Thursday, February 23, 2012


Imagine my surprise yesterday when I happened to browse over to Lisa Englebrecht's blog and see the above headline. I was not expecting to see my own name when I clicked onto her blog! I had forgotten that I'd entered her blog contest a while back. I love sweet surprises! What fun!!!

This is what I won...a signed copy of Jill Berry's book, Personal Geographies.

I took a workshop from sweet Lisa a few years ago in Nashville, TN, and knew her from Cyberscribes, an online calligraphy group. After that workshop I bought Lisa's book, Modern Mark Making, when it was published. Here it is.

Here's a photo of two inside pages that happen to contain works by two talented friends, the lovely calligrapher Barbara Close and fun font designer Stephen Rapp, and by the fabulous Carl Rohrs, a calligrapher I have long admired and from whom I am looking forward to taking a workshop in April.

Having Lisa's blog as one of my favorites in the links section of my own blog was a natural. Now I am super happy that I had it there, so easy to click onto. I might have missed the lovely surprise otherwise.

Thanks, Jill Berry, for donating and signing the book that I'm anxious to get my hands on, and thanks, Lisa Englebrecht, for sponsoring the contest. I'm so glad that my name was pulled!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Monogram, Pretty Mail, Certificates, and a Bible Inscription

This is a monogram I designed for a couple getting married later this year.

I've designed a few monograms and like it more each time. I am going to work on a monogram for myself, I think, and also a monogram for my son and soon to be daughter in law.

This is some recent mail. Clockwise from bottom left, the envelopes are from fellow calligraphers Kathy Laporte, Kathy Milii, Jody Meese and Jean Wilson. Pretty!

I recently filled in names, titles and dates on these certificates. I like designing certificates, but happily do fill ins like these too.

This Bible inscription was done as a Christmas gift.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Adoption Poem

One of my projects this week was this lovely adoption poem. It was lettered in a more casual script than I usually do. Long and narrow, it was made to fit a specific sized frame. The most difficult task was to keep the lettering legible while adding bounce and looseness. I compensated by making the interior lines of each stanza plainer than the upper and lower lines.

I love the poem, and have seen two versions of it. This is my favorite. I do not know the author's name.

Thanks to my personal photographer, Sandy Wright, for brightening my photo (above) to more closely match the original.

Here are some snippets of the piece:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fr. Eric Lies, OSB - Requiem in Pacem

Today's post is in memory of a wonderful man who taught me a lot about a lot. His sweet, gentle demeanor along with his love of life and letters are what I will remember about him the most. Fr. Eric passed away Monday at the age of 92. His health had been failing in the past few years, but until last year I always got a Christmas card from him.

You may be familiar with Fr. Eric's calligraphy. Many of his religious pieces are sold through Abbey Press and many other sites selling religious works. He studied Roman letters with Father Edward Catich, and his Roman letterforms were quite beautiful.

Father Eric was a monk and priest at St. Meinrad Archabbey in southern Indiana. I met him through calligraphy, and St. Meinrad's beautiful campus hosted many exhibits of his works, as well as those of Fr. Donald Walpole - an artist friend of his who passed just the day before at age 94. Fr. Walpole's brother was my parish priest growing up, and the stained glass windows in my church were designed and created by Fr. Donald. It was a fun little coincidence in my friendship with Fr. Eric.

Every visit my friends and I made to St. Meinrad and Abbey Press included a visit with Father Eric. Sometimes we shared lunch, sometimes a walk around the grounds, and once we were treated to the lyrical sounds of chanting in the chapel. Fr. Eric was a former director of Abbey Press and knew my recently deceased former boss, publisher of Automobile Quarterly, who at one time was art director there and often asked me about Fr. Eric. It is a small world. And I wonder if the two have met in heaven yet.

Once, friends from Kentuckiana and the Evansville region got together with Father Eric's help to have a calligraphy workshop retreat at St. Meinrad. Fr. Eric taught a session, I taught a session, several others also taught sessions, and it brought many good people together who otherwise might never have met. Last Spring I was in a workshop in Memphis with beautiful Travis, a transplant to Arkansas whom I remembered fondly from the Evansville guild. This connection to the Evansville guild also led to my taking workshops from the 'Queen of Calligraphy' Sheila Waters, whom the Evansville guild had contracted with to teach there. (She broke her wrist at one of the workshops and we feared it might end her calligraphic career, but she is indomitable.) The calligraphy field is full of such connections that make us feel almost like a family.

Father Eric was very prolific. When I once lamented that I worked at my dining room table and had to clear projects away each night, he taught me that it is important to have a dedicated space for art. In his case it was only a small table in his tiny quarters - but it was a place where he didn't have to clear away what he was working on each night, but could keep his tools and current project out for work when he had time. His days were quite full with development office work, traveling to many churches to fill in when priests were needed, prayer and more. His calligraphy time was limited, just as mine was as a young mother then. He taught me to flourish, he taught me how to drop color into water-drawn letters to get magic. Of course, when he dropped colors into his Roman letters it was sheer heaven. And speaking of heaven, I picture Father Eric in heaven now lettering for the angels with one of their own quill feathers...taken from the left wing, of course!

I found these images of a few of Father Eric's pieces online.

Requiem in Pacem, old Friend.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Valentine/Greeting Card Class

I will be teaching a Valentine and greeting card class on the next two Saturdays. From 2 - 6pm this coming Saturday and the next (February 4 and 11) I will be teaching for the Arts Council of Southern Indiana at the New Albany Indiana YMCA.

There is a roster of classes set for this month and early March. To sign up and to check on other classes, which include accordion books, intro to calligraphy and paper batik, contact the Arts Council of Southern Indiana (812) 949-4238.

Here are a few of the cards we'll be making and the packets for each.