Monthly Archives: March 2009

The Other Washington

I’m back! In case you couldn’t figure out by the photo, I was in D.C. last week.


That’s right, the other Washington. I just got back last night. Can’t you just imagine the sea of people standing here during the inauguration? I’m sure that’s why the grass is so eaten up.

I’m going to spend today catching up on some things, fitting in some needed bonding time with my very missed Kosmo, and then tomorrow I have my first calligraphy class of 2009!

There are so many unforgettable moments of this trip. Too much to share them all, but today I will share one with you that relates well to the subjects of this blog.

One day I went to the National Gallery of Art for a special exhibit, Heaven On Earth, Manuscript Illuminations from the National Gallery of Art.


It was incredible! I couldn’t believe I was standing in front of so many pieces of beautiful artwork anywhere from the 1100’s to the 1500’s!!! I was in such awe! Most of the work was completed in Italy and seemed to have taken place in the 1400’s. I can’t believe how beautiful the colors still were! They’re so vibrant and very inspiring!


Most of the painting work was tempera, a process I have yet to try. But there were some gouache techniques used too. The one part that did show some aging was the gilding. Most done in gold looked great, but some flaked away. You could see the adhesive they applied it with, which looked pinkish in color. Most likely it was gum ammoniac, but I’m not positive. There were some pieces gilded in silver and it was very dark due to tarnish through the years. For a great video on how the gilding process works, click here.

Understandably, they wouldn’t let anyone take pictures of the art. However, they have some great images you can view here.


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Filed under calligraphy, color inspiration, watercolor art/paintings

On Hiatus

In case you were wondering, this blog is currently on hiatus working on other matters.


No worries, all will be back to normal next week!

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Work, Work, Work

I thought I would share with you some things I’ve been working on.


Okay, so the address isn’t perfectly center, but it’s still a good sample to show you. The gouache I mixed is actually a brighter yellow, but I think it looks more on the orange side on the purplish color envelope.


This looks like the right color. Okay, back to work!

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Filed under calligraphy, envelopes, invitations, weddings

White Chocolate Envelope

Yes, yes, I know I haven’t updated you on how the envelope exchange is going. That’s because I’ve been behind on that work. But I finally finished my January envelope!


I hope it looks like January to you. It feels like January to me. Black like the short days and long nights. White like the snow that seems to never quit. Then the white blossoms with just a hint of yellow in the center in the hopes of Spring bringing new life when you get tired of all the white stuff.


I painted the handmade envelope on black Arches watercolor paper with Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleed Proof White. I used some yellow watercolor paint to dot the center of the flowers.


I had one heck of a time addressing the envelope. I was trying to use one of my white Sakura Gelly Roll pens and it would not work for me. I found another and had the same trouble! It wouldn’t even come out white! Like the pigment had separated from the rest of the liquid and the pigment wasn’t even making it out to the tip of the pen. Does that make sense? Has that ever happened to you? If so, how did you fix it? It was so annoying and you might be able to tell that the first line of the address is not looking like the rest because of that issue.


So I ended up using a glass dip pen to finish the rest of the address on the envelope. Needless to say, not  my best work. I mixed up some Dr. Ph. Martin’s again to the right consistency to write with.


I wrote the name in a flourished copperplate letterhand. I used my oblique pen with a new nib I’m trying. It’s a Gillot 404 I purchased from Paper Ink & Arts. I’ve heard some people say it’s their favorite. It’s definitely stiffer than the Brause EF 66 nib I learned on and have been using ever since the recent change, but I’m still going to give it a try.


I sealed the envelope using ivory wax from Atelier Gargoyle with my peacock stamp, which was made in Italy. Doesn’t the wax look just like white chocolate? Yum!


Here is another photo from the NW Flower & Garden Show. This was very unique and contemporary and I love how the circle area frames up the other part of the garden so perfectly. The look of the wall inspires me when it comes to invitation design. You may see something similar to this in the future and I’ll try to remember to reference this photo when sharing it with you.

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Filed under calligraphy, envelopes, gardening, invitations, paper, watercolor art/paintings