Saturday, June 25, 2011

Library demo

Today the Chicago Calligraphy Collective participated in an event at the Palatine Public Library.  One of our members taught a class in Italic Calligraphy, while others of us hosted demos or made bookmarks.  We had lots of enthusiastic participants.  Here's some pictures from the event.
My friend Pat helped participants create "Flexagons", which are complex creations where you can hide secret messages.
Our bookmark calligraphers worked hard all day.

And I had a steady stream of kids and adults eager to learn the secret of making tiny watercolor blossoms.

Here's what some of my samples looked like.  (Sideways picture again  . . .  sigh)
Everyone had a great time and learned a lot as well!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A New Gig

When you love to incorporate art into everything in your life, it can be quite an adventure.  I work in the office of a gymnastics club for kids, taking registrations, answering questions, printing out rosters, etc.  It's a great job.  Last week I took on some new responsibilities, and that's how I ended up in front of the gym on a stepladder with containers of brightly colored acrylic paint.

I still have a lot of window space to go, but it's getting noticed.  In fact, someone drove by and stopped in to see if I could do the windows for his restaurant.  It's not exactly the kind of calligraphy I was thinking I'd be doing, but I'm having a great time.  So if you're in the western suburbs of Chicago, on Rolwing Road north of North Avenue, look for my signs!  (Or if you know someone looking for a great place to learn gymnastics, this is it!)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More Mosaics

I said I would post some of the other projects from the class I took over the week-end and here they are.  Most of the participants made benches, and two of us did birdbaths.

This is Ginny's birdbath.  I love the red and white motif!  She used three identical plates for all her pieces. and a few flat marbles for the center.
 We had one man in our class.  He decided on a farm motif.  I think it's very whimsical.
 His wife was working very precisely and therefore had to take her piece home to finish it.
 Twin sisters who had done this before brought some of their own hand-made garden themed pottery pieces and added them to their benches.  One is grouted and one is not (and one is upside down!)
 This bench in shades of blues and greens will be an inviting place to sit in a garden.
 Here's one final shot of my birdbath.  It's sitting in my living room because I have to let the grout cure, then seal it before I can put it in the yard.  Sorry, birdies, you'll have to make do with the plastic one that's out there now!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mosaic Class

This week-end I took a wonderful class at the Arboretum -- we made mosaic garden items -- and I made a birdbath.  I really like it!  We started with a table full of plates, saucers and tiles:

I wish I had taken a picture of the plates that I used, but they were really pretty.  Here's my birdbath ready to grout, and then the grouting process.  (Sorry some of these are sideways.  I don't have the patience right now to fix them.)  Before the grout:
 Looks messy!
 AACK!  What did I do???
Just a little wiping with a soft cloth worked wonders.
Tomorrow I'll post an actual finished picture of mine, not sideways or still messy like this one.  And maybe  I'll post some of the projects done by others in the class.  We all had such a great time and everyone's project looks fantastic.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Playing in the Studio

The weather has suddenly turned into summer and I am thrilled!  Although I had decided I wasn't going to plant anything this year, I couldn't resist getting some plants to brighten the yard and hopefully attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  The past few days I have been happily playing in the dirt and I'm glad I did.  Flowers are rewarding for me -- vegetables are just frustrating.  :-)

Here's a pic I took -- a macro of a cheddar pink blossom.  They are wonderful flowers that come back year after year.  Each tiny blossom has two lacy "ribbons" curling upward from its delicate petals.  I added one of Kim Klassen's textures (May Magic 2) and used the screen blending mode.  I also experimented with the "add noise" filter and then removed some of it from the blossom so the background looked a little more textured.
Yesterday I set aside my neverending list and headed for the studio to do some calligraphy.  I promised my older daughter that I would create something for her a long time ago, and yesterday was the day.  I think she and her boyfriend will like it.  They are coming over tonight and I'll give it to them.
I did the large letters with a pointed brush and the smaller ones around the edge with a pointed pen.  Then added 3 prismacolors that she had picked out several weeks ago.  I think they'll like it!