Full Plate

Watermelon Wreath, Q. Casseti,2012, Adobe Illustrator CS5Spring slash Early Summer burst through the veil of March —confusing the trees, the green lily shoots, and pump peony blossoms, and me. I have been weather obsessed—reading tons of stuff online, the digital Farmers Almanac trying to make sense of this insame weather and what to expect…with really no answers but those of Rob which essentially was to go with the flow. That would be the right and easy thing, but I fight it. I like the change in weather…the frosty winters, the frozen springs, the gradual warming and then the delight in the blast of heat. This is all upsidedown and backwards. As someone who likes what she likes, she doesnt cotton well to these changes. However, my Rosemary plant from Atkins Farm in Amherst is digging the change as well as my rootbound orchid.

As a bow to early spring, I cleaned the science projects out of the fridge yesterday—and configured a bunch of things into a kale/couscous/vegetable stock soup, a double batch of biscotti (chocolate chip/almonds and toffee brittle), and cooked a brisket. Now we have stuff to eat, and space to store it. Wow. Productivity.

Sparkly Kitty is home to our delight. She is relishing sleeping in her own bed, eating soup and cookies, and just being in her home. We are doing the same. Kitty delights in everything…and we love her so much. Alex is being very funny…and so its great to be all four of us together in the car, at table together.

I have been heads down getting a ton of work out the door from a new Calendar for the Museum, to covers and branding for the big customer.

Lots of small local projects: There is a new local calendar (http://www.tburgevents.com): “Tburg Events was created by Trumansburg residents Peter McCracken, Flannery Hysjulien and Sarah Koski. Christopher Wofford brought our team together. I created their masthead and a printed postcard to be dropped off at various locations to update folks on this new service. The Great Local Foods Network benefit has a poster/website/ postcard and now rack card to promote the event and the background of this new organization (http://www.greatlocalfoodsnetwork.com). I am using scrap from my files for all of this work which is inspiring me to keep going as there is a place for all of this stuff (particularly as I am the art director/creative director) so I can plug and play as I go. My farmers and I keep at our projects as well as the local beverage producers….so more to come as they come to fruition. And then there is the Farmers Market—which I am very excited about and need to wrap my head around what it is that we are doing this season and getting the manpower behind doing it. Maybe a few emails today.

I am learning sooo much new with Adobe Illustrator these days. I have always used the pen tool…but never really engaged in learning all the cool stuff having to do with paths that are integral with the program and I delight in this new knowledge. The work is speeding up a bit…and I am happier with the results than you can imagine. I also have purchased two new plug ins for Illustrator recommended by the amazing Von Glitschka (aka the Vonster)—Inkscribe and Vector Scribe from Astute Graphics. These plug ins do not really make Illustrator any more inuititive, but allows the work to go more smoothly, more accurately and does some of the knitpicky stuff that just takes time and patience. I was watching a few tutorials yesterday, and plan on a few more today to get rolling with this. It will help with the illustration work, the graphic work and the logotypes which demand more precision/accuracy and smoothness.

So, all in all, things are good. Prince Dauntless will tread the boards this Thursday through Saturday with our having our last, yes last, Cast Party on Saturday. Kitty is home. Rob has a relatively “normal” week. And I have the standard plate of things to do, but with a lot of learning and trying. So, apart from this extrordinary and yet odd weather, things are as close to perfect as possible.

Radiant Day

It has been wild the last three days. I must admit, last night I was a total bore with fatigue and my brain just having "had it". It was instachango, half an hour turnarounds for ten hours a day. Nary a moment to breathe. But, today is a day of quiet, I hope, so I can prep a nice dinner for the fam tomorrow, take a stroll on the property to see if the damned deer have nipped off more lovely pink buds from my tree peonies, and have some time to draw. I do like to do that.

Robbing the Bees, by Holley Bishop has me captivated from her descriptions of the hierarchy of the bees, the understanding of the Queens and Virgin Queens through to the development  of the hive as we know it today has me in raptures.  The stories she so skillfully weaves of history and present tense, of science and biology, art and magic, alchemy and mythology is spellbinding...and I count the hours until I can dive back into her amber colored story and submerge myself in her thought. Lets just put it mildly, I am captivated, enchanted and inspired. More pictures perhaps with Queens, and beekeepers, Langenroth hives, Egyptians. I love it that the Romans believed that the bees created wax and went out to gather the honey which was deposited into the flowers by the gods. I am taken with the concept that the bee is a messenger who carries messages and honey from the heavens to people and vice versa. The divine bee.

I got postcards back from Printograph. I ordered these cards to try out their printing (online, but ink on paper...versus on demand printing which fades with age and is very unstable from the beginning). The color is perfect and dense (I must admit, I did change all the blacks to rich blacks) and the three cards, from the Home Sweet Home series is really nice. I am thrilled. Another thing in the world of illustration promotion is that I have just gotten the 3x3 Directory, which is wonderful and I am thrilled to be there. One page is Kitty's portrait, and the other is the "Sweetheart" valentine. I also took a page in the Directory of Illustration to see if this is a worthwhile thing. I have until May 1 to create the art--and have to think about what it is that I want to put out there. The most compelling is the Chicken Choker art, or Kitty, or the woman artist, or Juri H. from the Museum. Then there is the decorative work? Can I smoosh them together successfully? The Directory also gives you space to post your work, access to lists etc. We will see what we can do...and wheither its worth the money.

Must go and embrace the day.

Gingerbread House, precolor, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkMade a beautiful boule yesterday late. The key was letting it rise several times over the course of the day...and it still wasn't as filled as holes as I would like...but the crust was crusty and smelled like burned sugar. So, I am delighted with the new pizza stone (busted the Christmas one...smashed it into three perfect pieces that I was baking on)...the steam, the spray bottle.

Spring is inching forward. The snow still is around for Shady Grove to scratch her back in the gravelly ice--but the pools of ice at the bottom of the driveway are melting so when I try to stop the car before turning...allows me to stop these days. I need to think Spring thoughts of financial aid, summer programs for Kitty and or Alex, and making plans for the weather changing time. It is all moving way too quickly.

I am still (as you can see) messing around with gingerbread houses. I keep inking them and have one half way colored too. They are fun flippies...and then reversed out becomes a new new thing. Next step bees. I also am thinking of switching out my size sketchbook to get simpler. I am working 11 x 13 in a Canson Cream Field sketchook. I think I may go down one size and go back to watercolor paper which I used in the Memento Mori Project. I loved the way the ink sits on this Monvale Field Watercolor book. Thick and chewy paper.. and the lovely blackness.... Man, the crap I bore you with... sorry for my little ecstatic moment over paper and ink. It is just such a treat.

I wish I had a little crumb of time these days, but there is work falling out of the ceiling. We have the general quick stuff with the big client, two publications, logotypes and work around the new show on Medieval Glass at the Museum of Glass. Its a giant photoshop party here...flipping between photoshop and InDesign...I hope I get a chunk finished today.