Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Last Holiday Greeting for 2016

It is the last day of 2016 here in Sedona, AZ. and I am still in the holiday spirit. So here is another sample of my Calligraphy in a 4 by 5" card. My message  includes "to  you and those you love". 
Isn't all this gift giving and card sending simply a way to reach out and tell someone you care? It is for me. As I decorate each card, or pick out a gift,  it is my way to make a connection. We don't seem to have so many " personal touches" these days. Calligraphy had its resurgence in the late 19th century because people were tired of living in " the machine age". I think I know that feeling.
 People seem to enjoy the fact that each and every card is hand water colored , right down to the little red berries. I wrote out the original in black ink, then had it printed on card stock. After that, I go back with my brushes and palette, and add the festive touches in color. Since I use water based paint, I had to make the lettering impervious to moisture. This is my technique on all my cards of this size. I have other messages, but this works for today. 
So how to keep our happy outlook? All I know is how I feel right now.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Art of the Christmas Tree

Here I am in front of one the tallest Christmas trees I have seen. Where else would I be except  in Las Vegas, capital of " over the top" in everything?
I do love all the decorations I see here at this time of year. I make ceramic ornaments myself, and enjoy these holiday traditions.
Christmas comes around the time of  the winter solstice,  December 21, marking the  longest night and shortest day of the year. The Romans would celebrate with a feast called Saturnalia, in honor of Saturn, the sun god, and decorated with evergreen boughs. Other ancient cultures saw this greenery as symbols of everlasting life and also used them around this feast time. 
Germany started the Christmas tree tradition as we know it back in the 16th century. Belief has it that Martin Luther first added lighted candles to the tree, inspired by the stars. What really made the difference was  in 1846, when a sketch of the English Queen Victoria, with  her German prince and their family,  around a decorated tree was then published.  What was done at court became the fashion everywhere. It  soon crossed over to America. Nice of my namesake to start such a lovely tradition!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Calligraphy for the Holidays

Here it is that time of year again and I am in Sedona,  making my holiday cards, by hand, in calligraphy , with a watercolor background.  
It is a labor of love, but none the less, it is work. 
I exchange cards with fellow calligraphers, so naturally, everyone wants to put out a little more  effort to create something unique.
I don't know what my exact inspiration was. I have this blue ink and I love to do watercolor washes, so I thought, why not try to combine these two?  I knew I wanted to overlap some of the letters, to make the viewer really look for the message. There is a quality with water and paint which we cannot control. Thus I could abstract the whole image. Therein is some  magic.
What is  one word that best describes our feelings at this time of year? I picked Rejoice. I do love the holidays. No matter what your religion, there is a reason to celebrate at this time. 
Using a whole sheet of card stock, for which I had matching envelopes, I folded it in half, and then cut to size. It is an approximate five by seven inch" canvas". I decided to cut a scalloped edge, to make it a little more festive. ( They make scissors for this!) 
Since each card is made by hand, no two are alike. However, the vision is similar. Then when you open the card inside you see, another side of my calligraphy...