mired in words

Halloween Warmup, Q. Cassetti, 2011, Adobe Illustrator CS5Rob coming back today. Its a dreary, rainy day with golden leaves sparkling in the grey. I am cold….freezing to be exact. I should kick the hearter on…Alex and I had a nice chat about this and that…about funny things at school and the conflict of school play and a XC race. Alarm didnt go off this a.m….so we were rushing around a bit.

I am enjoying drilling into some Halloween imagery—done quickly (new one to the left)— with a crow today…all in one color. Not the most creative, but fun and at least I am doing stuff. I think the creative jangle, the emotional push is somehow related interestingly (for me) with the seasons…and those shoulder seasons can stymie me. I need to pay better attention to this, and have some strategies (maybe working in this vector mode) around how to keep going…and not fall off the illustration train…I must keep learning and doing…so an approach is key.

I just read a wonderful young adult fiction book, Chime by Franny Billingsley. It is a very graphic book both from the storytelling, but also very visual and suggestive. Really good. A new friend is interested in my taking on making some image from this story…which I am stewing on.

I also just finished listening to a really good, really inviting book Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman. I heard a very good interview on a podcast with Janet Reitman. She was so engaging and smart, I downloaded the book from Audible and have been fascinated with all the detail and explanation of this community/ cult/ religion (?)/ tax dodge. The whole world of Scientology from cradle to grave— from their schools, to their hotels and cruise ships, their own military based organization, to Golden Era Productions, their production/film/ design operation is a contained community—with some very odd rules, lifestyle etc. that is based on the writings and thoughts of a science fiction writer. Kooky…but the book is well worth the time as it is so informative and illuminating.  It feels somehow apropos with Scientology in the news these days.

Gloria update: Leaving Lexington KY and getting to Georgetown KY for tonight.

Need to get rolling. Tons of thises and thats piling up.

Summer dreams

StarGazing, Q. Cassetti, 2010, vectorHere we are in Sheldrake with the day lilies brilliant by the side of the road. It is the time of ebullient sweet peas in masses, curling and twisting themselves in the greenery and down by the shore. It is breezy and definitely summery— that sweet spot I remember on dark and snowy February days and whisper to myself that  the time would be coming for breezes and the tonic of lake water and blue skies. And, we have sunsets dwindling at 10 p.m. with the sketching of pink reminding us of the slow burn of the sun.

New things on the local front. First and foremost, celeriac. Yup. celeriac! Our Sweet Land Farm often has a tub of it to pick from, so last week to amuse Kitty who adores the mandrake quality of alll the rootiness of this root, I grabbed two, determined to make something, I have discovered that if my friends are at the market, then we have a chance that someone is a champ with daikon, celeriac or kale (not part odd my local mis en place). So after quizzing a few moms who are good cooks, I dove into making a cold soup of celeriac, cucumber, potato and onion. Remarkable and very complex and herb ally  delicious. I fed it to the corporate lunch table to good results. More this week. Bring on the kale and Swiss chard!

 Also, I have been honored to be asked to on the Tburg farmers market board. It should be interesting as it is in it’s infancy and is ready for the next steps of programming and public awareness. The Wednesday market is wonderful and embraced by many with our Tburg musicians, chefs and farmers there to make Wednesday evenings more jolly. I have been charmed to see groups of scouts congregating there for ceremonies. We could have community dish to passes or bring back the summer movie fun of a few years ago. Our new bandstand is perfect for a summer wedding…with tables under the roofs for the reception. Maybe a permanent puppet theatre / child  mini farmers market too? Something new to ideate about. I can see a posters or something illustrative!

Part of this momentary peace comes from drawing and reading. I had to stop drawing a few weeks for a project, however, I am in the warm up phase, looking for my topic again. I have jet downloaded some fiction along with listening to the newest from the author of The Devil and The White City. A miasma of sleep, books, and my imaginary world with my ink pens. Dreamy!


Static Uniform, Q. Cassetti, 2011Things are sticky hot and its not even 11 this  morning. The newscasters were proud to tell us that it was going to 90˚ today so the fans will be whirring, shoes off, and little prayers to the computer gods that the machines don’t fry in the heat. I have been experiencing some glitches so I am not too certain that my little prayers have been heard.

Yesterday was tranquility base. Truly. I read. Made lunch and dinner and then took a monster nap. Truly a vacation day….and well received. If only I could do this for 3 or 4 more days, the strands of gluey spaghetti that constitutes my thinking and thoughts would become streamlined and elegant, giving me spaces to put new ideas, thoughts, pictures. But the ole biological hard drive had a day to cool down but not a total reboot.

We got into the water (knees deep) with poor hairy black Shady Grove (who is getting a new haircut from Mandy (who is back with us!!))—hot and panting. We made her do a little paddling around and she had a big drink of the lake water and immediately settled down.  I was entranced (and finished)The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World’s Most Perplexing Cold Cases—a fast and engaging read about the amazing problem solving skills of three particular, eccentric and brilliant people (an artist, a profiler and a polygrapher/manager) who through wit, intuition and deduction…and seeing what truly is there, to resolve cold murder cases that have frustrated generations of police and FBI agents. This tight knit group of friends founded the Vidocq Society, (from their page):

“An unusual, exclusive crime-solving organization that meets monthly at the Union League of Philadelphia, 140 South Broad St., in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Members of The Vidocq Society honor Eugène François Vidocq, the brilliant 18th century French detective who served the Sûreté, by applying their collective forensic skills and experience to “cold case” homicides and unsolved deaths. At Vidocq meetings Vidocq Society Members (V.S.M.’s) evaluate, investigate, refocus, revivify and solve the unsolved deaths officially brought to them.”

to address these cases with the best in the business. Hot lunch and cold cases…pro bono and as a way to bring the best minds together to unravel puzzles that they all have a passion and profession to solve. Not too heavy, but really good and a book you do not want to put down. True crime rocks.

This week is a short one…so I need to make this quick. More, I hope, later.


Messing around inspired by Alexander Girard, Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalReally going deep on a project I have wanted to resolve— and now, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thought out enough to show—with some ideas roughed out on a grid with black and white to color rollovers, using the standard html font I like the best (Georgia)—a website layout designed to be implemented in Drupal using the grid system that “Blueprint” offers. So, with this gridded approach, my publications background really is holding me in good stead. Not a lot of fancy schmancy, but simple is elegant. This design is a little black dress. I think I may have to be the photographer on this job with my point and shoot…but I enjoy that, so no biggie.

Fixed the Farmers Market graphic from yesterday. tweaked a few things along with adding and subtracting (digital plakat) with the eraser and blob brush. Then. did the little doodle diddle to the left just messing around with those same tools. It was fun, quick and I like how rough it is. Need to work on more rough stuff. I would love to work up a little linoleum block look for fun.

Got Alex rolling and scheduled for the PSAT prep. He is surprising all of us by willingly picking up books and The New Yorker and reading them. Happily. If you wanted to know what I wanted for my birthday, I have already gotten it. I never thought I would see the day that my dear boy would actively engage in reading willingly…and happily. Now, as his reading coach and librarian, I need to put my head around what is next? John Krakauer’s Into Thin Air? Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential? Albert Goldman’s Elvis? Need to worry this. Any suggestions? Its gotta be good and engaging. He is reading Neverland by Neil Gaiman, a very interesting, simply written, visual book about an alternative world. Love Neil Gaiman. We could try William Gibsons Idoru.

It’s 7:30 and it’s getting darker. Imagine. We are on the downside of the bright side of the year. Rolling into August is just plain shocking. Christmas design work and Christmas presents are on the list of things to do. I am def. going to do a letterpress valentine. I think the Luckystone card is going to be derivative of the Advent calendar work from last December. Likely nutcrackers.

Off to the Pourhouse to buy teeshirts!