To my surprise, the portfolio is coming together. It's not going to be complete for Orycon (tomorrow!) like I'd hoped, but about 60% of it is there. I follow this with architectural graphics neepery which you can skip if you want.
The portfolio going to be small—8.5x11 inches, about 60% black and white linework with the balance tipped-in color prints on glossy paper. I'm proofing it tonight—I'll pick up the finished black and white tomorrow at Kinko's and tip in (I think that's the term) three color prints, and then I'll get some idea of how my graphic design works.
It's been a rough trip; with Chartpak no longer making pattern graphic film ("Zipatone") I've had to switch to "inking" in Adobe Illustrator. And that meant actually learning how to use Illustrator for my sort of graphics, which was an utter pain. I've also discovered that cheap inkjet inks are greenish and older automatic photo printing equipment tends to make landscapes greenish—I had to hand a color print back to a printer and show him the carefully color-managed electronic original. But it does seem to be coming together, and I hope I'll be pounding the pavement in a week or two.
I caught fiddler and dancer Natalie MacMaster's show last night. She's someone I know has an impressive reputation, and an impressive list of talented people on her most recent album. So when OFAM brought her to Eugene, I decided to go. Reaction... she's a folk-rock musician; travels with a band of five: keyboard player, bassist, guitarist, piper, and drummer. She's an impressive fiddler—fast and smooth—who plays a mellow instrument and who dances while she fiddles. Perhaps 2/3s of what they did was a mix of Celtic dance war-horses and her own similar dances, the other material covered a broad range—they did "Autumn Leaves", a jazz standard, the piper did a straight bagpipe piece at the opening of the second set (unamplified; in the 700-seat hall it was loud), their own rather country-sounding setting of "Hand of the Master", they brought out two young Scottish dancers near the beginning of the show, and MacMaster herself put down her fiddle and danced during the final number.
I had a mixed reaction; I think I've been spoiled by hearing and dancing to too many good fiddlers (not Celtic dances—I don't have that kind of stamina). I would have preferred hearing fewer war-horses. On the other hand, I am impressed by her as a dancer; she knows more moves than I've ever seen in Celtic dance (not that I have seen a great deal of Celtic dance). I have, I suppose, something of the reaction to MacMaster that I have to J. K. Rowling: why is she getting all this credit now, when a lot of people have been doing this all this time? But I suppose MacMaster, for whatever reason, is accessible to a broader audience than the bands and fiddlers I've known so long.
I want to write more but it's way late—maybe I'll find time to write during Orycon.