Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Christmas Tea

This isn't an art post. Or a calligraphy post. But it is something that I "worked on" for about a week,
so I thought I'd share it with all my blogging friends. 

Tea is a very special thing for me.
I love the art of making a fine pot of tea.
I love going to tea; hosting a tea; drinking tea and most of all, sharing tea with friends.

So, I had a Christmas Tea for a few dear friends of mine. 

The food table looked like this.

On the menu...

Yorkshire Tea

Classic Cream Scones served with Devonshire Cream
and strawberry and raspberry preserves

An assortment of finger sandwiches

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Cucumber & Alfalfa Sprouts
Cucumber, Red Pepper & Dill Cream Cheese
Chicken Salad with Red Grapes

And the Dessert Course

Lemon Pound Cake
Cranberry Orange Bread
Cream Cheese Brownies
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate Chubbies

I am half-Italian, and the modus operandi in our home was
to never let your guest go away hungry or thirsty.

I can assure you that the objective was met and that all were delightfully stuffed at the end! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More Photos from Deaver Workshop

As promised! This was done by Lisa.
Beautiful brushwork on the word "Art"!
(Sorry for the blurry image here.)

 This was done by Karen.
She loves pointed brush and has 
made some gorgeous strokes here.
This was one of the Luce's practice sheets.
Take a look at her blog to see more of her
amazing work.

One of my favorites 
done by Rosie.

And finally, this gorgeous piece done by Linda. (Check out her site here.)

A Weekend with Georgia Deaver

Last weekend, Georgia Deaver (see her great website here) came to Chicago and I had the privilege of taking her "Stylized Writing" workshop. This was my first time in a class with her and I am SO GRATEFUL for the opportunity. I've admired her work for a long time and have heard so much about her, that it was such a pleasure to finally meet her in person. She is, indeed, a gracious, gentle person and a fabulous teacher.

The workshop was called, as I mentioned above, "Stylized Writing". It was designed to help us recognize the individual characteristics that appear in our own handwriting and then to expand upon those characteristics through various exercises. I won't be sharing the whole list of those exercises here as I feel that would be unethical, since Georgia does make part of her living through teaching classes. I will, however, give one or two teaser examples and hopefully, it will be enough to entice you to have Georgia come to teach in YOUR city. :-)

One of the exercises was to make all the consonants very condensed and spiky, and all the vowels, except i, very round. This made for a very interesting pattern, as seen here. Unfortunately, I don't know who did this practice sheet, but it's very beautiful, isn't it???? (I see that this person rose to the challenge and made the "i" round as well. :-)

This was one of my interpretations of the same exercise, using pointed brush and white gouache on black Arches cover.


Another exercise was to use capitals somewhere in a text that used mostly lowercase letters. I did this quick sketch, using the pointed brush and red gouache on 90# Arches rough watercolor paper.

The hand of the master at work! 

And one of Georgia's demos. LOOK AT THOSE STROKES!!! (Pointed brush example)

Check back later for more photos from the workshop!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wildman Designs Featured in Calligraphy Article on the Web!

I just received an email that my blog was featured in the article "40 Fantastic Calligraphy Blogs" at the website:

Take a look at the article (click here) and you'll see some of the great blogs that are listed here, as well as ones I didn't know existed. I think this article, on this particular site, is a great way to promote the "art of beautiful writing" to a younger generation of artists and designers!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Carol Pallesen Workshop, continued

These last two images aren't cards. I'm not sure what I'm going to use them for. I was thinking the tree image would look good with some words written in white on the lower right side. We'll see.

Carol Pallesen Workshop

Last weekend, the CCC hosted talented lettering artist Carol Pallesen from Reno, Nevada. (Carol doesn't have a website yet, but just Google her name and see what you come up with.) She taught a workshop called "Batik Cards". (Batik is a method of dyeing fabric, in which parts of the cloth not intended to be dyed, are covered with removable wax).

I've always wanted to learn batik because of the bright colors and wild patterns that one usually sees in this process. Carol made it easy by applying the technique to paper, which was a great way to introduce it to beginners.

The results were simply breathtaking. Everyone did such beautiful work! Unfortunately, I did not bring my camera so I don't have the step-by-step process to show you. I'm hoping to get some images from a friend, but until then, here are some of my finished pieces.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Very Special Piece

A dear friend of ours got married over the weekend and this piece was a gift for her and her new husband. It is a testimony to God's faithfulness in their lives.

Our friend became a widow 15 years ago, at the age 43 years old. She was left to care for five children, ages 7 to 16. Our church family, as well as her immediate family, took seriously the biblical mandate to "care for widows and orphans". And the Lord was faithful to become husband and father to her and her children. We watched in awe as her "mourning was turned into gladness" and her children grew to be men and women who loved the Lord with their whole heart, soul, mind and strength.

Her new husband was also a widower for 2 years and father to 3 young adult children.

Theirs is a story of love, loss, healing and love again. And this verse has become their theme. The fall colors were chosen by both of them, to fit with their living room decor. I used a pointed brush with gouache for the lettering and watercolors for the color.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Your Handwriting Made Into a Font!

Someone on Cyberscribes just posted this link for a Pilot Pen promotional piece. A very clever advertisement. Click on the link and watch the little instructional video, which in itself, is very creative. If you choose to do it, you can get your own handwriting made into a font...for FREE!

Here's the link: Pilot Handwriting Promo

NOTE: I am not endorsing Pilot, and am not being paid by Pilot to post this. This is strictly for fun and I thought you'd be interested. :-)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The CCC Hosts a Day of Tiny Workshops

Last Saturday, the Chicago Calligraphy Collective tried a new thing and hosted a day of tiny workshops. There were ten to choose from: five in the morning and five in the afternoon; and each were three hours, with a break for lunch in between.

Well, the day turned out to be a great success, with lots of new members and new non-members coming out to get a sampling of "the art of beautiful writing"! It really was a great way to introduce people to calligraphy, without them feeling too overwhelmed by a full-blown workshop.

I had the privilege of teaching one of the workshops, called "Monoline Play". And play we did! I had each student analyze and trace a worksheet of skeletal Roman forms and then we began distorting those forms, as well as "bouncing" and rotating them on the page. We also tried some monoline cursive lettering. We looked at the negative space in and around those forms, as well as the space that's created on the page once you've placed the letters on it. Then we tried some exercises to enhance that space through either color or value. It was a lot to cover in only 3 hours, but as you'll see from some of these examples, I had some really talented people in my class. (I apologize for the blurry photos. Seems it's time for a new digital camera!!!)

Here's a great practice sheet, and a couple of other pieces, done by Stacey, who happens to be a professional calligrapher. Check out her website here to see more of her beautiful work!

Then there are these wonderful pieces by the amazing Rosie!

These next two pieces were done by the very talented Janice!

This next example was done by Jeannie, one of our very enthusiastic new members. Pretty nice, isn't it?!!!

This piece was done by Ellie, who got very creative with her letterforms!

This piece was done by Jan, who is a brand-new member of the CCC. I love the bright colors she used in the piece.

And last, but not least, is this little beauty by Louise. I really like the way she used the colors here.

Didn't they all do such a wonderful job?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Some New Work

Tomorrow is our annual Chicago Calligraphy Collective picnic and we're having a greeting card sale. I came up with these few new designs that I thought would work for the cards as well as larger prints. This first one is an Irish proverb that I thought would make a nice greeting for the front of a card. I lettered this on a 12" x 9" sheet of Arches Text Wove, with a pointed brush and sumi ink. I scanned it into Photoshop and cleaned it up, then reduced it to a 6" x 4" image for a card.

This second image was from a sheet of marbled papers that I made last week at a creative play date with some friends. I didn't like the way the whole sheet turned out, but when I isolated part of the sheet, I saw this image. I then filled in the white spaces with sumi ink and this was the result. Thought this would look cool as a very large print.

The next three images are some of my abstract markings turned into 5" x 7" greeting cards. The first one is sumi ink and a red Sharpie Poster Paint pen on a printing paper. The second, sumi ink and the Sharpie on Arches Text Wove, and the third is bleach on black card stock with the Sharpie paint pen.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Well, this time I have a really good reason for not posting for a while. After my last post, we went on a spontaneous vacation. Since we really didn't know where we were going, I brought along my laptop—my very expensive laptop—to plan the trip while en route.

All was well until the final day, when we went to a water park and I slid my laptop bag slightly under the back seat before we went inside. (The key word is "slightly". Part of the bag was sticking out.) And I forgot to zip it. And, unbeknownst to us, just as we got out of the truck, our son had tipped over the cooler that had water in it. And when we got back, all the water had mysteriously disappeared and wasn't on the seat or on the floor of the truck!!!!!

Yep, you guessed it! The "perfect storm", as my husband is describing this little catastrophe. :-)

So, after drying out the computer for 48 hrs. per my tech guy's instructions, it worked for about 24 hrs. then died. Of course, neither my Apple warranty or my homeowner's insurance covered this particular scenario. (Found out that if the water main in my house had broken and spilled onto the laptop, THAT scenario would have been covered. ARRGGHHH!!!!!)

Fortunately, most of my data had been backed up. (I have learned the hard way that I need to do that!) But my iPhoto folder had not been backed up in awhile. I took the computer in to see if it could be repaired and was told it would cost more to repair it than it would to get a new one; but they did retrieve my data, so all is well. My new computer arrived yesterday and I am now fully operational again after almost 2 weeks without a computer.

So, I hope to have a nice little post sometime at the end of this week. A few of my artist friends are getting together for another creative play date and I hope I'll have some fun stuff to share with you then.

Enjoy the rest of summer vacation and try to keep cool! We've been having awfully hot and humid weather here in Chicagoland and I've been staying indoors way too much.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Small Commission

One of my former calligraphy students called to ask if I could letter this quote for her youngest daughter, who's just about to go off to college. My student was involved in a serious accident a few years back, and she suffered some brain damage. She's had a long road to recovery and is doing well now, but it was tough for her two young daughters to go through that experience.

Her daughter likes earthtone blues and greens so I came up with this.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Results of Our Play Date!

Here are some of the cards that Martha made.

And here are some of the ones I made.

My Friend, Martha!

I have been incredibly blessed to have some very special, creative friends in my life. One of them is my very dear, VERY creative and very generous friend, Martha. I met her back in 1987 when a mutual friend (her sister) introduced us. Martha had her own graphic design business and her sister thought we should meet. I needed an interview with a working professional for my final project in design school, so Martha and I met over lunch. She reviewed my portfolio and, much to my surprise, offered me a job after I graduated. So, three days after graduation, I began working for Martha and we've been friends ever since! A working relationship/friendship like ours comes around only once in a lifetime and I'm so VERY glad it's with Martha.

So, this past week, Martha and I decided it was time for a play date. We met in her basement studio to make greeting cards. First, you HAVE to check out her studio because it's such an inspiring place to make art. (There's Martha below, at right in the photo.)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Wonderings by My Readers

 A few months ago I posted an item about things I wonder about. I asked my readers to chime in with their wonderings, whether deep or trite, funny or serious. Thank you all for your insightful, thoughtful and beautiful comments. Here they are. Enjoy!

Jane Farr said...
•I wonder what amazing lives my children will lead.
•I wonder why I keep waking up at 4am.
•I wonder why so many people have allergies as adults that didn't when they were kids.
•I wonder why God created the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Shannon Wilson said...
•I wonder how to stop my children from losing their sense of wonder.
•I wonder why God gives me such an undeserved long leash.
•I wonder when living will replace trying.
•I wonder where He is leading me—but I'll go there without knowing.
•I wonder how blog friendships can be so rich.

Agnes said...
•I wonder when my mother's hands replaced mine!

Joygerm said...
•I wonder how anyone can be bored when there are so many things that are amazing and, well, wonderful to look at, to think about, to learn.

•I wonder at the purpose of things for which there is such an abundance, yet most of us either despise or are at least annoyed by, such as dandelions, or dog hair—there must be a really useful purpose, but we don't know it. Maybe some ingredient in dandelions is the cure for cancer or something.