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!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Template for LOVE

This is the template for a piece I am currently working on as a Wedding Gift. Using graph paper to design a piece makes things a little easier (not that designing any art is simple!). This piece will be very symmetrical, as you can tell. I had studied the acanthus leaf and how to draw it about a year ago and still had my worksheets. So when I started this project I thought the acanthus leaf would work well in the layout and design. As I work on a commission, I scan it. Sort of layer by layer. If the next step that I decide to do turns out not to be what I had in mind, I can easily go back a step! It saves time (and angst!). Next step - put a sheet of layout bond paper over this template and start my rough draft of all of the lettering! If I like what I see, then the two will be put together on one sheet. Final steps - figuring out the colorways and committing to watercolor paper with pen and ink!

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