Saturday, April 30, 2011

White on Black

Here's a snippet of a piece I did this week. It's McCaffrey's ivory ink on black paper in a copperplate script style. Since the piece was a poem written by a friend's daughter, I want to protect her copyright, thus not show the entire piece. The second stanza is not larger than the first one - it's merely a fool-the-eye of the camera angle.

See more calligraphy on my website: and my wedding blog: .

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lean on Me

I framed my new calligraphy piece, the lyrics to Lean on Me today. I like the way it turned out so I hung it in my studio near my computer. Under it in the small wooden frame is a piece by a calligraphy friend, Heather Lee - it was her birthday card to me last November. The Uncial lettering must be done with Turner's gouache because it looks like velvet.

My April 19th post shows the Lean on Me piece almost finished. The lettering is pressurized Roman in pencil on gesso and watercolor on watercolor paper. Below is a detail shot. I went over the lettering more than once to get it dark enough, and spray-fixed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Works - two books and a broadside

Here is what I've been working on for the past few days. I made two new books last week and added pencil lettering tonight. They are Greek Philosophy I and Greek Philosophy II. Each has one ancient saying lettered on its pages. The covers and end papers are made from papers I painted especially for this project. Bits of the same painted papers make the collaged pieces on each page. I did a metallic watercolor brushstroke across the pages before pasting and embossing around the affixed papers.

I folded accordions from Arches Text Wove paper to make eight more books. Four will be the size of these small ones, two will be larger with fewer pages, and the remaining two will be even smaller than these. I love having future books ready to go when the mood strikes. (Thank you, Rosie Kelly, for spurring me on to make more books! - See my March 29th post about her workshop in Memphis on my Letterlady blog:

The other piece is Bill Withers' Lean on Me. I did a background in my version of the abstract style of Yves Leterme, a Belgian calligrapher whose work I admire. I've wanted to take a workshop from him, but missed my chance earlier this year when he was in Chicago. Coincidentally, Yves studied with Brody Neunschwander in Belgium, and I may have taken Brody's first workshop in the USA, which had serendipitously come about because of a friend's chance encounter with a friend of his in a gym. That was a wonderful workshop, many years before he branched out into a wonderful abstracted style of working.

I wanted text that would fill the space, I wanted the soft blue color. I'm not sure they're exactly fitting for each other, but I'm kind of pleased with the way it turned out anyway. (Yves' lettering would have been more abstract.)

I painted two more backgrounds and will letter something on them when the right words present themselves. I'm enjoying knowing that I have finished this one and have the others waiting.

See more calligraphy on my website: and my wedding blog: .

Monday, April 18, 2011

Laurie Doctor to Teach Workshop in Louisville

Laurie Doctor sent me information about a workshop she'll be teaching in Louisville in June. If I can swing it, I will be there. Her workshops are always wonderful. She's an excellent leader in these sessions, guiding you to your own decisions while assisting you in reaching the outcome you want to achieve. Her books are artistically inspirational. Here is the flyer. You can click on it to enlarge it.

Laurie - save me a space!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nationwide Calligraphy Service

Don't you just love the internet, email, PayPal, free long distance, UPS, USPS and FedEx? All of these things make doing business nationwide a piece of cake! I have had clients in Texas, New York, Washington DC and various places in between, all facilitated by the services mentioned above. It truly is a small world now with all of these capabilities at our fingertips. Look at my website. See something you like? Email me or phone, and we can make it happen. Look at my wedding blog. See a style you like? Contact me and I can get you on my calendar. Truly, national service is just a phone call and a shipping service away. It's the way people used to do business via the Yellow Pages. Now they do a Google search. Or they get on any number of online shops and place an order. I do it all the time.

Our world is so much smaller now than it was just a few years ago.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Watercolor Artist Magazine

This is an unabashed plug for Watercolor artist magazine. No affiliation other than I am a subscriber - and sadly, my subscription ends with this issue. I wish there were a fairy godmother for my art subscriptions.

Back to the plug. The current issue (Wow! They are way ahead of themselves!) is June 2011. I am loving so many articles in it. I sat out in the morning sunshine reading it today. There is an article about Chinese artists, Trade Routes that goes on for pages and pages. It's fantastic! I absolutely love the image by Xiao Yang - though I do have a question about the masculine and aged look of the Tibetan woman's hands compared to her youthful face. (Maybe Tibetan women have a facial product secret? Or maybe they are in severe need of some of my favorite Windrift Hill Goat's Milk hand lotion. - Yes, another plug. LOVE the stuff!) The artist Wei Li also has one of my favorite pages. Exquisite birds with a mother feeding her young up in the rafters of an ancient building. Gorgeous! The artists are represented by some fabulous images. Worth buying a copy of the magazine for.

But wait! There's more! The next page brings us Japan! As in Japanese papers used in mixed media watercolors. Wonderful! I want to plump up my stash of Japanese papers. I will want to do several new pieces using the techniques Brenda Swenson used. There's one of hers that I love so much I'd love to buy. Bet that would put me back more than the price of a few magazine subscriptions.

Articles about using dispersions, en plein air painting and more complete the magazine. Is this one so good, or have I just not taken time to read the previous ones? Not sure. I'll definitely revisit the previous issues to look for more inspiration. But then I may become all inspiration, no output. What a dilemma!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wedding Envelope Sample Packs!

I spent a lot of time this week lettering envelopes and making sample packs for a few places that do referrals for me. Love how they turned out! The cover is an envelope lettered in Spencerian with my price list inside. The back cover is an envelope loaded with my new business cards.

One of the pages in my sample packet. This one is not the best example of this style. It has a contemporary script name and relaxed caps for the address.

This sample is one of two sizes done on the diagonal.

This sample has titles above the names which are larger than the addresses. I like this option. I think it gives the recipients a bit more of a feeling of 'important guests'.

This page was lettered in mixed caps and lower case with pencil as a fun option.

See my website and my wedding blog for more event calligraphy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Derby Calligraphy Can Be Less Traditional Than That for Weddings

A press release went out today explaining that Derby event calligraphy can be much more fun than typical wedding calligraphy. Derby parties are very big here in Louisville KY on the first Saturday in May - Derby Day. A good Derby party can be even more fun than going to the track itself (well, I like to think so anyway) and seeing the races is often easier on big screen TVs at home than from, let's say, the infield of Churchill Downs. Parties can include stick horse races, Derby pools, Derby pies, great food, hat contests, and almost anything a hostess can imagine. Roses and horses are traditional themes for these fun parties. It's getting a bit late for Derby party invitations to go out, but if they haven't yet, fun and funky lettering to the rescue!

This informal lettering style is one of many fun informal styles I can do that take less time. They can be done with colored pencils or markers which also makes them faster to complete than traditional wedding calligraphy done with a dip pen and ink.

Derby Day this year is on May 7th. Whether Derby party guests are invited by real paper invitations or by phone, email or word-of-mouth, the key is to make it lots of fun!

Friday, April 1, 2011

An April Fool's Joke on Me

April Fool's Day is special at my house. It is the day my husband and I met a million years ago. We considered having "My Foolish Heart" and "What Kind of Fool am I?" played at our wedding, but we resisted. It is also the birthday of our dog Max.

Today I set about making a new book. I'd been anxious to do so since returning from the Rosie Kelly workshop in Memphis a few nights ago. I had painted a piece of paper and had cut out the rectangles to be glued onto the pages. This morning I chose a poem to be lettered on its pages. I chose and cut cover papers and end papers. Everything was looking good. I was happy. I made the covers. I assembled the book, double-checking cover placement. April Fool on me! I glued the covers on backwards. The covers opened the wrong way. I used PVA glue which had set tight. No changing it. What to do?

I made it a two-fer. I turned the back into a two-sided book. The end papers were too pretty to not be seen when the book was open. So, two poems by Carl Sandburg grace this book now. "Mask" is the first part of the book, and "Choose" is the second part.