Thursday, August 20, 2009

Calligraphy Picnic and Show & Tell

Last Sunday, about 25 Chicago Calligraphy Collective members got together for a picnic and to share calligraphic treats from this summer's conference. There was a plethora of goodies being passed around. A feast for the eyes, as well as the belly! (10 points to the person who guesses one of my favorite words used in this paragraph! :-)

These photos show some of Rita's (our host) calligraphy on display in her home. The first one is a table runner, of which only half is shown here. Next, is a quote on her kitchen soffit. And third, a table covering for her husband on Father's Day. Cool stuff, huh?!

Next, we have some great samples by my talented friend Kathy, who attended a class by Louise Grunewald, a calligrapher/artist from Durango, Colorado. (I couldn't find a website for her.) These techniques are really interesting.
Here's a collage painting by Marge. This technique involved torn magazine pages that had the ink rubbed, smeared, or removed with a fluid whose name I can't remember. She then pieced them together to make this landscape picture; sealed it; then lettered over it.

Here's a photo of a practice sheet done by Beth, one of our members who teaches calligraphy at a college in the northwest suburbs. She took a Sheila Waters' class.

Stay tuned for a few more images from Sunday!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Very Special ATC Trade!

These 5 cards are a series created by my 7-year-old son in the past week. I've given him some of my trading cards and let him pick out some of the ones I've collected. We're putting them in his own special folder! :-)

Online ATC Exchange - Part 2

And now for the promised Part 2! These cards are from Donna in Edmond, Oklahoma. Take a look at those delicate caps in the first ATC. Keep in mind that these cards are only 2.5" x 3.5", so that will give you an idea of the skill involved in making those letters. And Donna sent them framed in a black mat. Beautiful, aren't they?!

Online ATC Exchange - Part 1

Well, readers! The online ATC thing is off to a great start! Yesterday, I opened my mailbox and found two packages from women who follow my blog. Can I just tell you that I am a total softy for REAL, physical mail! I love seeing packages with my name on them. I love opening packages. I love finding treasures inside packages!

Now, don't get me wrong. I also love technology and the fact that I can jot a quick note off to someone on the other side of the world, and it gets there instantly. But I have to say there's something about a handwritten letter or card that doesn't compare to the virtual thing. Perhaps that's why I love calligraphy (and calligraphers!). We take great pleasure in making letters, notes and cards look beautiful.

OK. Enough of that. Below are some photos of what I received from Jane in Carmel, Indiana. Her beautiful work can be seen on her blog:

This absolutely delightful "book" is the holder for the ATCs she sent me.

And these are two of my favorite cards she sent me. (She sent me 6 in all, but for the sake of time, I'm posting two.) Thank you, Jane!

Check back for ATC Exchange - Part II, as I share more treasures from Donna in Oklahoma!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Studio Hop #1

Rita's studio south of Chicago, Illinois. Thanks for sharing, Rita!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Studio Hop

I've had this idea that it would be fun to do a "Studio Hop"—sort of like a progressive dinner. Artists within a small geographic area would open their studios for an evening, and a small group of people would "hop" to each one. While there, perhaps the artist would give a brief demo, show some samples of his/her work, and of course, share some tasty refreshments!

Well, I can't offer you any refreshments online, and you're already getting to see some samples of my work, but I can show you some pics of my studio. It's about 10' x 16', with a 10' wide x 3' deep closet that stores a lot of stuff.

P.S. If any of my readers would like to offer a virtual look inside your studios, I'd be happy to post your pics here with a link to your blog or website. Sort of an around-the-world studio hop!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rough Idea for a New Piece

This quote by Thomas Merton is
one of my all-time favorites. I love
the concept of the earth being
"charged" with the glory of God,
as if some sort of supernatural
electricity—"fire and music"—
pulses through every part of
creation, and points to the Creator.

I have written this quote numerous
times, in different ways, and still
haven't quite found the best way to
"illustrate" it. Here's a rough idea.

A Bit About Artist Trading Cards

In response to a comment on the following post, I thought I'd share a bit about what an artist trading card is for those that don't know.

Basically, it's the same size as a sports trading card. 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". They are traded, not sold. They should be your original art, photographs, collage, limited edition prints, or mixed media. And though the ideal is to trade them in person so that one can get to know other artists, there are plenty of online places to trade.

Here's an excellent resource for those who are interested in finding out more about them.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Calling All Artists!!!

Hi, readers!

I just had my first online request to trade ATCs,
so I thought I'd throw an idea out to all of you.
I'd love to see what YOU are making in YOUR
studio, so if anyone's interested in trading ATCs
with me, let me know. Either leave a comment
here with a way that I can contact you, or email
me at

Hope to hear from you!

ATC Night!

Tonight was our quarterly trade at the local art supply store
and the 1 year anniversary of our trading! We even had a
6-year-old girl come out to trade! (I didn't get one of her cards
because she didn't bring enough, but perhaps I can post hers next time.)

Here are some of the ones I traded. (I don't yet have permission
from the other artists to post theirs. Forgot to ask them tonight.
Hopefully, I can get that so you can see the goodies I received!)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Growth Chart

My son just had his 7th birthday and I realized
that I had never done a growth chart for him.
We'd been marking his height and weight on a
small section of wall in our hallway up until last
year when I painted the wall. So, now we mark
it in the journal I've been keeping for him over the
years. But it really should be marked on a chart.

A few years before my son was born, I had done a
couple of growth charts as gifts. I did one as a sample
to keep so I dug it out of my closet a few weeks ago
and started working on a new one for my son. It's not
finished yet, but I'm doing it in the same style as the
one shown here. Different colors, but same lettering.

I'll post his when I'm done.