Given that I am a calligrapher, and I love writing, I seem to spend surprisingly little time at my board. So this is a rare photo (I didn't even know it had been taken, such was my concentration!)
You'll see that my view is expansive if I choose to look up from my board - it's a great place for keeping an eye on neighbourhood activity (human and otherwise) but in fact if I'm lettering, I think the roller skating pandas from the Kit Kat advert could pass the window and I wouldn't notice.
I mentioned a couple of blogs back that I've been working on a piece for a lady doing an MA in Creative Writing (Poetry). I'm one of a number of artists/craftspeople who have created a piece from one of her poems. I chose a poem called Cuts which starts "Our local hospital is pioneering the use of can
openers for brain surgery, hip replacements and bypasses." I liked the fact the poem as it's a little different from the commissions I usually do, and it was fun being able to make all the decisions myself, even though the piece was for someone else.
I don't know if anything will come of this work - the lady doing the MA is hoping to be able to have an exhibition of the pieces that she receives, but right now her focus is more on her research.
I wrote our many of the decisions I'd taken in creating this piece (colour, material, structure, etc) and it's really surprising how many choices were needed!
Can that really be a cat and dog curled up together in my studio? Ahhhh!
In the time it took to type this, both animals woke up, noticed their bedfellow and slunk away, having brought shame to their species. Well - it was nice while it lasted.
Thought you might be interested in some of my most loved books - this could be the first post of several hundred!
I'll start with The Art and Craft of Hand Lettering by Annie Cicale. I love it because I think that the lettering is very good, and interesting, and the approach taken to explaining calligraphy is a little different from many other books.
Then there's a book of classic haiku - perfect beautiful sound bites for practicing lettering. A haiku is meant to paint a picture, and because the act of writing is generally quite slow, I find that the And then there's a lovely handmade notebook that my friend Numa made for me - the cover insides are full of a mad message from her, and the whole book is quirky and lovely!
I had an exciting commission underway for a few weeks: I received an email from someone studying for an MA in Creative Writing. She is inviting artists from many disciplines to do a piece responding to one of her poems - the work will then form part of her MA.
I had to choose one of 9 poems to work with, and then create whatever I wanted. It has been really interesting - working with a client, but actually making all the decisions myself. I'm waiting to hear from her about delivering the finished piece to her, so am holding off showing you all a photo, but here's a peep...
I've been trying to improve the look of my website (and of course get more people to visit too!)
I've moved to a black background as I think the images look better against this dark page, and really that should be the most impactful thing. And the page title.... oh my word that took a long time!
Any comments would be much appreciated.
It's a beautiful sunny August day. So what am I doing drawing holly? Well - if I'm going to sell any of my Christmas cards in the run up to Christmas, I need them ready soon. I've spoken to many printers, and think I've chosen the ones I want to use. I'm going to do some more calligraphic cards too, but "According to cats..." and "According to dogs..." always appeal to people, so they're making their first Christmas outing this year. I have 8 designs for each but here's a taster:
This photo was taken on an ordinary residential street in Newark. There's something rather lovely about the multi coloured doors - was there a plan between neighbours? Was it one person's plan? Was it happy accident?
It sort of adds to my belief that Newark is a particularly arty-crafty place. I'm certainly hoping that will be confirme
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I've been avoiding it for a long time, but I've finally put a picture of myself on the website (on the About Me page). It took a lot of photography followed by a lot of Photoshop, and it'll have to do!
I'm sitting at my drawing board and holding a pen which you can't see - but the funny thing is that I've flipped the photo over to make it look better on the page, so you'd be forgiven for thinking I'm right handed - which I'm not.
I can't use left handedness as an excuse - there are many excellent leftie calligraphers, and equally no-one in my classes can use it as an excuse either!
In the previous entry I talked about the piece of calligraphy I'd done of the wedding reading. Unfortunately I was not able to be there when the bride and groom opened their gift, but the moment was captured perfectly by Holly's mum, Deb. What a great moment to have on camera!
I'm Janet Smith, a calligrapher who loves to experiment with lettering and calligraphy.