#84 Love & Devotion

 
 

84 Love & Devotion

 #84 Love & Devotion
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Leona L. DeSimone
May 26, 2016 – February 13, 2001

LEONA L. DE SIMONE
Beloved Wife, Mother and Grandmother
1916 – 2001

Before I release AmperArt #100 with a big celebration later this year, I wanted to include in the first 100, two specially-numbered pieces of my artwork to honor my mom and dad, from whom I inherited my talent:
My father, to whom I will pay tribute with AmperArt #62, died at 62 years old on March 29, 1962. It will be released in March.
My mother, to whom I pay tribute with AmperArt #84 (she died at 84 years old on February 13, 2001), which is the AmperArt I release today.

We had huge Azalea bushes in our front yard, and I always associate those flowers with my mom. They are soft and pastel (ours were a mix of pink, blue, white and purple), and big and round and cushiony looking. I was very pleased to find this beautiful artwork which depicted the exact colors of Mom’s azaleas.

I always called them big bulbous old-lady flowers; today I discovered the proper term. As for “old lady,” we kids were fortunate our mother lived to a wonderful 84 years old, in pretty good health, too, all the way up until almost the very end. For the last several weeks we took turns staying with her and nursing her. One thing I will always cherish is the honor, although it was very embarrassing to my mom, to change her diapers, for that is what she did for me a long, long time ago.

Mom’s favorite color was deep cobalt-navy-indigo blue, so I chose that as the background to this piece of art. The typestyle is soft and friendly, but also a timeless face which expresses solidity and integrity. That’s what my mom was—nurturing, always smiling, but stern enough to bring her kids up as decent human beings. Well, most of us; I’m the eccentric black sheep. In fact I actually hated my mother because she wouldn’t allow Daddy to spoil me all the time. After our dad died when I was 10 and my brothers and sister were even younger, it didn’t take long for me to realize who was really keeping the family in line. I loved my dad dearly, but when I realized that his generous and spoiling nature was tamed by my down-to-earth mom, I gained a true respect and admiration for her. A different kind of love, one that is based on sensibility, love and devotion to her children.

The peach color in the lettering is the color of roses we, specifically my sister Roslyn, chose for her funeral. We expected perhaps 50-75 people, and over 200 showed up to pay their respects. Our mother touched so many people with her smile and kindness, people we never even knew, that it blew us away. How proud I felt for having such as special person as a mother that spread so much joy to strangers (well, strangers to her kids).

Mom always sang a lullaby to us that is still one of my favorite melodies. We had it played on the organ at her funeral. All Through the Night (the Welsh lullaby, not the Cindi Lauper hit)You can listen to it here, sung by Perry Como and the Ray Charles Singers in a broadcast from 1958, just around the time Mom would be singing it to all us children. 

My brother Rob took that spectacular photo of her gravestone. The reflection of the tree and branches are meaningful. They’re like the strength and endurance that mom always had to withstand some tough times, making sure we kids grew up in a nurturing and loving home.

You left us one day before Valentine’s Day, so it’s fitting that I simply say Mom, I love you. 


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.


Production notes for #84 Love & Devotion:
Original size: 20×30 inches

Program: Adobe Illustrator
Font: Goudy Oldstyle
Ampersand: Goudy Oldstyle
Credits:
Azaleas: depositphoto.com
Mom’s gravestone: Robert DeSimone
You may repost the image. Please credit AmperArt.com.
To download a full-size high-resolution 11×17-inch poster, click on the image.

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#98 Fresh & Alive

 
 

#98 Fresh & Alive color of Pantone Greenery

 #98 Fresh & Alive
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-quality printing & framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Pantone Greenery is Color of the Year for 2017

In a stark contrast from last year’s rather dull pastel Colors of the Year, Pantone has introduced a Fresh & Alive color (back to just one, too) for 2017: Greenery 15-0343.

No more diaper poo

What a refreshing change (of diapers) from last year’s dull, infantile Colors of the Year for 2016, Rose Quartz & Serenity—or as I call them, Putrid Pink & Bland Blue. I can still smell the whiffs of diaper poo from these boring baby room colors. (No, I’ve never had children. Can you guess why? And besides that, they’d grow up to be derelict I’m sure, because I would paint their room in solid black, my favorite color, & all their toys would be various shapes of ampersands. Of course I’d name my kids &y and &rea.)

Trees, grass & crisp green apples

Granny Smith color of Pantone GreeneryThis year it’s the fresh & alive scent of tall trees, crisp celery, crunchy Granny Smith apples, tart limes, a freshly-mown lawn & just-plucked sprigs of mint*:

Pantone Greenery 15-0343

I hope this vibrant color catches on, because the fresh & alive hue will certainly brighten up our days, whether in print, paint, or products. I’ll proudly wear a T shirt in Pantone Greenery with the CMYK and RGB specs printed on it (54 0 100 0 / 132 189 0). You wouldn’t have caught me dead wearing Putrid Pink & Bland Blue last year.

mint color of Pantone Greenery

 

*Add this secret ingredient to your homemade meatballs: a few chopped fresh & alive mint leaves. That’s what would separate my mom’s delicious meatballs from the rest.

 


Specs

Pantone Greenery is presented as the solid background in AmperArt #98 Fresh & Alive. Here are the specs for the Pantone 2017 Color of the Year:

Greenery 15-0343
Graphics (closest match): Pantone 376 C / RGB 132 189 0 / CMYK 54 0 100 0 / HEX 84BD00
The Fashion + Home and Plastic formulas are slightly different. See here.

Visit Pantone.com for fresh & alive color insights.

 

chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.


Production notes for #98 Fresh & Alive:
Original size: 20×30 inches

Program: Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop
Font: Capistrano (modified)
Ampersand: a fresh & alive squiggle
Credits:
Ladybug: istockphoto.com / photograph by dionisvero
Apple: fitness.stackexchange.com
Mint: ingofwallpapers.com
You may repost the image. Please credit AmperArt.com.
To download a full-size high-resolution 11×17-inch poster, click on the image.

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#87 Cold & Flu

87 Cold & Flu

 #87 Cold & Flu
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This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

What happens when you have 3 deadlines to meet, you have the cold & flu, you’re sneezing, have a headache & you just feel like crap?

The computer crashes of course & you have to start all over on a huge project.

But I interrupted the “paying” projects to get a special one done—this month’s AmperArt—just for you. Coming up with the title Cold & Flu was super easy as I’m living it! The typestyle & colors are based on typical packaging & store signage for the cold & flu season.

And yes, I really was 90% complete with a huge board game design project when Photoshop unexpectedly quit & I lost all that work. That hasn’t happened in years. So once again: save, save, save!

The upside of catching a cold & flu? I love the taste of Nyquil, Luden’s honey-licorice cough drops & Pine Bros. gummy cherry lozenges.

smith-brothers-cough-drops-14ct-box-14One fond memory is that of Smith Brothers Cough Drops, both Wild Cherry and Black Licorice. I loved those! In fact, that was the very first cough drop. Sadly, they have been discontinued. (For those of you interested in marketing: By chance, the word “Trade” appeared under the picture of William & the word “Mark” under that of Andrew. Thus, it happened by a mere coincidence that the famous Smith Brothers’ trademark was born and the Smith Brothers became known to generations of Americans as Trade & Mark.)

Another favorite, and I don’t recall who made them, was  a long hard candy-type cough drop with a peculiar honey-horsehound-medicinal flavor. They were a brownish color & tasted so bad they were deliciously addicting.

Stay warm & dry this holiday season. Try not to catch the cold & flu, especially if you’re on a heavy deadline.


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.


Production notes for #87 Cold & Flu:
Original size: 20×30 inches

Program: Adobe InDesign
Fonts: Helvetica Compressed
Ampersand: Helvetica Compressed
Inspiration: Sneezing, Coughing & Aching Bones
You may repost the image. Please credit AmperArt.com.
To download a full-size high-resolution 11×17-inch poster, click on the image.

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#86 Eye of Newt & Toe of Frog & Tail of Ampersand

Happy Halloween

 #86 Eye of Newt & Toe of Frog
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-quality printing & framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

So, what’s for dinner?

Eye of newt, & toe of frog,
Wool of bat, & tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, & blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, & owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil & bubble.
Double, double toil & trouble;
Fire burn, & caldron bubble.

― William Shakespeare, Macbeth


This line, uttered by the three ugly witches in Macbeth as they stir their boiling cauldron*, is one of the most familiar phrases associated with traditional witchcraft.

Newt?

About that newt—is there such a thing? Were there poor little critters hopping about without eyes?

Actually, all of the ingredients in the witches brew are ancient terms for herbs, flowers and plants. Some say witches gave these items gross & disturbing names to deter other people from practicing witchcraft.

Shopping list

Here’s the modern-day grocery list of what’s really in Shakespeare’s cauldron. You might have to seek out a real specialty shop for some of these items, but they do exist:

  • Eye of newt—mustard seed
  • Toe of frog—buttercup
  • Wool of bat—holly leaves
  • Tongue of dog—houndstongue
  • Adders fork—adders tongue
  • Blind-worm—an actual tiny snake thought to be venomous
  • Tail of ampersand—a curly little friend of ours (You don’t mind, do you, Bill?)

When practicing black magic, mustard seeds (particularly the black seeds) cast a spell of strife, confusion, discord & disruption. Interestingly enough, though, other types of mustard seeds are thought to provide protection against witches. Legend goes that witches are predisposed to counting & picking up things, so if you scatter mustard seeds around your front door, bed & property, the witch will never have time to get to you as she will be busy counting mustard seeds.

It turns out “eye of newt” is simply the seeds for a popular hot dog mustard. However, the classic scene from Macbeth just wouldn’t be the same if his characters spoke of boiling mustard seeds, buttercups & holly leaves.  Adapted from http://people.howstuffworks.com/is-eye-of-newt-real-thing.htm

*Speaking of spell, note the spelling of “caldron” in the work of Shakespeare, in contrast to the American English “cauldron.” Sans-“u” is also common among British. Earlier, however, there was no “l” either: in Middle English literature c. 1250-1300 you’ll read “cauderon.” Basically, it means “warm” from the Late Latin “caldāria.”


::::::::::::::::::: TRICK :::::::::::::::::::

Please comment here.

Awaken Past Halloween AmperArt:
Ghosts & Goblins
(2011)
Bats Rats & Black Cats (2012)
Deep Dark & Mysterious (2013)
Creak & Quake (2014)
Creepy & Crawly (2015)

:::::::::::::: OR & TREAT ::::::::::::::


happyoktoberfest500x100(In other words, happy Oktoberfest.)

If you missed AmperArt #88, Brats & Beer, drink up here.

Here’s a fun list of “18 Essential Words for Octoberfest
from the Oxford Dictionaries website.


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.


Production notes for #86 Eye of Newt & Toe of Frog:
Original size: 20×30 inches

Program: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Wilhelm Klingspor Gotisch, Park Avenue, Arnold Böcklin
Ampersand: Arnold Böcklin
Images: dreamstime.com (manipulated)
You may repost the image. Please credit AmperArt.com.
To download a full-size high-resolution 11×17-inch poster, click on the image.

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!