Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pursuit of Mastering the Masters.

This is a photo of a calligraphic piece completed by the extremely talented Rosie Kelly.  I actually bought this print at a calligraphy conference I attended at least ten years ago.  It has been hung in my home, in various rooms, for years.  My son Colin recently told me he wanted this work of art.  "Are you joking, Colin?"  Of course you can't have it.  "Well, then" he said, "Can you make one for me?".  I made a promise that I would do a piece with this quotation for him.

I wanted to make the same letterforms as Rosie and other talented folks out there in the lettering community.  I've been practicing and playing and experimenting.  While doing all of this, I was reminded of Lisa's comment in her creative list quilt workshop.  She cautioned against creating work like your teacher.  She said she could spot them from far away.  But I wondered about this.  Isn't this the way we learn?  Isn't it all about trying to make the letters like the best.  And what about our own unique hand?  Isn't it always going to be there, our own signature that no one can duplicate no matter what they do?  I'm reminded of the William Stafford poem, beautifully recited by the extraordinaire, Laurie Doctor,

Your exact errors make a music
that nobody hears.
Your straying feet find the great dance,
walking alone.
And you live on a world where stumbling
always leads home. 

So I will continue, the emulate those I admire so, make my own exact errors, and create something that comes alive from my heart to my hand.  Here' s my own piece, completed on a piece of painted canvas for Colin.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Creative List Quilt Progress

Here are more of my pieces for my quilt

This is what it looks like completed.  Just finished this afternoon.  Delightful process.  My next "quilts" will be smaller in dimension and I will play with the order and arrangements.  Also the colors.  I stitched the pieces on the large muslin backing and attached, sewed, fused and glued on the embellishments.  Also, you will notice rubber stamp images as well.  This sort of thing...well, it's my bag, baby.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

my creative list quilt

Here is another piece for my Creative List Quilt from Lisa's workshop.  Of course, a work in progress but I'm pleased with the process!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My She Crush.

Here are a few cards I created today from my new Dina Wakely stamps.  Slathered some cardstock with gesso, colored in with a few watercolors, applied some vintage text sheets with gel medium and hand lettered a few words on the border.  I love these stamps.  And Dina.  Lucky for me, she lives in my area of the country and I get to attend local workshops.  I'm itching to sign up for her journaling class, too.  She is one of the best!

Funky Versals

More than any art technique at this time, I want to be able to create versals.  Versals are a specific "hand" of calligraphy.  Having done my fair share of google searches on versals, I find that there is quite a diverse delivery.  The versals I really enjoy are casual I would guess, contemporary perhaps, and funky.  I don't think there are a bunch of folks willing and able to teach this for me, especially on line.  If anyone knows of someone, please give me a shout.  So I resort to my own art studio to try to emulate the masters (exemplars on my clip board)  I've been a calligrapher for 23 years.  This is hard stuff to do.  For me anyway.  But of so much value.  Why, I'm not entirely certain.  I asked my teacher, Reggie, twenty two years ago why it is that I'm so drawn to this crazy art (craft) and his simple, almost belligerent reply was, "Don't ask".  Here are two pieces I played with today for my creative list quilt from Lisa's class I took a few weeks ago.  The "be still" quote is from t.s. eliot and the other, Maya Angelo. I'm pleased.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Art Buffet...A Teri Martin Class

I don't think I mentioned my online class with Teri Martin.  Okay, there's a trend here; another she-crush.  Yikes.  Teri is the best.  The very best.  Personally, artistically, soulfully.  It has been the most valuable time I've spent learning in a very, very long time.  The class offers such a wealth of techniques, ideas, concepts and more.  I loved this class.  Here's a showing of the paste paper books I created.  They will all be filled.  Soon.  I'm a calligrapher, remember?

Saturday Antique Find and Dina Wakely Class

Is this awesome or what?  I'm a container freak.  I've long adored drawers, pockets, boxes, pouches, totes and anything that can contain something.  So when I peeked at this monstrosity at the antique store this morning while waiting to attend my class, I declared "sold".  Especially when the dealer discounted the price by 25% and waived sales tax.  A steal.  I love it!  What is it?  Okay, it's a 30 drawer/slot postal mail box all brass drawer fronts, with keys (with the exception of two) How big?  24" wide, 26.5" high and 14.5" deep.  I'm only imagining the possibilities.

Then on to my class with another artist I have a she-crush on...Dina Wakely.  I didn't have a clue who this artist was until less than one month ago when I saw her rubber stamp images from Stampington. After her bio it stated, "a Glendale, AZ resident". What?  Really?  I immediately headed to her blog/web site and read about her local teaching workshops and there I was today.  I brought along my new BFF, Janet, who I met last Sunday at Art Unraveled.  Janet lives in Mesa, too.  This is how this stuff works; we called it synchronicity today.  Whatever it is, it's divine.  The class was great.  We drew abstract birds.  What?  Seriously, if you would have told me one year ago (or one month ago for that matter) that I would have attended this class, I would have denied it completely. I've never drawn anything like this in my lifetime.  For real.  The muse is a funny thing, isn't she?  It was a delightful class.  Yes, you can do it.  I did.  Explore, go to the edge, then jump.

My Adventure at Art Unraveled

Last Sunday I was able to partake in my very first experience at Art Unraveled.  I'm a local, so perhaps I didn't experience the same as if I'd flown in from out of town, taken up residence at the hotel and spent the week attending the multitude of classes offered.  No, not me.  I chose one class, Your Creative List Quilt offered by Lisa Engelbrecht. I've admired Lisa for many years.  A she-crush I confess.  While I thoroughly admire her skill and talent, I have a great deal of respect for her as a person and her genuine kindness and generosity.  Lisa's an amazing soul.

Having said all that, I will report that my experience was not remarkable.  The class was very short, long lunch break and no matter who is teaching, there is only enough time to scratch the surface.  However, much is gained to share a Sunday with like minded kindred spirits who all "get it".  That, my friend, is priceless.  I question the high cost of the classes, in addition to "instructor fees for supplies" as well as "registration fees".  Really?  For what, exactly.  I say, "build it into the cost of the workshop".  Lessens the pain.

I had a great day.  This was a class where we painted canvas, cotton and muslin and tore and cut them up into pieces, painted them with acrylics, lettered on them and arranged with found objects, do-dads, fibers and more.  Here's my work in progress.  Will continue to color and paint my pieces and delve into my soulful list. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jos(c)elin's Book

Here's some pics from my recent creation for Joselin, a lovely young lady heading off to college, away from home for the first time.  I've had the pleasure and honor to work with Joselin for a while and wanted to give her a gift from my hers.