Archive for the ‘art’ Category

The Pressure of Expressing Thanks

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Since before the arrival of Miss Juniper, we’ve had so many friends, family members and neighbors lend a helping hand for our little family. It’s been a real blessing to have such great support. A considerable amount of it is from the great support network of my church. It’s incredible. I couldn’t imagine welcoming a new baby without that.

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With all of the help, I’ve tried so hard to stay on top of all of the ‘Thank You’s. It’s hard sometimes! Why would a self-proclaimed calligrapher have a hard time doing that? I tell you why –

For some reason, I put pressure on myself that if I don’t bust out the calligraphy pens or if I (heaven forbid) use a thank you that someone else designed the sentiment is cheapened. It’s like I’m cheating or trying passing off someone else’s work as my own if I use a store-bought card. Also if I use the same card twice.

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I’m not trying to complain. These thoughts are completely ridiculous, if you ask me. But no less real. Does anyone else suffer from the same psychosis?

I have found a solution to help me send those much-deserved ‘Thank You’s:

  • Always have a variety of colored envelopes and blank flat cards on-hand so I can mix and match as I choose.
  • Always have a stockpile of stamps (which reminds me, I need to order more!)
  • Keep a list of owed ‘Thank You’s at my desk so when I have a spare moment for practice work, I can work through the list.

I didn’t implement these things until about July of this year. And I’m still working out the kinks in the process. If I were smarter, I would have a pile of hand-lettered cards like you see above already completed. All I’d have to do is write a note on the back. Maybe I’ll get on that bandwagon in the next few months. Change happens so slowly around my neck of the woods. :)

So how do you make sure those ‘Thank You’s get out?

Random Calligraphy Thoughts

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It wasn’t until September 2009 that I discovered calligraphy was part of my personal history. I’ve always loved letters; finding out that my great-great grandfather was a sign painter in Ogden, Utah made me love them more. It was like I was destined to love calligraphy. I can’t describe how perfectly timed that gift was. It was like God was telling me that calligraphy was what I was meant to do. It gave me more direction in my life.

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Since getting more involved in calligraphy, I’ve felt even more validated that I’m supposed to be here. Over the summer I attended a calligraphy conference. Spending a week with some of the world’s most amazing calligraphers was incredible and eye-opening.

In art school, I felt like I was somewhat of an outcast because I was in the strange gap between commercial and fine art. My professors nearly failed my BFA final show because it was “too commercial”. It bothered me that they couldn’t see that commercial art can be fine art.

I feel like calligraphy strikes that harmonious balance. The people in the calligraphy community get it, too. There’s a shared love for modern and traditional, commercial and fine art, formal and casual. I love that.

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Here’s a little birthday card I made for my cousin. It’s no fine art piece, but it required the creative process in order to complete. And isn’t that what creating art is about at the end of the day?

What art will you be creating?

Tutorial: Lettering with Watercolors

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Want to learn calligraphy? Let me teach you how at IStillLoveCalligraphy.com! Not quite ready to dip your toes into the deep ocean of pointed pen calligraphy? Try your hand at some simple brush lettering!

It’s been a LOOONG time since I’ve shared a tutorial here! Life is just passing me by at the moment, but settling down on the horizon. I’m very much looking forward to getting back into the blogging swing of things.

I was on KSL’s Studio 5 sharing a segment on how to letter with watercolor. Using a brush and watercolor is very forgiving as it caters towards a looser style. Lettering in your own handwriting, uneven kerning, inconsistent line weights are all a-okay here.

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The possibilities with watercolor are so endless. Artwork, greeting cards, business cards, gift tags. The list goes on! Check out my pinterest board for more DIY ideas using watercolor. Let’s talk about how to letter our own simple greeting cards!

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Supplies

You can certainly use crayola watercolors, but an intermediate or student set will make the colors more vibrant and you’ll have more control over the pigments.

You’ll want a round brush or a liner brush. Both would be great. The maroon brush in the image above is a size 8 round Kolinsky sable. It’s SUUPER awesome. However, I found a little set of 4 synthetic brushes (blue striped ones above) at Michael’s that includes size 10 and 12 rounds and size 6 and 8 liners. Liner brushes are long and skinny, round brushes are round with a sharp point at the end. Both provide great drama (the liner a little more), but make for a completely different touch.

We’re making greeting cards so the paper is really up to you. You can cut down watercolor paper to greeting card size, or you can use a nice cardstock. Both will work great because we’re not using a lot of water. Watercolor paper will give the work more texture and cardstock will give a smoother finish. For this tutorial I’m using watercolor paper.

Click “read more” for the rest of the tutorial!

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Calligraphy: Memorial for Miss Daisy

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I got an email from an acquaintance of mine asking if I would do some lettering for her daughter’s memorial. Not the kind of news I like to hear. Her precious girl left this earth before getting a chance to take her first breath.

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There are no words, really. This hits me so close to home as I’m waiting for our little girl to arrive. And it breaks my heart to think about the pain of their loss.

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Our family has been incredibly blessed with two beautiful, healthy children and one on the way. I haven’t experienced that pain of infertility or loss first hand, but there are so many women I know that struggle with it daily. It’s really changed the way I view this pregnancy.

I moan about the discomfort pregnancy brings, but it’s never with an ungrateful heart. The discomfort, frustration, emotional roller-coaster is because of a baby. A beautiful baby that I hope to meet in October and love as much as I love Penelope and Felix. I can’t forget that.

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The quote below the name and date is so perfect. “Faith tells me that no matter what lies ahead of me, God is already there.” The perfect reminder that we’re not alone in our struggles.

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The final piece is 11 x 14. Bonny wanted watercolor and gold like last month’s wedding calligraphy and little flourishes like my gold wedding inspiration calligraphy. I used a #1 liner brush with the watercolor and a gillott 404 with Dr PH Martin’s Spectralite gold for the calligraphed text.

 

Easy Ink Transfers Tutorial

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I was on Studio 5 yesterday sharing a few printmaking tutorials for easy Halloween DIYing with friends or kids! See the segment here.

As featured in the segment, here’s another printmaking idea for you perfect for the upcoming spooky season, or really any time of year.

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I love how these ink transfers are grainy, organic and grungy. The grunge is really fun for this season.

We used to make these kinds of prints all the time in college. I did basically an entire series with oil ink transfers. See my circle series circa 2005.

Grungy Ink Transfer Tutorial

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Supplies

  • ink (water soluble is best)
  • paper
  • pencil
  • brayer
  • acrylic printing plate

Note: you can use acrylic ink (the kinds that comes in tubes, not bottles) or oil paint for this technique!

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