Sunday, December 4, 2011


I love this quote by Rumi.  Hand lettered on hand painted canvas "mini tapestry". 

Monday, November 28, 2011

I've just finished taking Roben Marie Smith's Mixed Media Mayhem online class.  We made a "journal" out of utilitarian file folders.  Spray inks, stencils and gesso was about all the supply list consisted of...oh, yes, water.  Lots of water.  I really enjoyed exploring these techniques and was amazed at the tremendous possibilities and results.  Lots of spontaneous creating which is good for the soul.  Here are some pics of my finished, hand sewn journal.

2011 Holiday Card Swap

I am ready to send out my holiday cards (handmade, of course!) to the members of my card swap.  These are also members from The Arizona Calligraphic Society of which I am a member.

I hand lettered this quotation and scanned into my computer.  I fused some sheets of muslin to freezer paper and ran it through my printer and made some mini color washes after printing.  Finally I sewed onto Strathmore Grandee Felt, a wonderful cardstock.

I really like how the white pops on the envelopes, too.  Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Remains of the Day; A Handmade Book

I recently completed my first Remains of the Day Book from the fabulous Mary Ann Moss class.  After spending the better part of my free time for several days viewing the remarkable works of the folks who have taken her workshop, I was hooked. Sent in my payment and soon after began creating my book.

I'm not sure what it is, but we all know the kind of teachers we've had who bring out the very best work in the students that they teach.  It is a special gift.

I seriously had no idea of what I was doing for the most part of designing and completing this book.  The book is based on using the materials, largely paper, fabric and ephemera and bits and pieces of our life.  Things we save.  Things we collect.  Things that resonate with us when we view them. Things that make their way into our life without our consent or invitation.  Things we cannot bear to live without.  Things we keep somewhere we don't even remember where. 

When I say that I didn't know what I was doing, I meant it.  There is this intuitive energy that overcomes and the choices one makes, decisions on placement, the right thing to do next; they all occur with grace and ease.  There is no resistance.  Complete presence.  I call it Divine.  Your hands are creating, but Spirit is working through you.  You're not alone in this process.

The most amazing discover in this journey was the simple, ordinary, unremarkable pieces of paper I randomly included in my book, to me, suddenly took on the opposite energy and breathed new life, became extraordinary in a delightful, still manner.

I am a calligrapher.  A lettering artist.  Words speak to me.  More specifically, the alphabet in general.  I think Mary Ann originally used this technique as a travel journal.  From my view, it has morphed into so much more.  What a tribute to a great teacher.  I've reunited with my beloved sewing machine, fearless. 

This is the cover to my book.  It is made of fabric scraps including bits of muslin and canvas that I've hand painted and hand lettered on.  I've been lettering on muslin and canvas quite a bit recently since taking Lisa's Creative List Quilt class.  The overall size of the book is approximately 6 X 9 when closed.  It called for a 3/4" to one inch spine, but I could have used a bigger one!  
Book Cover Fully Open
Book Back Open
Book Front
Book Back Closed

Book Front Closed

Here are some random pages of my book.  It actually has three sections with approximately 10 pages each.  Quite chunky. Lots of my pages include my own calligraphy practice sheet scraps, bits and pieces of stuff in my scrap box.  I've posted up all my pages on my flickr site as well.

Remains of the Day Book

Here is a video/slideshow of my book.  More blog to follow

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More Tao Portfolio Pieces

I've been experimenting with some of the techniques we learned in Mike's class last week end.  Here are two pieces that are kinda finished.  I think there might be some things I could do so I'll let it simmer for a bit.
I've also had a recent find of over 300 sheets of Strathmore Grandee Felt heavy paper.  The size of the sheets are 26" X 40".  Huge!  I spent some time tossing around some of the sumi ink on them and after drying, tore the sheets down.  This is the size we worked on in the class.  Here's a bunch of them I'll be working with.

Here's a few pictures of some watered down sumi using shapes of the alphabet with a large folded pen.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Tao Portfolio

The Calligraphic Society of Arizona of which I am a member, hosted the renowned Mike Gold last weekend for his workshop entitled The Tao Portfolio.  Mike is a very gifted, talented and skilled lettering artist employed by American Greetings for many years.  I was honored to take part in the process of creating my own personal Tao Portfolio.

Taking passages from the Tao te Ching, we created several pieces.  Mike encouraged us to jump out of the calligraphic box many of us are contained within.  This was a formidable challenge.  Trained to create letters with specific criteria-shape, dimension, height, etc. he asks us to break all these rules we learned and treat the alphabet as the artform in itself.  Legibility is not the relevant issue. Here's a lovely banner he created with all those 3" squares created by each one of us attending the workshop.

One of the buzz words of the workshop was "trend" and how art is showing up these days and gaining momentum.  I dunno.  What goes around comes around, right?  I think I'll wait until the reverence of letter forms and their rightly place in the world, returns.
In the meantime, however, I'll jump the bandwagon with others to explore this dimension. Here are some of my Tao pieces created.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sweet Darkness-A Paste Paper Book

David Whyte's poetry occupies a special place in my heart.  Here's one I hand lettered in my paste paper book.  Arches Text Wove.

Love After Love-A Paste Paper Book

This is one of my favorite poems.  Love After Love (aka Feast On Your Life) by Derek Walcott.  Hand lettered on Arches Text Wove, painted paste papers, hand bound into small approx. 5" X 7" book form.