Monday, April 6, 2015

Snail Mail

There's nothing quite like getting a real letter or postcard in the "snail" mailbox!  E-mail is easier, but I'm old fashioned enough to love the anticipation of hearing the mailman and then hopefully finding something other than bills or political ads inside.  That's one reason I have participated in Kat Sloma's Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap for the past two years.  Let me show you the five postcards I received in the past couple of weeks through the swap.  I found ways to display them in my back yard.

The first postcard arrived while winter was still in full swing around here, and I loved the whimsical message and bright colors.  It came from "Snap" in Texas.  I set it on a trellis that (hopefully) will be filled with clematis later this season.

Next I received this portrait from April in Florida.  She is displayed with some lovely tulips from the grocery store, since ours haven't started blooming yet.

The photo of this old firetruck is from Kelly Warren, a photographer from Florida.  I follow her blog, and you can check it out here.  

Written on the back of this one was a quote from Marilyn Monroe:  "Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world."  My daughter would definitely agree!  It came from Darlene, a photographer from New York.  I thought it looked rather fun on our bird feeder.

I forgot to photograph one of my favorite postcards that I received, but I will do it next time.    

I also had the pleasure of receiving a REAL LETTER from my friend Lynnie in Nevada.  Look at this gorgeous envelope and sweet hand-made card.  She also enclosed a letter, which I immediately curled up with to savor!  

 What have you received in the mail lately?  Anything fun?!?!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Exploration 2015 at the Newberry Library

Each year, the Chicago Calligraphy Collective sponsors a juried art show at the famous Newberry Library in Chicago.  Although I have not yet had any pieces accepted, I had the privilege of serving on the jury this year.  It was a daunting task, given the quality and variety of the submissions.  There were five jurors working independently, but then coming together to create a consensus, which made the process go quite smoothly.

Saturday was the opening reception for the exhibit, and here are some images from the day.
 My friend Marge did a demo on illumination, which is the colorful decoration and gold leaf you see in the piece near the bottom of the photo.  That is a copy of her gorgeous piece "Anniversary Prayer" that was part of the exhibit this year.
This is another friend, Julie, demonstrating contemporary decorated letters.  She shared many fun techniques, which she made look easy!  Below is one of her pieces in the exhibit -- a whimsically decorated letter "J".
 As if lettering isn't difficult enough, my former teacher, Tim Botts, actually lettered on birch bark in this piece!  I don't know how he was able to keep the gouache in line!
 A current teach of mine, Reggie Ezell, did the piece below.  The colors and the gold leaf are magnificent, and this woman is obviously in awe.

 The lovely piece below was done by a former student of Reggie's, who came in from North Carolina to attend the reception.  Her name is Julia, and another piece that she did won the Newberry Purchase Prize this year.  That means she was awarded a cash prize, and her piece will be kept permanently in the Newberry collection.  Sorry, but I didn't get a picture of her winning piece.
As a juror, I also had a piece in the show.  Instead of submitting a calligraphy piece, I used one of my favorite nature photographs.  I can't show you a photo of it here, because the only photo we took of it is on my husband's cell phone!  I'm sure I've posted it somewhere on the blog in the past!