Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Custom Calligraphy

Custom Calligraphy. What fun . What a process. Recently, a very  nice client  hired me to write out her own poem  in  calligraphy. She had seen  and purchased my calligraphy before, so she knew my capabilities.  I was only given final  dimensions for the finished work, which came to me  via the computer. There was quite a bit of writing.
 There is always that element of surprise in custom work. What is told about the job and what it actually entails are often somewhat different.  Once I saw the poetry,  my mind started imagining  about how best to go about this. Which alphabet would work the best?  Not a lot of room for flourishes. The Uncial style is a good alphabet for a lot of words in a small space, with all the letters in one line.  I had been given free reign on what to do, so that gives excitement, but also a sense of responsibility. Of course I want the client to be happy.
We had originally talked about black and white, but I was thinking  color. Black and white often looks like merely a copy, and I wanted to show off the originality of this work. Being  asked to do reproductions of this work, matted as above,  I liked the idea of color to add depth to the work. Dark blue or green was her request.
I chose a very dark blue watercolor to write out the letters. Due to the very nature of watercolor, there are hues within each stroke. When I first dip my pen, it comes out dark and opaque. As I write on, the color gets  lighter, then dark again as I dip my pen into my palette. I always like to leave plenty of space, so that the words stand out.
I would like to say I nailed it on the first try, but that would be a lie. I had  trial and errors; changes while visualizing and actually writing; and  lot of breaths before this calligrapher  could lay down her pen and say. " It is complete. I am satisfied."

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Activist Artist

Here I am in my latest artistic adventure. I am one of the authors in this recently published book entitled "Passing It On, Moving Stories of Activists -1960 to 2000,"  by Bev Jenai Myers. 
I like to write, hence my blog. It was nice being a part of a larger aesthetic  venue. 
You can find me on page 143, under the chapter entitled " Equal Rights". There are eight Sedona writers in this volume. Bev went far and wide for her stories, so authors are from all over.
I lived in Venice, CA. back in the seventies and early eighties. I got involved in politics, kind of by default.  The quote from my chapter reads": I know it made me angry that outsiders could come into my community with nary a thought of the humans they impacted. If my ocean view was going away, then I wanted it to mean something".
 We fought city hall for the developers to  include low cost housing. We lost.
I know it took a lot out of me. When I left the city in 1984, I was looking to take  a breather from politics. I found this small community called Sedona, in northern Arizona. Here I thought I would simply create my ceramics and seek new  new horizons with my calligraphy. Politics in the wilderness? Well, yes. 
The human condition is always with us, isn't it?