Saturday, November 27, 2010

Poetry of Handwriting

I recently took a class from Laurie Doctor called the Poetry of Handwriting. While I thought it was going to be about learning calligraphy, it was really more about getting into a rhythm and flow and not worrying so much about the aesthetics of the writing. I can appreciate the idea of being in the flow but to not be concerned with the look of the lettering is very hard!
Laurie recited beautiful poetry throughout class while we practiced mixing many shades of neutrals in watercolor and writing freely as she had demonstrated. We each created an accordian book using the arches text wove paper that we had first painted with sumi ink then our washes of neutrals. The book was meant to be a journal of the process, a record of our formulas for our washes, snippets of letter shapes that we want to record and build on. The first photo above is the outside of my book and the second shows the inside where the pocket holds little samples.

Our next project was to section off parts of the black text wove and do a variety of lettering shapes and again, using neutrals,watercolor, gouache, colored pencils. Okay, I cheated, I used some white and gold gouache to liven
it up a bit! Then, according to the measurements Laurie provided, we cut up the piece and folded it, making it into a holder for our accordian book. Above is the full piece I did. Once I had cut it up and folded it, I didn't like the way it looked and wished I hadn't cut it. I decided to sew it back together using bookbinding thread, with the pieces placed differently than how I had originally done it. The colors in the photo below are true to the actual piece. In the end, I think this was my favorite part of the class.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Logo Design

I just finished this playful logo design for Terri. Terri makes some of the neatest jewelry, amongst other craft goodies. She added her own flair to the banner by deepening the blue and adding polka dots!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why Water?

Water is so essential to our lives and the planet and I know I completely take it for granted. I turn on my faucet, and there it is. Tomorrow is Blog Action Day and the subject this year is water. You can join in or simply read more about it here.

Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us who are subject to preventable disease and even death because of something that many of us take for granted.

Access to clean water is not just a human rights issue. It’s an environmental issue. An animal welfare issue. A sustainability issue. Water is a global issue, and it affects all of us.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Trunk Show

This is an invitation I did for a trunk show I'm doing with a couple of friends in November. The flourishes in the corners are swashes from the Bickham typeface, Trunk Show is hand lettered, as well as the envelopes, and the rest is typeset.

I'm planning to make some little accordian books with quotes, some holiday greetings and some messages of love. You can see a sample here . I'm also going to make some jewelry which I've got a few samples of below.

This first one and the bracelet below are using jumbo ball chains which I think are so fun.
On this necklace all the charms are sterling silver except for the center heart which is pewter.

I did this necklace with a much smaller ball chain that's been doubled. Some of the pieces are sterling silver, a couple are marquesite, one brass, and I'm not sure what the center heart is made from.

And this is one of my charm bracelets which is a combination of materials.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ring Pillow

Here's a new twist on a ring pillow and leave it to creative Jo Gartin of
Love Luck and Angels to come up with this idea.
I used acrylic paint and a brush to letter on this rough piece of wood. The rings will be tied to this eight inch wide slice of wood with ribbon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Painted Tag

I was getting ready to send a birthday card to my friend Stan and I really wanted to try something different for the addressing. I know Stan usually will save the envelopes I address, so I thought, maybe if I use a tag on the envelope he could have just something nice with his name on it, rather than yet another envelope. I just grabbed some gouache and applied it to the tag with a paper towel. Yes, that's right, I use very intricate techniques : )
I mounted the tag on the envelope then did the address on one line in gold with a pointed pen mimicking the style I used to do his name, which was done with a brush. Now we'll see if a tag with fibers attached will make it through the U.S. mail...I hope so or Stan will be receiving an e-card from me!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Martha Stewart Weddings

I just picked up the Fall issue of Martha Stewart
to check out my work that was published.
They published
a photo of a seating card and
envelope in my calligraphy.
The stationery designs
shown here are by Sugar Paper I've got a picture of
the cover on the right. It's always very
exciting to be published!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Accordian Book

I just got back from a visit with my brother and sister-in-law at their home in Santa Barbara. Ah, it's so beautiful there! I made this little two sided accordian book to give Wendy for her birthday. She is a fellow animal lover and I knew she would enjoy these two quotes.
This first photo is one of the covers that corresponds with the quote in black ink below.

Here's the cover on the reverse side of the book. Because the quote below is more humorous, I chose the polka dots for the cover, used the colored ink (which coordinates with the cover on the other side) and this whimsical variation of pointed pen calligraphy.

Monday, August 30, 2010

60's Lettering and Typecon

Wow, I can't believe how much time has gone by since my last post! I've been working on some nice jobs but the calligraphy hasn't been all that different from what I've posted in the past. Well, this style is definitely different and it's a first for me. The invitation has a Beatles/ Yellow Submarine theme so I found the typeface that was used online (it's called Doobie - how perfect is that!) , and worked out how to hand letter it. It was hard at first but then became kind of fun to do. Thankfully it wasn't a big job because these babies took some time!

I also took some time off to attend Typecon- a typography conference held each year by SOTA (The Society of Typographic Aficionados). It was five days of fascinating lectures on all different type related topics. I also took a workshop with a great type and logo designer Leslie Cabarga . I had an opportunity to mingle with some incredible designers and artists including Jill Bell and
Teri Kahan. I want to design typefaces/fonts to sell and now I'm all fired up to move forward!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Chalkboard Garden Markers

I was asked by Chelsea to write on these cute metal rimmed signs for her garden. Although they are chalkboards, I used acrylic paint on them with a calligraphy pen since Chelsea wanted the signs to be permanent.
Makes me want to start my own garden!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bunny Luv

Almost a year ago I had donated a custom pet portrait to be auctioned off at a fundraiser. The fundraiser was for Bunny Luv, the rabbit rescue where I got my two rabbits and the place where I board them and buy all their supplies (including their favorite treat, oat groats, otherwise known as bunny crack!). The portrait was purchased by Sepida, who, with employees and volunteers does a great job of running the rescue. "The Flopmans", Sepida's nickname for her quartet, are Fiona, Titus, Rocky and Charlie. I finally completed and delivered the 26 x 24 painting (my largest piece to date) this past weekend. It took me a long time to sit down and do it because of a constant abundance of work (thankfully!) and some concern that I wouldn't get it right. I'm really happy with the way it turned out and Sepida even got a little misty over it! By the way, the three gray and white bunnies are the brothers of my rabbit Maddie.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Nature Journal

Well, my final journal entry for the journal group project I've been involved with for about a year and a half. We've been swapping journals, doing art in each other's journals. It's been a great experience and finally got me doing art more frequently!

These pages are in a journal with nature as it's theme. I did the paintings from photographs that I had taken last July on my fantastic vacation in Alaska.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mythological Journal Page

My latest work, for one of the artist's in my round robin journal group, was chosen to fit her theme of Legends & Myths
. She wanted a good story and is partial to winged creatures. Pegasus seemed like the perfect choice. For the calligraphy I used walnut ink in her handmade book along with colored pencils and gold gouache. This was a fun theme and I really enjoyed doing the uncial lettering which I haven't done in quite some time.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Art for Animals

My friend Renee Troy has gathered a group of artists together to contribute to a book that will be up for auction. The money raised from the book will benefit A Place to Bark , a no kill foster and adoption rescue dedicated to the welfare of animals. The organization was founded in 2001 by mixed media artist Bernie Berlin. Being a passionate animal advocate, I'm thrilled to be part of this worthy fundraiser.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Seasons

Four new journal pages completed for my journal round robin group. The theme of this book is seasons. I love these quotes!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Gold Beveled Invitation

This invitation set is a combination of my calligraphy style and Sugar Paper's special flair for paper and beautiful letterpress printing.

You can really see the from this photo of the reception card how heavy weight and beautifully the gold beveled card is done.

This is my first illustrated hand lettered map. Several calligraphers are doing these so I did my own style of lettering to keep it unique.

And here's a view of the whole invitation package together with just a peak at the envelope lining.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Calligraphic Genealogy Book

This is a very special package I delivered to my client this past Friday morning.
I was commissioned to create a genealogy, all hand lettered and bound into a leather book for her husband's 90th birthday. His ancestry goes back to the Mayflower! I had two months to complete the book and I was a nervous wreck not having ever created a bound book nor a project that held such significance for a client.

These are just some of the 18 pages from the book.

About the cover of the book. The book binder was reluctant to foil stamp the cover, concerned the texture of the leather would impair the foil. He debossed the design which I later filled in with gold gouache because the debossing was not prominent enough for the cover.

And finally, the last page. After completing the calligraphy, it was off to the book binder. The binder was to stitch the two signatures I made and bind them in a distressed leather book, then foil stamp the cover image I made with calligraphy and type. When I arrived to pick up the genealogy, I was appalled to find that the binder had made a mistake. She had glued the pages of the two signatures together so that when the book was opened to the middle, the pages stuck straight up! I had explained many times during this process that this book was to be displayed on a beautiful book stand and kept open to various pages. The current binding was unacceptable. I was completely stunned and didn't know how I was going to deliver the book to my client the following day. The binder told me to simply "reprint" the three pages that would be damaged when they redid the binding. Reprint?? She didn't realize the entire book was hand lettered! I redid the pages and returned the following morning to oversee the binding. I rushed home to age the pages and calligraph the title page. Can you say "stress"! In the end, the binding was not perfect, but the client was so pleased with the book and that is the bottom line.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

CD Cover

This CD is hot off the press! My brother Jeff Holtzman did the graphic design and I did the lettering for the title. I did an album cover for a jazz artist years ago (when album's existed!), but this is my first CD cover. The music's pretty nice too.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lettering on Wood

Using the techniques I learned recently in Julie Haymaker Thompson's class, I created this piece to give Cody for her 14th birthday. Not being very experienced at using a wood burning tool, I realized
after I sketched out her name and transferred it to the wood that I had designed letters that were all curves - uh oh! It was a bit of a challenge, but I got the hang of it. The only thing I wish I had done was make the letters thicker so there would have been more room for color and pattern. But, Cody thought it was cool so that made me happy!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sharing the Renee Award

Time to share this special award with some of the people that continually inspire me and make me smile through their art and their heart...

Pen McKinley-Rodgers

Manon Doyle
Jane Farr
Erica McPhee
Xandra Zamora
Gina Lee Kim
Renee Troy
Silke Powers
Julie Haymaker Thomas

You can learn about the origins of this award here.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Renee Award

Today my friend Ces gave me the Renee award which is such an honor. The award was created by two women with abundant talent and huge hearts, Ces and Bella ,for their very special friend Renee. It's particularly meaningful since Renee touched so many people and gave so much of herself. Happy Birthday Renee. Thank you Ces!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Enchanting Class

I just got back from Seattle and have to show you what I did in Julie Haymaker Thompson's class called Enchanting. Julie is an incredible mixed media artist who uses her whimsical style for a wide variety of art pieces that she creates. She's only been teaching for a year and a half and she is so good at it! I don't take many art classes and tend to be artistically reserved (okay,maybe tied up would be more accurate!), but with Julie's warmth, kindness, and her positive, encouraging style, I had a blast! Everyone in the class used Julie's image as our starting point so we could dive right into all the techniques she taught without having to also work out our own illustration. The class was in Chehalis, Washington, about an hour and a half from Seattle, at Terri Brush's beautiful home. She couldn't have been nicer and made the day perfect with the delicious treat bags, snacks and lunch that she served. Oh, the limoncello cheesecake! And, Terri too, is a wonderful artist.

Another part of my trip was to see my brother Jeff, who lives in Seattle. I stayed with him and his friend Jill. The weather was cool but sunny and beautiful so we had the opportunity to take their adorable chihuahua Jimmy for a couple of walks around Green Lake.

We also went to a life drawing session at the University of Washington
on Sunday. Jeff is a brilliant illustrator! For me, not having done life drawing for 30 years...well, that's another story.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Brass Hinged Book

Joan Hawks, a sweet friend, calligrapher and bookmaker was teaching a class on making this 5x5 brass hinged book. I had never really learned any book construction before going to her class last year. Thread is used to tie around the brass rods which leaves, in this case 12 dangling pieces which Joan taught us to bead. Some of the beads were handmade with paper. I
finally finished it!

I love this quote. I'm
such a romantic!

And finally, here's the back of my little book. The end!