Friday, December 30, 2016

Review 2016: Top 3 Posts

This is my 53rd post! I started this weekly blog on New Year’s Day 2016. The Unicorn Dream above posted in Creating White Vine Letters (5th most popular!) on March 4th. Click link:

My top 3 popular posts: Blogger tells me how many times each blog is viewed - not including my views either.

Beaded Books is my #1 blog for 2016 - instructional & the most popular - posted on September 23rd. Click link: 

There are two 2nd most viewed posts: Bookbinding in Los Angeles - with Charlene Mathews posted on May 20th. Click link: 
Plus: Carving Images for Prints - DIY posted on January 15th. Click link:

3rd most popular is Marbling Suminagashi Style - also instructional posted on March 18th:

The top calligraphy post - also about book binding -& my 4th most popular is Fabric Book of Intentions on February 19th: Click link:

I was on the Design Team for Arnold Grummer Paper Making: February through July. It was a happy experience - AG sent me free art supplies - what more could I ask!?!
My most popular post for AG is on July 27th. Click link:

If you read this far…  During 2017 my blog posts go twice a month - the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month - so I have more time for art-making. 
Here's hoping we all have a peaceful and rewarding Happy New Year!
©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Learning Foundational Calligraphy

Lettering Foundational calligraphy seems easier because it is based on the circular O. Also of course it takes lots of practice!

Sheila Waters book, Foundations of Calligraphy is helpful; she has an analytic approach. Sheila studied at the Royal College of Art, London.

Because it was available in 1999, Italic was my first calligraphic hand, taught by The Houston Calligraphy Guild through their Tutorial Program. Simply put, Italic letters are narrow, written on a slant. Using a keystroke we can make anything we type Italic. See Exploring Italic Here:

I tried learning Foundational on my own; then I benefited from a Summer Study class with Karla Hamilton: White Vine Letters and the Foundational Hand. 
See my blog on White Vine letters

I practiced all summer, working toward this finished project. 

I have since enjoyed Foundational as my go-to hand but I know I am not perfect. What makes calligraphy so much fun is trying to master the form.

Practice, practice and more practice - fun on a winter's day... 

Below: I try writing using 4 pen nib widths for lower case and 7 nib widths for ascenders & capitals.

If you would like to share your thoughts with me - please let me know in the comments below.

Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

Cards for Christmas

Every December the Houston Calligraphy Guild has members exchange up to three Christmas cards that we can actually send to others. There is a numbering system at the meeting so you never know which cards you’ll receive.
My Xyron machine added adhesive to the back of the green paper. Double-sided tape works too.
Happy to say - my carved stamps make unique cards. See my carving instructions here: - I carved the deer, ornament, PEACE, Merry Christmas, the tree and small circle. The Earth stamp was from All Night Media - out of business from my Google search.
On my visit to Hobby Lobby last week I found Christmas stamps too. Here is the Christmas Ornament card with supplies used.
And I carved a Christmas tree with open circles for tree ornaments and the planet Earth.
Do you send Christmas cards - store-bought or home-made? Are you satisfied with sending a text!?! What Christmas cards, if any, are you sending this year?
©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016

Sculpting in Clay

In the 1980’s I sculpted in clay; also known as multi-glaze terracotta figures. When I visited the Rodin Museum in Paris it was fun to see the same techniques used by Auguste Rodin.
My sculpture of my husband, Kevin Taylor, immortalized in clay.
Through volunteering at the Art League Houston I met Toni Jones who asked me to place my sculpture in her gallery and gift shop. 
Self-portrait I sculpted in clay with gold glaze in the 1980's
Toni Jones sold a few of my smaller pieces in her gift shop. And my sculpture was part of a group show.
A few River Oaks residents gave me commissions to sculpt them in clay. I worked mostly from photos; they wanted portraits from the time they were young and beautiful. 
Sculptural plaque I made from a photo of myself when I was 4 years old
Toni Jones let me know that in order to sell more clay figures, I should make whimsical pieces, such as a toad playing a violin. I sculpted a penguin instead, not playing any instruments.

In 1986 the Houston public TV station, Channel 8 held an auction to celebrate Houston’s 150 years: the sesquicentennial. I sculpted and donated Sam Houston, appraised by the International Society of Appraisers for $500 and sold!

I loved sculpting! And I was a professional sculptor selling in an art gallery and three gift shops. It can be done - you can do it! Another phase of life because I love to make art. Although I did return to the corporate world for the money. Do you have any thoughts about making art & making money!?!
©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

Friday, December 2, 2016

Picasso Birthday

Self-portrait I made in High School
To celebrate my birthday I usually visit a museum for fun & inspiration. I actually have a good time visiting with works of art.
This year my birthday fell on Monday when most museums are closed. On Sunday I visited The Menil (pronounced men-eel) Museum in Houston.
When I was in high school I learned that Cubism uses geometric shapes.

Picasso The Line is exhibited until January 8, 2017; the drawings date from 1907 to 1969. Comprising ninety works on paper with pen, graphite, charcoal, and collage. 

One of his opened notebooks had these modern-looking dot and line drawings.

Seeing his actual drawings encourages me in my sketching. I bought these two books at The Menil Museum book store to continue my inspiration.
Gertrude Stein likens Picasso’s Cubism to architecture in Spain. She said he always went back to naturalism: figurative drawing.
This original drawing is on exhibit at The Menil Museum
Picasso had a long life - born October 25th 1881 and died in 1973. What made him so special? He broke with tradition using geometric shapes and patterns; he was versatile with different mediums: lithograph printing, sculpting in clay, drawing, painting, even making ceramic vases and plates.

Do you have any thoughts about Picasso’s art? Please let me know in the Comments section.
©Anne Rita Taylor 2016