Pricing and Commissions

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Odyssey Calligraphy Conference News

Photos from Odyssey International Calligraphy Conference: Scribe Store, where calligraphers can sell their creations; my first attempt at layering on Durolar, translucent drafting vellum; inkpot and quill cookies; and samples of work from the "Show and Share."

Well, a few weeks after the International Calligraphy Conference in Boston, I am still flying high. What a wonderful experience! I met incredibly talented people, made some new friends, and I was lucky enough to take Polyrhythmic Calligraphy with Denis Brown (from Dublin) for the week. In his class, I not only learned a lot about rhythm, consistent letter forms, and penwork (we did lots of pen manipulation), but once we had gotten a bit more comfortable with his asymmetrical, sharp italic letterforms, we started to explore stretching and layering them. I feel like I have just brushed the surface of this subject, but I have Denis's new DVD to keep me motivated and working in the right direction.

I took a Zentangle workshop, which was great fun, and I will talk more about that soon. I hope to teach a brief introductory class at the Cancer Community Center in November/December of this year. If you don't know about Zentangles, check them out at or just google "zentangle" -- you will be amazed!

I took tons of pictures of the three exhibits at the conference. One was calligraphic representations of Cheryl Wheeler's lyrics, the second was the instructors' exhibit, and participants also displayed their work. I will not post any of these here until I get permission from the artists, but if you check out "Nice Renditions" you can see information about the book. On YouTube, you can see two videos (Part 1 and Part 2) about the conference as well.

More info soon!

Enjoy -- Maggie

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Framing your calligraphy

I often find that people spend more money on framing than on the artwork they have received, which is a pity, as framing, although finicky, is actually a fairly easy process. I just found a great resource, complete with detailed photo illustrations, that shows how to frame your own artwork, step by step.

If you don't have a matte cutter, you can easily purchase pre-cut frames (make sure they are acid free) or ask a local frame shop or art supply store to cut one for you. Frames are available in standard sizes online, at art stores, frameshops, and (gasp!) at the Christmas Tree Shop.

Although this site is aimed at framing Asian artwork, the steps are suitable for any flat piece you wish to frame. Take a look at this site , ( dig out the prints, photos, calligraphy, etc. you have tucked away, and turn your house into a gallery!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Busy Season

The quiet time of year is quickly coming to an end. Soon the busy season will begin, and I will be lettering every day after teaching school. College diplomas, high school diplomas, awards, certificates, invitations, envelopes, wedding vows, family trees... spring is a crazy time of year for me!

I am also making plans to revitalize the calligraphy guild here in Maine, which I have sorely neglected. I have some feelers out for workshops, and a tentative schedule of events. It's time to get everyone together again, share the joy of lettering and art, and encourage each other to get our pens wet, brush up on our lettering skills, and try something new. I hope some of us will even submit an envelope to the Graceful Envelope contest or enroll in the Odyssey International Calligraphy Conference in Boston on July 24, 2010.

I have gone back to school -- getting my feet wet in a Photoshop and website design class, with the goal of eventually setting up a basic website for my calligraphy. I've spent a lot of time recently surfing the web, finding all sorts of great sites and talented artists. What a wealth of inspiration is out there! My favorite innovative calligrapher these days is Denis Brown. Intriguing and very exciting work.

Here's looking forward to spring!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Celtic Tenor Monogram

I recently had the opportunity to tackle a fun challenge, when I was asked to create a monogram with a Celtic "feel" for an Irish tenor named Paddy Homan from Chicago. Since I have Irish heritage, and grew up listening to The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem, I was excited about the job, even though we only had 10 days to get it done.

Monograms are a very personal project, so it was interesting to create possible designs, discuss them with a friend of the client and have him present them to Paddy. Upon starting work, I collected information about Paddy, and his thoughts about the monogram, which would be used on his stationery and possibly on future CD's or correspondence. He wanted something that reflected his Irish heritage, some Celtic knotwork, and possibly an Irish salmon. Thus armed, I spent some time doing rough sketches, playing with the shapes of the two letters: P and H, fitting them together, wrapping them around each other, placing them in a circle or a square, placing design elements beside them. Some possibilities were very complex, some more simple. I then met with Paddy's friends and they chose one to develop more fully. After a day or so of "tweaking" the design, adding type for the name and contact information, getting final approval, I finished the monogram. (I particularly enjoyed drawing that stylized salmon.)

I found a local business that not only printed the letterhead on time and under budget, but took my line drawing and worked their photoshop magic on it. ( The photo attached is my final draft, not the final product.) What took them 15 minutes would have taken me hours with a pen and ink! Another thing to learn how to do in my free time...

In the end, the clients were happy, and I hope to see Paddy's recent CD in the mail sometime soon. He has a lovely voice.