Off to see Lucia de Lammermoor at the movie theater. Taking the kids and the grandparents. Should be done by 4. Then back here for a bit and then to the Ithaca Festival Paint off.

Just got back. They had sold out of the Opera...(two theaters worth!) so no opera for us. Stopped at Ludgate Farms and bought maple syrup, vegetable bouillon cubes, quinua, and the new Michael Pallin book on "plant based foods"--We toured the Cornell campus driving through the Plantations, Beebee lake , Forest Home and down through the Lombard Street of Ithaca by the cemetary. It is melting here...40 degrees--so the Cornell students were in shorts and flip flops anticipating spring.

Talked to Murray yesterday about the valentines I have on Facebook (sketches...many of them). Murray took each and every one of them seriously and critiqued them giving me good insight on what to change, what not to change and maybe they were good enough for prime time. I approached one of these illustrations (a current revisit on the beehive) and drew it as a piece to flop and then drew details and background textures as separate parts that I stripped in with photoshop. It was quite interesting as the design has gotten tighter and bolder with this approach. And the designs come together much more quickly. This technique is a refinement on the approach I have been taking which is great. Faster, smoother process, more confidence in the work in general. I am reversing illustrations while I do them as well as I have found many illustrations that are too much black on a white field, become lace on black...and very appropos the topic.

The thinking around doing valentines for my thesis is to explore a variety of different "hands" or approaches to valentines, trying out techniques, use of color etc. in an area that is so broad there is plenty of room to move (from the content). Is it marketable? Well, the first are cards. But you can take it to merchandising and paper goods, to glass designs (perfect for a flipped design for Steuben for example), for a book on love poetry, to using them as package labels or even wine labels (or in the case of honey, honey labels or mead labels). So, this is more of a polyglot way to market the illustrations--but def a possibility. Even themes from this work could roll into CD designs for music/ American music? or even cookbooks...anything having to do with love. It goes beyond the valentines and speaks to affection and fondness. That is a 365 day a year type of opportunity.

Speaking of love...don't you love our President O. whaling on the nay sayers? I am so thrilled that this man does have a temper and will push back. All of this DC crap has got to stop. President O. has a full enough plate from the Bushies, that maybe the naysayers should shut up and sit down or even more wonderful, maybe try and help...versus the same status quo. Haven't we all had enough of people in power?