24 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all!!!!
Happy Birthday to my Lord, Jesus Christ!

Wishing you the love and peace of Jesus this Season!

15 December 2010

Christmas Poinsettia

I recently had a birthday and my wonderful hubby gave me a set of Pan Pastels. I have not ever worked in pastels, but these looked like such fun I gave hints for them for my birthday:) 
The above sketch is my first attempt at using the pastels and boy what fun! 
This sketch was created on Arches hot pressed watercolor paper.
The Christmas spirit is catching up with me this year!
So here is a early Merry Christmas!!!!!

05 December 2010

No Fear Watercolor con't

An update on my watercolor painting on Yupo paper.
This is the second step of the painting process where the background portions are defined with darker cooler colors, which will cause them to recede. You can see the previous step in the earlier post here. The woman is starting to become more apparent. Next will be to define the edges of her garment further. Also, to add more definition to some of her facial features. I do not want to define areas too much, just a hint of detail so the mind's eye can fill in the rest.

03 December 2010

MillerLine Etsy Shop

Well I have to say in regards to the etsy front, I have been a total slacker! But today, as I was printing some Christmas cards and tags for a local stationery store, I decided to get off my etsy duff and add some new listings to my shop. Please check it out! And if you are anything like me, you still have not gotten your Christmas cards out and definitely haven't wrapped those gifts. So hopefully something in my store will be just what you need to motivate you!

27 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving
 full of family, friends and love.

15 November 2010

Art Station No Fear Watercolor

This is a No-Fear painting in progress. If you look closely, you can make out the image that will eventually be developed. It is a woman rising from the desert.

Kim Zabbia owner of the Art Station in Ponchatoula, Louisiana teaches a art class called No-Fear Watercolor. No-Fear is Kim's most popular class. In fact, this is my second time taking this particular class. The No-Fear process takes the fear out of the painting process and Kim's supportive and generous teaching style takes care of the rest. I am excited to say Kim has turned the No-Fear class into a dvd. So no matter where you live you too can experience No-Fear Watercolor. I am also proud to say one of my paintings is included as an example in the dvd. Thanks Kim for your encouragement.

The Art Station is also a great resource for art supplies. If you live in the vicinity, I would definitely recommend checking it out. 

08 November 2010

The Last 'Primitive to Modern' Class

This last weekend was the last class of Reggie Ezell's Primitive to Modern year long class in New Orleans. The year has been a journey! Reggie guided us through traditional gothic hands to modernizing the hand; taught us to gild on vellum referencing traditional layouts and contemporary design; showed us new and inventive ways to use the resources around us to aid in taking the fear out of creating that perfect piece; and introduced the book as a visual journey. 

Thanks Reggie for your encouraging and motivating guidance through this year!

The pictures above are some of the pages in the first section of my book. The quote is "The human heart is a theatre of longing". 

I would highly recommend this course offered by Reggie to any guild that has not experienced it. 

01 November 2010

Where has the time gone!

There have been several 'real' projects that have taken most of my time recently. I say 'real' projects because  they are projects with deadlines, for other people, people who are willing to pay for services rendered. I hope to be able to share a couple of these in the future. Needless to say, there has been little time for the self indulgent creative stuff. But hopefully that time will come soon.

In the meantime, this is a picture of a recent envelope job in copper ink. Don't you just love the look of metallic inks.

This ink is gouache with gold and copper Pearl Ex Pigments added to it. The envelopes took a little longer than most because the liner was opaque and the ink requires lots of stirring to keep the metallics flecks suspended. But I don't mind, the look is rich and stands proud on the page.

24 October 2010

Accordian Guest Book

I recently had the pleasure of creating a guest book for a young bride. The book form was inspired by a similar guest book in Annie Cicale's book The Art and Craft of Hand Lettering. There is a intro page and place for 200 signatures. The book is bound with painted tyvek and satin ribbon.

17 October 2010

Walnut Ink

I just love to work with walnut ink. 
And part of that attraction is the way it looks when it is wet. 
So Pretty!!!!

This is written with walnut ink (of course) on Arches Textwove paper.

11 October 2010

Proposed Logo

We at the New Orleans Lettering Arts Association are wanting to revamp the logo for the guild. The idea is to have the members submit ideas and we will have an independent party select the best idea. Or combine elements from different designs that may create an even better logo. This is my submission.

03 October 2010

Thank You- Ludid

I have recently been selected as a lucky winner at the wonderful blog of Turn Up The Sound. My husband checked the mail and was very excited to let me know I had received the most unusual and creative package he had ever seen in the mail.

Thank you for the wonderful notepad and your creative blog. So glad that I found your blogging space.

26 September 2010

Life - gilding

This piece is on a 8"x24" canvas with a base of molding paste to create texture; then layers of acrylic to create depth of color. The text is gilded with 23kt patent gold over one layer of painter's gesso and one layer of instacol. I was inspired by the teaching of my pastor one Sunday on the Narrow Door that leads to life.

But small is the gate
and narrow the road that leads to LIFE, 
and only a few find it.
Matthew 7:14

I have come that they may have LIFE,
 and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10

I pray you know the joy and peace that comes from the one and only Jesus Christ!

Happy Sunday!!!!!!!

17 September 2010

Flourished Script Initial tags

Where has the week gone! This week has been a whirlwind.

When the week is crazy busy and flying by its nice to create something sweet and pretty like these initial tags. 

10 September 2010

Gilded Vellum

This work is 23k patent gold and palladium on vellum. Part of the lettering is raised gilding using painters gesso and instacol and part of the lettering is flat gilding using gum ammoniac. I am new to gilding and am experimenting as I go. The draft for this was created on arches textwove paper. (You can view it here and here.) The paper was okay to gild on but the vellum was a dream; plus I feel so official when working with vellum.

I have created this piece for the year long Reggie Ezell's Primitive to Modern Course. Reggie's class has been great to boost my creativity and to put new tools in my tool box. I have learned so much! In fact, next class is this weekend. So I am off to pack.

06 September 2010

Text as Texture - Final

Well, here is the final post in the series of Text as Texture. This is my favorite. Using text as texture to create abstract art has been enlightening, to say the least. It has help to settle some likes and dislikes in my mind. I hope to be able to take some of these and rework them into larger more complex pieces.

Thank you all for your comments and encouragement in this process.

30 August 2010

Text as Texture 4

The fourth example from my journal with text creating abstract shapes and texture. I like this one!

The washes of walnut ink and watercolor on each side add depth and movement without being too distracting. The main word going vertical on the page creates a nice shape. The outer colors not touching the black, but coming close creates a contrast element with the black sumi ink. The small text inside the main word gives visual interest without overwhelming the main focus.

The elements that are not working is the random text in the blue area. I don't mind the strokes but the words are too legible and thus do not make sense.

I think the sketches are improving.

26 August 2010

Text as Texture 3

Okay, here's the third example of text as texture. (The first can be seen here and the second here.)

The things that I think work in this example are: the background interest is more complex. There is also more variation in sizes of text. And I like the single spot of color in the middle. The two vertical boxes add a structural element to the otherwise organic feel of the piece.

The things that do not work are: the 'c' in grace has been completely covered. Where this piece is not necessarily meant to be legible, the covering of the 'c' leaves a visual a hole. There is no real focal point to grab the eye and move it around the piece. It's too disorderly.

24 August 2010

Text as Texture 2

This is my second example of text as texture. I am experimenting with abstract layouts using text to create shape and texture. My last post was my least successful sketch thus far. This example is a little better. The overall shape is more interesting and the walnut ink in the lower left corner creates some interest as well.  Although, there is a little more contrast in value from the previous post, it is still not enough. And then there is the issue of the blank spot in the upper left corner. Something about it is appealing but uncomfortable at the same time. Overall the sketch is too clean, not enough background depth and not enough variance in size of lettering.

I have generated about 4 of these so far and am saving the better ones for last. The colors are being kept the same and to a minimum. There is black sumi ink, walnut ink, and turquoise watercolor.

22 August 2010

Text as texture

I have been experimenting with some abstract layouts using text as texture. The image above is one of the sketches from my journal. This is actually my least favorite and I'll tell you why. It's too clean and orderly. There is some contrast in value but not near enough to be pleasing. You know what they say, "The artist who can control contrast can control the world!" Or something like that.

I will post several of these to show what works and what doesn't work for me. Then I hope to take the best one and recreate on a large scale.

18 August 2010

Thank you

Thank you all who have followed along
on my journey of experimenting and
working in calligraphy 
and the calligraphic arts.

I am truly blessed to 
be able to pursue my passion
and to share the things
 I learn and create
with a such a supportive
 group of individuals.

My gratitude goes out to you!

15 August 2010


I had the wonderful opportunity to create this birth gift. It was a fun and refreshing commission. The name and date are written in pressurized Roman Caps with sumi ink and a watercolor shadow. The middle text is brush lettering in sumi ink with watercolor washes in between.

13 August 2010

Black Arches Cover - Con't

It was a work of art from Glen Epstein that got me going on the black Arches cover paper. Mr. Epstein was a marvel of an artist and calligrapher. You can see his work here, if you have never seen it before.

So in the style of Glen Epstein I created this piece. The text is a translation from a portion of "The Extremes of Good and Evil" by Cicero written in 45 BC. The picture above has the text only written. The picture below has the addition of the colored pencil between lettering. The color pencil adds to the vibrancy of the piece but also tames any hot spots of black in between the letters. 

I really had to concentrate on keeping the counter spaces and the letter spacing tight. I actually started with the bottom block of text, which unfortunately, has larger spacing between letters and words than the top. I was able to tighten it up as I wrote, but it could all be tighter still. 

The piece was lots of fun! 

09 August 2010

Black Arches Cover

Well, I have to say, I feel a little behind the times. Having read many times about black Arches Cover paper and having seen many works of calligraphy created on this paper, I have never tried it myself. And I have never worked with watercolor on black paper. For some reason I had it in my mind there had to be a preparation trick for watercolor on black paper. So I came across this long, thin scrap of black Arches in my scrap drawer and thought, "I will give it a try".

Oh my gosh! I am so excited! I know you all have probably already worked with this combination and are thinking, "I can't believe she is just finding this out!"

I created this little sampler of color this past weekend. Isn't it pretty?! It is an accordion fold with 5 pages of color combinations on one side and technique trials on the other side. I did find out that the more opaque watercolors show better on the black paper. Although, some cool effects can be achieved with the transparent colors as well. I tried to use masking fluid but it did not work; the masking fluid soaked into the paper and would not come off cleanly. When I rubbed hard enough to remove the masking fluid the watercolor around it rubbed off also. (See below.)

I have been having loads of fun working with my watercolors on this black paper. I will have more samples of work with this combination of materials in the future. Until then,

03 August 2010

How do you know? Unless you try.

In the last post, I was debating whether I should try to cover up a mistake in the gilding by adding black to the piece of work. It had been suggested to me to make a high quality print of the piece and try the black on that first. I tried to do just that, but I found it very difficult to print out the gold to my liking. So, whereas, making a print is usually the best way to try something you are unsure of, in the case of gilding I found it did not work for me. Since this piece was started as a final 'draft', I decided to just go for it. Below is the result. It is definitely different from the previous version. And even though it is not bad, it is not the look I want for this piece. So my final will be as in the previous post, just gilding on vellum.

That's the great thing about art. Some things work, some don't, but you can always try again. Sometimes I get bogged down in the fear of messing up. Then I freeze and cannot create anything, instead of just trying.

29 July 2010

Artistic decisions

I am in a dilema. The attached piece is completed as I had it in my mind. But there are a couple of mistakes with the gilding that I would really like to cover up. So I am debating adding a black border around the areas where the 'letters' are gilded. To tie that in so it doesn't look like I am just trying to hide something, I am thinking of filling in the 'letters' with black. There is a beautiful piece of work on Georgia Angelopoulos' website that has gilding with black and I love the look. (The work is at the bottom of the page.)

It has been suggested to me to make a copy of my piece on good matte paper and fill in to see if I like it. This I am going to do. But I wanted to get your opinion and see how you determine these things. What is your method for choosing the next step or deciding if the piece is complete?

21 July 2010

Love Deeply

This image was written with sumi ink and a Speedball B-3 nib. The corners were squared off with sumi ink and a stiff pointed nib. I then scanned the image, vectorized it in Adobe Illustrator, then added an inner glow and drop shadow in Photoshop. 

"Intense love does not measure, it just gives." - Mother Teresa

17 July 2010


This is a small portion of a piece of homework I am working on for the Reggie Ezell class, Primitive to Modern. I have posted previous homework assignments. You can find them here and here.

This image is of a draft I am working on. The background image is printed out multiple times and the layout can then be worked out without fear of messing up a one of a kind background.

13 July 2010

Recent Envelopes with Gold Ink

I recently completed an wedding envelope project that utilized gold ink. I love writing with Dr. Martin's Spectralite Gold. It sits so nice on the paper, just gleaming and sparkling.

06 July 2010


I know this aspiring young artist. She is quite talented in the fact that she has a natural eye for things. Right now she has committed to taking and posting a photo a day for 365 days. I asked if I could post her account here so she can receive comments from others. She doesn't take my compliments because she thinks I have to say something nice, seeing that I am her mother.

So if you have a moment take a look and give a comment.


05 July 2010

Just messing 'round

I realized, just tonight, that I have Corel Painter Sketch Pad on my computer. Boy, the time sure slips away when I'm messing 'round with these type of programs. There are so many things I should be doing but . . .

I created this instead.

30 June 2010

Ruling Pen Alphabet

This image is of a exemplar I made some time ago. The letters were made with a ruling pen and walnut ink, scanned, and manipulated in photoshop. The very cool background is from Jerry Jones at Shadowhouse Creations. I have just recently come across his blog with wonderful textures and backgrounds.

The ruling pen is one of my favorite tools for playing.



27 June 2010

Pic of the week

It has been too long! The summer has been a wonderful explosion of events and projects, but has taken me away from the blogging world. I hope to get back into my routine of staying in contact with my fellow bloggers.

I am very honored and excited to say one of my pieces have been selected as Reggie Ezell's 'Pic of the Week'. If you have not seen Reggie's website, you should definitely check it out here. Reggie chooses one piece of art each week that was generated from his year long class or the 'Primitive to Modern' class. There are many inspiring artists and calligraphy examples on his site.

Thanks for the encouragement Reggie!

23 May 2010

Stepping out on Vacation

What a crazy, wonderful, busy time of the year it has been! Just got back from the third session of Reggie Ezell's 'Primitive to Modern' class. It has been a treasure trove of information, sharing, and learning. In an earlier post there was a close-up of a piece of homework for this class. An overall shot is shown below. This piece is a recreation of Suzanne Moore's artwork from the St. John's Bible. I actually created this piece twice, once on Arches textwove and once on canvas. Both were done in watercolor. I hope to post a more detailed description of my process at a later date.

And now, school is out and my daughter and I are off on the first get away of the summer! Hurray! I will be out of pocket for several weeks and look forward to all the wonderful post and creativity in blog land when we return.

Until then!

04 May 2010

LPB Art and Travel Auction

I have the wonderful opportunity to participate in the annual LPB Art and Travel Auction. This is my second year to donate to the support of this cause. Over 190 pieces of art are up for auction this year, plus many travel packages. Check it out there may be something that interests you.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting is committed to quality television programming and supporting the community.

30 April 2010

May Class in Reggie Ezell course

I have been working on my homework for the next class in Reggie Ezell's "Primitive to Modern" course. We were assigned several different tasks to choose from, one is to recreated a piece from the St. John's Bible and/or a small book on vellum. I have been working on a recreation of a piece created by Suzanne Moore in Deuteronomy of the St. John's Bible. Here are a couple of close ups.

Next, I am working on a small book. I am narrowing my design options and laying it out on paper first. I am on my second draft. The illustrative portion has been settled, the wording has been settled, now I need to decide on the look of the text. This is where I cannot seem to make a decision. The text needs a hand that is a little uncontrolled and urgent, which is out of my comfort zone. No photos have been taken so far but I will post some when the text has been settled upon.