Wow. So study hall at the Luckystone manifested rest and quiet for the both of us...with a nice dinner and a newly jiggered website/ blog/ portfolio for me with the hope of opening another retail outlet via this site on the near horizon. I was so "off" Squarespace. I was feeling limited by the template and its lack of flexibility that I think this added to my malaise about writing to all of you. But, after a little searching around, I was able to change my template to a far more flexible tool, and with a little alteration here, and there, I am closer to what makes me happy--and will be a better tool to communicate with. So, please be patient and you will have a little Q. store to shop, and a list of my favorite, most interesting and thought provoking resources I use (and will share) on the web.
Today I have an interview with an independent writer about my Valentines thesis which should be interesting. I have jotted down a few bullet points to make me sound a bit sharper than I am...and tried to recall the reason for Valentines for me. It boils down to a basic Q.Dna thing. I love symbols. Symbols are pictures chock filled with meaning...often related to tales, folk legends, and events. Those symbols are generally visual with some sort of ceremony, food and ideas that build a community (in the know) around them. My pictures are more often symbolic as are my logotypes. Even letterforms are symbolic. I came to this originally through the holidays and annual events which then morphed to an obsession with Christian symbology (art nerding out at museums and churches trying to find the most obtuse and odd symbols in murals, paintings and sculpture)> I am always on the lookout for symbols, for meaning and for faces. Just seems to poke out of everything I do.
Back on the blog. Trying to be a good girl and get back to talking about the daily this and thats--sharing the stuff that keeps streaming out of the tip on my magical digital pencil.
That's right...all those pictures just flow out of the sharp end of my digital pencil...and all I have to do is hold on tight, and see what happens. Stream of consciousness...parts and pieces emerging... I have been streaming things from my recent trips, and from some of my rage at being American. Though, frankly, from the antics of the last few weeks, it all has left me breathless and gasping, trying to figure out what happened to rational negotiation, conversation and compromise--and instead bullying, brash and combattive behavior mirroring the passionate child, stomping and storming to get attention due to the lack of sleep, lack of attention, hunger or patience. If only we could just hug these radicals and calm them down through little plates of food and quiet talk....but this is the hippy mommy moment that just isn't "real". I am still puzzling over where we go from here...from the brink to another brink? How can we be a bigger community of people who have more in common than the small things that separate us?
Rob and I are sitting looking out over the lake with the rich, full autumnal clouds hovering over a purple lake listening to all the good radio we have here.... and having a little study hall. I am pondering the aspect of what is "Adirondack"--what is the style, the heart, the philosophy? What is it to be Adirondack? Is it all about camping and campfires? Is it old forests, deep woods, and dark skies? Is it mirrored water and scented balsam? Is it historical or is it now? Can it be both? What romance is there? How to people react to Adirondack beyond that that Ralph Lauren has fashioned?
I am also thinking about the local food movement--and the sad note that our unbelievably wonderful CSA is closing (not just for the season--but for now). This will change things for 400 families in our area which is an opportunity either for someone to buy this place and run it as it has been run or for another farm to fill that need. It also points up that the Tburg Farmers Market has a place to step into the void if it wants to beyond our Wednesday market we currently sponsor. Something to consider.
Rob is pondering bigger, more intricate things....and the coffee keeps flowing. Feels almost like a vacation. A vacation with furniture moving (getting all the porch stuff stowed away)...and emptying the fridge (science projects have not been too extraordinary). There goes Rob again, doing something else productive...and I just sit here gabbing to you.
Big week of travel for Rob this week. Big week of holiday planning and production for me. My god. November is just five days away. I will have things at Sundrees and at Felicias for their Black Friday Event (local goods and services with brunch and Black Friday cocktails like the "Doorbuster"). So cards galore and little kits of the small stuff (I am currently calling that stuff "Tiny Table" as it is all kitchen, food, eating related), the cameos, and food jewels. We even have gummy bear necklaces (resin gummies)....Fun. But a heaping helping of extra work on top of the holidays. Plus, there is Thanksgiving to start prepping.
Yikes. What happened to that vacation feeling?
Not much to say. Lots going on. Some nice travel (Rochester for a Rob speech, Sagamore twice for Sagabusiness). Been keeping busy with illustration, work, and the burgeoning card and trinkets business (big time burgeoning with two outlets)...and a lot of thinking about how to spread my stationery wings. There have been questions insofar as my silence, so I will at least post pix, and when there are short things to say, I will say them. Sorry for the silence--but I have been busy trying to get my act together.
This wreath is from the My America Series. I got going on a jag thanks to my lovely time in South Utah, the red rocks, the pictograms, the inspiration which took me to local food (duh) and the three sisters (the cornerstone to the Native American culinary palette) : squash, corn and beans--a symbiotic triad from how they grow to the nutritional support they provide. Then, I of course, segued to wheat and corn for the US diet--GMO and otherwise...and I couldnt resist the pull of Swedish wheat, and french wheat arrangements. These are my "takes" on them....with brushes and illustrator trickery to allow me to make things human hands only wish they could do. There are squash, there are squash, squash blossoms, and corn galore. I havent had the patience to render beans yet--but it is coming....I promise.
New haircut. Rob found the perfect picture of my soon to be hair --a current picture of David Lynch--with long wavy hair on the top and short on the sides. Mr. Lynch and I have similar hair...and I have a wave too, so Emma was charged with this direction. My hope is that by Christmas, the hair will be 100% there. And, my thinking is that we go for foils to make stripes of white... just to really jazz things up. I cannot be as fabulous and gorgeous as Latrice Royale ( a contestant on "RuPaul's Drag Race" who both Kitty and I admire). We'll see. But this is the latest beauty and fashion update.
I just stopped by Sundrees to see that the rack of my cards are severely diminished...so I need to crank up my printer and get things going to fill those racks. I am so surprised that these cards are selling so well, but it is little business worthy of nurturing. To that, should I be considering going to the stationery show and seeing if there is more to it than this little business I have going here on our beautiful plateau? Should I just spread my wings locally a bit more to see if there is traction? How would I need to staff to make this happen? Could cards do well on Etsy? Boxed or singletons? More on the retail front: We also worked up some inexpensive little neckaces of teacups and of teapots...and it seems that these are selling as well. I have Kitty's retail intuition to thank! Maybe I can put jump rings on things as I travel out to Utah next week? I have resin gummy bears that need little hooks and jumprings as well as silver teasets and slices of cake. There may be a bit of traction re: skeletons etc. as the black and orange holiday is on us.
Four months to Christmas. Time to update my mailing list.
I am cranking away on this slide show. I lost the first go round when Powerpoint winked out...and left me nothing. Now, Lady Savalot is doing just that, and I have 200 slides needing to be edited and tightened and by so doing, I probably will take out entire chunks of ideas (which I have already) to just tell a tighter story. Interestingly, I am talking about how last year's advent pictures happened prompted by Kitty's encouragement to look at how the process went, how my writing here influenced what happened with the work, and how the work fed the work. Then, as it happened, how this advent project influenced the few "Unicorn and Butterflies" images to then directly point at the current "My America" set. Same approach, same techniques, same established palettes with insane groups of brushes, symbols and swatches. Upside with this current set, new Creative Suite (cloud) has some sensational new patterning tools not only for background swatches, but for brushes (patterns on brushes you say? gradients on brushes?)....Yes...yes. and yes. I just wish I had more time right now to focus on the America images as there are quite a few tumbling around in my brain, particularly after the past week of country fairs and small town parades. Beauty and machinery, dog and pony acts, Freedom Festivals, and automotive heaven to inspire....but this can wait for now. Work, holiday cards, and getting die kinder all figured out, entertained and farewelled appropriately is foremost.
It is beets and kale for days from the CSA along with the most amazing eggplant I have ever had. Who would have guessed that I would rave about organic eggplant (and organic celery) as they are so significantly better from Sweetland than I have ever ever had. It is slightly crazy when there is eggplant offered as I will forego almost everything else on the side that we can pick from just to load up as fast as possible with eggplant. The way this Nightshade fruit (just like tomatoes) cooks down to loveliness on the grill...not the usual stringy glop--is sublime and with lemon juice...is transcends all vegetables in that moment. Unfortunately, there were no eggplants yesterday, so sweet red peppers, golden beets, and all sorts of leafiness were gathered--- A girl can hope for next week.
I am working on a collection of images...freeflowing images of "My America" as you know. I find that symbols and corporate logos are coming to the fore along with those personifications of brand (Mayor McCheese, Big Boy, Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima, Betty Crocker, the Android, etc.) and find them flowing into images of war and weaponry. It is wild when I let my brain relax to see which avenues it travels in...to scare me or amuse me...but to result in images. Yes, the symbols of power and position, of money and greed, of the ordinary and extraordinary, of rockets and robots, of artificial intelligence and artificial insemination all are fluid.
Today's insanity around women's issues from health, reproduction, ability to vote and those rights we hold dear--coming under question from the likes of Governor Ultrasound and the Cooch....really are disturbing and are beginning to filter into this unsavory illustration brew. As much as we hold ourselves as so superior, I find being an American these days pretty thin soup given the low level the national conversation decended. It is appalling that the silent majority is allowing a vocal group of radical conservatives make decisions for their wives, daughters, sisters and friends. And, that those women, the wives, daughters, sisters and friends have by their silence and inaction, have condoned the eradication of rights they do not value and will not value until they too have a reproductive issue or a voice to be heard...and have given away that right without any knowledge of what they have surrendered.
Off the soapbox, for today.
Well, I am starting the American journey. Just started making my "kit of parts", my mis en place to get the ball rolling from brushes with stripes and stars to the all seeing eye that protects us on our dollar bill. It is the beginning and I am stunned by the opportunity for images here--the juxtapostion of imagery--of icons, and color. The mash up of popular culture, masonic imagery, religious imagery and suggested ideas (such as the Tea Party) spurs me on. The possible use of text to compliment and confuse....what with phrases out there speaking to how God legitimizes and approves of all things American--its pretty irresistible to me. I am pretty pissed off at a lot of things American these days...and this will be the spur to make the fury into something tangible. More as we go.
I have a new camera. Rob admonished me when I bought my last point and shoot, that I should check in with him as the world of point and shoots were getting more interesting...and that I could upgrade when the time was right. Seeing that I loaned Alex my big Canon EOS camera (which, unfortunately took a bath during a rainstorm this summer at a music venue that Alex was shooting), and seeing that Rob brought this camera up, I bought a Canon EOS-M--a tiny, mirrorless camera that can take all of the Canon EOS lens and has a limited number of EOS-M specific lens. I bought it with a fixed "Pancake" lens and have been really enjoying shooting in the RAW file format (another first)--and all that that entails with Photoshop and Lightroom. I took a handful of photos at the community build (at GrassRoots) of our new Trumansburg Farmers' Market stage (see here)-- and was pleased with the sharpness, less parallax ( I think this is the term)-- and the work that I could get this camera to do. We will see. I am in love.
So, tonight it all begins. It is the eve of the Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival. The tents are all up. The ticket booths have been put in place. The community build (our little stage for the Farmers' Market, and an adorable prep kitchen for the Ithaca's Childrens' Garden ) has happened. The massive kitchen is built. The stages are in place. The towers of beer and fruity alcoholic drinks are stacked to the ceilings at the dairy and grocery store. The festival go-ers are beginning to trickle in--to take their places on Rabbit Run (yes, there is a place in Tburg with this sort of adorable, Beatrix Potter-y name) to wait patiently in line for well over a day to get dibs on a camping spot in the infield. We hope to capture some of these folks to invite them to come to the Farmers' Market tonight for music (Rockwood Ferry and Home Remedy) and for circus yoga ( a demonstration) and of course the general conviviality of food to eat, food to buy, crafts and products to buy. My back up team will be walking brochures down Rabbit Run tonight to get fliers out to promote the gig.
Rob and Mary are doing a round trip to NYC today to pick up Alex from his NYC/FIT foray this summer. I am pleased to have him home--and know that this time in the city has been a great adventure and good learning experience for him. We should see him by early evening. I am glad Rob and Mary are taking my car with good tires and functioning air conditioning given the sweltering day that is promised.
Waiting. No biggie. But waiting for the car. Yes, I am finally getting the snow tires off my car and it has been not the single hour that I was promised but it is going on two. I was going to go back to the office between my two Ithaca appointments today...and now It feels as is the two are going to blur. Ah, well. Thank goodness there are no crazy deadlines today other than the great meeting of the Farmers' Market. And thank goodness I have discovered and changed to Google Mail, Google Drive and Google Calendar and I can use a dumb p.c. here at the car dealership and actually get work done. I like how simple and portable things are getting. Nice change, that.
We are on the verge of Grassroots. The cherries have been picked. The raspberries and strawberries are going full bore. Garlic Scapes are on the outs--and bunches of delightful dill, cilantro and basil are in the future. It is the season of produce and fruit, and we can plot the course of the summer by their appearance at the CSA and at the Farmers' Market. It has gone from mild to hot very quickly with many fans and cold showers before sleep marking the change in the season. We have been in the lake to start our summer drifting under the high cloud bowl.
How is it that the sky over the lake is so vast, so high, so much part of the moment, when, even on our plateau, it doesn't seem to loom above us? The water must change that relationship as it is a constant--and mirrors the dome above it. The cloud bowl has been particularly dramatic in the last week with massive cumulus clouds--changing from puffy, angels sit on them, clouds to towering castles changing from white, to pearl, to grey. It has been the sky of full on Summer--giving us cloud bursts and within a half hour, scrubbed skies. It is the mid point of the year...and such a sweet spot that we are all trying to hang on to the quiet moments together before being spun into our respective other lives.
My America. I have been worrying about another body of work- stressing that nothing was clicking. Well it did. Rob asked my why I couldn't do something like the Advent Calendar annually and it forced me to think about the triggers around the Advent work. I guess what I love about it are all the "knowns" like palettes, distinct traditions and expectations, the iconography, the ideas and the global aspects of the holiday. I have been mulling over all of that and somehow it just pinged, American things... my America. It has symbols and colors. It has traditions and expectations. Plus, there is more...things that have been bothering me that I think is time to surface. There are womens health issues. There is Uncle Sam. There is the religious right. There are the Masons and Mormons. There are honeybees, and hams. There are guns and grain. And so it begins. The research, the prep, the sketches...and then we are going to load the cannon and start firing to see where we go. It will be a fun ride, with I hope good results and interesting learning. I am ready for another journey--and you will be coming with me. It has been 6 months since the last big push...so I am ready (as is my portfolio).