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!

Monday, November 9, 2015

This wedding mat was an interesting one to figure out. Seems like every calligraphic commission turns up something I've never done before. Sure, I've most likely done the lettering, at least, but even in this case, I had never done this type of lettering before.

So, what do you do? You tell your client you can do it and then you figure it out.

I was given an image from Pinterest to imitate with the lettering "Thirsty Script." I thought I would need to look at only those letters in that two-word image and then try to come up with the rest of the alphabet, figuring out which tool to use to accomplish the thick monoline effect.

Then I had the bright idea to Google "Thirsty Script." Lo and behold, it is a font, a downloadable font. So that's what I did. I downloaded it. Then typed out the names and the date.

What next? I used Saral Transfer Paper to transfer the outlines of the words onto the mat board. Once the outline was transferred, watercolor was laid into the words using a Princeton monogram brush. 

This took a lot of thinking and a lot of time, but once done, I was satisfied, and so was the Bride. And I learned how to do something I had not done before. Win-Win.

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