I had the honor and privilege to create a little piece of wrapping paper for the Wall Street Journal Europe's Holiday Gift Guide's back cover. It was a treat of a project, and I got a full page, no copy no nothing just to let my illo shine. Thanks to EL, the remarkable art director who had me in her clipping file for "the right job"--and for her marrying me up with such a fun project. Here is the PDF of the Gift Guide --back page, please.
You will see many of these elements popping up in my Advent Calendar as I am loving these pieces and want to make little pretties to make your holidays a bit sweeter. You too, can print this out and wrap a little something in it, a jewel, a shiny rock, a shell, or an exotic tidbit from nearby or far away.
USPS 2014 First Half Schedule
Love: Cut Paper Heart
The Cut Paper Heart stamp adds another romantic entry to the beautiful Love stamp series. This fanciful stamp takes its inspiration from the folk traditions of papercutting. This digital illustration depicts a large white heart enclosing a smaller pink heart with a saw-toothed edge along its left-hand side.
Art Director: Antonio Alcala
Illustrator: Q. Cassetti
First Day of Issue: TBD
Image to come.
Stamp Collecting Forum Link>
Stamp News Now>
Winter is creeping up on us. Quietly and stealthily. The trees are shaking their summer clothes off, and we have piles of amber leaves blanketing our front yard. There was frost on my car window this morning--easily scraped off with my library card. The light is lower and lower, earlier in the day...creeping quickly towards the coming weekend, and the end of Daylight Savings Time. The beginning of the velvet mornings and nights is soon.
I am busy doing tasks. Not big idea things...just little one offs that are driving me a bit cuckoo, but that is what we are paid for. I had an interesting opportunity drop in my lap with some possible work with a china and glass company doing decoration. We will see.
Wow. So study hall at the Luckystone manifested rest and quiet for the both of us...with a nice dinner and a newly jiggered website/ blog/ portfolio for me with the hope of opening another retail outlet via this site on the near horizon. I was so "off" Squarespace. I was feeling limited by the template and its lack of flexibility that I think this added to my malaise about writing to all of you. But, after a little searching around, I was able to change my template to a far more flexible tool, and with a little alteration here, and there, I am closer to what makes me happy--and will be a better tool to communicate with. So, please be patient and you will have a little Q. store to shop, and a list of my favorite, most interesting and thought provoking resources I use (and will share) on the web.
Today I have an interview with an independent writer about my Valentines thesis which should be interesting. I have jotted down a few bullet points to make me sound a bit sharper than I am...and tried to recall the reason for Valentines for me. It boils down to a basic Q.Dna thing. I love symbols. Symbols are pictures chock filled with meaning...often related to tales, folk legends, and events. Those symbols are generally visual with some sort of ceremony, food and ideas that build a community (in the know) around them. My pictures are more often symbolic as are my logotypes. Even letterforms are symbolic. I came to this originally through the holidays and annual events which then morphed to an obsession with Christian symbology (art nerding out at museums and churches trying to find the most obtuse and odd symbols in murals, paintings and sculpture)> I am always on the lookout for symbols, for meaning and for faces. Just seems to poke out of everything I do.
Back on the blog. Trying to be a good girl and get back to talking about the daily this and thats--sharing the stuff that keeps streaming out of the tip on my magical digital pencil.
That's right...all those pictures just flow out of the sharp end of my digital pencil...and all I have to do is hold on tight, and see what happens. Stream of consciousness...parts and pieces emerging... I have been streaming things from my recent trips, and from some of my rage at being American. Though, frankly, from the antics of the last few weeks, it all has left me breathless and gasping, trying to figure out what happened to rational negotiation, conversation and compromise--and instead bullying, brash and combattive behavior mirroring the passionate child, stomping and storming to get attention due to the lack of sleep, lack of attention, hunger or patience. If only we could just hug these radicals and calm them down through little plates of food and quiet talk....but this is the hippy mommy moment that just isn't "real". I am still puzzling over where we go from here...from the brink to another brink? How can we be a bigger community of people who have more in common than the small things that separate us?
Rob and I are sitting looking out over the lake with the rich, full autumnal clouds hovering over a purple lake listening to all the good radio we have here.... and having a little study hall. I am pondering the aspect of what is "Adirondack"--what is the style, the heart, the philosophy? What is it to be Adirondack? Is it all about camping and campfires? Is it old forests, deep woods, and dark skies? Is it mirrored water and scented balsam? Is it historical or is it now? Can it be both? What romance is there? How to people react to Adirondack beyond that that Ralph Lauren has fashioned?
I am also thinking about the local food movement--and the sad note that our unbelievably wonderful CSA is closing (not just for the season--but for now). This will change things for 400 families in our area which is an opportunity either for someone to buy this place and run it as it has been run or for another farm to fill that need. It also points up that the Tburg Farmers Market has a place to step into the void if it wants to beyond our Wednesday market we currently sponsor. Something to consider.
Rob is pondering bigger, more intricate things....and the coffee keeps flowing. Feels almost like a vacation. A vacation with furniture moving (getting all the porch stuff stowed away)...and emptying the fridge (science projects have not been too extraordinary). There goes Rob again, doing something else productive...and I just sit here gabbing to you.
Big week of travel for Rob this week. Big week of holiday planning and production for me. My god. November is just five days away. I will have things at Sundrees and at Felicias for their Black Friday Event (local goods and services with brunch and Black Friday cocktails like the "Doorbuster"). So cards galore and little kits of the small stuff (I am currently calling that stuff "Tiny Table" as it is all kitchen, food, eating related), the cameos, and food jewels. We even have gummy bear necklaces (resin gummies)....Fun. But a heaping helping of extra work on top of the holidays. Plus, there is Thanksgiving to start prepping.
Yikes. What happened to that vacation feeling?
Not much to say. Lots going on. Some nice travel (Rochester for a Rob speech, Sagamore twice for Sagabusiness). Been keeping busy with illustration, work, and the burgeoning card and trinkets business (big time burgeoning with two outlets)...and a lot of thinking about how to spread my stationery wings. There have been questions insofar as my silence, so I will at least post pix, and when there are short things to say, I will say them. Sorry for the silence--but I have been busy trying to get my act together.
This wreath is from the My America Series. I got going on a jag thanks to my lovely time in South Utah, the red rocks, the pictograms, the inspiration which took me to local food (duh) and the three sisters (the cornerstone to the Native American culinary palette) : squash, corn and beans--a symbiotic triad from how they grow to the nutritional support they provide. Then, I of course, segued to wheat and corn for the US diet--GMO and otherwise...and I couldnt resist the pull of Swedish wheat, and french wheat arrangements. These are my "takes" on them....with brushes and illustrator trickery to allow me to make things human hands only wish they could do. There are squash, there are squash, squash blossoms, and corn galore. I havent had the patience to render beans yet--but it is coming....I promise.
"Nothing has ever been outside the solar bubble before. Nothing."
"It's a whole new journey of exploration," Stone said. "It's the first journey between the stars. It's like sailing on the ocean for the first time after leaving land. We're out in this cosmic sea. Most of the universe, by the way, is this kind of interstellar stuff. This will give us information about most of the volume of the Milky Way."
Appropos of nothing, I love the news that NASA's Voyager has gone into deep space.... with significantly less memory than our current cell phones(240,000 times what the little Voyager has)--answering hopes of scientists. Another scientific "Little Engine that Could" story much like the adorable Mars rovers who surprised us all with their nimble, unplanned for long lives and the information and treasures they beamed back to us on this small planet we all spin on. More dreams made real (and more often better than our expectations) courtesy of our fellow artists (who can do math and physics) the scientists.
I have been digging around in the world of Hopi and Zuni Kachinas as well as kachinas rendered (with symbols) in jewelry. I am very charged up about it...and am working on a few illustrations to go into My America as this is the best stuff from the original people. Kachinas, if you are unfamiliar with them are: (from Wikipedia):
Kachinas are spirits or personifications of things in the real world. A kachina can represent anything in the natural world or cosmos, from a revered ancestor to an element, a location, a quality, a natural phenomenon, or a concept. There are more than 400 different kachinas in Hopi and Pueblo culture. The local pantheon of kachinas varies in each pueblo community; there may be kachinas for the sun, stars, thunderstorms, wind, corn, insects, and many other concepts. Kachinas are understood as having humanlike relationships; they may have uncles, sisters, and grandmothers, and may marry and have children. Although not worshipped, each is viewed as a powerful being who, if given veneration and respect, can use their particular power for human good, bringing rainfall, healing, fertility, or protection, for example. One observer has written:
"The central theme of the kachina [religion] is the presence of life in all objects that fill the universe. Everything has an essence or a life force, and humans must interact with these or fail to survive."
Kachinas are live and dance for special tribal events and are rendered as dolls (Katchina Dolls) and are used to educate children about historical events, things in nature and about life and living. The more I engage in these symbolic characters, the more I fall in love with their stories, their ideas, their link to the land and the Southwest. Interestingly, they also could be grouped in with my love of Erzgebirge Angels and Miners, Nutcrackers and truly in parallel, the Japanese myths, legends and characters rooted in Yokai. The parallels are that there are these folk characters who are used to explain everyday life, those things spiritual, and those unexplainable cultural circumstances that as a parent, the unsatifactory answer is " well, because I say so" (otherwise no answer). I am charmed by the overlap despite the extreme differences in culture and look forward to thinking around the comparisons and the work that could evolve from this. I have Val T. to thank for this delve because of his excitement around the topic for his own work which will be sublime, smart and amazing. This is just me messing in his sandbox a bit...but he will OWN it.
I am back in the saddle. Ready to go. Its the first day of fall....at least for me as our lives have changed back from a table for What a week from dropping both Kitty and Alex off, to Kitty's robbery, with the states of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, Pennsylvania (airport), Nevada and Utah. I saw a lot. Experienced a ton, and now am happy to settle back in to work away. Alex has me charged with fixing up his 4ormat.com site (nice, plain vanilla wrappers on simple/effective portfolio sites). I also need to track down a book and get our old fashioned, film cameras prepped and sent as he is taking a film photography course this semester. I think he is going to love it. I am, as an aside, thrilled we are in the era of digital cameras as the film thing was too expensive and too technical. It is fun having my brand spanking new fabulous Canon EOS-M ( a mirrorless, small SLR camera that I got on an amazing special thanks to the prompting of my perfect husband, Mr. Wonderful). I get sharpness I never, ever got with the point and shoots. Love not having to reconstruct my images in Photoshop...and love love love now shooting in raw format. Much more control, quicker to fix and bad ass to say; "well, you don't shoot raw?". What with my soon to be David Lynch haircut and a real camera, I might be looking like a creative too! Imagine!
Kitty is busy getting into the swing of being back at school without credentials and phone...but hopefully with this week, she have phone in hand and a passport. What a unfun thing she had to go through.
I am still thinking and sketching around My America and am so excited about Kachina Dolls thanks to Val Taylor and our brief chat about his time in Arizona, his imminent illustration project, the cliff dwelling people and his thinking around that. So, I am googling away on that to see what surfaces that can be shoved into my America....as I love Hopi art and a marriage with the pattern brushes might make for something interesting.
The holiday card for my client goes out today for its second go round. I hope there is something there. If not, bring it on...be can go on and on on this one.
To continue on my little journey:
Yesterday, the highlight of my day was the two and a half hours in the car with Val Taylor, a well read, funny person regaling me with tales of children and art, family and his knowledge of Utah, Utah history, LDS history, and Native American tribes. Wow. There is nothing like seeing the countryside with a well-versed native who loves his people, his place, his history with a scoop of funny and fun thrown in. The time flew by along with landscapes that would make Albert Bierstadt salivate. It was remarkable.
Val told me about the St. George LDS Temple (the oldest one) and how the Mormons had to bury the foundation of the Salt Lake Temple to protect it from the forces who were coming to kill the Mormon men. He told me about his strong and industrious grandmother who had rolls of quilts framing her dining room for the Relief Society ladies to work on all year long and that the only day that the quilts did not reside in the dining room was Thanksgiving when his grandfather was charged with moving them to make room for all the family. He told me about the canning and the cidermaking they made back east. We talked about his new body of work (look out world) wrapping Kachinas, and stories, his knowledge of the Hopi and others, into a wonderful, decorative, chock fulll of detail series that frankly, I am holding my breath to see. We talked about his teaching, his children and the new path that has been made for him to grow and expand. Val is in a change period and he is embracing it with humor, intelligence and sparkle. It has been a delight to get to know him better, breath the Utah air with him, and begin to see the world a bit with his lens. I am so grateful that I had this really eye opening time with Val and Ron. Kind of a Hartford Art School experience without all the lecture demonstrations, and all the buzz that was so energizing for me. Maybe a Utah reunion?
So, from the sacred and solid to the ephemeral and profane. Val dropped me off at the Aria, a resort hotel (newest member of the MGM properties in Las Vegas). Very snappy, very service-y with all sorts of folks in uniforms wanting to make your day happy and your visit spectacular. The lobby is towering with enormous nested flower arrangements with lilies, orchids, pumpkins and other really amazingly high chroma (and pretty tasteful for the extreme colorations) tumbling down elegantly. Every opportunity to have a display, a window, an advertisement, a scrolling menu, a touchscreen interface--there was one--big bold and amazing...no museum graphics here--but something to sit up and take notice about--from the enormous Buddha in the lobby (you can rub his bronzed belly or leave money for luck) to the bird chairs by the sculptural waterfall near the path to catch a cab, art and signage, display and promotion link arm in arm in Las Vegas.
After finding my room walking through the ligthweight part of the casino--by coffee shops, bars, and patisseries) I put my things down in a very comfy, beautiful and tasteful room. Everything from the lights, to the window shades, to the blinds are operated electrically and took a minute to find the guidebooks and make a go of it. I was stunned that this Las Vegas thing, despite the high level I was staying in, really caters to the middle, and each of the casinos are essentially enormous, landlocked cruise ships that are docked alongside of each other. It is the cruise experience where one can really just stay at one property with fifteen restaurants, three clubs, a gorgeous casino with bars, and coffee, and pools and shopping and theater and music. It is airconditioned with art in the lobby, people ready to cater to any whim--and connected to other similar properties by an airconditioned tram where you can experience different flavors of the same format your particular resort offers. No criticism here. I think its great-- but just an observation.
Yes, there is art, but it is easy to digest, easy to understand art that is produced and displayed impeccably, but pretty much glossy art for the uninitiated. This same level of gloss and polish was everywhere at the Aria--beautiful, theatric, dramatic, tasteful in a reality t.v. sort of way-- but not reaching or stretching...very barcalounger comfy. And quite honestly, the things to do there are gamble and drink (fun and really fun to watch...but in a very modest way), poolside fun and rays, shopping (the town is a god damned mall at every level and point on the spectrum) to entertainment (framed around music and drinking) , to produced food experiences that are flattened out to appeal to all....to elaborate spa services from the magic rock treatment through to hair extension purchases, bridal updos and airbrushed makeup, to heated rooms to relax in front of a fireplace with your honey. They make it easy to part with your money....and all of this is continual...from one casino to the next.
I loved watching people gamble. Talk about theatre with the cool characters manning the craps tables to the deft hands of the women dealing the black jack tables. It is smooth and elegant--certainly not something I want to do, but I loved the look and smoothness, the art, the deftness of the dealers--and the toned down way they presented themselves. I spent time watching pretty much all of the live games and taking pictures of the machines. I was humored by the chic area where the card games/ poker was being played with the men (it is mainly men) all sported artifaces you see on poker t.v. from the bored looks, to the sunglasses, hoodies and baseball hats. There is so much acting going on it is amazing anyone can get to the work of playing for the show.
I took a little walk to see the sights but after five blocks got a bit sceebed out and went back to my comfy room (it was late East Coast time) to put my head down so as to brave the airport bright and early to come home to Rob, the cats and little miss Shady Grove. What a week!
Where did we leave off? Right. I was picked up at the bigger than big Las Vegas airport by Ron Spears, fellow Hartford alumni, illustrator of fame for Magic Cards and for the gaming industry. I had the best time chatting with him about his life, his painting and art, his life as a teacher and mentor to students, and his hopes and aspirations. Impressive and smart, Ron can do Anything...so watch and wait. He is filled with ideas, passion and hope. His work is taking off in the world of galleries and patrons as well as other opportunities. All exciting to me.
We drove 2.5 hours through sage and rolling desert to arrive at Cedar City, a tidy town--not too big, with an impressive University made of brick the same colors as we see in the desert. It does not feel like a college town, or at least the ones I am used to--with a boho college town, joints open late until the wee hours with used bookstores, coffeeshops and asian restaurants dotting the landscape. It is quiet and things close down around 7 p.m. and entirely by 9:30. It has some retail, but everything is very new and sparkling. Everyone is very kind and says hello on the street.
After a little break, Ron picked me up and I did a little show of magic tricks with illustrator (making brushes, making 3D stuff, making symbols...) for about 3 hours with some clever and funny students. We had dinner at a fun woodfired pizza shop with students and another Hartford alum teaching at Cedar City, Val Taylor. It was so lovely, and everyone was so fun and funny, I can see why this teaching thing can get under your skin. Made me feel positively lively.
Thursday, I got up early and looked at my slides again--editing a bit more and went to breakfast at the El Reye Best Western. I was stunned at the crew eating cereal and sipping tea...it was like the British Embassy with all of these beige clad older people chatting up a storm, talking about which tea bag they liked in the offering and talking about the text messages from their families and the little walks planned for today. My guess is that El Reye was the center point for their sightseeing--and a good idea at that. I saw that this might be a tour (as a sleek white bus was hidden in the parking lot).
At 8:30 a.m. I was whisked off by Ron for another session with SUU. I talked to the same group of illustration students for 3 hrs. (unscripted) about getting your work out and how I do it. I took two boxes of brooches (food and cameo) and offered them around to the students who promptly pinned them on their shirts and hats to my delight. I started with googling myself and pecking through all the venues I use to post my work. Then it was the scroll down of my favorite promotional vendors--and some chat with students who were involved with the various Cons in the area (which, my guess are quite a few with Vegas nearby). Lots of good energy. I just wish I knew them better so as to really be able to be more focused and more revelant...but the energy was pretty high so I wasn't an entire lead balloon. I had the chance to admire and see some independent projects the illustration students were doing as a collaborative project about an undefined Moon Goddess which were thoughtful, beautiful and smart. These 11 illustration students wanted to have a collaborative project just like other art schools, so they just decided to do it. I love it. Ron showed me a case of both his students' work and Val's (Val is teaching graphic design) and I was delighted to see such strong and thoughtful, well crafted work. SUU is doing well with our Hartford boys
After lunch, Val Taylor took me on a 10,000 ft above sea level field trip to see Cedar Breaks (about a half an hour outside of Cedar City). See picture above. We saw amazing rocks and rock formation, gorgeous mounding sage brush, yellow flowered Rabbit Brush, and Pinon trees. Val told me that he puts on gloves and collects pine nuts from the Pinon trees (pignolas) and gives big bags of them to his children for the holidays. It was great talking to Val and finding out more about him, his knowledge of native people and traditions, and his vast understanding of people, things and places around Utah and the West. It was such a gift he gave me of time, thought and ideas, I am so so inspired beyond the incredible work he produces as an artist and illustrator. After this bonanza of beauty, Val asked if I wanted to see some petroglyphs!! How did he know? So off we went to the Parowan Gap, a gap in a mountain that native people left notes, messages about where water was, where people could stay, and where the cave was between the hills. We traveled out to Parowan, a very small town with lots and lots of ranches and agriculture, with one lane roads that as Val told me, you could go for at least 30 miles without seeing anyone. Little brick houses...charming little houses with pents and little porches nestled in the town...and then the sheer vastness of the land.
I was stunned by the petroglyphs and their random power. Forget the Egyptians! I am so grateful and delighted by my afternoon with Val. It was wonderful visually, intellectually and filled with happy friendship. I am so blessed.
I spoke to the students in the basketball stadium with an enormous screen and podium. They loved the loot (tattoos and stickers) and I think they liked me. It was fun. Dinner with Ron, Val and students at a cute Thai place. Today I get my wits together and Val graciously is taking me back to Vegas.
I am sitting on top of the clouds, right now… over amazing landscape that most of my fellow passengers are oblivious to.The earth wrinkles and bends… some of it green, some of it brown with lovely irrigated patches giving me polka dots on the horizon. It is quickly moving from rolling to abrupt with fewer and fewer roads and rivers in sight. No storm clouds like we have had all summer in the Finger Lakes. We had a master blast of rain over the course of the last few days, swelling our streams and causing Taughannock Falls to rage at higher than early spring levels. Not many brown or red leaves in sight yet--as we are slowly cooling in the evenings, but keeping the days warm and remarkable. But, for now, that has been left behind for desert climes. As I look at the crop circles below, I wonder where their water has been piped from? I wonder if our aqueous climate is as startling as this dry, tan and red environment I look forward to seeing from below as much as I am thrilling to it from above.
My fellow travelers have their game books from the grocery store, others--at ten a. m. in the morning are slugging down scotch with other little bottles in reserve at their elbow.Some are plugged in. Some are zonked out (I was for a little bit). There are lots of Coach bags on ladies arms as well as high high heels in every color of the rainbow, and every conceivable shape. Lots of maxi dresses with deep cleavage--and golden shoes at 5:40 a.m even in Ithaca, home of the boho, low chic. I know I have gone into total Rip Van Winkledom as I am stunned at the world outside of my little hamlet. Well, why shouldn't I be stunned, I am on the way to Southern Utah University to talk about design and illustration (with a demo) by way of sin city, Las Vegas! So bring the bling, the golden shoes and feathers, the high high heels, the sparkly dresses, the bottle service and hair extensions. Bring on the life that we love on Reality TV, and time to get my head out of my Qmade clouds…and soak it all in.
Station Break: Outside my window:
Right now, it looks like the God Damned MOON outside…with no buildings and these mountainous eruptions that poke up over the dusty flat land…..that then seriously has a gradient from tan to grey… and now we are back into, what….greenery again? I think we are getting closer though "our captain" has not alerted us to the approach--and admonishes us to get the seat backs up and the tray tables stowed. Just looking at the ground makes me want to bolt as much water as I can possibly inhale prior to landing. Here comes a steward with another garbage bag. That has meaning, right?
Right now, we are back in the land of tan and red. Terracotta. Cooked earth. There are remarkable canyons, could they be the Grand ones? Deep, deep crevices scoring the earth…in a very linear and yet willy nilly way. No one dares to live here. Even roads seem pretty rare right now.
Ears popping a teensy bit. Maybe I will get my hearing back. Wouldn't that be a delight?
A scootch of turbulence. Promising. The galley doors are slamming a ton right now.
Back to me blabbing:
I went through my slides this morning. Rob asked me if I had 50 or even 75 slides. I said many many more (read, 180). So I edited big time. I feel very smart as I had output of the slides so I could do it during the "electrical devices off" period of the morning. And have not wrangled it down to 75…but my show is more about looking and less about chatter that I think I can have more, but certainly not as many as I started out. I hope this stuff will entertain (I am amused, but aren't we all fascinated with our navels?).
I spent a little time yesterday thinking about the demo (illustrator) and remembered how I loved finding out how to create derivative palettes from preexisting artwork that I learned at Hartford. How many versions of Illustrator was that ago? Go I went online to find out that the improvements to Illustrator (CS6/CC) smoothed out all the hinckiness--and made this novel little trick something that wasn't referenced by anyone. I goofed around with CS5 and then started pulling the levers and pulleys in CS6 and dang, if I didn't relearn the new way to do this. So, the students are getting that along with partying with brushes, symbols, patterns, palettes and patterns. How to get a lot of bang for your decorative buck. And, we are going to pretend we are, yes (to quote Rachel Maddow) "wait for it"--LISA FRANK. I grew up with Lisa Frank (for the second time with Kitty and Alex). Kitty loves Lisa Frank (this is not a past tense)--and when you begin to peel this bizarre art apart, there are cool, almost psychedelic palettes, ideas (I mean, a banana wearing sunglasses?) that though "its the nineties, Mom..!" resonates with me, with the crew of students I will meet (they are Kitty and Alex's age….I know these folks) and kind of bumps up against the sixties in an interesting (read fluorescent) way.
Bell went off… a little shaking and turbulence. Now the ground is not so apparent. We are now above some soft and white clouds, "standing clouds" as the captain says. Twenty minutes out.
Need to shut the powerful powerbook off. More later once there is WiFi and time.
Las Vegas is kinetic wild and wonderful…at least the airport is, and the view of the strip from the airport is pretty crazy too. Las Vegas redefines my idea of big, bold and bling and surprisingly, right now, on the edges, I like it. Yes, there is gambling in the airport blended with drinking and lots and lots of gigantic advertising either still or moving with lots of dance music to get the gals collecting their luggage to dance a bit. I must admit, I would love to see the scene at Signature Flight Support/ Signature Aviation (private planes only) and what happens there…as this would be the place for all the Jimmy Choo shoes, bling and fabulousness. Instead, I had to amuse myself with Cinnaabon and bars, bells and flashing lights.
Ron Spears picked me up at the airport and we had an amazing drive through the desert of red rocks, amazing natural architecture and storm clouds hovering. This is a place of terra-cotta, peach, cream, grey and very little green, though the sky is big big big and blue blue blue. It is great seeing Ron, hearing about the painting and teaching he is doing and what he is doing to move the needle for his illustration students (I want to be one!). I have a minute to myself to prep my files and then we go live at 4 with students and a demo (per earlier). Tomorrow, we may talk about promoting yourself, using resources on the web to promote and/or move your work forward. Should be good.
Let me see what I can share with you on my camera!
Later…here comes the thunder and lightning.
My printer is going a mile a minute. I have 50 gliclees to print for Gold Dust Lounge's Kickstarter promotion. See here>> Russell is quite the PR Man and has wrangled some nice press including this article from SouthFlorida.com. I hope he can raise the $15,000 to promote and produce his newest album, "Lost Sunset". I love Russell, his energy, humor and intelligence as an artist and person-- and wanted to help him during this endeavor. The print is a South Florida colored skull with type that says "GoldDust to GoldDust". The ink is laying down nicely--the paper is behaving and the humidity today is cooperating. I printed a slew of cards yesterday from my illustrations to a few from the Ulysses Fair Fotosafari. Best image is a fried twinky with a little flag stuck in it to indicate that yes, this fried lump is a fried Twinky. A perfect "feel better" card!
Speaking of printers, we are going to move forward and buy an Epson 3880 to print Alex's work. If you balance the price of c print against the cost of the machine, it pays for itself in one portfolio, plus with FOUR blacks and an extra vivid Magenta!....it lays some serious ink down...and maybe I could print a few of my own photos! Imagine!
The printer purchase is an outflow of the work Rob and Alex are doing on preparing Alex to go show his work at NYU, FIT and SVA. Rob did some serious work with Alex on his portfolio--coaching and guiding, helping him to think out the process and move the work so that it shows well. Alex is a bit dumbfounded as he has yet to see his work printed and organized which is a delight and surprise. He wants to talk about his portfolio, how he is going to present it, the stories and patter that surround the images. He is looking for coaching, and we are so happy to be able to help. He also recognizes the leg up he has with visual parents--over the kids with families who are "muggles"
...and views it as a real boon. To think in a few days, we will have had Alex for 21 yrs. (he is turning 20!). No baby commander anymore!
I have a demo to do in Utah and versus really winging it, I think I will be a bit more prepared with a sketch, an idea and then do it for them...which would include making brushes, patterns, symbols and the like. I am thinking an American Vehicle using some of the bombs as part of the machine. Another thing would be to work on some Elsie the Cow symbols to fuse with this stuff. I have a few days to think. I look forward to a little time to do some thumbnails and think out of the box. I feel so chained to my desk, the work and the work of managing the work so a little quiet time is welcome. I welcome the change in season, the back to school quiet, and the on coming apple crop!
New haircut. Rob found the perfect picture of my soon to be hair --a current picture of David Lynch--with long wavy hair on the top and short on the sides. Mr. Lynch and I have similar hair...and I have a wave too, so Emma was charged with this direction. My hope is that by Christmas, the hair will be 100% there. And, my thinking is that we go for foils to make stripes of white... just to really jazz things up. I cannot be as fabulous and gorgeous as Latrice Royale ( a contestant on "RuPaul's Drag Race" who both Kitty and I admire). We'll see. But this is the latest beauty and fashion update.
I just stopped by Sundrees to see that the rack of my cards are severely diminished...so I need to crank up my printer and get things going to fill those racks. I am so surprised that these cards are selling so well, but it is little business worthy of nurturing. To that, should I be considering going to the stationery show and seeing if there is more to it than this little business I have going here on our beautiful plateau? Should I just spread my wings locally a bit more to see if there is traction? How would I need to staff to make this happen? Could cards do well on Etsy? Boxed or singletons? More on the retail front: We also worked up some inexpensive little neckaces of teacups and of teapots...and it seems that these are selling as well. I have Kitty's retail intuition to thank! Maybe I can put jump rings on things as I travel out to Utah next week? I have resin gummy bears that need little hooks and jumprings as well as silver teasets and slices of cake. There may be a bit of traction re: skeletons etc. as the black and orange holiday is on us.
Four months to Christmas. Time to update my mailing list.
I am cranking away on this slide show. I lost the first go round when Powerpoint winked out...and left me nothing. Now, Lady Savalot is doing just that, and I have 200 slides needing to be edited and tightened and by so doing, I probably will take out entire chunks of ideas (which I have already) to just tell a tighter story. Interestingly, I am talking about how last year's advent pictures happened prompted by Kitty's encouragement to look at how the process went, how my writing here influenced what happened with the work, and how the work fed the work. Then, as it happened, how this advent project influenced the few "Unicorn and Butterflies" images to then directly point at the current "My America" set. Same approach, same techniques, same established palettes with insane groups of brushes, symbols and swatches. Upside with this current set, new Creative Suite (cloud) has some sensational new patterning tools not only for background swatches, but for brushes (patterns on brushes you say? gradients on brushes?)....Yes...yes. and yes. I just wish I had more time right now to focus on the America images as there are quite a few tumbling around in my brain, particularly after the past week of country fairs and small town parades. Beauty and machinery, dog and pony acts, Freedom Festivals, and automotive heaven to inspire....but this can wait for now. Work, holiday cards, and getting die kinder all figured out, entertained and farewelled appropriately is foremost.
It is beets and kale for days from the CSA along with the most amazing eggplant I have ever had. Who would have guessed that I would rave about organic eggplant (and organic celery) as they are so significantly better from Sweetland than I have ever ever had. It is slightly crazy when there is eggplant offered as I will forego almost everything else on the side that we can pick from just to load up as fast as possible with eggplant. The way this Nightshade fruit (just like tomatoes) cooks down to loveliness on the grill...not the usual stringy glop--is sublime and with lemon juice...is transcends all vegetables in that moment. Unfortunately, there were no eggplants yesterday, so sweet red peppers, golden beets, and all sorts of leafiness were gathered--- A girl can hope for next week.