#133 Death & Destruction

#133 Death & Destruction
#133 Death & Destruction
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.

This piece is an expression of empathy for those who lost everything in the recent natural disasters.

One week ago fam­i­lies across Amer­i­ca sat down to their tra­di­tion­al Thanks­giv­ing din­ner. Some were elab­o­rate, oth­ers sim­ple, but most were savored in a warm, cozy home at a famil­iar table.

But not for those whose homes were destroyed in recent fires and hur­ri­canes. Many shared Thanks­giv­ing din­ner with strangers in shel­ters and even tents. Some made new friends. Some reflect­ed on how their lives had been over­tak­en by osten­ta­tious sur­round­ings. But none were at home.

Oth­ers were too con­cerned about miss­ing loved ones to par­take in Thanks­giv­ing din­ner. Not to men­tion where they were going to live, how to sur­vive, the deep pang of loss — homes, fur­nish­ings, valu­able pos­ses­sions and even cash that was stashed away in their homes. In many cas­es, liveli­hood, as com­pa­nies they worked for, or their home offices, were also destroyed.

The most dev­as­tat­ing and excru­ci­at­ing loss was that of loved ones: par­ents, chil­dren, sib­lings, rel­a­tives, friends, and pets.

At Thanks­giv­ing, no less.

It is hard to com­pre­hend. It is sad. 


I cre­at­ed this piece to empathize with those less for­tu­nate. I felt it might bring clo­sure to some, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a mor­bid piece. Maybe reflec­tive. I just felt it and cre­at­ed it.

The col­ors and effects I chose for the sen­sa­tions in the fall­en amper­sand rep­re­sent fire, water and seis­mic activ­i­ty, all nat­ur­al forces. It’s iron­ic that ele­ments such as fire, wind and water can be tremen­dous­ly ben­e­fi­cial and also ter­ri­fy­ing­ly disastrous.


I don’t know what to say to help the vic­tims of these recent dis­as­ters or past dis­as­ters, as some things are nev­er for­got­ten, nev­er recov­ered, for­ev­er mourned as a void that’s deep as one’s soul. If you have any words of com­fort please leave them here.

Here’s my clos­ing thought: 

Does­n’t nat­ur­al dis­as­ter cause enough death & destruc­tion? Why does man add to it with war and crime?

 Please comment here.

Production notes for #133 Death & Destruction:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Illustrator
Font: Helvetica Ultra Compressed (modified)

Ampersand: Helvetica Ultra Compressed (modified)
Background image: deposit​pho​tos​.com
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#88 Brats & Beer


#88 Brats & Beer
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.

Grüß Gott!

That’s “Hel­lo!” in Bavar­i­an. Lit­er­al­ly, in a for­mal sense, it means “salute to God.”

My broth­er Rob sug­gest­ed Amper­Art #88 Brats & Beer for Okto­ber­fest. Danke, Bro!

In Bavaria, where it orig­i­nat­ed, Okto­berbest is actu­al­ly cel­e­brat­ed on the third Sat­ur­day in Sep­tem­ber, and con­tin­ues to the first week­end in Octo­ber. Here in Amer­i­ca, we “cel­e­brate” dur­ing the entire month of Octo­ber — whether it’s an excuse to guz­zle some fine Bavar­i­an beer or to adver­tise a cheesy Okto­ber­fest sale. Or to cook up some hearty Brats & Beer.

My moth­er was full Ger­man (from the Black For­est), so I, along with my sib­lings Roz, Andy & Rob, real­ly should find some good Brats & Beer (I know one of us is going to find some beer!) and cel­e­brate our close-​to-​Bavarian her­itage. (Just like we’re also half Sicil­ian, so we are con­sid­ered by some “true” Ital­ians to be close, but not quite, Ital­ian. True or not, our rich red suc­co beats the north­ern Ital­ians wimpy white sauce any day. And our Ger­man moth­er could cook Ital­ian like our dad’s own moth­er — she taught her daughter-​in-​law well!)

Sausage seems to run in our fam­i­ly, whether Ger­man or Ital­ian. It’s all köstlich! 

Please comment here.

Here’s some interesting reading about the “real” Oktoberfest.

From Wikipedia, verbatim:

Okto­ber­fest is the world’s largest Volks­fest (beer fes­ti­val and trav­el­ling fun­fair). Held annu­al­ly in Munich, Bavaria, Ger­many, it is a 16- to 18-​day folk fes­ti­val run­ning from mid or late Sep­tem­ber to the first week­end in Octo­ber, with more than 6 mil­lion peo­ple from around the world attend­ing the event every year. Local­ly, it is often called the Wiesn, after the col­lo­qui­al name for the fair­grounds (There­sien­wiese). The Okto­ber­fest is an impor­tant part of Bavar­i­an cul­ture, hav­ing been held since 1810. Oth­er cities across the world also hold Okto­ber­fest cel­e­bra­tions that are mod­elled after the orig­i­nal Munich event.

Dur­ing the event, large quan­ti­ties of Okto­ber­fest Beer are con­sumed: dur­ing the 16-​day fes­ti­val in 2013, for exam­ple, 7.7 mil­lion litres were served. Vis­i­tors also enjoy numer­ous attrac­tions, such as amuse­ment rides, side­stalls and games. There is also a wide vari­ety of tra­di­tion­al foods includ­ing Hendl (roast chick­en), Schweine­brat­en (roast pork), Schwein­shaxe (grilled ham hock), Steck­erl­fisch (grilled fish on a stick), Würstl (sausages) along with Brezen (pret­zels), Knödel (pota­to or bread dumplings), Käs­espät­zle (cheese noo­dles), Reiber­datschi (pota­to pan­cakes), Sauer­kraut or Rotkohl/​Blaukraut (red cab­bage) along with such Bavar­i­an del­i­ca­cies as Obatz­da (a spicy cheese-​butter spread) and Weißwurst (a white sausage).

The Munich Okto­ber­fest orig­i­nal­ly took place in the 16-​day peri­od lead­ing up to the first Sun­day in Octo­ber. In 1994, this long­stand­ing sched­ule was mod­i­fied in response to Ger­man reuni­fi­ca­tion. As such, if the first Sun­day in Octo­ber falls on the 1st or the 2nd, then the fes­ti­val would run until Octo­ber 3 (Ger­man Uni­ty Day). Thus, the fes­ti­val now runs for 17 days when the first Sun­day is Octo­ber 2 and 18 days when it is Octo­ber 1. In 2010, the fes­ti­val last­ed until the first Mon­day in Octo­ber (Octo­ber 4), to mark the even­t’s bicentennial.

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

Glücklich Wiesn!

Please comment here.

chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at Des​i​moneDesign​.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 #88 Beer & Brats:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Illustrator (original ampersand link shapes), Photoshop (everything else)
Fonts: Embossed Black, Embossed Black Wide
WARNING: Do not attempt setting blackletter in all caps unless you are a fully qualified designer!

Ampersand: pork, spices & intestines
Background images: graph​ic​stock​.com (superimposed & adjusted)
You may repost the image. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#73 Brother & Sister — National Siblings Day is April 10

Download hi-rez image to print & frame


#73 Brother & Sister
Click to view full-​size or download hi-​rez image for gallery-​quality printing and framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

April 10 is National Siblings Day.

Clau­dia Evart, after los­ing both of her sib­lings ear­ly in life, felt inspired to cre­ate Nation­al Sib­lings Day, to be cel­e­brat­ed annu­al­ly on April 10, the birth­day of her late sis­ter, Lisette.  Here’s her video.

I like what Clau­dia says about our broth­er & sis­ter rela­tion­ships. I could­n’t say it bet­ter myself, so here are excerpts from her web­site, www​.sib​lings​day​foun​da​tion​.org:

♥ The sib­lings bonds are life-​long rela­tion­ships usu­al­ly last­ing from cra­dle to grave.  It is  usu­al­ly the longest rela­tion­ship of a person’s life and typ­i­cal­ly much longer than a mother’s and father’s relationship.

♥ Because of the blood rela­tion­ship, we look alike and enjoy feel­ings of close­ness which may nev­er be sur­passed in any oth­er rela­tion­ship.  It is usu­al­ly the longest rela­tion­ship of a person’s life (typ­i­cal­ly much longer than a mother’s and father’s rela­tion­ship).   We must always remem­ber that the strength of fam­i­lies is vital to the strength of our com­mu­ni­ties, state and nation.

♥ Sib­lings Day can be cel­e­brat­ed by send­ing a card or gift or mak­ing a din­ner invi­ta­tion* to your sib­lings on April 10th as done on Mother’s and Father’s Day.  This day does not nec­es­sar­i­ly have to be attached to a mon­e­tary gift.  Indi­vid­u­als can do some­thing spe­cial like a good deed or favor, errand or chore for their broth­er or sister.

*as my sis­ter did for her broth­ers right before Valen­tine’s Day this year — read chaz sez below.

Clau­di­a’s web­site also states these facts:

  • The Sib­lings Day Foun­da­tion is a New York and Mass­a­chu­setts based orga­ni­za­tion with the prin­ci­pal office locat­ed in Man­hat­tan.  It was incor­po­rat­ed in Mass­a­chu­setts 1997 and became a not-​for-​profit orga­ni­za­tion in Jan­u­ary, 1999.
  • In 1996, Con­gress stripped itself of the author­i­ty to cre­ate com­mem­o­ra­tives leav­ing sole pow­er to do so in the hands of the pres­i­dent.  Dur­ing their pres­i­den­cy, George Bush in 2008 and Bill Clin­ton in 2000 signed a Pres­i­den­tial Mes­sage rec­og­niz­ing April 10 as Sib­lings Day.  A Pres­i­den­tial Procla­ma­tion is need­ed to offi­cial­ly estab­lish April 10th as Nation­al Sib­lings Day.
  • Since 1998, 85 gov­er­nors have signed guber­na­to­r­i­al procla­ma­tions in 49 states includ­ing for­mer gov­er­nors and White House cab­i­net mem­bers – Tom Ridge of PA, Bill Richard­son of NM, Janet Napoli­tano of AZ, Gary Locke of WA, Chris­tine Todd Whit­man of NJ and Tom­my Thomp­son of WI.
  • Mother’s Day (found­ed by Anna Jarvis of Philadel­phia, PA, 1907) and Father’s Day (found­ed by Mrs. John Dodd of Spokane, WA, 1910) were estab­lished almost 110 years ago.
  • Sib­lings Day fol­lows the spir­it of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Grandparent’s Day – a great Amer­i­can tra­di­tion and cel­e­bra­tion of family-​unit val­ues.  It is an uplift­ing cel­e­bra­tion hon­or­ing peo­ple who have shaped our val­ues, beliefs and ideals.  It is a rela­tion­ship as equal­ly impor­tant as a parent’s rela­tion­ship. Sib­lings are the rea­son we cel­e­brate Mother’s and Father’s Day.
  • Almost one hun­dred ten years have gone by with­out hon­or­ing sib­lings!  By estab­lish­ing this spe­cial day each mem­ber of the fam­i­ly unit will be final­ly rec­og­nized on a Nation­al Recog­ni­tion Day (Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and Sib­lings Day).
  • Oprah Win­frey fea­tured and cel­e­brat­ed Sib­lings Day on her nation­al and inter­na­tion­al dai­ly tele­vi­sion show for three con­sec­u­tive years. SD was broad­cast­ed world­wide on Voice of Amer­i­ca six years and cov­ered on many news outlets.
  • Sib­lings Day – a cel­e­bra­tion for all ages. It has been rec­og­nized as an annu­al event for thou­sands of years in North­ern India, Guyana in South Amer­i­ca and sev­er­al South Asian countries.
  • Sib­lings Day Sup­port­ers: Six for­mer gov­er­nors who became White House Cab­i­net Mem­bers: Gary F. Locke (WA – ‘04); Janet A. Napoli­tano (AZ- ‘07); Tom J. Ridge of (PA- ’99); Bill B. Richard­son of (NM- ’07); Chris­tine Todd Whit­man of (NJ- ’98); and Tom­my G. Thomp­son of (WI- ‘98).
  •  Con­gres­sion­al Records issued by Con­gress­woman Car­olyn B. Mal­oney (D‑NY) 1997, 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2013. Late Sen­a­tor Edward M. Kennedy (1997 ‑2010) along with Con­gress­woman Mal­oney (1997 to the present) wrote let­ters to Pres­i­dent Clin­ton and Pres­i­dent Bush which result­ed in two Pres­i­den­tial Mes­sages sup­port­ing April 10th as Sib­lings Day.
  •  Guber­na­to­r­i­al mes­sages issued by Gov­er­nor Steve Bul­lock (MT) 2013; Gov­er­nor Jack Markell (DE) 2012; Gov­er­nor Bri­an Schweitzer (MT) 2007 to 2009; Gov­er­nor Jeb Bush (FL) April 2001; Gov­er­nor Tom Ridge (PA) March 1998; and Gov­er­nor George E. Pata­ki (NY) 1997.
  •  May­oral mes­sages issued by NYC May­or Guil­iani in 2001 and May­or Bloomberg in 2002 to 2012.
  •  Office of Man­hat­tan Bor­ough Pres­i­dent, Scott M. Stringer (D‑NY) issued Procla­ma­tions from 2009 to 2013. Mem­bers of NY State Leg­isla­tive, Assem­bly­man Richard N. Got­tfried (1997) and Sen­a­tor Cather­ine M. Abate (1997) wrote let­ters of support.

I whole­heart­ed­ly agree with Clau­dia, as she reminds us…

If you are for­tu­nate enough to have a sib­ling, you know the rela­tion­ship has a tremen­dous impact on our lives.  It is impor­tant that we under­stand how vital it is to cher­ish, love and respect our broth­ers and sis­ters in the tra­di­tion that was hand­ed down by our par­ents and grand­par­ents. Sib­lings Day strength­ens the fam­i­ly unit by remind­ing us that a bond with our sib­lings is for­ev­er a spe­cial gift.”

If you have a broth­er & sis­ter, or either, please vis­it www​.sib​lings​day​foun​da​tion​.org

Along with Broth­er & Sis­ter, here’s Amper­Art #75 Fam­i­ly & Friends, the oth­er most spe­cial peo­ple in our lives.

 Spaghetti & meatballs & brothers & sister…

 listen up!I’ve been work­ing on an elab­o­rate Amper­Art piece titled “Spaghet­ti & Meat­balls” to hon­or a very spe­cial event my sis­ter Roslyn host­ed for her three broth­ers, includ­ing me. Just us sib­lings, nobody else, at Roslyn’s din­ing room table on Feb­ru­ary 7, 2014, as she cooked all day and served us Mom’s spaghet­ti & meat­balls. Roz pulled out all the stops — a huge spread of Ital­ian appe­tiz­ers, includ­ing my favorite pick­led gar­den veg­eta­bles from my child­hood; Ital­ian bread­sticks, olives (espe­cial­ly my favorite, the wrinkly lit­tle dried ones), proscuit­to, salame, and pro­volone. The sal­ad was deli­cious, but noth­ing com­pared to the incred­i­ble meat­balls, hot & mild sausages, spaghet­ti & “suc­co” as we called the sauce grow­ing up. (Our moth­er was Ger­man, but our father, born in Sici­ly in 1899, must have had his mama teach our mom every­thing about Ital­ian cook­ing, because she sure was a great Ital­ian cook. Her Ger­man dish­es were excel­lent, too.) Well, Mom must have taught our sis­ter, because that din­ner brought back mem­o­ries of our won­der­ful fam­i­ly feasts on Sun­days on the “fan­cy dish­es” which Roz served our din­ner on, the chi­na Dad­dy had bought Mom after they got mar­ried. Deep red fil­i­gree with a red rose in the mid­dle of every plate and a gold rim, some of which is worn off now. Thanks, Roslyn, for this most cher­ished evening where we ate, rem­i­nisced, laughed, and enjoyed our deep love as sib­lings. We even played a fun game that test­ed our mem­o­ries as senior cit­i­zens: list all the streets to the right and left of our house. We’re not senile yet — among the four of us we remem­bered them all. We also shared some fun child­hood anec­dotes and divulged some sur­pris­ing child­hood secrets (ha — blackmail!).

And for dessert: Can­no­lis!

My sis­ter Roz, in true Ital­ian fash­ion, sent me home with plates of food, olives and the pick­les that I love so much, that last­ed me for weeks. (That was the next day; I spent the night and enjoyed her com­pa­ny all day Sun­day as well.)

Even­tu­al­ly I will fin­ish Amper­Art “Spaghet­ti & Meat­balls” (ever try twist­ing strands of pas­ta into an amper­sand? In Pho­to­shop?). For­tu­nate­ly, just yes­ter­day, I dis­cov­ered Nation­al Sib­lings Day, thanks to Mar­lo Ander­son­’s Nation­al Day Cal­en­dar web­site: nation​al​day​cal​en​dar​.com so was able to give a shout out to my own sib­lings with Amper­art #73 “Broth­er & Sis­ter” on this 2015 Nation­al Sib­lings Day. (Maybe I’ll release “Spaghet­ti & Meat­balls” right before Nation­al Pas­ta Day, Octo­ber 17.)

To my sis­ter Roslyn & my broth­er Andrew & my broth­er Robert:
I love you!

Production notes for #73 Brother & Sister:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Program: Adobe Illustrator
Fonts: Eccentric*, Harrington
Ampersand: Hand-drawn
Credits for #73 Brother & Sister:
Silhouettes: stock
*appropriately named font for this brother, I’m sure my family would say

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!