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November 2008
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January 2009

December 2008

Paint Spill Comes to Life on Slantboard

Today was a good day to settle in for some quality time with pens. Anna's hummingbirds have been regularly visiting the feeder outside my studio window for the first time ever (lots of nectar has gone bad during my hopeful waiting) so they are entertaining and inspiring me this winter. I decided to work on making calligraphy look like hummingbird wings, like this:

The phone rang, I stopped writing, and while talking with my friend Joyce, I looked down on my slantboard and saw this:

Paint blob1

Spilled white paint that has been there for a couple of years suddenly looked to me like people, so I decided to enhance the blobs with a gel pen to see what would emerge:

Paint blob2


Paint blob3

A story started to develop: Why does the girl look unhappy? She's walking away from the guy, who is looking downcast...or is he simply waiting at a bus stop in the cold? Is it 1920 or 1955, hence the girl's muff, or is it today and she's keeping her iPod warm?                                                                              

A little bit of background suggests a sense of location, and below this, for the grand finale perspective, the overview: hummingbird calligraphy, enhanced paint blobs, and inky slant board!                                                                                                                                       

Paint blob4


Opera Names as Calligraphy Exemplar

To demonstrate how straightforward calligraphy can help capture the meaning of words and names, I elected to change styles with every opera name in the column below when asked to do this commission for a retiring costumer for Seattle Opera. (Need opera now? Click this link for a few bars of the current feature.) Comedic or tragic, Germanic or American, the opera names each suggest stylistic treatment. This calligraphy was freely written and not retouched. Is your favorite opera listed here?