Monday, October 13, 2008

Journal Art set to music

This is my first "music video" featuring calligraphy from various journals and the song by Norah Jones called "Those sweet words."

And here is a video of me lettering in our class this summer in Chicago, thanks to Hiroko Shimizu:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Student Work from Black Magic Workshop

The St. Louis Calligraphy Guild had me in to teach Black Magic over the weekend. The workshop is about using color on black paper for lettering. Everyone worked really hard, and there were lots of oohs and aahs as they saw how amazing these colors look on black paper. Here are some samples of what they created.

We started by mixing 12 shades of gouache and then testing samples on different kinds of black paper.  We used Fabriano Ingres, Bugra black and Arches cover black. 

Then we moved on to testing Pearl-ex pigments and Twinkling H2Os:

Here is one table covered with samples of lettering done by the class on the second day:

These two were done by a left-handed calligrapher using a parallel pen:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Workshop with Charles Pearce

Over the weekend the Memphis Calligraphy Guild hosted a workshop with Charles Pearce.  The topic was pen manipulation, and we worked with uppercase and lowercase Romans. 
As he demonstrated on butcher paper at the front, we were able to follow along with his beautiful handouts. These handouts are the best I have ever seen -- with extraordinary clarity, drawings and notes. Late in the day on Sunday he demonstrated this funky alphabet based on the work of Arthur Baker.

One of the demos that Charles did in front of class:

My own work on some cold press watercolor paper:

Monday, August 04, 2008

More From Letters Mingle Souls

There were so many exhibits at conference, and each one was equally breathtaking.  This first photo is from the TreeWhispers Exhibit, which was hung in a kind of atrium from the ceiling and could be seen from both the main floor and the balcony above, where I took this photo.

Then there was the faculty exhibit. I took a number of photos, but since most of the pieces were under glass, they were hard to photograph.  Here are two that caught my eye -- the first one is Rosie Kelly's book, which was in a case. I can never get enough of looking at her work!

This is just one panel of many that were hanging from a clothesline (for lack of a better word) by Lisa Englebrecht. I believe it was a book, with all the pages hanging next to each other.

When I arrived at conference I was greeted with excitement about my Martin Luther King painting.  I was so honored and humbled that it was placed at the entrance to the Chicago guild's Exploration 2008 exhibit in this very prominent position. I still can't quite get over it.

One of the unique features about this conference were the Mini Workshops.  It was like having a conference within a conference.  Here is the book I made in one of the classes I took.  It was so cool -- I just had to know how to do this beaded binding! Class was taught by Barbara Mann.

I have more photos, and will keep posting them until I run out!  My dining room table is still covered with supplies from conference, and will have to be cleaned up before we have guests this weekend. And the big Martin Luther King painting is still in a box in the corner!  Shipping that piece home was an adventure!  

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gestural Writing with Yves Leterme at conference part 2

Here are photos of the lettering that I did in the workshop. Yves' preferred lettering tool is the humble and unloved Speedball C5.  So many experienced and established calligraphers (Sheila Waters comes to mind) have said that any Speedball nib smaller than a 3 is useless because of inconsistent manufacturing.*  But Yves swears by them, and after a bit of warming up, they worked fine.  It was hard to believe that we could get such lines from a lowly Speedball nib. The white paper is Arches text wove, and the darker papers are Bugra. The abstract color square in the first photo is done with my old favorites, Twinkling H2Os.

These little abstract marks were about 2 X 3" and done over some watercolor backgrounds that I had previously done in a journal.

* In a note of clarification Sheila said, "I would be talking about not to expect predictable sharp thicks and thins for relatively slow, precise formal writing. Gestural writing is quite different, needing speed, and Speedball smaller C series nibs would be fine for that....I would never use the term "useless" about any tool, especially nibs, because it depends on what you want to use them for..."  
Thank you, Sheila, for the explanation.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gestural Writing with Yves Leterme at conference

My class at conference was gestural writing with Yves Leterme. He was an excellent teacher, patiently taking us through exercises to help us deconstruct the letterforms and then reconstruct them in a thoughtful but spontaneous-looking way. He was self-effacing, honest and generous with his demonstrations. He also is an amazing communicator, considering that English is his second language. It was lovely to lieten to his lilting accent!

We did pages and pages of practice work! Then around the middle of the 2nd day we started to do some things on individual sheets, like this repetition exercise, when we were allowed to add color! Everything that we did during the week was a progression, building in succession on what he had taught before. It was challenging to remember it all and implement in into new exercises as the week went on. Here are some samples:

Joan Machinchick's "artifex" exercise with color added:

Yves' "artifex" demo:

Another demo by Yves:

Two Japanese women were in our class and they were like stealth calligraphers! They just sat quietly and knocked out some amazing work! Here are a few pieces by Hiroko Shimizu that just blew us all away:

This is another example of the repetition exercise, done by Barbara Beattie:

Another repetition exercise by Yukimi Annand:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Letters Mingle Souls first impressions

Wow! I am finally here and so far everything has been amazing!  If I elaborate, it will all sound too gushy, so I will just share these first photos:

I am taking a week long class with Yves Leterme called Gestural Writing. Here is one of his demos:
This is Yves demonstrating at someone's desk in class:

In the classroom next door is Charles Pearce!  Here is one of his class demos from the first day.  I post it because it typifies what conference is all about (aside from all the socializing, shopping, and seeing exhibits!)

Charles Pearce
Reggie was impressed with Peter's suspenders and couldn't resist!  They called themselves 2 good-old-boys from Tennessee!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Second half at Arrowmont

What an intense week! We all worked hard during the day and most of us stayed in the studio til after 9 every night.  Dan was generous with his time, coming back in after hours to help everyone or just hang out with us.  Here are the books that I did, some of Dan's and some of the other students'.

My 4 X 6" book, with papers that I had decorated in advance:

The same book, open from the front, showing the papers:

Cover of my other wooden board book:

Both covers and spine sewing:

Detail of window, covered with mica and tiny brass nails:

Detail of back cover. Notice the crackled wood treatment. I made the tiny scroll myself, including the carved dowels, using an actual power tool!

Detail of the headband sewing, which was one of the most difficult things that we did:

Inside back cover with marbled paper under a circle of mica:

Inside front cover:

The tiny book that I started on the first day, finished off with a headband stitch:

Two covers not attached to a text block yet:

These two books are examples of Dan's. The top one is about 4 X 5" with blank pages. This is a detail of the spine, the stitching, the colorful way that he dyes the covers and the inset with the shells. Most of his books look like this.

This book is a sample showing the kinds of things we could do to the covers ou our books -- the inset windows, the mica shapes sewn in, the little pillow-shaped insets on the bottom right.

Ann's book:

Damon McIntyre's book:
Lynne's book:
Patty's book:
It was a great workshop and I am so glad that I was able to attend.  From a calligrapher's point of view, it was wonderful to understand this structure better.  I can imagine books filled with lettering done this way.  I definitely came away with ideas for future projects.