Cheerio in May

It’s a wonderful rainy morning here in beautiful North Carolina.  The swallows are busy nesting in the eves of the craft house and the fog has settled in for a while.  What a great way to start the week.   I’m spending the week with Laurie Doctor and those of you who don’t know here work should peruse her website. She’s an amazing artist and teacher.  The other half of the class is working with Denis Brown on his polyrhythmic techniques.  We’re lucky to have wifi now, so I’ll try to post some photos in the evening.  Needless to say Cheerio is the closest thing to a calligrapher’s heaven on earth.

Parke County Covered Bridge

While I’m in watercolor mode, here’s another.  This one is from a photo I took out in Parke County Indiana, the covered bridge capitol of the world. We were there in late October when there was very little foliage left on the trees.

Those of you who subscribe to Bound and Lettered might remember seeing it there in an article I wrote about using masking fluids.  The white portions of the bridge, the rocks and some of the larger areas of white on the trees were masked. After it was removed from the bridge, the grey tones and lettering were added.


Clicking on the graphic it will open a larger copy in a new window where you can see more detail. The rocks and under the bridge have a slightly shiny take to them where I used brushed gum arabic to create a wet look. The white areas of the trees are sgraffito.  I removed the color with a fritch scrub brush and an exacto knife.

Watercolor Inspiration

I enjoy painting with watercolor.  The transparency allows for color mixing and blending unlike either oils or acrylics.  I try to have a camera handy when we travel and keep a digital file of reference photos.

This watercolor is loosely based on a photograph of a bridge in the Blue Ridge mountains near Roaring Gap, NC.  The aging stonework offered such an array of earthtones balanced against the trees and sky.

Click on the thumbnail for more detail.



Winter Inspiration

The creative spark has been in full gear this past week.  Between shoveling snow and being invited to participate in the Washington Calligraphers Guild Invitational Exhibit, I’m afraid I haven’t been posting as often as I’d like.  I’ve been having great fun preparing a new piece to send off this month to DC.  Meanwhile, photographing art for the gallery here is temporarily on hold, but I couldn’t resist taking some photos of last night’s beautiful snowfall.

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky, Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields, Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven, and veils the farmhouse at the garden’s end. The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit around the radiant fireplace, enclosed in a tumultuous privacy of storm.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Out of the bosom of the Air, out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken, over the woodlands brown and bare, over the harvest-fields forsaken, silent, and soft, and slow descends the snow.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow