Monday, October 14, 2013

October 2013

The October program was a look at    Pointed Pen Mandalas.
This entailed using a pointed nib (not something everyone was comfortable with!) with either ink, gouache, twinkling H20s, mica paints or whatever the participants brought to write with.

Finetec silver and gold on black Artagain paper

We started with a circle and then a smaller one around the centre and marked points on the edges of both at equal intervals.  Using those marks as a guideline, we drew lines from the outer circle in towards the centre circle. Once we had established those sections, we had to decide on what to use to complete the decorations. 

Finetec Gold on Arches Text Wove

Although just about any fluid will work to render a mandala, I do find that the Finetec gold pans are absolutely wonderful to use with pointed pen. It is almost time to reorder...

Finetec on black Artagain paper

They almost say Christmas card but they are time consuming!!  Enjoy! 
September 2013

At our regular meeting in September we learned about the summertime IAMPETH convention held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Five days of pointed pen immersion in the comfort of a nice hotel, sounds like heaven!! for more information about the 2014 convention have a look at

We explored a couple of exercises at the meeting. One, we were given a small precut matte. Using a parallel pen to lay down some marks and then filling tiny spaces in with coloured pencil, we were then ready to add a quote. It was good to walk away with something that could be looked at as a 'finished piece', simple but an idea that one could work on and expand.

The second project was to learn the method of painting a Versal letter with a ribbon wrapped around it. There were varying degrees of success! but a jumping off point to explore on an exhibition piece perhaps.

Friday, June 7, 2013

So much for that New Year's Resolution!

Our May meeting featured one of our members, Rita, showing us how she approaches Pointillism.  Rita has done some wonderful watercolour work and I am the proud owner of one of her lovely pointillism paintings. 

Rita gave us pieces of watercolour paper cut to the size of bookmarks and had us design a letter to which we added colour, either watercolour with a brush or fine monoline pens. 

The exercise gave us all a much better understanding and respect for the amount of work that goes in to a whole landscape!

Our April meeting was presented by Anita.  She was sharing something she learned with Ewan Clyaton - "Push - Dab - Flick".  We used Automatic Pens or something similar and worked through several exercises to get the feeling of the movement in calligraphy.

At the March meeting saw members led by Nan who shared some quick layout exercises learned from Thomas Hoyer.  Participants worked with monoline tools on pre-cut  4"X6" practice paper.

Our February meeting had us all exploring Ruling Pens with Nan, Eileen and Bev demonstrating different ideas and techniques with different ruling and folded pens and walnut ink. We worked on practice paper and text wove with walnut ink.  I aspire to be able to do this alphabet.....I wish I knew where I found this exemplar floating around on the internetDoes anyone know who did this so I can give them recognition?

At the January meeting, we worked on a monoline alphabet Bev found in a recent Letter Arts Review. It was done by Thomas Ingmire and caught her eye as something we might like to play with and add to our repertoire.  We worked with monoline tools or soft pencils - 2B or 3B adding some pressure and release on practice paper.

example from Letter Arts Review

Bev's attempt at an pressure and release exemplar
using the lettering in a quote

Monday, March 4, 2013

Christmas 2012

Terry hosted our Christmas luncheon this year and we were all pleased to see where he had relocated and enjoyed the spaciousness of his new home! The photos are in random order thanks to blogger!

Fay, Val, Nan and Terry

Fay's fabulous letter cookies!

Frank's wonderful mocha cake! Calligraphers do know how to eat well!

Frank, Muriel and Win

Frank, Wilma, Pat, Muriel and Margot

Jean and Terry - holding a treasured antique cushion

Joyce, Frank and Dorothy

Diana. Bev and Nan

Joyce and Rita

Terry even had all the decorations our for us decorate his Christmas tree!

Not a bad job, eh?!

Wilma, Pat and Diana
All the handmade Christmas cards waiting for us to open!

Another fun event for members!

Catching up..........

At our September 2012 meeting, Bev Allen presented a series of exercises from which we got some surprising results.  Bev, Pat W. and Wendy C. first encountered this work in a six week calligraphy course they took from Judith Dampier in the mid 80s.
Calligraphy on the Right Side of the Brain 
Even the brief glimpse which our meeting format allowed was sufficient to convey the effectiveness of approaching calligraphy "all wrong". First we wrote our usual signature, followed by our name in a script of our choosing. Then the fun started with writing our signature with our left hand! We tried writing a block of text with the letters backwards. Another exercise was to write our name and random phrases with our eyes closed, using different lettering styles. Other techniques included blind contour drawing of letters, drawing a line of text in an Arabic script, some Uncial Latin and highlighting negative spaces of drawn letters.
Thank you to Judi for letting us use her class notes for our meeting program.

Bev suggested some books for further study:
  • Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards
  • Drawing on the Artist Within by Betty Edwards
  • Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast by Hilary Stewart

Our program at the October 2012 meeting was an exciting treat for those who attended. Cheryl Tasaka demonstrated her technique for fabric painting on t-shirts, canvas bags or aprons. Cheryl had come with so many supplies that we need not have brought anything except a t-shirt to paint on!  Once you have decided what word to use, it is a good idea to try your layout on paper to make sure you get your letters or design centred. We used a piece of corrugated cardboard covered in wax paper between the layers of the shirt. We blocked off the area to be painted using masking tape and then formed the letters using pieces of tape - Neuland lends itself to this project - fewer curves.  Did you know that masking tape comes in a lot of different widths right down to ¼"? not all that easy to find though.

Once you have completed your painting, you can hasten the drying with a blow dryer or leave your shirt to dry overnight. Depending on what kind of fabric paint you use, you may have to heat set your painting by placing a sheet of paper over the painted area and ironing with a hot dry iron. The results of the day were wonderful!

Nan, Cheryl and Eileen


Eileen, happy winner of the t-shirt painted by Cheryl

The  November 2012 program was in aid of building up the greeting card collection Nan sends out to members for their birthdays or those occasions when necessary.  We all had a merry time making a variety of cards. Under Bev's instruction we worked at several stations she had prepared using the following techniques:
Templates and Embossing  we used templates to create designs with embossing tools and a light table for a raised affect.
Alcohol Ink  dropping a variety of colours onto glossy card stock to watch fun designs form to be used on the front of cards.
Outline stickers  using pre-cut square silver outline stickers we coloured the inside spaces of letters.
Ribbons and Paper Clips  these were used to form a design on decorative paper.
Disks and Thread   we wound sparkly threads around a scalloped disk to create a small example of thread art.
Photographs on card  Using photographs or parts of them, some very innovative cards were created.

Nan using the embossing templates and stylus.

Rita with Jean hard at work.

Card by Violet