Monday, October 25, 2010

Frog Prince

My latest job included these darling frog prince place cards. The gold is more vivid. These are just a few. The ink is a blend of McCaffrey's ivory and Moon Palace Sumi (black) to make gray. It is said that you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. I wish my bride a lifetime of happiness with her prince.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Moon Lettering - Missing in Action

An online calligraphy group I've belonged to for many years, has recently had a discussion thread about calligraphy as art. Today I found and posted this nugget from my letterlady blog on the topic, referring to an exhibit I'd visited in late 2008. Here is my post and the earlier blogpost. I wish I had a photo from the exhibit - especially of the moon lettering. I can't remember what it was like, but I'm imagining it as full and round.

Late to the party, but I happened to run across this blog post from Nov. 1, 2008
that mentions calligraphic art. Laurie Doctor and Steve Skaggs had invited
three other scribes (Yves Leterme, Monica Dengo and Maya Huber) to exhibit with
them in Louisville. Very fine work, as I recall, most of it was very artful -
less about reading words than feeling the presentation of them. Here are my
words then:
----------- ---------------- ------------------ ---------------
As luck would have it, the Second Street bridge was backed up so it was a second
reason to detour and go to the Cressman Center to see Steve and Laurie's exhibit
one more time. I arrived just before the gallery closed and was fortunate to
have the gallery to myself for contemplative study of each piece. Loved the
textures Laurie Doctor incorporated into her large canvases. Textural painting
is one of my favorite means of expression, and she does it so well. She also
used "Moon Lettering" - which I'm not sure if it is her own creation or if it's
based on a font. Very graphic, and she used it - and other styles - upside down,
backwards, etc. to great effect. Steve Skaggs used variations of color in his
all-one-format pieces. They were rectangular pieces on paper, heavily coated
with a clear medium for both sheen and protection, mounted on black in open
black wood frames with no glass. Very beautiful...layered passages of lettering
in many different styles. The three other artists of the 'five' (from four
countries) also had good work - every one in a very different style. It is a
wonderful showcase of lettering as art. Laurie's sketchbook journals are so
intriguing...snippets of her life and glimpses into her deep range of talents.
It was a nice way to end a busy work week. the time I left the
gallery, the bridge traffic had cleared away and it was smooth driving all the
way home. Serendipity.
Calligraphy is what we do, whether we do it artfully or intentionally as fine
art or on envelopes or simply to put a poem to paper. I think sometimes the calligrapher is an artist, and calligraphy is art. In the pieces from this exhibit I think that most of them were art first, calligraphy second. Most often, it's the other way around. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Neuland -- Backgrounds -- ChiLife

My great friend Diana Hutchison did this mixed media on canvas, "Chi-Life". Diana was one of my first calligraphy teachers, and continues to inspire me. It is basically a painted collage of Chicago and interprets several of her daughter and granddaughter's most meaningful locations there. Many mediums were incorporated and the photo does not do justice to the color and intricacy of this piece, but I wanted to share it anyway.

This is the starting point for one of the techniques we did in the Judy Melvin workshop this past weekend in Indy. It is lettering with bleach on black paper with an automatic pen. I love the abstract look.

Here is my bleached Neuland piece with pastel pencil embellishment. Instructor Judy has sent me to the internet looking for Russian Women Artists (from the early 20th Century), because she thought it looked like their work. (Look closely at the photo below and you can see the piece before I added pastel pencil.)

End of day sampling of participants' pieces.

I believe this is the work of my seatmate, Patty Bertsch. It represents another technique. The letters were written with an automatic pen dipped in bleach. After they dried, the bleached letters were touched with pastels.

My name in Sumi inked Neuland, embellished with painted-on vinery.

Jace's name lettered in a stylized Neuland and embellished with painted symbols.

Bleach-penned letters on a rich yellow paper.