The Eleventh

Creo from Sketchbook 2 2010, Q. Cassetti, sharpies11.11. One One, One One. The boys have the day off. I just finished my little slide show where I slid around in color shape biology, connection, wires, energy and found a nice soundrack to go with it. I  have paced it and put the music on it and shipped it out via (all of 90 MB all in) to my client this a.m. Phew. They liked the preview last night…so I think we are pretty good.

Nine for lunch today. We have three carpenters, an electrician, Erich and me, Rob, Alex and Bruce. I was slacking off and hadnt wrapped my head around the culinary expectation (read soup), so pasta with pesto was the throw down. We may have as many tomorrow, so soup will start tonight. I have taken last weekend’s turkey stock and pulled off (and frozen) the turkey fat. The stock is still melting so I can separate from the solids. My thinking is to make Thanksgiving gravy in advance (can you imagine?) and freeze it as the gravy is always the last thing…always the killer as the whole dinner (or feast as Bruce calls it) comes together. If I get the parts of the feast done early that can be heated up with the turkey (while its cooking), I might be able to be gracious versus the chief cook and food hurler.

The main gang is finishing up the back walkthrough/porch redo. I dont know if its a restoration (we do not have drawings) or a redesign or what. The original porch (that we got) on the back of the house was two iterations of add ons (which we can tell by the painted witness marks on the bricks within the courtyard. The floorboards have told us where the original floor began and ended where our current footprint of the porch is. No clear idea about the pilasters or how the roof was finished, so we are guessing (with our checquebook factored in too). So, we will see. The finish woodwork and lights are being plugged in today, so we will see what will happen. Next step, doors with windows in them to force light back into the back of the house. It will make a tremendous difference. I am thankful that today is a Southern California day (in January)…cool, bright and brilliant. So, the construction team is delighted to be granted this weather to move the work forward.

Why is it on holidays I want to go to the bank? I am so clueless.

More later. Prep for a meeting needs to happen.


Midweek fun

Lubok Cat from Sketchbook 2 2010, Q. Cassetti, sharpies.Making a slide show and decided during the image search to just start “riffing” like an illustrator and put things together that go together that communicate speed, internet, movement, connection, biology, micro biology, data, words….and its beginning to flow a bit better. The minute I stopped focusing on this and actually thinking versus feeling, this show starting moving and happening. Its just hard to let your brain go limp and go with the gut…but when it does, Wow. Am up to 80 slides and counting. I am at least feeling like I am not swimming in cement. So I have a flow, color, images, shapes. The next question is sound…Alex recommended LCD Soundsystem’s Beat Connection. I have a few alternatives (including the old Art of Noise Daft Album).

Nice meeting with the cuties in Yearbook. I am always surprised to see who is going to do something interesting, say something engaging or have an original idea. Our foreign exchange student from the Czech Republic is a sleeper as his mom is a  book designer and he already knows how to thumbnail a publication. Imagine!

Tomorrow, the boys have off. Rob may look for another dishwasher (ours cleans but everything is chalky and cakey when done…leaving the plates etc all kind of gross). Alex needs to do some planning around SATs and his tutorials. There is Christmas for me to finalize. And beds to make…and all that domestic stuff that is piling up. I feel so inadequate. So a little time this weekend to tape and tuck, box and bag, list and respond would be great. I am missing help on the house side of things along with my backstop here in the office. I need to do something as I am getting into a tailspin on all that is falling behind….

I need to get half of Thanksgiving in the freezer soon. This weekend, I think I will do some baking and buying. I am not going to be super proud but will rely on some frozen veggies and pre-prepping in advance…so Thursday doesn’t become horrific.

Tomorrow is the last day of the Pourhouse here in Tburg. As you know, we are great supporters and are so sad that this valuable institution will close but management needs to get her life at home in order (and as a mom, it’s really a non-returnable serve). The Pourhouse has provided us numerous wonderful evenings as the town center to meet friends, make new friends and connections, hear some wonderful music and be able to walk to and from home. How great is that? We will see the Pourhouse Team after the physical place has gone, but the conviviality of the moment will be gone…a sparkling moment in time and an inspiration to us all. A gift of community, a place for us to share, connect and meet up. The generosity of the owner and all that she has given us cannot be fully appreciated…the gift of time, people and a place where magic happens.

Saturday notes

Hand Eye Coordination from The Sketchbook Project 2010, Q. Cassetti, 2010There is this wonderful subsite on the website called My Moleskine where you can post what you have done with your moleskine, post images to a gallery, post videos of you and your moleskine, post “hacks” of moleskines (which are moleskine modifications of the physical form). Additionally, they have cool templates (MSK) : “MSK is a printable format for Moleskine that allows to transfer digital content like contacts, events or original associations of images and text on the blank pages of your Moleskine notebook”. They have a template to dump your calendar into, your addressbook into, and or your own content to add a more designed, focused way to show your content. I posted a bunch of my recent moleskine pix (which you all are getting bits of). There is a good link to twitter, deli.cious, stumbl, and facebook,  So, its another place to post images and get it out to the world. It also runs RSS stream of my blog too…Here it is>>You never know when something will pop up. Right?

We had dinner at the Pourhouse last night. Lots of loud music/ Rockabilly which was high energy. It was a long working day with three holiday cards done and finished (to the printer) and a long chat with Joe Sepi @ Pioneer Printing about lead type, foil stamping, letterpress, die cutting. He is so in love with printing operation and the sheer fun of running the press, the manufacturing of printed things and keeping those presses and stampers running. We talked fonts and type. We talked about recycled paper and soy based inks. We talked about clients and about end clients. It was great talking with someone who really enjoys this world of making things with paper. I think the idea of the birth certificates and other designs I want to sell…is an opportunity. I say this cause its fun, but also, I am seeing the Christmas Wish cards are selling like hotcakes these days. We sold 5 packs or so in the past three days (even to Europe). So a black lab card (big dog seller) and a birth certificate (not a common thing as a gift) could be great. Even maybe a geneology chart design too? Or a bubble diagram format that people can fill in for entertainment?

Tonight is the XC end of season dinner. I have a big Grange style pile of chicken and biscuits ready to roll. I just pulled 3 loaves of pumpkin bread out of the oven to take over too. These guys know how to eat and I am sure we will bring home a few empty pans. There has been music at the Rongo since Wednesday that is great…so Bruce and maybe Rob will put in an appearance. I am enjoying quiet nights with the sharpies.

Kitty has posted a new handdrawn animation segment>> Please note that she filmed it backwards, thus the voiceover etc. The purpose of this segment is to illustrate a few lines of a poem that her class is animating together. Her professor will be putting them all together so the poem flows with each student’s hand drawn work being a part. Kitty learned a lot relative to timing, how the drawings work, and the beauty to making things longer and shorter time in the editing process. I love the critters, and how they flow from creases and slits in the paper, how gentle and kind they are and the funny little twirly details she has going on the edges. I am biased, I know, but I am charmed. Why not? Right? She is my daughter! From my chat with her, she is getting it entirely. She is very happy and focused on her work while a bit disconcerted about what her div 2 paper will be. Frankly, given the growth we have seen in the past year (and she agrees), it will all be different next year. She needs to explore and see what is out there. It should be an interesting time at Thanksgiving.

Alex is winding down a bit. He went for a run this morning all bundled up with his five finger shoes on in the cold and wet. We had a bit of visible snow this morning, so the concept of running in almost bare feet was not my idea of fun, but stoic Alex manned up and went out for more than an hour of running and breathing. He is amazing and disciplined. The cats are all in furry piles all over the living room. It is delightful to have a quiet day to do quiet day things. I am going to let my brain stretch out and see what happens. The cooking is done and we have a deadline at 6. So, a little unwind time would be remarkable.

Thursday morning

Creatures, Q. Cassetti, sharpies, 2010Finished up the sketchbook yesterday. All the scans are done. I output a cover with a typographic identifier and double spraymented the cover on the book. So, its done and ready to ship. Exciting. Once The Brooklyn Art Library has the book, then my link on their page actives and I can see the traffic. I hope there can be input too? In 2011, the books go on tour. Fun.

I am so taken with the sharpies and this nice cream paper—that I have started another book now with rules and regulations. No tear outs. Only sharpies and prismas. Deal with the showthrough. Date the work. Work Fast. That’s it. So, you will  see more of this sort of thing for a while. Nothing too finished but quantity may explode a bit. Working in a faux woodcut mode…fun.

Finished up a bunch of small stuff yesterday so I can work on the Feline and Baker today to keep them up to speed. The holidays are breathing down our necks…and I am a bit nervous…so need to get this done. Client isnt worked up about this…but I am. So, I need to get another cat going along with a shot list for the two annuals. I hope the picture I have picked is a happier cat than the grumpmeister I submitted before. The dog is good to go. Gotta call Pioneer today to take the production idea further. The idea is either to go letterpress overall or do a litho job and go in with the black (as an alternative printer) as a matte foil stamp…to give us a bit of umph with the cotton stock. Sweetness.

Also have a new job coming up with Ithaca College for their summer program. Poster…and postcard. Need to start honchoing this as it will need to be in the mail over the December break to show up in the students’ homes so that mom and dad can talk about summer programs with junior.

Am picking up a case of freerange chicken (bone in breasts) along with that of basil pesto I ordered last week. Will need to break out the bags and make little collections of 4-6 breasts per bag for the freezer. I was wondering what was for dinner. Sounds like chicken!

Bus tickets for Kitty’s return over Thanksgiving is on the schedule. Done and done. Need to call Kitty this go through the plans.

Gotta go.




Sketchbook Project 10/23.2010, Q. Cassetti, pale blue sharpie.I dont know if Denver can happen. There is too much going on with my big client.. premeetings for pre meetings before a big meeting. What to present? What is the point of the meeting? What wants to be represented? What’s the takeaway? And I find that I am having some value during those meetings being a bit harsh…a nice counter to my nice client. But, after doing some research, Denver is so appealing just to eat barbeque and mexican and shop for snap shirts (want to do that with Alex Cassetti)…and maybe see a rodeo or something along that line. Love it.

The blue skull on cream is pretty. Love the color. Love doing single color work on cream as it changes the black and white dynamic. Sweetens it. Anyway…two more drawings and the notebook is done….all I will need to do is paint the cover…pentel black on beige with maybe the new coconut beige to deepen some of the line work.

Just spoke to Pioneer Printing about letterpress vs. stamping the Cornell holiday cards. They could be way sweet. Joe Seppi and i are in love with the same printing stuff…so the production of these babies could be beautiful. Will need to redo the cat card…to make it less grumpy. He just delivered a nice clean job on Kraft paper card for Ithaca College…Service is excellent. Price is excellent. I am thrilled to pieces.

Today is a brilliant day on the plateau. Seems that we are on the edge of the massive storm coming east…I hope we are holding tight on the tree front. These big storms are a worry for me as it tests the success of how we have been maintaining our trees, our big old trees…and if we have missed ones that may have seemingly been healthy, but turned out to have structural flaws. Remember this storm? It literally uprooted this enormous pine tree on the lake three years ago. Looked like a bomb went off. These beautiful big trees…you never know.

Star magic.

Sketchbook Project 10/20/2010. Q. Cassetto. sharpie and prismaLive from the sketchbook project. I have a few more pages and then I have the cover to fiddle with…and then zip zap in the mail. I stopped by Michaels to see if they had a marigold pen (or even something in the marigold zone) to no result. But oh my. The scrapbooking stuff is amazing. Glitter pens, paint pens, stick on this and thats, papers, cricket cutters, edge trimmers and punches. More crap than anyone needs. Matter of fact, to do a sketchbook as a scrapbook from the craft store would be fun…with all the junque, jewels, ribbons and pins…with puffy paint etc. Wowza. And sheer discipline kept my hands off these things. Who needs it. I should use up all the other sharpies before I do more…. There’s the new thinking. Use up the whole package. Nothing other than that…no adds…and when the color runs out…you keep to what is left….hmmm.

I am going to stick with the small sized book for now. I like the quick page drawings. Not really as refined as before, but I am working out ideas quicker…and then it is ready for a final versus the sketch being the final as many of the ink work goes…. We’ll see. The ink is flowing again, and I am going “automatic writing” mode to see what engages.

Need to get the rest of the SOI work in the mail. Deadline 11/15. Met with the Vet School today. Good meeting. We talked about cat’s faces: happy faces, sad faces, what the right face is…isnt. Cuddly wuddly, or attitudinal. Dogs are so much easier to gauge as the cats have owners who are so invested in what they love about their cats etc. The holiday card for the dog is good. Cat is not good— not happiness—too grumpy. Reason to go at it again.

I got a ticket for a padiddle on Friday night going to get baking powder (I mean, how often does one run out of baking powder)…and got pulled over for one headlight working. This is the same headlight I had checked a week ago. So, back again today…and the guys wiggled the lights, and said there were no issues. Right. But we are doing a less quick fix…and getting the parts to replace the wiggliness. Got the doctor to sign off on the car…and the paperwork back to the Ulysses Town Court Officer….so I am not going to jail, at least this week.

Don’t you love Kitty’s video? I LOVE it. It is so her. It is so gentle and kind…a valentine that dances like she does. I am so proud. I have to admit it…but she is doing so well. I hope its all moving forward on all fronts…as she can go rogue and surprise us (like when she forgot to go to Latin for a half semester. Oy.

Alex and I had fun going to the store yesterday to get basics and halloween candy. Bags and bundles later…we were loaded up. He wanted to eat hamburgers…so I took him out to Five Guys for a mid day burger buster. I made a beef stew (really really quick…less than 20 minutes cooking) in the pressure cooker. I need to figure out how to make it more flavorful as the slow cooking really gives it depth. I added red wine and leeks, onions, and a whole bunch of parsley, 4 chopped portobello mushrooms and a package of white cap mushrooms….and it is still pretty quiet. Maybe garlic? More savories. A tad of tomato paste? Hmm. Rob worked until late yesterday…so the weekend was pretty scant in the family time department.

Maybe more time tonight with dinner.

Saturday afternoon.

the sketchbook project #2 10/22/2010, Q. Cassetti, sharpieI havent been slacking off entirely. This sketchbook project has been a shot in the arm. No requirements other than making pictures, limiited size, a who cares attitude and limited palette reserved to sharpies (new marigold color and new dirty, victorian mauve the favorites) along with limited prismas for punch. I scanned in most of the work today (see in The Atelier) just for kicks. Another self imposed rule, no tear outs allowed…work on top or else. So, its random stuff, but the pen is moving and that is the beginning and end of it. Frankly, that is the key to all of this. If the pen moves, I fall in love with the paper, its absorption, the spread of the ink, the color of the ink, the color of the paper, the detail upon detail and my loonie self imposed games to make it more fun. The pages just fill up…and new ideas beget new ideas…and I am back on the creative Catherine’s wheel again. I have been not psyched carrying the big sketchbook around (love you, love it..but a change was in order…I will be back)….and this little self imposed deadline of the sketchbook project has definitely kicked me back in the game. I am looking at the lubki with happiness again.

What a week. Thats all I can say. What a week. The end of the week was one gumdrop (entering the Society of Illustrators Show (NYC) and starting the same for LA. Three Xmas cards put to bed, doing design dlligence on other consultants work, and jumping on a few grenades. Alex had friends over last night and I baked for them (all of them in the Peter Pan mode…needing a mom or a Wendy to make nice for them). So, I made a mess of bagels and a mess of biscotti. Rob and I hung out. It was early up this morning to get Alex to the school so he and the crosscountry team and the outdoors club could go to the Montezuma Wildlife Sanctuary to plant trees and eat lunch. 

I had an amazing meeting with Michael Welch and Zoe Becker from Edible Finger Lakes who came to ask me if I would do the inside back cover …illustration and maybe writing!! My call on the whole thing. I showed them this goofy sketchbook and they liked it…Its a quarterly so its no biggie…and the exposure will be wonderful. I am beyond flattered… This is a lovely publication…really the only significant regional magazine with great taste, good reach and good design. This is the right place to be. So, more personal brand building…and more opportunities to work with cool people. We had a great talk about local food, food packaging, food distribution, their insights and observations which I found refreshingly honest and matched mine. What a treat!

Rob is working today and tomorrow. Alex has a party tonight. I might take a blue or grape pen and see what comes off the tip of it…You never know what is stored in the barrels of these beauties….and then, there is black I can get back to…ooooh.

Time flies when you are having fun?

Working away on holiday antics and fun…as you can see. We are maxed out with work, lots from all corners of Central New York along with further reaches of New Jersey and beyond. I am personally making piles of holiday presents and getting ready for a wrapathon this weekend…so as to be able to move towards November with an end in sight for the rush on December. I really need to have the holidays all figured out by November 11 so as to roll into Thanksgiving and the month of December without late nights and any more significant nail biting than normal.

I’ve got approval work. I’ve got consulting stuff. I have a laborador retriever to draw. And then it dawned on me that I have a ton of other illustration and illustration related work in the near offing: The Hangar Posters; The Taughannock Triathlon Graphic, and then there is the bakery and the mill. Yipes. I guess that quiet weekend has just got loaded up. Plus, lets not forget the applications for SOI NYC and SOI West shows due at the end of the month.

I roasted two packs of chicken backs this morning and put them in the brand new magic tool, the pressure cooker, along with carrots, onions and celery and let er rip for about 12 minutes. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. First off, I didn’t kill myself (I live in fear the the top of the presto will blow off and I will live the rest of my life with a metal mask because of the damage inflicted). Second, the pressure gauges and outlets worked perfectly. Third, I was able to get the top on (like a pro) versus the bungling the last two times. Fourth, it worked….and I have amazing stock in seconds compared to the slow cooking all day thing. Do you think Rob might be upset if I took the pressure cooker on a mini honeymoon? I might have to marry it.

I am plugging away on my little sketchbook project for The Sketchbook Project. The current thrill is that I am working in sharpies…no blacks allowed…and am doing 3-4 illustrations a day to sock in the book. So, I should clock down this sketchbook in no time. I am going to design a cover (wraparound on the epson) with a ribbon with little bees sewn on to dress up the now grungy brown cover. Dig this:

“For the first time ever, we’re adding notifications for each sketchbook. As the artist, you’ll be able to receive e-mail or text message notifications each and every time your book is checked out to be read! We do our best to make sure every sketchbook gets a little love, but we can’t promise anything about how many times it will be checked out. We’re not responsible for dropped texts, e-mail notifications that get sorted to the junk folder, or the costs associated with receiving text messages. We’ve got enough responsibility with all these sketchbooks to catalog!The books will be included in an exhibition that tours Brookly, Austin, San Francisco, Portland ME, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington DC, Winter Park FL. So, its trackable and we will be ab le to see who sees the work and if there is any response. Its a nice little creative sidebar that is keeping me interested and frankly, thinking a bit more…randomly…but a bit more.

Its a lovely afternoon. I will go to the bank and get home for more work. There is hope we will be going to the Pourhouse tonight to see the Grady Girls. Should be fun. Need to get all the paperwork complete for Alex to ski with ski club this winter. Am working on figuring out how to get Kitty from Amherst to Ithaca for Thanksgiving and Xmas….a bit of a path…but not insurmountable.


I am in a miasma of ideas, things to do, things not to do, packages to send, people to call, chores to do, clothes to fold, leftovers to reconfigure. The sublime and the ordinary and somehow I am stuck dead in the middle. A bit stunned, but in the middle. The ideas that are whirling vacillate between the biography I am reading in Julia Child and the informal research I am doing on the German Pietist in Pennsylvania -- their life, their lifestyle, their art, their healing practices, their the middle is an odd place to be. The only similarity that these topics have is that it about people who have strong beliefs and are committed to doing the right thing with those beliefs.

Julia Child was someone who pursued her love of eating to that of cooking to translating that discipline of French cooking for the layman to experience. She introduced measuring and repetition to the processes that were art to the French. She was always drilling down and asking herself if the newly wed wife who was cooking from her book could follow her writing. She refused to dumb down her roast chicken to a mere 24 words (as her competition did)--simplifying but not compromising her beliefs and not giving the editors a "ladies magazine" approach to the cooking she loved and believed in.

The Pietist....No compromise, all passion...afterall, they were Germans. Everything exuded their belief from their art, to the healing invoking the Virgin or Jesus, to the blessings on their houses. They were not dour in those beliefs. Conrad Beissel (1690-1768), the founder of the Seventh Day Dunkers (another name for the German Baptist Brethren),a hermit and then founder of the semi- monsastic community at Ephrata, wrote hymns galore. (I have found there was a real flourishing of hymn writing in Pennsylvania during this period with the Quakers, Moravians etc. to name a few groups)). His hymns were then embellished and designed within the community and either hand done in a scriptorium at Ephrata (one of the tasks the sisters did) or printed (Ephrata had one of the most significant presses/printing operations at the time...working alongside Ben Franklin who also printed some of Beissel's philosophy tracts). These hymns were embellished with flowers, crowns, birds, angels/spirit guides, hex marks, little faces, sometimes unicorns, sometimes lions. All in brilliant red, yellow, blue, brown and black. The same color palette and spirit we see, not in the spaces at Ephrata, but in the Peter Wentz Farmstead with the brilliant yellow walls and bright blue built in cabinetry. And the enormous black polkadots adorming those bright yellow walls. Nothing dour there.
Alex has pink eye and at the doctors as we speak. Kitty still sleeps (I am going to wake her up as there is work to be done). Rob and I are making lists of things to be done in town and here from bulb planting to spackling and sanding walls. I think th ere is lots of work to be done...and my time here is needed elsewhere.

ps. The images of Penelope and the Gorgon I posted yesterday are sketches for a theatre poster for a future Hangar production....


The Adirondacks charmed me with snowshoes. First, there was the grazing, amazing, big rabbit at the Great Camp Sagamore which our friend and guide, Beverly, pointed up that he changes color--brown to white for the winter and then vice versa in the spring. His big feet keep him above the snow. This rabbit was happy to let us watch while he snacked on the grass amongst all of us people. Then, at the Adirondack Museum, there was a remarkable collection of images and ideas around the snowshoe--from the various shapes and weaving, Different fasteners and photos of people using them. My absolute favorite snowshoe was the one on Rutherford B. Hayes' iced cream plate he had in the White House (see pink plate with a golden snowshoe). Hayes, as an aside, showed his pride in the Adirondacks through his table service and had a treed bear on a charger that was part of this look and feel....but the snowshoe...!

I have been musing over Mr. William West Durant and his loves, specifically, his visual loves. This is a man who, like friends of ours, are part of the "I love wood" group. This love is manifested in detailled architectural screens from the mosaic work of the lovely little Sunset Cottage to the bark panels at the Sagamore to the linear rails and and porch details of Pine Knot (now owned and run by SUNY Cortland as Camp Huntington).

"Camp Pine Knot was built by William West Durant and sold to railroad magnate Collis P. Huntington in 1895. In 1947, Huntington’s son, Archer, and his wife, Anna, presented to the College the original 201-acre site and historical buildings in the memory of Collis P. Huntington."

From my brief reading, Pine Knot was where it started. WW Durant built this place for his parents and used it as a showcase to show his friends and possible clients what an Adirondack Camp was about, and didn't they want to share in this adventure. This was just a glimmer of the force of Durant's talent, desire to decorate and work with wood, wood bark combined with architectural inspiration from Germany and Switzerland. The idea of a rusticated way of living for those who inhabited the large marble palaces in Newport and Manhattan was such a jump in comfort and concept it really must have been quite a sales job to get them on the train, on the boat and on a carriage to get them to Pine Knot to see and experience the wilderness Durant was inflamed with.

We are busy putting a bunch of holiday images to bed...and finishing. Ahhh. So, new things can slip into their place on the desktop. The Tropic wine and the images for the Hangar are in the roster to move onto the live lists. Alex is running a lot. Rob is working a lot (lots of work at the office, lots of projects coming to close here. Kitty is doing the school improv and has been cast in two of the five performances. All we need to do is finalize a lot of the college stuff--we had a good talk last night about that. I am busy and a bit wild..and would like a lull to get back into my little drawings about Fraktur.

Himmelsbrief: Dear God, send me a message.

Tired. More tired than usual....really want to put my head down on my desk and take a nap. This fatigue from waking up at night is so tedious...I am getting cranky. Maybe I am not getting cranky. Better. I am cranky. And my thoughts are blurring again.

Alex did a personal best last evening...placing third on our varsity team. He beat out his team nemesis...and then shook his hand at the end of the race and thanked him for pushing him forward. He hugged me when I got to the track, taking the apples from Kitty and me, hugging our I gather he was pleased we were there. Its the singular Tburg XC event which is always this signature day in early fall that the air sits lightly on the day, low heat, low humidity and ermine clouds with the promise of the full color blaze on the horizon.

Got my cheap 1GB sushi flash drives in the mail. I am delighted. I should test to see if they work. But for 1/5 of the going rate that these babies go for, I am pleased as punch. What fun at Christmas!

Kitty had drama/improv tryouts today. She was saddled with the tough person in the group and bless her, she took it in stride and tried to have some fun with it. She is the kindest person. She explained matter and thermodynamics (dumbed down entirely) which I enjoyed. There were some big God moments in that discussion.

I apologize for my brevity, it was just full tilt all day, and getting into a horizontal place before 10 is not an option given my fatigue. So forgive me, I must go.


Geisha coming on. Almost done. Working on a Diana Ross distill for Jean and Nancy Stahl...with the distill to see where I can take this image. Tracing on the computer pretty fast...and its beginning to look like the first step. Its fun though. I think the summer of portraits is really great. It will be a good idea to see where this can go.

I was googling Pablo Lopato and ran into a Communications Arts Magazine brief interview with him. He cited his inspirations, which for me, has become a primary interest as it gives me a window on the work...what did the illustrator see/glean/gain from his inspiration's work. Lopato referenced this interesting Argentinian cubist, Emilio PettorutiWiki says:

"Emilio Pettoruti was an Argentine painter, who caused a scandal with his avant-garde cubist exhibition in 1924 in Buenos Aires. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Buenos Aires was a city full of artistic development. Pettoruti's career was thriving during the 1920s when "Argentina witnessed a decade of dynamic artistic activity; it was an era of euphoria, a time when the definition of modernity was developed."[1] Previously, he had been awarded, in 1912, a traveling scholarship to Italy, where he met the Futurist artists, and also exhibited at Herwarth Walden's "Der Sturm Gallery" in Berlin. In Paris, he met Juan Gris, who influenced him to paint in a cubist style. While Pettoruti was influenced by cubism, futurism, constructivism, and abstraction, he did not claim to paint in any of those styles in particular. Exhibiting all over Europe and Argentina, Emilio Pettoruti is remembered as one of the most influential artists in Argentina in the 20th century for his unique style and vision."

I love this.  Mr. Lopato lives in a world I know nothing about...Nothing. There are a rich vein of illustrators and artists from South America that we know nothing of. I want to chase down his other influences and see what there is so see. I love the color and the more obvious cubism that Pettoruci shows...breaking the image down to basics but keeping it a bit more decorative than Juan Gris and Braque (poor, drab Braque). Picasso keeps his humor in his cubist work...using shape and line in a way that I would like to better understand. Hmmm.

Gotta go. There are 17 packages of postcards going to my Hartford class for promotional cards for our show and 3 boxes to go filled with programs and pencils. Wrapping this up. Now, I wonder where my output is? Peter H. is almost done with the lovely editing he is doing to the masterwork paper (not)...and very sweet about how fun it has been to do!  And, need to get on fixing the octopus. Have put a bit of time into it...but have been lured by the siren of our geisha girl and now Diana Ross. Bad Girls!

reworkin', oh girl!

Changed the lips and nose of the above Eve image per great input from Murray. We went through all of the current sketches on the garden of eden with Murray giving me very valuable insights, amendments and ideas. I have my work cut out for me just in the amendments...but its all great and I am feeling that I am beginning to get into a bit more of a groove. Murray was talking about illustration conventions--and I wish I knew them... Is there a book out there. I need to not kick myself as I am, at this time, a 28 year graphic designer and a 3 year old illustrator which would make me a college junior on a good day. We talked about sources of inspiration: Barry Zeid, Rousseau, Matisse, Arnold Blanch, the Pushpin geniuses with highlights around Milton Glaser, Seymour Cwast, John Alcorn. Murray got into Roussseau's influence on Paul Davis, well known for his Three Penny Opera poster. A prompt again to look at Paul Davis' work and look at what I found on Detour, the Moleskine City Notebook Experience>>

One of Paul Davis' sketchbooks. Wow. I can mimic that....I may already do that but maybe not to this level. Wow. Need to start painting in my notebook. I need to get messier. As usual, it was wonderful with Murray and I look forward to more input from him. Also sent links to my thesis advisor, Doug Andersen, who had some great insights and prods to get a storyboard going...and to work with some figures. Murray said the same. Okay. I will get some of the amendments going, finish the Vin assignment and then get going on that.

Cornell card to complete today. Lots for the medical company. Lots of phone calls. I wish SOI would post their application for the annual show (still not on the web)--am itchy to get that done and out. Got Family Knife (band that is a subset from Plastic Nebraska without Gabe) to do. Finished the Five at Two party invitation out and to PSPrinting. Thinking about Art Trail a lot.

A. has a cross country event this p.m. I should get their tee shirt designed to take with me. Hope it doesnt rain. It looks like rain now...urg.

Gotta go.

Gold and Pink

Spent some time last night looking at Indian miniature paintings and then just plain Indian Painting. I was struck with the detail but simplicity of layout. The portraits often focused on a sharply drawn face with the body being less detailed on down to the architectural frames being simple line drawings. Love the random perspective with architecture. The palette is great (I should pull swatches from it for future reference in the photoshop/illustrator chip method). So the illustration at the top is an amalgam of just visual notes from the looking and interpreting. Am working on another image to get into the swing of things prior to laying down tracks for the Vin piece.

I am loving this Indian art. There is vegetation galore, snakes,very pattern driven images. I love the use of borders from an inset that looks like an embroidered ribbon, to simple line drawings reflecting architectural molding and ogees. They are not afraid of putting a figure dead smack in the middle of a page, subdividing the background almost in half and painting one part pink and the other gilded with gold leaf. No fear of desire to render reality as the camera would.

Look at that Shakra picture below. It is pretty much a functional graphic that explains how the shakras work and flow. Love the new orientation of the teeth in the master's face to take the reader to another place> translating the points of import in flaming frames to point out the key information. Need to look at more of this stuff and try and press it on my brain.

We are having a weekend visitor, a designer friend who is very funny and talks about all sorts of things from engine block design, to hard coding, to his relationships with people to how he tries to change. K had a sleepover with the beautiful triplet sisters after attending their mother's painting show and regaling the audience with an impromptu K and the sisters song. A. had all sorts of activity around XC and a long run this morning in the Hector Land Use area in a misty humid morning.