Thursday, February 20, 2014

Small art works

Small art works are the theme today.  I recently made some small pieces for sale on etsy and in Copper Moon Gallery in New Albany IN  - if you are in the vicinity, check them out! Here are a few calligraphy pieces with simple watercolor illustrations.  I forgot to take a photo of my favorite.  When will I learn?




Some were simply matted, others were matted and framed in white-washed frames.  They are small, 5x7" and 8x10", for easy gifting.  My favorite is a quote from designer Nate Berkus with a house illustration.  Naturally, that's the one I forgot to photograph.    The lettering style is a contemporary-feeling pressurized pointed pen lettering with a casual look.  Wedding work season has started now, but I will try to fit in more small pieces in the lulls.  I find if I have quotes mulling around in my mind and watercolor paper cut to size, it's more of an incentive to put spare time to good use.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I love collage!

I love collage!  I used to do a lot of it, mostly paper collage, then I switched to mostly digital collage, and now do a little mixed media collage.  But for 2014, I think one of my resolutions will be to get back to some paper collage.  It's a great way to blend texture, color and even lettering.  Here are a few of my paper collages from years past.  You may see more examples of various art I do on my website.

This one incorporates a Nietsche quote in black letter calligraphy.  To get the red lettering to show up on the black paper I first lettered in red to no avail.  I lettered over it with white, then again with red.  Tediously exacting, but worth it.  I could have sold it about 7 times at Art in Speed Park the year I made it, but a couple bought it and left it at my booth while they shopped so others seeing it were disappointed.  I still love it.  I hope they do too!


The Earth Speaks, The Moon Listens.  This is on of a series of layered paper collages.  They often incorporated handmade and/or hand painted papers and calligraphy.


This is Asia Blue I.  It was one of a pair in the same colors and theme.  It has calligraphy, painted papers, embroidery threads, embossing, thin sticks and a small paper-cut meant to emulate a Chinese 'chop'.



Here's one from a couple of years ago, made as a birthday card.  Papers were painted and lettered, cut to shape and glued on flat.  Details were added in colored pencil.  I used to do a lot of torn and cut paper funky bird collages, but made no photos to document them.  I want to make more! 



 This was an early one, and won a first place award in a state competition.  I called it Ya-Te-Hey.  It has a peahen feather, homemade papers, sticks, wires and embroidery floss echoing the colors in the papers.


Latin Wisdom was part of a small hanging booklet, made like a Jacob's Ladder.



2014 for me will at least partially be ' The Year of Collage' - or at least the year I revisit collage.  Of course, I will still mostly do my wedding calligraphy!


by Jan Hurst

Monday, October 21, 2013

Another week, another workshop - Jacqueline Sullivan

Another week, another workshop - Jacqueline Sullivan this time, teaching Visual Poetry.  It's the third successful workshop I've been a part of in just two months, coming on the heels of workshops by Bonnie Stahlecker and Michael Clark.  Here is a part of our group at dinner on Saturday night.


Jacqueline taught acrylic painting with calligraphy on canvas.  The goal was to integrate the lettering into the painting.  I have done this successfully on my own many times, but in this workshop piece my lettering is still sort of sitting on top.  I'll work on it some more, but I like the direction it's going.


This horse gets around.  All class members gathered round for a class photo. Front: Jacqueline, Shirley, Austyn and Deb.  Row two: Ellen, Denise, Sarah, Nancy, Marilyn and Mary Lou.  Back row: Jan, Phil and Jen.


Here's Jacqueline, looking festive at the opening reception for her exhibit.

Here are a couple of photos of some of Jacqueline's work.



 I caught this moment I call "The Healers" of Jacqueline, Mary Lou and Marilyn during the workshop.  I can attest to the peace, warmth and calm that Mary Lou's touch imparts.  She told me that Marilyn's are the same.  Lovely capture, I think.


 We worked in fluid acrylics on stretched canvases and in art journals - a great way to try out new ideas.  Here are some participants and their work.
Austyn - named for her 'hometown' of Austin, TX.  She was glad she wasn't named for the small town she actually lived in, Pfleugerville.

Deb with her lovely works in progress.  Wow!

One of Ellen's luscious pieces in progress.  I love the colors and the 'interest' she has created in this background.

Phil wanted his piece to be more 'Visual Poetry' instead of pure calligraphy.  It looks like poetry to me!

Mary Lou loved these experimental canvas pieces we did as a means of learning what works best with different mediums on canvas.



Mary Lou's canvas with her fragmented lettering.
Denise's exotic looking journal cover - stenciling with molding paste, gilding, paint and pastels.



Below are a few of my two-page journal spreads and the as yet unpainted canvas journal cover embellished with light molding paste. 
Art journals would make a good place to 'clean' your brushes.  Although I was actually painting here, it looks like I was cleaning my brushes of excess ink - and I will do that!  The page was first painted with absorbent ground.

This was paint on a black gessoed page.  I added a stenciled dragonfly in molding paste. 

More experimentation on black gessoed pages.  Here we painted with absorbent ground on the pages in white, then painted over them.  On the left, we painted most of the gessoed page with absorbent ground and covered it with crinkled saran for a few minutes, then painted them.  Although the page looks heavily textured, it is actually very smooth.

These pages have some gilding with gold adhesive and patent gold (in my case copper), pumiced, then painted.
 Jacqueline may be teaching the journal portion of our class at the International Calligraphy Conference next summer.  She is an excellent and generous instructor who continually educates herself in order to give the best to her students.  Upon leaving Louisville, she was heading to New Orleans to become a Golden art products certified instructor.  She's been using and sharing her knowledge of Golden products for years, and is now making  it official.

Excellent class, excellent people.  I love the calligraphic community!

(Please click on images to see them a bit larger.)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Michael Clark Workshop in Louisville

The long anticipated Michael Clark workshop in Louisville is now a fine memory.  Scribes from seven states attended the privately sponsored workshop which was a version of his "Beyond the Poem"  class.  There was a lot packed in to the 2 days, and as Michael explained to me, 'this is a thinking workshop'.  Design considerations were paramount, lettering next - camaraderie and kindness, constant.

This is the lucky group which participated, happy smiles all around:
Jen Grove is in front, Michael is astride the Lettersong horse (so appropriate to Louisville.)
Deb W., Connie N., Diana H., Heather L., Jan H. (moi), Phil H., Shirley S., Kathy L., David O., Holly M., Marianne B., Meg J., mary lou S. and Barb B. complete the group.

Meg is happy with her new clock.  The workshop projects consisted of design study, logo design, creating good design in a poem to convey the meaning of the words, and designing a clock.  Below are some of the participants and clocks that were designed and completed in the workshop.

Holly with her beautiful clock.

Holly and Michael discussing her clock.
Phil with his clock.

Michael holding Diana's clock up for viewing.

David's clock


Michael demoed some letter variations for Marianne's clock.

Michael lettered every participant's name to show the many ways the ruling pen can be used.  You can barely see a few of Tim Leigh's handmade ruling pens on each side of the postal box in the photo.

A few days before the workshop a bright rainbow appeared over my house, seeming to bless the coming activities.

My studio - ready for me to clear out the wedding work and play with the great ideas learned in the workshop.




Thank you to Michael Clark and to all the participants.  It was a great workshop, everyone was a joy to be around, and Lettersong was a wonderful location.  (Click on photos to see them larger.)