Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bella Venezia

I returned last week from 10 amazing days in Venice, where I was a participant in a calligraphy workshop taught by Monica Dengo.  Monica is an inspired teacher and brilliant artist who has collaborated with the Correr Museum on Piazza San Marco to curate a remarkable exhibit entitled The Poetics of Written Space.

The opening party was a star-studded event with some of the absolute "greats" of the contemporary calligraphy movement, including Ewan Clayton, Birgit Nass, Kitty Sabatier and Satzuki Hatsushima.  To see a video of the opening party go to

The course moved rapidly from a look at the movements and gestures involved in personal handwriting to the patterns of making handwriting truly free and rhythmic.  By the end of the week Monica encouraged us to make our own marks and to experiment with various tools.  Here I am using a cola pen and Sumi ink playing with a variety of marks.

As the week progressed the students created four books filled with the week's work.  These books are currently on display as part of The Poetics of Written Space exhibit at the Correr.  Here is my friend Carla Tenret looking over some of the books we made.

Additionally, we had time in the library to handle and study books and letters from the 13th through 19th centuries.  This was a remarkable experience and provided me with a basis for understanding further the concept of developing a personal approach to my lettering.

Perhaps the best part of the week was making new friends from many European countries.  Discussing ideas about lettering over dinner only added to the rich experience of the class.  This class was a significant opportunity in every way.

We had fairly good weather during the course, but the surprise for many of us was a couple of days of high water.  The alarms sound, the water rises, and people wade on through the risen lagoon to get to activities.  Here I am putting on my boots, so that I can go outside.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Larry Calkins is my hero!

I highly recommend the work/blog/inspirations of artist extrordinaire Larry Calkins.  See the work of
 Larry Calkins at at  When I first met Larry at a workshop in Seattle at Pratt, I was overwhelmed by his creative spirit.  And I continue to be amazed by his abilities to help other artists see the world in whole new ways every day. Larry and his colleague and artistic goddess Kamla Kakaria continue to be primary mentors/critics/shamen for me as I travel on the artistic path.

Larry's mantra is "notice what you notice."  His sketchbook work is especially revelatory.  One lucky group is about to go with Larry to Italy to notice what they notice and to soak up some Italian sun.  See information at  Buon viaggio!

Monotypes from my press

Color is an important element for me for exploring the limits of space and meaning on the page.

More work in color

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I sat in at an excellent artist's talk last Saturday at the Cullom Gallery in Seattle.  I had seen the work of the exhibiting artist, Eva Pietzcker, last year when she last had a show at this wonderful small gallery which focuses on Japanese-inspired prints.  Although she is German, Eva has been on a remarkable quest to develop her understanding of the Asian tradition in her woodblock prints.  Her work is fresh, fluid and inspiring.  She is passionate about being herself in her work.  To see a few of her prints, check out the Cullom Gallery site:
or look at her website: