Psyched to be involved

Halloween Warmup, Q. Cassetti, 2011, Adobe Illustrator CS5It was heads down yesterday. I had yearbook, files to complete, new projects to begin. I am working on a bunch of vector things just to get my hand in, my eye in, my head into the work. I am feeling stale overall, so playing the visual scales is a good thing that is challenging me, and at the same time, making some happy holiday imagery.

Rob is in NYC. Alex is in prep for his play and for upcoming XC events. The girls XC team wants me to do a shirt for them inspired by the Sausage Fest shirt. Its not my design. It’s Alex’s work…I am just the hands…and he has ideas for the girls he knows either they will not get, or better, get and not understand how inappropriate it is. I need to get him to put his brain on this for amusement (at least ours).

Gloria is on her way east. Gloria is my sister-in-law who has lived in Los Angeles since college. She has decided to move east for a change of things—bringing household and horse (big horse) to settle here with family and old friends (and new ones too). We are all looking forward to this change for her…and feel that this will be a good thing for her personally, professionally. Los Angeles, as much as its heaven, is tough going financially, travelling, making friends, engaging in community. These are factors that are sweet here. I think she is going to be pleasantly surprised once she settles in. She is driving her cute little blue car east … Memphis was last night. Tonight is Lexington KY. She will be here Friday. So things are ramping up here on campus.

I started Thanksgiving on Sunday making the filler for the stuffing (I make a combo of sausage, mushrooms, leeks, parsley (sauteed)) that I blend with cornbread, and parmesean cheese. Tonight I start making stock so I can make the gravy in advance. I want to make pumpkin bread and cornbread in the next week or so. Same with the cranberries. All this prework makes the 25th of Nov. a pleasant day. I love this. Totally. I should be doing dupes so that xmas is the same. That would be genius. I am not that genius…but if one is prepping feasts, prep big. I am thankful I am living in the day of the freezer and not the middle ages so this sort of prework can happily be done.

Postcard, Wide Awake Bakery, illustration/design, Q. Cassetti, 2011, Adobe Illustrator CS5In the spirit of giving, I was thrilled to read about my friend, Stefan Senders championing a local food delivery to the Occupy Wall Street folks>> Ithaca is filled with protesting old hippies who love local food. We are all over being part of the 99% and want to share our goods to keep cheer for those who are doing the occupying. Stefan, as you remember, is the baker/owner of Wide Awake Bakery (a wood fired, artisan bakery who uses flour that is grown and ground here in Tburg. Here is a bit from the Ithaca Journal article by Rachel Stern:

“A van, running on biodiesel and chock-full of goodies made in the Ithaca area, traveled to New York City to feed protesters with the Occupy Wall Street movement last week.

Organized by Stefan Senders of Wide Awake Bakery of Trumansburg, the van was packed with bread, pancake mix, cheese, scones, cabbage, bulgur and whole wheat pasta, to name a few items. Eager to find a way to contribute to the movement, Senders decided to enlist the help of local farmers and restaurant owners.

“Our bakery has a mission to bake the best bread in the world, but we also have a social mission to do good things we believe in,” he said. “We really wanted to contribute in some way to the movement because it is very much in line with what we think.”“…

“This is part of our mission — it is part of the mission of many of us in the area — to do all we can to help what we see as an important movement,” he said. “We feel like we are doing the right thing. We are totally psyched to be involved.”“

Luscious Linoleum

flippity flop 3, in grisaille, Q. Cassetti, 2011

So working on the technique of these things. The bolder the lines, I find it getting harder to make them interesting in color, but the grisaille works (at least for me). I could color this. These images are different than the memento mori images, using techniques from the Home Sweet Home body of work last year around this time. As always, color stumps me, so doing it is pushing the old girl along to see if the images evolve and snap more with the color than just plain black and white which is my “go to” and safe place. The original line drawing (bottom) is where I started, took it to color (I’ll post, but am not thrilled with it), back to reworking in greys (top). The image is drawn in my moleskine (A4), with sharpie pens, and new copic brush pen (nice).  Original sketch done in verithin photoblue pencil. Verysharp please. Then, I scan it in, retouch the half and then flop. Then I make another one, (negative) on another field…and cut and paste between the two. Pretty crafty…all we need is the virtual gluestick.

I am pondering….”Is it better to get an undergraduate degree in art/visual art from a liberal arts school if you know you want art? or is it better to go to a for real Art School?”. I have landed on the side of get the liberal arts education and draw like no one’s business. Learn to write. Learn some skills directly related to art, but also develop interests that are the sources for content, for inspiration, for further learning. Learn to learn. Get the spark. Focus happens for us all…why cramp your style by focusing down so quickly? Why get stuck in a groove too quickly. You might create a hybrid that can change you and or the world. You could find content in DNA and it can inform your art, your films, your stories.  You never know. Mark Zuckerberg did not go to school to create Facebook. He learned to learn….and with the climate today with what a job, what work is— who knows if you can learn how to be something when the terraine is shifting in such wonderful and interesting ways. What with Etsy and the money one can make at short pops during the year…making a living is not limited to a nine to five at a Fortune 100 with your “work/life/balance” defined, and your personality questioned insofar as wheither you are good or bad. There is so much out there in this wide world, focusing down is safe insofar as the “job”, but isnt your time on this plain so, so much more?

I need to get on the ball and look at summer programs for the babies. It would be great to find something for Mr. Boy that might be related to photography or something else. Kitty, art. Maybe Illustration Academy (did you know its not in Florida anymore?). Here is what they say:

“The Illustration Academy’s 2011 summer program will be held in one location, Kansas City, MO. The Illustration Academy is now operating as a Special Program within The Art Department’s (TAD) Illustration Major. The 2011 Illustration Academy will be held in the TAD studios (Pods) that have been developed to accommodate the immersion component of TAD.

The Illustration Academy will begin June 12th and run through July 8th. The same stellar professionals will make up The Illustration Academy Faculty. It is a major advantage to have the Academy in our own space once again. We are presently speaking with a major convention hotel about housing for the Academy students and instructors. “

I have sauce bubbling away while two testosterone filled juniors bellow and moan over this shoot em up game they are playing on the t.v. There was drum music for about an hour and now we have breaktime with chocolate milk and gunplay. Alex had the school play practice today. Skiing (in the rain?) tomorrow.

Rob and I came back from trolling the big box stores for bathroom light fixtures and sinks. We were amazed by the sheet flooring that is out today that mimic the real thing wonderfully amazingly. I have a hankering for a deep brown parquet…which is really, really convincing though the cork was pretty spectacular too. We are finishing up Kitty’s bathroom and the yellow bathroom (one of the original 3) is having all the acid yellow tile ripped off the walls (this is an amazing acid yellow as nothing “went with it”—-we tested colors galore to a big bad yuck) and the dropped ceiling trashed. It is quite spectacular. All the fixures stay (except the cheap vanity) and we are looking at linoleum as we really do not want to have to shim all the plumbing  to raise it for tile (as well as the thresholds and the contact with the tub). So, its a refit…and this luscious, believable, chocolate parquet would make it a stage set for glamour. We are thinking of moving one of the chandeliers (the house came with three yucky ones) into the space as we have the headroom…and it would be great. Only problem as I can see it, is that one chandelier is just not enough. Three? Five? At different heights? Now we are talking.

Mardi Gras illustrations fill my thin skull. I think I need to move towards doing a few.