against a thesis striking out with the topics without any shepherding like the SU thesis was. I would really like to be able to embrace it and drill into it... I just didnt have the chance to emotionally engage in the material from SU and would like to be able to do this. Murray pushed it a bit making it about the images--instead of looking at the end application, what is the imagery--and I think Americana might be the big rubberband that wraps this whole concept. Americana with a fresh look-- Time to start thinking. No sketching....maybe a thumbnail>?


Little things happening all day. The pool of dilemmas was virtually empty, so the aqueous passigiata was quite delightful and somehow with the sunshine beaming down made all right with the world. Took care of all sorts of small stuff before having lunch with the amazing Micky Roof, celebrity jeweler, entrepeneur and inspired energetic person. Micky always creates wonderful medals for the triathlon in July--very dimensional, big and very Ithaca. They are so great, they could be remade into keychains and stuff like that. Cool, heavyweight--work with a presence. So, we had lunch to talk about her plans so that I can mirror the thinking with the tee shirt. Then, we talked about all sorts of this and that. There may be some other projects we could engage in. Plus, as she was one of the founders of the Art Trail, she sketched out where the art trail could go, the spin, the growth etc. She spins energy and ideas in her wake. She is tremendous. It should be fun doing a little work with her.

Am up to my ears in illustration I need to need to go.

Twinkling grey

I am thinking about the future education component at Hartford this summer and have been worrying over the pending projects. I think that the Pool of Dilemmas might be an interesting self authored/illustrated book to do with Ted and Betsy Lewin. Its a great topic that I think could have legs--and it would give my ink style a chance to stretch a bit outside of the land of remembrance. I could introduce Skittles, The Russian Ladies, the look of the people with goggles etc, the distance between the crosses, the dumping of the worlds problems, the olympic swimmers, the water runners...etc. It has a color palette (blues, greys), and it could be designed/laid out to be in the windows like a graphic novel. Could be interesting to develop and render the cover and 3-5 spreads. i want to do the images anyway. So, this gives me the opportunity to think about it..and take it further.

The other children's book options are: something using the translation of Stuwwelpeter/Slovenly Peter; the little book of "epitaphs"--taking memento mori images further...; or something more traditional... I think the original writing and images might be good. A bigger stretch. Maybe chippy little poems?

All the streams and waterfalls are swollen with rain and snow like springtime today. Raging water swamping the banks...particularly Taughannock creek by route 96 is particularly impressive. It was misty and cloudy this morning. Very romantic and beautiful with mist and spray rising out the morning greyness. Hanging in the air below the bridge.

New client prospect linked in today. Also, new potential work with Steuben. Finishing up Ithaca Art Trail application--its a good thing to have to assess my resume/statement etc. Only yucky part is having to get my picture taken. How I hate it.

More later>>

Newsy Bits: Wegmans to Stop Selling Cigarettes

From the Gannett News Service:

Wegmans Food Markets Inc. will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products beginning Feb. 10, spokeswoman Jo Natale said this morning.

Until that date, only remaining inventory will be available for sale and no new product will be ordered, she said.

In a letter to employees dated Jan. 7, Wegmans Chief Executive Officer Danny Wegman and his daughter, President Colleen Wegman, said the company decided to stop selling tobacco products mainly because Wegmans cares about its employees.

A smoking cessation program will be offered to employees this year, according to the letter.

“For those of you who smoke, we know it is very difficult to stop,” the letter says.

In a news release issued this morning, Danny Wegman said the company respects a person’s right to smoke.

“But we also understand the destructive role smoking plays in health,” he said.

Tobacco is a very profitable category for Wegmans, Natale said, but did not provide specific numbers.

We commend our own Wegmans for pursuing what is right versus what is profitable. It is the right thing to do.

The Buffalo News has a more fleshed out article>>

Christmas Chicken

I have this sneaking feeling that things might begin to blow out around Christmas. There were a lot of people looking and not buying during the Art Trail where $50. seemed to pinch a little. But hey, around Christmas, when you are stuck and a $50 present is not out of the ordinary, calling that lady in Rongovia seems like the right thing to do. The vibe is pointing there. And, with a bunch of work going to Corning for their Christmas Show/Sale--I may want to double up on some of the images and keep it in the back room for the"do you haves". I will really need to remember to sign the work (not important to me, I guess) as I have had to disembowel 3 images sold on the art trail to sign it ...and seal it up again and deliver. Big URG.

As I had said in Art Trail Recap--more chickens, more water birds, more stuff people know. Dogs are breed specific (to that, a blonde lab, a chocolate lab and a black lab are in order...but not now). Cows, pigs and horses are probably better options. With this in mind...a new chicken is amongst the dead on the drawing board just to slowly begin to move the needle. The Birds of Rongovia is open again...with the progress posted to see how this picture develops.

The Seminar talk at SU is starting to gel. Instead of soup to nuts in 40 minutes, I am going to show a brief overview of design work (exhibiting competency and experience) and spend the bulk of the time on illustration (electronic) and the commercial outflows (with a quickie overview with screen shots of how I do the vector thing as the students have some grasp of photoshop...and little to none of illustrator). Then, talk about the impulse and personal aspect of the Memento Mori project, the plans and manifestation and the immediate market use of some of these personal and impulsive images. End up with the idea that you can do your own thing, do it well, get it "out there", stay open when things come your way and see where things take you. Planning only gets you started. You cannot plan the end (just like death!)> You can only plan for now and stay relaxed intellectually> but put brawn behind all of the aspects of work, thought, connecting.

I think this sketch may point out, I am almost there.

Your thinking?

Take aways

1. Frame as much stuff as you can afford. People will buy unframed stuff...but the appeal of "instant art" is very much in evidence.

2. Keep the stuff interesting but not tons of unique stuff (like the accordion folded pieces on death that I offered). The death stuff was good as a book and as framed stuff, but an odd format doesnt leap off the shelf.

3. As much as I was told cards don't sell...they do. Just be selective about what and the collections (6 cards, 3 designs sort of thing).

4. Merchandise like crazy. Be a display queen. Labels and tags are key.

5. Talk a lot.

6. Banana bread was successful. Candy as well (except for people who brought teenies with them who thought the world had turned upside down in the sheer joy of so much sugar).

7. You shouldnt have to sell--really sell the stuff. Make options available and step away. The attitute of we have this one or that one...but no...let me see how I can make this more perfect for you is ridiculous.

8. Hire as many teenagers pre-event as you can to do the collating and mixing and filling and bagging. They somehow think its a treat...and it reduces the torture for you as the great artist.

9. Listen to what people like, want and hate. Adjust if it feels right. I am going to work on a bumblebee based on a request. Would love to do why not take the prod.

10. Continue to do the art trail as it sets a deadline, gives great exposure, and you meet people on your own turf. All round good match with the goal to "get out there".

Perfect day on our plateau

The community turned out in force for the Chris Bond 5K this morning. It was a perfect day for running. Low humidity. No clouds. Brilliant trees. Very convivial and fun. A. and his friend Phil ran...and they seemed to be in the groove. This is an event I hope isn't the end, but the beginning of a string of positive Tburg fun fund raisers.

Again, here we are at ten minutes before the last day of Art Trail. More banana bread in the oven (all the bananas that were on the edge are gone...yeah!). Hopefully we will get a nice crowd today. Yesterday felt slower than the first weekend, but no time to sit down the entire not that slow. I need to focus on chickens, water fowl, and domestic geese and ducks. Maybe even take them on as personal assignments to get the wheels moving. A body of work on chickens could be good.

However, the Syracuse Seminar (a one hour chat with seniors in illustration, graphic design and advertising design) awaits. I have been marinating in this to figure out the top 3 things I want to say...and I am still scrambled. Need to get R. to help me sort it out. I want to write the entire thing and then fill in the pics etc. versus where I was going which was to get a zillion images together and then figure out what to say. A bit backwards--wouldn't you say?

two hours post art trail

Banana bread is demolished. Chocolate cake on the roster for tomorrow. Sold quite a few pieces (smaller, framed) which I think the new "totally finished art" approach is what the crowd is looking for. Lots of questions about editions etc. which I haven't thought about doing. I pursued this earlier this year...and really do not want to commit to an edition considering the very fair prices I am offering. If I had more lake birds (loons, ducks, blue herons etc.)--I could sell them. Chickens, hands down, are big too. My guess pigs and cows would go to.

More Memento Mori books selling. Those who are buying really are interested in the topic and where the work is going. I don't know, and they seem good with that. They also seem good with my neurosis around the topic.

Going to the Pourhouse for dinner...and for a break as we are back on at 11 tomorrow.

Ten minutes to Art Trail

The massive sculptural banana bread has been baked and cut. The postcards collated and packaged. The Art Trail Mix stirred and packaged. Around 12 new pieces framed (man, does a frame make the difference or what?). Have sold around 8 of the Memento Mori books. Last evening, one of the buyers of the said book came by to pick it up...delighted! He is wanting to buy the whole set. Imagine. Old girl neurosis turning a profit. Or is it a prophet? More books in the future?

I decided to layout more sketchbooks as they captured the imagination of the group. I just hope no one walks with them. I am missing one...and hope it is under a pile and not under someone's coat. There are more sketches in me, it was just that that book was a good one.

A. is off running across the country. R. is back from LA with new business suits and a new slant on how they are doing things at CMoG (not too bad)..

gotta go... I hear people.

beautiful day

Warm here. Mid 70s. Shady Grove lost her cast, had confirming xrays and is free from more vet visits. She will just need to stay relatively quiet for the next month to let her foot entirely heal. Poor thing, I think she thought I wouldn't be back to get her. Her entire body, tail and head were wiggling and wagging just to let me know that she was delighted I showed up.

I saw a complete field filled with these elegant wild turkeys amongst the evaporating dew, misty. Long and tall...quiet and still. It was a golden snapshot. The apple trees are laden here. We really haven't gotten a hard frost---so the color is soft, apples are still hanging on and there is tons of produce (tomatoes and basil still) packing the stands nearby and on Route 79 into Ithaca.

Just made 80 packs of cards for the weekend. Also made 10 packs of Ithaca Art Trail Mix (chocolate chips, peanuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, craisins and apricots) all from wonderful goods from the Mecklenburg Mercantile. I love this store. The Mercantile is run by a pair of sister in laws who buy wonderful food things from the Regional Access and break the cases down and sell plastic bags (a la bulk) filled with all sorts of things that are high quality and really affordable. And they carry eggs from Happy Hens(organic from Interlaken), organic butter and milk. You can go into the Merchantile with $20. and leave with two big bags of great stuff. Another local jewel.

Trouble with A. and antics with highschoolers. There may be some detention or something along that line. Lesson has def been learned. Urg.

R winging his way back to us tomorrow.

Plugging away

Three days and round two of the Ithaca Art Trail going to happen again. Things to accomplish in the next few days:

--make and package Ithaca Art Trail Mix. Make a cute label.
--make new cover/or belly band for the new Lulu offering.
--make up 75 more postcard packs (10 cards in a polka dot envelope)
--check on the holiday cards. If need to, package more.
--print and frame images to fill in the gaps missing.
--buy some choker shirts for my own giving for xmas.

Saw Alice Gant today. She was watering her rainbow of flowers, getting ready for her second weekend on the trail. She was optimistic about the experience--and interested in seeing what happens this weekend and then via phone before Christmas. Interesting. I am curious to see if there is spin from last weekend--you know, friends bringing friends, watercooler recommendations etc. If the weather is good, apparently the traffic tends to be better than on dreary grey days. We'll see.

My friend, Paula Horrigan, who is a landscape architect, artist and art bookmaker saw the new Lulu book and was effusive about it--pushing me to get it to Dia Books in NYC as she feels there is a market there for this thing. Paula buys handmade books and collects them--so she is def. the customer and will know the places that might be interested in these things. I need to do a little research around this. It is exciting to get this sort of response which was more than the positive vibes that a friend would politely effuse. I was so charged up, I worked until close to midnight on the second book--working with my images, the new cut paper frames and photoshop. Started making some little helmet skulls, and some line drawings with inked backgrounds (that will be fused in photoshop) inspired by fabric I found on the internet. Paula went further about fabrics and home furnishings that her friend reps that are embracing this imagery.

I really want to get going on embroidering one of the images. Also, I am itching to get some really thick, all wool felt to make some felted images too. Felt, blanket stitching, even some buttons. Even buttons in the mode of those English mummers that had their complete set of clothes covered in buttons. Some of the Pacific Northwest native americans also do some of this too.

171 Cedar Street is having a holiday sale starting in mid November which I think I will send cards, books and prints (framed ones left over from the Art Trail Weekends). I am flattered to be invited. It may yield some sales--and def. increase exposure down in the Corning area. I have two holiday cards and am thinking about maybe printing one more design...Maybe? Boy, I really need to pencil in some time starting in May to prep for October, November sales. This could be something to plan, design and develop.

Erich located these cool heavy duty gold frames that the Chemung River School painters use. Am psyched. They have gorpy times ten.

Revisions on the holiday cards for clients. I hope we are close.

Sunday Review for the Ithaca Art Trail

More neighbors and less new folks yesterday...but it was solid until way after the 5:00 closing time (even had someone show up around 6:30 who I showed around tersely).Some bigger pieces went--and it was great to know they are going to houses of cool folks...and they will be appreciated. I think I have sold/saved out about 7 Memento Mori books (which is remarkable). When asking one person why they liked it...the person waxed on about how the topic speaks to him and reminds him of New Orleans.

One more weekend (next). And I am kicked in the ass to keep it coming. The bodies of work (5+pieces) really work in this environment. You almost need a bunch of them to hang the one-sy , two-sies off. So, I am going to expand the there is mileage way beyond the prints. Also, create a body of work on chickens (I already have 3--so I could do easily 3 more--and get on a roll). The chicken love thing is out there...and I might as well jump on board with this. A Cornell professor and his wife collect chickens all over the world for their chicken and spoke of a chicken skeleton sculpture that really struck my fancy. Need to make a picture.

The postcards were a big hit. We took all of my promotional cards and filled a polka dot envelope with 10 postcards and gave them to everyone that came through. You know, the old gift with purchase thing that is so easy to do...and everyone adores. Lots of mileage and I wanted to move them so I could get new cards. Holiday cards are selling...and the smaller prints. Albeit, we sold a pumpkin picture, a skull picture and a mess of chickens. The crowd seemed to really like the set up with signage and work merchandised together.... I know artists aren't supposed to talk that way...but why not think about the way images and stuff is juxtaposed in order to make a good impression. Maybe we as artists shouldnt care. I do.