Just recently I took a class with some of my calligraphy buddies making paste paper. Ever since I discovered this fabulous technique about 10 or so years ago I try to accumulate an assortment of designs to have in my arsenal of fun, unique, one of a kind papers so that any time the inspiration hits I will have lots to choose from. Some of my most favorite handmade pieces were created using paste paper and one of my favorite artists, Rosie Kelly uses paste paper for almost all her work. I may have even blogged about this topic already. I'll have to check. For a calligrapher, what's so great about paste paper is being able to write on it in any medium cause there's no need to worry about bleed. It's just takes the lettering so beautifully as well as pastels, colored pencils, etc., etc. I've used it in my mosaic collages, most of my calligraphic books and handmade cards. I also love to paint tyvek. I used tyvek in my "Joyful" mosaic collage piece. The "The Gal in the Glass" book was created using a combination of paste paper and decorative paper a lot of which I also have. You can say I'm a bit of a paper addict and... proud of it:)
I have so many designs in my head that I would love to create but I'm going to have to be patient because I'm busy right now with lots of calligraphy work. A blessing for sure. I'd like to try some poems I've written and create some books for journaling and also mini books. That's another subject I'd like to get into...journaling. I guess I should start asking the universe to provide for me so that I can just do my creative artwork. I love doing calligraphy but sometimes addressing envelopes is just not very inspiring. I don't want to complain because I'm very fortunate that I get to work at what I love to do. But, like everything else, after doing the same thing for almost 30 years, it becomes a bit mundane. I guess if I was creating every day it would get to be the same and I would want to do something else. I'll just shut up now and say that there's a time and place for everything.
I just found a new networking site that I joined. It's quite new and it's mostly all artists. Juggling all these sites and blogs is really quite time consuming so I hope I'm not over doing it. I mostly want to connect with like minded people where I can share my art, talk about art, get feedback, share my thoughts, explore new art, etc., etc., etc.
My friend Laurie is visiting with me this week from Santa Fe so I won't be doing much of my usual stuff pertaining to my work. This posting will be short because I'm running out of steam and need to go to bed. So, I bid a good night and peaceful dreams.
I've only been blogging for about six months now so I haven't had a chance to explore other blogs as much as others that have been blogging for several years. I get anxious because I feel like I've missed so much and need to play catch up. I also read and reread "Artful Blogging" to find out what to do and where to go to see others with the same art interests as myself. In the summer issue, I came across the article on Mixed Media Monday and got so excited to have some place to participate and join others of like mind. This is my contribution to the challenge of the week...Monochromatic Colors.
At the beginning of 2008, one of the things I wanted was to have my work published. It seems that I will be accomplishing my goal for which I am very grateful and excited. I will be published in my favorite magazine, Somerset Studios in the fall...I submitted one of my mosaic collage pieces; I'll be in Marci Donley new book, the name I'm not sure of at the moment...she is a fellow calligrapher and already a book author; in a coffee table book entitled "The Visionboard", and in Volume 7 of Etsy.com. Now that I am writing about it I have this big grin on my face because I really didn't realize what I had set out to accomplish and actually did. I guess there is something to be said about "The Secret". I've been practicing the theory behind this phenomenon for awhile now by reading, listening to cd's, watching some Oprah, "The Law of Attraction", Dr. Wayne Dyer, Eckert Tolle, etc. and I can honestly say that some things in my life have shifted and are changing. If nothing else, I feel more positive, relaxed, joyful and definitely more focused on things that I want in my life. I let go of a lot of unnecessary things, changed some negative habits, added some positive ones and let go of a few people that were vampires and drained me of my energy. With letting go of the negativity some positive things started to happen which gave validity to the theory that I've been studying. I think I'm also more willing to come up to the plate and accept the challenge to change. At 62, if it doesn't happen now...then when? I'm more willing to take it one day at a time as well. Life is going too fast and the only way to slow it down is to stay in the moment, each day. Not an easy thing to do unless you practice. I'm learning.
So...my second commission was to do what I think of as "my real work". I love working 3 dimensionally and creating anything in a frame is right up my alley big time. I've been framing birth announcements, wedding invites, photos, items that are precious to people, just about anything that is personal and can be preserved in a frame. My cup of tea...so when my long time friend (and we have just reconnected after 35 years) asked me to suggest a wedding gift I immediately went to the invitation. I've created dozens of keepsakes from wedding invitations. I'm sure that there are one or two keepsakes that have out lasted the marriage, I've been doing this so long :) My sculpted roman cap letters are always a mainstay and attract major attention as a focal area in my creations and I then balance out the overall design with the invite. I'm my happiest when I can take my time and pull out stuff from my stash and just play. This particular invitation was contemporary, with a natural feel, young couple, first marriage, so I decided to keep it understated and clean. I've done many that were more....just more. My friend was very pleased and I'm a happy camper.
I've been doing calligraphy and custom artwork for over 30 years now and I'm always bewildered by timing. In the business of calligraphy it's feast or famine and discussing this topic with my peers know this to be true for them as well. In the past 3-4 months I've been extremely busy and have noticed that I've been asked by several friends to do custom work for them. I can't remember when I've been asked by a friend to do custom work and now all of a sudden 3 friends are needing something special. I'm extremely flattered and honored to be chosen and to know that they trust and respect my work. Out of the three, so far I've finished 2 custom pieces. One of the pieces was to prepare a scarf that was created in Japanese calligraphy for framing and on the mat do the translation in English calligraphy. This was a challenge as the scarf was over sized and hard to deal with in terms of cutting a mat, framing the scarf and then doing the calligraphy on the mat. I was working on a budget and couldn't really out source anything. Years ago I would have taken on this project and approached it as a delightful challenge. Today, having RA and a somewhat limited use of my hands, saw this as more than what I thought I could handle. I kept trying to cut a mat and destroying it as my hands no longer have the strength to handle this task. Letting some time go by, I got in touch with my friend and discussed the situation and came up with a solution that was agreeable with her. A simple thing really...I took the scarf and reduced it to a manageable size and then proceeded as originally planned. The only thing that is much different is that it isn't the original scarf which was the compromise. In the end she was delighted with her custom piece and I satisfied my desire to please my very good friend.
Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderfully creative day.
Always in gratitude...
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I've been a professional calligrapher and designer for over 35 years and have had extraordinary experiences. I am proud to say that my clients are from all walks of life and a handful of celebrities that are faithful to my work. I've been blessed to be able to earn my living by doing what I truly love to do. I will always remain grateful and proud.
Come visit to see some of the calligraphy work that I do and ...