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April 2010

Horses in Brush & Pen

Another assignment to render animals calligraphically came to me last week. This time: horses. Not just static horses, but spirited ones. As the lettering of an organization's name was also part of this project, I used the same tools for the lettering as I did for the animals. Ultimately, after the designer's presentation to the client of logo options took place, none of the calligraphic solutions were selected for the final mark. Therefore, I can let my horses loose for you to see (the name of the organization needs to be kept confidential). Slight retouching was done after the initial drawings were made.


Top horse: sumi ink and Chinese brush

Reversed horse: Speedball B nib and sumi ink

Horse head: brush marker

Bottom horse: sumi ink and Chinese brush






My yard is attracting robins. Slim, paler ones that are busily collecting nesting materials - rotund, chesty ones that are on worm-plucking duty, and one extraordinary one that was meditating in the fig tree yesterday. Against the clarity of the blue sky, this robin was beyond plump. I looked at it from below, in awe, taking time out from my weeding. Once back in the studio, I made a small sketch. Today, using the sketch, I created the cartoon below. Welcome, robins!


Inspired by Bygone Writing: Contemporary Use of Script Calligraphy


Some clients become career-long favorites. Tamarack Cellars Winery in Walla Walla is one such favorite of mine. Several years ago I was contacted by Hornall Anderson Design Works in Seattle to do the delicate, antique-ish script for the wine varieties being produced by Tamarack. Ron Coleman, owner, has since regularly assigned me to do the successive names for all the labels of his highly acclaimed (and tastefully labeled) wines. Firehouse Red is a favorite blend. Click on the label to visit their website, read about their wines, and sense the integrity and personal warmth with which Ron runs his business.

A similar version of this handwriting style was used in this brochure published by Safeco Insurance Co. of Seattle. The original lettering was greatly enlarged to boldly state musical terms and city names featured in their publication.

Safeco brochure