Envelope exchange – April

Envelope made for a year-long envelope exchange. Gouache and metal pens.

After a few years off, I'm enjoying the year-long envelope exchange that Wendy Cowley oversees. It's a once-a-month opportunity for a low-stakes bit of creativity. This was my April envelope, as you may have guessed. The name on the envelope grew out of playing around with changing colors in the nib on the fly, something I enjoy doing from time to time. The flowers are half-remembered from a long-ago week with Alice Koeth at Camp Cheerio.

I'm running behind for May, but I'll catch up today. The Built Up Capitals class is taking all my time these days.

Decorative exchange envelopes

After a hiatus of some years, I've rejoined an 11-months-long monthly decorative envelope exchange. I'm enjoying it. We aren't required to include anything calligraphic in the envelope -- although we do have to include something. I'm putting calligraphy in mine.

My February envelope, using that palette of leftover gouache (that just keeps on giving).for the card inside.
My March envelope. The blurring kind of obscures the design, but you get an idea, anyway. All done in pencil, which is what I've mostly been doing in my studio lately.

My latest artist book edition

I realize that, although I posted process photos of my last book edition, I never did post photos of the book itself. (I forgot to photograph the entire edition before it dispersed. Gah!)

Umm, I seem to have misplaced those photos. But ... I do have more process photos. As always, click on the image for a closer look. Next time, photos of a completed book or two. Promise.

A stack of lettered accordion text blocks, ready for their covers.

Various parts of the books, spiraling clockwise from top left: some folded text blocks and their end sheets; a pair of covered-board covers; a standing text block with end papers; a put-together book (partially shown); a text block being held open with a micro-spatula; 3 weaving strips; a homemade scoring tool, a needle punch, and a bone folder; another pair of covers; a couple of templates; a stack of unfolded end sheets under a template; 4 covers which have been laced together and are ready to be laced to their text blocks.

Lacing the cover to the text block. I'm using a micro-spatula and a tool made to pull elastic through a sewn casing.

Envelope Exchange – August 2011

I've been busy on the book commission, but took a few minutes to do my envelope for the year-long 2011 Envelope Exchange. I've been spending a lot of time lately with my Epson wide-format new inkjet printer, and I carried that experimentation over to this envelope. (As usual, click on the image to see it at a larger size.)

These are the layers on this #10 Strathmore Laid envelope:

  1. Inkjet-print of a scan of some painting on Arches Text Wove.
  2. A layer of Utrecht Workable Spray Fixative.
  3. The name in Dr. Martin's Iridescent calligraphy gold ink, shaded in FW Antelope acrylic ink(#2½ Mitchell nib and Principality pointed nib).
  4. The address in the same FW Antelope, with #4 Mitchell nib.
  5. Flowers with #3½ and #4 nibs.
I chose the stamp after I did the envelope. I'm surprised at how well they go together.

Exchange envelopes: catching up

With all the chaos here, I had gotten behind in my exchange envelope commitments. Not anymore. I'm all caught up ... until July 1. In keeping with these hard economic times, the theme for these is Frugality. Recycled envelopes, a dried-up Zig calligraphy marker, and a re-purposed Zig Millennium mark cut to a chisel edge with an X-acto blade.

The envelopes frame a bit of doodling. I don't know what to do with it, so it just sits on the table reproaching me for my indecisiveness.

As usual, click on the image to get a closer look.

Black Tie Exchange

Finally ... something calligraphic!!

Here are the 4 envelopes I mailed yesterday for the Black Tie Exchange over at the Yahoo group, Calligraphy Exchange. The rules: Use a black envelope and either white or gold "ink" address in calligraphy.

I made my envelopes out of Strathmore Artagain black paper -- comes in a 9" x 12" pad. The two insert square are on Arches cover black, I think. I used my favorite gold ink -- Dr. Martin's Copper Plate Gold.

Names and addresses blurred to protect the innocent.

As usual, click on the image for a closer look.

Another version of a favorite quote

Here's a piece I finished yesterday to enter in a competition. I haven't decided whether I like it or not, and I that's the problem with getting things done at the last minute, isn't it?
Of course, by yesterday, my only choices were finishing it at the last minute or not getting it finished at all ...
It's a lot less structured and gridded than my usual work. I kind of like that about it. I think.
I'm currently rather taken with the pen-made flowers, an extension of a workshop I took with Alice at Camp Cheerio in 1998.

Music Quote & Envelope Exchange

Yikes! I'm two weeks overdue on this exchange. Does anybody else get August and September dates mixed up when they're in numerical-month -- 08 and 09 -- form? Anyway, this morning I got on the stick and got them done. They're going in the mail today.

Here's the way these started. I had:
1) A quote is by Auerbach: "Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
2) A scrap piece of paper with a cut-out square in the middle -- from the Concertina Carnival book I constructed the other day.
3) Some leftover square invitation envelopes from a wedding job.
4) Some scraps of watercolor paper which I cut 6.75" square to fit the envelopes.

Just to get started, I wrote out the quote on this scrap of paper. I put the word "Music" above the cut-out square, realized I wasn't going to have room at the top for the rest of the quote and so wrote the rest of the quote below the square. And voila! I had my design.

I masked off a 1.75" square in middle of my scraps of watercolor paper, cut an abstract violin/viola/guitar shape from a couple of pieces of removable Scotch tape, rummaged around in my drawer for a palette with some gouache colors already on them ... and had some fun. In the process, I got out a gold gel pen, the luscious Sennelier oil pastels I bought so long ago and some cosmetic sponges for rubbing the oil pastels over the gouaches.

The envelopes are supposed to have a teaser on the outside as to the quote inside. I painted my spattering brush with brown for dust, but I guess the blue that was dried on the brush had more effect than the brown.

It's been a fun morning.

Hearty Envelope Exchange

Here's the decorative bit of my submission for the Hearty Envelope Exchange at the Calligraphy Exchange list on Yahoo. Done with liquid frisket and watercolor on an extra envelope left over from a wedding job. The linework is taken from standard figurative motifs in medieval illuminations.