Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fiona's first four letters...

I have really enjoyed the start to ALaW this year - I have sat in the studio fiddling around and have eventually come up with something I can work with.

I went for white on white (one of my all time favourite combinations) and pierced the letters through the paper. I only had the i-Phone over at the shed studio so the colours appear more dove-grey on dove-grey; but the sense of them comes through I think.

This is my response to the dotty alphabet - all those little pin pricks make such nice dots!

Here is where I have gotten to so far A, B, C and D

And this is what they looked like lined up together on a piece of blackboard - yum!

And then just because I am who I am - I took a shot of the multi-pierced piece of mat board I had been using to pierce into - the lovely pattern left was too good to ignore!

The alphabet is based upon the style of writing Charles Rennie Mackintosh used to use in his plans and designs.

Noela's start to 2012

I have decided to leave the 'dotty' letters till later - I have so many ideas that I can't focus on one as yet.
I wanted to try some conventional calligraphic style letters - just for the hell of it, and I love the fine control you can get with gouache paints- so here we have the first 4 letters.
  • The font was one I found on the internet and I have changed some letters slightly,
  • I have used my favourite colours - aubergine, deep purple, celadon, mauve, blue grey, beige,
  • Background papers are mostly Canson Mi Teintes,
  • Paint is gouache with Jo Sonja acrylic gold highlights,
  • The brush I used is a taklon size 2.
I have a feeling that they are a bit plain, boring, understated??? but I will leave them for now - maybe something will be added later. I think I will make them into a T or maze style book, and perhaps add some more painted detail on the back.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I'm back, finally!

Everyone has done lovely introductions to this year. I have only just finished No2 alphabet for the 2011 blog and thought I would put a photo of the four I have done so far for mine. This is just about all I do these days and it keeps me going.

One day, when I retire from the library where I work in Community Information producing posters, brochures, banners and flyers to advertise our events, facilities and general goings on, I will hopefully have time to get back into my lettering art. I also still do the design and production of Colophon, the Australian Society of Calligrapher's quarterly journal.

I enjoy doing this and my job too - they are both creative, but all electronic. Not hands on.

I am going dotty, as I said on the 2011 blog, trying to come up with something for 2012. If I don't stress, I'm sure it will come to me. 

Good luck to you all this year. There are some really interesting things happening already.

Meg (also known as confuzed)

Lyndell - BCDE

It has been a struggle to find time to complete the letters what with work, family etc etc. I really enjoy doing them though.
First of all I painted a sheet of paper with Quink ink and then used bleach to make the dots. It's kind of like magic when the dots eventually appear out of the background. Lots of fun.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Kim Schoenberger - ABCDE

Ok, starting off with my 'dotty' alphabet - I'm taking on a different approach this time, instead of having every letter different I am chosing to do each the same and to be suitated on an ole pianola scroll defined in their 7cm x 7cm square by dots. Each letter will appear the same but the 'dotty' look will come from not only the border but from the formation of the musical notes creating a random pattern of a negative 'dotty' space. To take full advantage of this negative 'dotty' space I want to finish the piece off in a box like frame creating a light box effect, hence enhancing the negative space.

I quiet like the look, it almost has a kinda binary look to it.

I haven't quiet decided whether to cut it down to size (complete alphabet in one sheet) or keep it intact as a full scroll or atleast keep the top feeder part time will tell I guess, when time comes to framing...

Lau's letters, dotty ABCD

Here are my fisrt "dotty" letters.
I made a lot of small dots with color felt-tips .
I carefully chose two colors for each letter and I tried to suggest movement for each one.
I am not completely satisfied of the A (too much blue in the background). I think that I shall do it again.
This alphabet is from W.J. Pierce, England, 1900.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mieke's First four dotti's.

Here are my first 4 letters of the alphabet, the dotti version.

I painted hot wax on cardboard first.

Wen this was cold and hard I painted several layers of shellac over the top.
Then hit it with a heat gun to melt the wax witch separated the shellac.
The Letters are glued on rust-dust witch I scraped of an rusty piece of iron they are representing the dots.
I then covered the edges with copper strip used in lead lighting and added split pens in some spots to give it some more dots.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Introduction to my ALAW

I am new to trying to do A Letter A Week.  What I've been doing is stitching with Jude Hill (link) working on my cloths.  My work for this year is a type of "tribute" to Emily Dickinson and her fascicles.  These are her "pamphlets" that she stitched while writing/composing her poems.  During her life she actually stitched 40 fascicles.  These could be viewed as her first "published" poems (very few were actually published during her life time.)  I am a recently retired art librarian (my stomping grounds where at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago - the school that actually started the Art Institute's Collection.)  I retired in September to take care of my mom who is dealing with dementia.  My love of books, combined with my need to do something while I am my mother's caregiver, is what is the motivation behind my work.  I use to do binding - traditional and also the creative kind that is what has become known as "artists' books" although the definition of what an artist's book is is very loosely defined and or hard to define. My blog where I post my fascicle project and stitched cloths is 81/2x11: thread reading (link) if you are curious to see more of the work.

For now I will show you what I have done so far with the idea of "pixel" - hoping my dashes will pass for pixels.  I have finished letters a-d (January's call).  Eventually this will be turned into a scroll type of book (peaking out at the right is the "structural" part where I will attach the scroll.)  It is a twig.  The fabric is all hand natural dyed cloth.  I use various materials: rust, walnuts, acorns, tea, etc. as the color source.  As many have stated, I'm not a calligrapher so this is the result of someone who doesn't do well drawing straight lines with a ruler.  I should mention, the color is dark so I will try and improve that.  I basically just wanted to introduce what I'm doing a take a stab at posting. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Introduction: Lisa

This is my first time participating in ALaW, and am so glad that I came across this great project in time to join in before the year had gotten too far along. It has been so much fun visiting the ALaW blog to see everyone's ideas taking root and beginning to evolve.

It's typical for me to spend quite a lot of time turning ideas over in my mind before beginning, so I haven't made much progress yet, but this week I have finally made it to the drawing board. And now that I have a few images to share, it seemed like a good chance to introduce myself.

I am an American artist and writer living in Florence, Italy. A research trip for a book about Florence's piazzas brought me here for what was supposed to be four months, but I think somehow I knew that I wouldn't be leaving that soon (it's now been 7+ years!). My degree is in Architecture, but I prefer working on small scale projects that I can not only design myself, but also execute myself. I love the book as a medium, and have been exploring artists' books again after a long period devoted to writing + creating the maps for the 'piazza' book.

Although it seems like many of you are off and running with the letter-a-week challenge, I thought I would document my considerably slower beginning in case there are others who are also still in the 'incubation' phase. One reason it has taken a while to figure out how to begin my first alphabet is because I wanted to have an idea of what shape the letters would ultimately assume as a group. (I'm pretty sure that at least one set will come together in book form.) Another reason it's been hard to get started is because I can't seem to decide which media to choose―watercolor, collage, beads & wire, photo-based, computer-generated?

The first thing that came to mind when I envisioned my alphabet was letters in different shades of  brightly colored Canson Mi-Teintes ...one color for the overlayed letter, and then another for the background. In preparation for this, I photographed various sheets of the brightly colored papers juxtaposed with one another [some examples are shown on the 'pinboard' at right]. The process of arranging / photographing made me wonder about creating more 'complex' designs, i.e. using several colors for each letter. I like the geometry of the triangles formed by the arrangements, and this may also end up being incorporated into the design. I also gathered bits of Florentine marbled paper left over from other projects [lower right on the pinboard]. I love the classic Italian pattern of  'spots/blobs' colliding & overlapping, and am considering them for the dotty-themed letters.

Another possibility would be to base one of the alphabets on a Florence-inspired abecedary that I made a couple of years ago...I had originally envisioned each letter being original/different and somehow relating to the concept I had chosen for that letter. But since there wasn't time to hand-create each letter individually, I instead ended up using Arno Pro as the font throughout. [The abecedary can be seen in the two photos on the pinboard, in which the 'U' & the 'B' are visible. The upper right photo shows a small plate of quaresimali, a type of biscuit piped out in the shape of letters; these appear in Italian bakeries each year during Lent. There's more info about them HERE, where I also discuss making the abecedary.]

As I prepared to experiment with the letters today, I assembled various things from around the studio: tubes of watercolor/gouache paints (which I've been wanting to try for ages); narrow strips of paper left over from past projects (to fold into little books); a piece of bubble wrap to either lay over other papers or use as a 'stamp' (an interesting effect that I may explore further). Further rummaging turned up a little mockup booklet in different shades of Canson; the pages turned out to be exactly seven centimeters square, so it seemed a perfect place to experiment with the letter forms at the correct scale.

I like the idea of offering hints of the letters, as opposed to showing their full shapes, so I began painting parts of them on each seven-by-seven square; next I may try each letter somehow linked to the adjacent ones as well, and ultimately they may end up being more 'calligraphic'/decorative. We've been lucky to have long strings of ideal winter days in Florence―cold but blue-skied (my sympathies to all of you enduring the wet summer in Australia)―and it was such a pleasure to see the gold gouache shimmering in the sunlight as it flowed from the brush...I wish I knew how to capture things like this with my camera. Anyway, I had a lovely time painting several preliminary letters, and it feels good to have made a start, no matter how small. We'll see where it leads...

Thank you for all of the inspiration you've given me; I am thrilled to be part of the group (and next time I hope to have more images to show and fewer meandering thoughts/unresolved issues).

{My website can be found at: http://www.lisa-mcgarry.com
& I recently 'reinvented' my original blog at: http://www.arzigogolare.blogspot.com}

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

my alpha beginning

I'm new to ALAW this year.  I lurked about the blog last year admiring the vast variety and creative results of all those amazing alphabets.  This year I just had to play along.  I gave lots of thought and sketches about to how to present it and for this first try I wanted to stay with something I feel somewhat confident in completing.

I live in Seattle, WA and just last year really embraced the idea of exploring my artistic self more fully.  I started a blog, started an art journal, started experimenting with acrylics, mixed media, collage and even digital art - it's all SO much fun!  I've made some new blogger acquaintances and love following along as they explore their creativity too - I can't wait to meet everyone joining in here.

I've become enamored of zentangling and thought that would be a fun way for me to combine my love for tangling and for experimenting in lettering.  So here are my letters for January.

Obviously, I've decided to do my 'dotty' alpha first.  I created dots of spattered watercolor as the background and the colors will progress through the color wheel three times (red, orange, yellow, yellow green, green, blue green, blue, purple).  The tiles will also be connected with the ribbon of circles on black (more dots) and then filled in with zentangle patterns.  I'm thinking I will bind it in some book format because I'm eager to try my hand at some simple bookbinding but that remains to be seen.

I'm loving what I'm seeing from others so far and can't wait to see what the year brings.....

Elaine: Intoduction

I am a calligrapher who lives in a suburb of Sydney. It is so interesting to hear about the backgrounds of the other people involved in the project. I also hadn’t realised how far and wide we are spread. I have been teaching calligraphy to adults for many years and I love doing that, it is so rewarding seeing the students’ enjoyment and their development.

 Over the years my work has become less traditional and I often use free lettering, done with a variety of unorthodox tools, to create what I call ‘calligraphic art’ (that means not always legible). In another life I was a milliner and I am still very attached to fabric and find myself often using it in my work. ALaW is a wonderful idea, especially as I always need a challenge, a new way to do things or develop ideas.
From my first alphabet of 2011 - double ruling pen and ink on acetate film

Gone Dotty

Hi Everyone I'm Liz, aka the grid girl or late Liz, but this year I'm early so maybe I should call myself dottie Davidson. While last years final alphabet is not finished, still in it's various variation stage, this one is. Of course I haven't quite kept to the rules but I'm getting closer. With Damien Hirst in the news with his dot paintings, my mind went a bit wild and I thought of confetti, settled on waste dots from a punch press and started to play. All the dots live in the box and can be used to shape any letter or words you want. In the spring I hope to take them outside and have a trail of dotted letters through the woods, but for now here they are.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ahah ..early for once!... Jo

I can't believe it... am on the ball this time... AND I've sewn last year's signatures together, but have yet to cover them.

Have decided to go with digital art for my first alphabet.  Each letter begins with a tiny piece of one of my paintings, blown up and given a grainy texture.  I have added Blackadder font and some spots.

All 26 letters will be eventually arranged into three mosaics of 9 letters each, then framed.  Of course I'll have one 7 x 7 spare at the end.  The design of that one has yet to be decided.

Sooo... herewith my first four.    Hmmmm... let's call it "in progress"... might have to do a little 'tweaking'... but you get the idea.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Introduction: Eithna

Hello, I'm Eithna.
I live in the beautiful West of Ireland and this is my first time taking part in ALAW.
I am not a calligrapher but it was my favorite discipline in Art Class in High School, more years ago than I care to remember. I am an artist/painter and I use pen and ink allot in my work.
I have decided to use a type writing stamps to make my letters and to incorporate them into collages. I'm using an old map, as I love the tiny markings on maps also some fabric and stitching. I don't plan projects in advance I like to let them evolve and here already there seems to be some nature (birds/trees) emerging.
I am looking forward to getting to know you all and seeing where this project brings me.
So with a little trepidation I give you my A, B, C, and D  I am away next week so I'm getting these in early and I found once I started I could not stop!
They were all done on the same shade of paper (except for "A") but as I had to take the photos indoors due to lack of sunshine in this Irish winter! they all look differant so hopefully when Spring arrives my photos will be better.
If you want to know more about me or my work you can find me at http://www.littlebitofblue.com/

Saturday, January 21, 2012

rObfOs - animal alphabet beginning

"A" for Armadillo
to run with
an animal them
for my second alpha-
bet.  Have utilised pen
& pencil, & gouache.  Am
slighltly disconcerted by the
amount of tiny mistakes that are 
not visible to the naked eye but jump
out at you when the photo of your teeny
little image is magnified to the n-th degree.

Friday, January 20, 2012

circle alphabet - c & d

well for the moment, all the letters are rather circled by themselves, but ... what about the I for exemple ...

Introduction - Lau


My name is Laurence Bucourt. I’m leaving in the southwest of France, near Bordeaux.

I love letters, paper, books, pop up, flip books,
and also cutting and folding paper.

I have been a full time calligraphic and book artist for three years.

I participated to ALAW last year, and I enjoyed this challenge a lot.
 The above images are a part of the letters I made for ALAW 2011.

my site : http://laurencebucourt.com/
my blog : http://aufildelau.blogspot.com/

Please apologize, my English is not very good!
I would have wanted to say more about me, but the vocabulary misses me!
(... what is more I am not a talkative person...) 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Trace's Intro

Hi Trace Willans here from the Great Southern Region of Western Australia.
This is my first time alphabetising here with ALAW.
So I am hoping that I will get away with the rules I will break.
I work a lot with multiple processes and as I work only with natural materials and make all my own paints etc, it makes sense to me to work in multiples.
So what I thought I would do is each month show the letters after having done the next process.
I hope that makes sense.
Above are my first 4 letters hand stitched in cretan stitich onto cotton fabric.
Next month I will show what has happened to the next 4 letters.
This not my dotty alphabet!!!!