Wednesday, January 01, 2020

New Year Greeting 2020

Brush lettering with Dr. Martin's Pen-White on Shizen handmade paper from India

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Advent Calendar of Cards Day 24 (2018)

Last year's card was in memory of our dear friend Brian whose unexpected death shocked and saddened us to our core. I quoted the song—written for children in the 1920s by Harry Dixon Loes and later adapted by Zilphia Horton, amongst many other activists, in connection with the civil rights movement—in my eulogy and it seemed appropriate for our solstice card. I used a technique I learned in Carol DuBosch's Folded Pen Workshop sponsored by Masscribes. I did the lettering black on white, scanned it into the computer, and printed it on Wausau Astrobright Eclipse Black paper with my laserjet printer (doesn't work with inkjet). I made brush strokes over it with bleach which affected the surface of the paper but not the lettering. The final card was printed by Scarlet Letter Press in Salem, MA.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Advent Calendar of Cards Day 23 (2017)

I had been working on a series of flower photographs with their names in Latin and had the idea to make a card with evergreen plants and their Latin names. My mother-in-law, a gardener and landscaper who taught me to use Latin names whenever possible (to prevent confusion as popular names are not as absolute), died that summer and the card became a tribute to her. 

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Advent Calendar of Cards Day 22 (2016)

And another card inspired by the news of the day. The lettering was screened over an image of flames in photoshop. The quote is by Susan Cooper from the fifth book of her The Dark Is Rising series (wonderful children's books that I encourage you to read if you have not). Susan Cooper's poem "The Shortest Day" has been a mainstay of the Christmas Revels and an annual tradition in our house. It is now a beautiful children's book illustrated by Carson Ellis.

The Shortest Day
by Susan Cooper ©2014

So the shortest day came
And the year died
And everywhere down the centuries
of the snow white world
Came people
Singing
Dancing
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees
They hung their home with evergreens
The burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new day sunshine blazed awake
They shouted
Reveling.
Through all across the ages
You can hear them echoing behind us.
Listen.
All the long echoes sing the same delight.
This shortest day,
as promise wakens in the sleeping land,
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
this year and every year,
Welcome Yule.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Advent Calendar of Cards Day 21 (2015)

I don't remember exactly what was happening in the news at the time but I was sufficiently discouraged with the state of the world to be unable to make a card with an uplifting message for the season. I felt this quote from Einstein gave much needed guidelines for being better humans. I used the combination of upper and lower case letters developed in the previous year's card.The lettering was done in black and white, scanned into the computer, and laid over a scan of paper in Photoshop.You can read my blog post about designing the card here.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Advent Calendar of Cards Day 20 (2014)

I write a bit about this card in my book as it marked a turning point—my return to a deeper involvement with calligraphic work after a workshop with Mike Gold sponsored by Masscribes. I often mix capitals and lower case letters in my calligraphy now and it traces back to this card. Here's an excerpt from the book:

The workshop gave me confidence in the work I was already doing and led me to new explorations. Shortly after Mike’s workshop, I made a solstice card using lines from St. Julian of Norwich, “All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” I first wrote it in standard upper-and-lower case. When I realized that the many double ‘l’ combinations were keeping the eye from moving around the page, I combined upper and lower cases throughout the body of the text. I liked the way the mixture looked and continue to use it frequently.

You can read a blog post from about the process of designing the card here. You can find information about the book here.
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