I grew up in Raleigh at a time when the nuns taught at Our Lady Of Lourdes. They lived out back of the school and wore those imposing yet Holy Habits that commanded your adoration, attention, and, quite frankly, your fear. So, when they asked you to "sit up straight" with your "feet flat on the floor" and compose your letters properly according to the Palmer Method of Handwriting, you did just that! I believe it was at that impressionable age that I became infatuated with the formation of letters. When I was introduced to calligraphy in 1978, it was no wonder I fell in love with this beautiful art form. My first taste of the calligraphic world lasted no longer than one hour. The instructor turned a piece of chalk on its edge to form calligraphic works of art from A to Z on the chalkboard. That was that! But it was all I needed to fire the embers that had been sparked in elementary school. Watching the slow, rhythmical shaping of those letters was like listening to classical music. It was not until 1997 that I enrolled in my first formal calligraphy class. Boy, were my eyes opened! I knew I had a lifelong road of learning ahead of me. It's been 38 years since that white piece of chalk was laid on its side. I am still learning. Come learn with me!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I worked on this piece today for my cousin, and subsequently for use in the future. Right before Thanksgiving of this year I went to a memorial service for a dear friend of mine. He was Norwegian. His brother stood behind the podium, telling stories of their childhood, of how his brother was so like their Father in many ways. They were both very proud men and very private. He thought that if maybe they had been able to share their feelings with the ones who loved them, they might have been happier in life. And then he quoted a Swedish saying that I had never heard before. It goes a little something like this: "Sorrow shared is half the sorrow: Joy shared is doubled." This has stayed in my mind since then, and I knew I wanted to do something with it.
The "S" was first filled in with water and then color was dropped into it and allowed to fall down the page...as in tears. The rest of "sorrow" was worked in water color crayons, giving a sense of roughness. Sorrow is just that... rough. The words "shared is halved" was first lettered in blue gouache and while still wet, white was dropped in. These two colors are "shared" in each letter.
So, we go from tears and rough times to shared-ness. The little flower gives us a little hope.


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