Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year

Happy New Year to all and good luck with your resolutions:) One of my resolutions is more painting in a new studio....I am also excited about launching a new website and blog and an Etsy shop to come near the end of the month. Stay tuned for more...

Some summer inspiration (it's been snowing here all morning)...Collecting shells from the beach in a Nathalie Lete bucket from Rose and Radish. You can also get her Robot design here

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Recycling Illustration: Chris Buzilli

So when Christmas comes, one of my children uses newspaper to wrap her gifts. This week she lucked out. Chris Buzelli's illustrations graced the pages of the New York Times Sunday Style section and I was the lucky recipient of 2 presents wrapped in Buzelli!

Merry Christmas: Natural Ornaments

I love ornaments made from all natural materials.
Most of the ornaments on our tree are made of natural (paper, wood, wool) materials that have been hand-made by me. The top ornament is called a porcupine ball made from twirling tissue paper around the point of a sharp pencil. This is a very delicate, but beautiful ornament and worth the time it takes to make...around 15-20 minutes each. This technique was demonstrated to me by a woman from the local Polish community and it is a traditional Polish ornament. The folded paper white star is Pennsylvania dutch origin and of course there are plenty of origami ornaments. The wooden stars were made with coffee stirrers tied with waxed linen thread and/or yarn for variation. The wool sheep is my favorite. I will have to do some research to give you the source for this as I cannot remember...but i'll try. What a beautiful face!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Beekman 1802

Today I received the heirloom tomato seed packets from Landreth Seed Co. via Beekman 1802 Mercantile that I ordered. Their commemorative catalogue is wonderful and the cover is a repro from the original 1884 catalog cover. Inside there are lots of enticements "to all who have occasion to purchase seeds" from the company which was started in 1784 in Philadelphia. There is an African American Heritage Collection with recommendations from Michael Twitty, Culinary Historian of traditional African American Food Culture, a Patio Gardener collection, and a Children's Garden collection. Sprinkled throughout the catalogue are repros of Landreth's advertising posters which are little bit of graphic heaven and testimonials from folks who know, for example, that their bloomsdale parsnips are unsurpassed. While I am preparing for Spring, (to ameliorate the already too cold winter ) I did think that heirloom seeds would make great holiday gifts for gardener friends.

I also received an 1802 hand-forged Britannia fruit spoon made from "an authentic 18th century spoon mold and the alloy Brittania which was popular at the time that the Beekman Mansion was built" which is, aside from being a little sculptural beauty, a utilitarian burnishing tool for my printmaking. But it is so pretty it almost deserves to be mounted on linen in a shadow box frame. I think not yet...but someday.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

O Christmas Tree

Our tree from the Owen's farm...I would love to visit Beekman 1802 in nearby Sharon Springs, NY for goat milk soap, goat cheese and more. Making lots of lists...a little progress on holiday linocut. More to come...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Poster Design

The poster design is fini. The Lab of O has a crackerjack design staff that handed me some edits that were right on. I am sure the exhibit will be beautiful. The GNSI members are serious about their art. I just love this group! So if you are in the Ithaca neighborhood, stop by the Lab of O and see the show. In January, Steve Kress who works for Audubon, will give a talk at Lab of O about the 20 species of birds whose numbers are seriously declining.

Snow is flying, cookies are flying out of the ovens, and wrapping paper and ribbon is flying through the air at lightning speeds. The days fly by...time flies away.

Tomorrow is dedicated to the annual holiday card. Sketches in the works....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

In the spirit...

The snow was wonderful this morning. Just the right kind for snowmen, but too heavy for shoveling. This is the time of year I start knitting and sewing. Made these two gifts with socks, gloves and this great book.

Pulling Christmas out of the basement. Last year after the holidays, when prices were being slashed, I ordered this gingerbread house. It has been in a box in the basement all year. Today, I opened it! It was like having an early Christmas! Of course this is the no bake variety, but if you like gingerbread, here is the ultimate gingerbread website

I really love Scandinavian design. Here is some nice fabric. Here are some examples of the Stig Lindberg collection of fabrics from Ljungbergs textiltryck. He created these playful patterns in the 1950's. Nice.

Some more links.
legendary blankets from Hudson Bay....

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jon Han

Finished paper on rising star and Pasadena presenter Jon Han for Murray. Jon has been gracious enough to consent to an interview by me which I will post here in the future. Love his work. As soon as I saw Jon Han’s silkscreened work on the table in Pasadena, I felt a connection. The simple shapes and fresh forms, the lines and colors appealed to me. Jon Han was born in 1981 and raised in California. He has a BA of illustration, from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and currently lives and works out of Los Angeles, California. His client list reflects an impressive array of news and science publications including: The New Yorker, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Business Week, Plan Sponsor-Runner's World, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, NYU Physician, and New Scientist and more. He has been recognized in Illustration NOW 3, Print Magazine Regional Design Annual 2008, American Illustration 27, Communication Arts Illustration Annual 47, Society of Illustrators New York Illustrators 50, and Society of Illustrators West 47. To say that his star is rising would be an understatement. Work assignments for him began in his senior year at Art Center.

Camilla's book by Uppercase Journal is here!

Very excited today to receive Camilla Engman: The Suitcase Series, designed and published by Uppercase Journal - 190 pages of Camilla! There is delight on every page. Can't wait to dive in.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tea Time

Traditional or Digital?

I know, it's December and there's snow on the ground and it is way too early to be wishing for Spring... But I was just experimenting with traditional and digital approaches....back to Christmas planning.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Inspiration from France...

I have been painting again and I am loving it. I've been so tied to the computer that it feels like a wonderful break. While I was in San Francisco, I visited my most favorite shop, Rose and Radish at their new location on The Embarcadero by the waterfront. I found some of Nathalie Lete's wonderful things for gifts there. She makes so many things,... Here is a video of Nathalie found on artist Geninne Zlatkis's blog that you may like. I find it very inspiring just makes you want to go find some paints and have at it:) You can also find a lot of her things at Anthropologie (of course!) and Lapin & Me .
I really love her work. But just watch the video and you may feel tempted to find a brush and paints....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Poster In Progress

Still playing around with the type and this lighter palette better.
Getting a lot of InDesign aha moments.....:) Finishing up other freelance projects so I can concentrate on all things holiday.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Poster Design

Working on a poster design for an art exhibit featuring the illustrations of members of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators (Finger Lakes, NY Chapter) who collaborated with The National Audubon Society and the Lab of Ornithology. 20 artists painted illustrations of 20 identified common birds whose numbers have been declining at alarming rates. The show 's title comes from part of a poem written by May Riley Smith in 1882 ..." Strange we never prize the music till the sweet-voiced bird has flown." I'll post more details later.

IF: Entangled (Organized Entanglement)

On a recent trip to Northern California, we saw many vines entangled in an organized
way. This vineyard where the vines were planted on steep rugged terrain was at the base of the Russian River where it empties into the Pacific Ocean. Breathtaking....
And this from Arenas Flowers...

For Bacchic-pleasure seekers, the sight of a grape vine is tantamount to finding Elysium on earth! Yes, grapevine undoubtedly symbolizes intoxication. Scientifically, the vine, from which the intoxicating drink of wine originates, belongs to the Vitis family.

In fact, all literature-especially originates from the celebration of Bacchus, the wine god and this ritual of song and dance was inevitably incomplete without wine and tender entanglement of grapevines.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wine is Bottled Poetry

"Wine is bottled poetry."--Robert Louis Stevenson
(From the Capital Grille website)

My ever vigilant big sister let me know about a wine label competition hosted by The Capital Grille. According to their information "Master Sommelier George Miliotes came upon a winery nestled into a small corner of Napa Valley where the high elevation, rugged terrain and salty breezes from the San Pablo Bay, produce a wonderfully intense Cabernet Savignon with opulent flavors of ripe cherries, black cassis, cedar and vanilla... "

Friday, November 27, 2009

Northern California Wine Country and the Russian River Valley

After our contact period in Pasadena was over, I headed to San Francisco to meet up with J. We rented a car and drove North up through Sonoma to the Russian River Valley. We took a short trip to see where the Russian River empties/meets the Pacific Ocean...kind of took our breaths away when we finally got there. Just fantastic!! Next day we drove down through Napa Valley stopping at Healdsburg of course and the famous Oakville Grocery and Cafe Gratitude. Best wine tasting we had was at Porter Creek, a small organic ( one of only a few) vineyard in the Russian River Valley. Best was their 2006 Pinot Noir Reserve, 2008 Viognier, and their 2006 Syrah was wonderful. We were especially impressed with the Quivira Vineyards which practices biodynamic farming.

" keeping with our goal for a balanced farm, in the spring of 2008, Quivira broke ground on a Biodynamic and organic garden designed to educate visitors on farming and viticultural practices as well as supply local markets with fresh produce. The garden includes 120 raised beds, growing a wide variety of produce, a Biodynamic prep tower, pond, greenhouse and chicken coop." (from their website)

The air actually smelled green, fresh green...I think it was all the arugula and parsely, rosemary, lavender and swiss chard growing...pure aromatherapy:) Local restaurants rent plots to grow their own greens for their kitchens and their signs were in their respective plots. They even keep honeybees on the property to pollinate orchards and vegetables and as a way to harvest honey. There is more info about their practices on their website.

With Thanksgiving fini it is full speed ahead now to the work of my thesis, some freelance assignments, and feeling very inspired by all the illustrators we met. Oh yes, there is Christmas too,.....ahhhhhh.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Southern California Contact

Ok, I am home at last.....Post Pasadena and a side trip to Northern California to visit family. I feel like the quintessential weary traveler. But must get back in the groove for the run up to Thanksgiving. Here's a few pics and I'll be adding more now that I am home. Met some amazing and inspiring illustrators thanks to Murray Tinkelman and the MFA Illustration Program. Carol did a great job keeping us all organized. The best was meeting up with everyone again. A truly talented and great group of fellow illustrators.
We took turns driving our rental car on the dreaded Los Angeles freeways--quite the experience. After that you pretty much feel like there's nothing you can't do....especially with GPS. Lots to see in Pasadena and LA but little time. Did get to the incredible Gamble House, Huntington Gardens, The Getty, Old Pasadena, and The Grove. Then it was on to San Francisco and a brief WOW trip to Sonoma and Napa Valley which I'll post about later. I'm experiencing a little overload and trying to debrief and process everything I saw and heard. Looking forward to diving into thesis work after Thanksgiving. Had a good meeting with Doug about the direction I'm going in.