May 3, 2010

Victoria Pittman Workshop

What an amazing, art-filled weekend I recently shared with my calligraphy friends!  We had a chance to take Victoria Pittman's "Tortured Metals" class and our heads are still spinning with all the techniques she threw at us.  She is a generous, open, eloquent, and passionate artist who many times throughout the weekend was almost giddy at the some of the effects we were able to achieve. You could tell she was cataloguing every experience as a springboard for a new creation she would attempt the second she left the building.  My favorite teaching moment was when she described in colorful detail a splatter of rust and paint she saw on a truck while travelling that she just had to emulate.  We learned how to use our eyes as well as our hands that weekend.  Thank you, Victoria!

Here are a few of my pieces from the workshop:

It is unbelievable what you can coax out of copper. 

Abstract acrylic piece using gestural marks and texturing tools.  

The possibilities are endless with this gesso-based technique.  I plan to use this one for a book cover. 

A sample of the results I was able to achieve by using a patina on gold and silver leaf.  The organic element is from a cactus in Victoria's yard.

Small card -- tissue paper and metal collage with silver leaf.  I love how the copper patina complements the acrylics.

Victoria is calmly at work while we are panicking that we're forgetting everything!

Check out Victoria's work for yourself at her blog:  She has recently entered the world of encaustics and I can't wait to see how she uses them.  All I know is it will be unconventional and totally original.  

May 1, 2010

Compassion and the Secret Sisters Society

One of my jewelry clients is a member of the Secret Sisters Society, an organization of cancer survivors who are using their experience and passion for life to help women in our community who can't afford important cancer screenings like mammography. Every year they hold a fundraiser and invite artists to submit a design for their promotional materials.  The only requirements are that it include the Secret Sisters' name and mask.  When my client told me of their mission, I knew calligraphy had a place in their promotions and I decided to submit something. (My submission is pictured above.)  I'll know sometime in May if my work has been selected, but I thought I'd share the piece and a little about their efforts here, regardless of the outcome.

Art and words, and the merging of the two, can be very powerful -- maybe even powerful enough to move people to action. I believe the lettering arts could play an extraordinary role in the non-profit, healing industries.  I wish the Secret Sisters Society great success in their fundraising efforts and pray that their work is a light to those who desperately need it.

[I used Sumi ink and Ecoline watercolors for the background and the lettering was done with ruling pen, broad edge, and pointed pen in Sumi, gouache, and Dr. Martin's bleedproof white.  The quote from Gandhi was yet another attempt at the new "bamboo italics" hand I am learning.]