Friday, December 30, 2011

Lettering on a Canvas Painting

A Christmas project began like this with a cute purchased painting printed on canvas. Wish I had painted the original - isn't it cute!

Though I do a lot of pointed pen calligraphy, I had never really done much with pointed brush lettering. After lots of study and practice I set brush to acrylic paint to canvas painting. To complement the cute painting, I wanted it to be looser than my usual pointed pen script style. I took the knowledge I gained from playing with the flat brush with calligrapher extraordinaire John Stevens at Cheerio in September and applied it to my pointed brush practice.

I was pretty well pleased with the lettering of the quote across the skirts, and with most of the names. Here is a close up of the first pass of the lettering across the skirts, with chalk pencil guidelines still in place.

But, phooey! I didn't like the second name. Looks a bit crowded upon itself, and too far from the first name. I was able to make the correction, totally removing that name and re-lettering it in a better position. Can you see the difference?

Here it is! "All done!" as my grandson says. The names and the quote on this painting represent two sisters and their daughters. When I was sure all the names were correctly spelled, I sprayed the canvas a couple of times with clear gloss acrylic to set the newly added lettering. What a fun project!

If you like this, check out my Keep This Ticket blog to see a painting I donated to help some talented young boys get to the NAMM show in California.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Laurie Doctor Flotsam & Jetsam Workshop in Louisville

Here is information from my friend and fellow calligrapher Laurie Doctor on the workshop she will be teaching in Louisville in January:

Flotsam & Jetsam:
Making small books

In this class we will make some small books
and include bits and pieces and scraps that students
bring with them. We will use collage, drawing, painting & writing techniques.
Color studies, composition and writing techniques will be part of the exploration.
Inspiration will come from music and poetry in a contemplative atmosphere.

All levels of experience are welcome.

Date: January 14 & 15, 2012
9:45 am - 5 pm

The workshop will be held at Preston Arts Center in the Gardiner Lane Shopping Center on Bardstown Road. Pre-registration is required. For more information contact Wini at Preston's or Laurie: or

Friday, December 23, 2011

I'll Be Home for Christmas

I've never been away from home at Christmas, but that song always makes me wistful. Maybe that had something to do with my sudden urge to make these little (4 x 4 x 1 1/2") house collages on canvas this week. They were fun to do. I think I'll continue with the small canvases, but move to different subjects. I think I'll try embellishing some too. I may add buttons, spool feet and handles, etc. to some mini collages, and may do some on wood blocks too.

Here is a photo of a trio of the houses I'm calling "It Takes A Village". Unoriginal, but I like it.

This is the first one I did.

For this one I added a little bird cut from a fairytale book page.

For this house, I went to the split-level and evergreen trees. It's fun creating my own neighborhood.

And here is the image I used on my Christmas card this year. When I saw the small 8th century statue, Flight to Egypt, in an ancient cathedral in Moissac France this summer I knew I wanted to take a photo of it for my card.

Merry Christmas to all, and Peace on Earth.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Have Some Nilk, Santa - and Other December Calligraphy

I recently found this old note to Santa that my boys had written when they were little. Santa stopped in his busy present-leaving to eat the cookies, drink the milk and leave a thank you note. Good Santa!

A recent project from two angles. Though I do more Ornamental script and copperplate these days than anything else, I taught this style of lettering for many years, and am glad to know it's still 'there'.

A favor for a friend.

The countdown to Christmas continues. I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays, feeling the joy and peace of the season, and looking forward to a wonderful new year.

Friday, December 9, 2011

DVDs and More - What I did on Black Friday

Why do I always buy for myself when I am Christmas shopping? Here's what I bought when everyone else was doing "Black Friday" - two new art DVDs. I have taken this workshop from Jacqueline Sullivan, but decided I should have the DVD to be able to refresh my mind on what we did and how we did it. I haven't opened it yet, but one of these cold winter days - that I know are just around the corner! - I will be ready with the warmth of Jacqueline's personality and instruction to cReAtE! I also bought an Anne Bagby DVD. I've not had the pleasure of her instruction, but am very familiar with her work and look forward to watching it.

Here are a few DVDs that I already owned. I loved the Ann Baldwin and the Carrie Brown. I have not viewed the other one yet...but I had a coupon!

I took a couple of watercolor workshops from Joe Fettingis, and made the online acquaintance of Elizabeth St. Hilaire-Nelson.

Now, can anyone tell me how to change these VCR tapes to DVDs??? I loved Fran's tapes, but can't view them now.

I also own a Michael Sull video, but somehow it has separated from my 'collection'.

(And you may or may not wonder what I did on "Cyber-Monday". I bought books and gifts online. Yes - many of the books were for me. I'm so bad.)

By the way, through another blog (eSynergy - link to the right) I discovered a great art journal blog. Diane Salter's art is cool and she is having a giveaway to mark her 2nd year of blogging. I need to have a giveaway one day soon - maybe after Christmas to start the new year.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Journal des Vacances Fran├žaises

Here are some long overdue pages from my journal of my vacation in France this summer. The journal is long on text and short on sketches. Missing are the flower markets and other colorful sights. Nothing from the beach and too little of the many markets we visited. I wonder if it would be 'cheating' to add after-the-fact sketch pages...I left out a lot and have lots of photos to add too. To see photos, see other entries in this blog, and click here to see my Letterlady blog, where I've added lots of them.

Two friends and I, traveling separately from Louisville and Portland Oregon, met at the airport in Toulouse, France to begin our two week (Sue) and three week (Beth and I) stays in my cousine's maison in Gargas France. We visited Toulouse more than any other place, but also visited the (topless) beach at Narbonne, the walled city of Carcassonne, the amazing cliff village of Rocamadour, the city on the sky Cordes sur Ciel and many smaller villages and towns. It was a memorable vacation!

Upon our arrival, we stopped at a large grocery store near the airport. I was fascinated by the fresh seafood displays, and we were shocked at the prices of the cheeses and gourmet meats...we soon found less expensive fare - and inexpensive wines!

(Click on the double spread photos to see them larger.)

This page includes the wrapper from my wonderful caramel ice cream cone (cornette). I think I need to add color to this cornette was a beauty, but Sue's was the prettiest. I think she had some raspberry in hers.
(Why can't I find caramel ice cream in the USA?)

In the very expensive market that our first day friends Saro and Gilles took us to, the chickens (poules) were displayed with their heads on, as were the fish (poissons.)

One of my favorite experiences was visiting the Caves at Foix France in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountians that border France and Spain. No cameras were allowed inside, so I had to rely on my memory to do these sketches. We carried flashlights to illuminate our footpaths, but they were extinguished when we reached the caverns with the drawings. At that time, the guides, using minimal spot lighting illuminated the drawings collectively, but mostly one at a time. The illumination had to be limited as well as the number of people in the cave at one time in order to control the heat and try to avoid deterioration of these archeological and historical treasures. The actual drawings are about 13,000 (yes thirteen THOUSAND) years old! Amazing!

On most evenings with our dinner we toasted our good fortune to have the delightful experience of exploring the south of France. For some reason we bought a Chilean wine for our last toasts. Every French wine we tried was delicious and very reasonably priced. This Chilean wine was very good too, but I have a feeling we simply overlooked its source when we purchased it.