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Sunday, January 26, 2014


oh I love your page! You are getting better and better at your sketching! :D If you want cold and I mean COLD, and cloudy, come see me in Philly! It's 22 for the high today. bleh!!!

I just wish I knew how to make a dip pen, well...work! My efforts just come out scratchy, blobby, and awful no matter what nib I use. What am I missing out on?? Me thinks a sketching and lettering MAM-style might be in order (hint).

I am so relieved to know that other readers had to enlarge the print and that my eyes are not failing! Yikes about having to leave so early in the mornings.

Hooray for Corita Kent,
her art still fresh
after almost 5 decades.
She was also friends with Daniel Berrigan, SJ.
And . . . Tara F, being a peace activist and in the Church is pretty radical
in my view.

Holy cow! I had no idea that the "OPEN WIDE" print I have on the wall was by some famous artist. My inlaws are peace activists and I thought it was some churchy peacey activist...y thing that they collected over the years. Neat! Thanks for the info.

Longing for cold and wet and grey? Come visit me in Toronto, you'll change your tune fast enough!! Lots of time to practice calligraphy when you're hibernating indoors! :) Love that lettering style you are developing.

teensy tinsy letters. I envy you your winter with flowers. I miss growing things so badly right now... can't do calligraphy - I am left handed! best I ever did was with a flat brush and that worked really well. it was a class of brush painting on fabric. short bristles - hard to find (or at least that is what the teacher told us....) Wish I coulda been there at the Palm Springs Party....

I did learn one very good tip in my calligraphy class: Whatever you are putting your in into, get a nice kitchen sponge and cut a hole in the middle the size of the ink container. Then put the container into the sponge. When you dip, you will not dump.
I also came to love the chisel tipped felt calligraphy pens. Even though I am a reformed dumper.

To the question of your font size: are you aiming for your students or your friends to be able to read it? ( Friends who may or may not have been told at their last eye exam "eventually you will want to consider cataract surgery".)

Thanks Mam, it is a bit small for my 56 year old eyes. As always you teach me to be brave and go forth and try new things. Love the painting, the writing, the artist info, and feelin like a friend. It is awful dry here in Southern Oregon too but the rain is on its way - so i am doing the rain dance and weeding out my creative space so i can dip and smear and explore.
love, lori

Thank you so much for posting the recent book suggestions. I just ordered the alphabet one and Mark Hearld. Can't wait for them to get here. I am just dipping into calligraphy myself and just got a workbook to try by Maryanne Grebenstein. I am so inspired by your blog posts!
Aloha, Kate

I gotta say as soon as I saw the ink in the shot glass, I smiled hugely. Stupendous idea, that Carol is a girl genius. Loved the facetime journaling session, can't think of a better way to spend an evening, and if you want wet and cold, cmon on over and I'll set you up on the couch with a quilt and bottle of beer in front of the telly or whip out a folding tray for journaling and art play, either way we have enough cold and snow and will happily share, in fact most of the US would happily skip this winter I am pretty sure. I've learned to roll with Ma nature and when she throws a hissy fit, well it's best to try and stay out of her way. I've been watching the nightly news and have been dismayed hearing about CA's drought conditions and the fires that have already started up. Sad thing is I'm sure there will be a lot of flooding around here come spring and wish there was a way to funnel it down to you guys. All this snow has to go somewhere when it melts.

Wow. Thanks for the Corita Kent stuff. I've been a fan of hers for forty years and still have a packet of her prints packed away but not any longer!

I guess you have heard by now - eye test small, but worth the squinting!
Best to you,

What a lovely time spent drawing with your sister - I love the beauty coming from your pens and brushes. Yes, the font here is tiny. Perhaps a tad bigger would be easier but I'll read your posts anyway because I'm inspired by all that you do. Have a good week ahead with your class.

hehehehe I thought the thickest swells referred to the big surf we're having. Was a lot of fun watching it, glad I am no longer young and stupid and think I should venture it. Must better - lettering, art journals and sisters.

Yikes - too small! But everything else is wonderful - of course :)

Yes, the type is too small for these 61 year old eyes. Love the idea of using a shot glass for drawing the ink.
Erin in Morro Bay

The font is just fine on my computer but tiny on my mobile devices. Thanks for sharing so many of your ideas and work. I am going to check this lettering book out.

I adore your geranium...so delicate. I can feel its presence on my windowsill. I will read whatever you write, but I too am finding the print a tad tiny for my eye glassed eyes. Maybe you should write everything in calligraphy (tee hee!)!

Hello! these old eyes need a little bigger font....but I SO love looking at your journal pages, especially with Pam and Carol! What a great time you guys have! I just picked up my Mark Hearld book from the library....so glad you recommended it.

the type looks just fine on my computer (and i am no spring chicken-so you know how the eyes are). Anyway when I was a girl, my mother had a lettering book-(I wish I still had it). I would spend hours practicing different styles of lettering. I still have the pen and nibs that belonged to her.

Yes, type has been tiny tiny in your last couple of posts.
BTW, shot glass for ink, yes, a tried and true method i've used for years.
Also, I took a lettering class years ago from wonderful elderly Bill Lilly. When using a nib that is very pointy, an easy way to clean it as you go is to occasionally stab the point into a potato. Kind of cleans off the gunk that builds up. (P.S. - discard said potato at end of lettering session.)

Gah, I thought my eyes had taken a turn for the worse! Glad to know it wasn't just me! :-)

The type is too small for these old eyes. Please enlarge! I wouldn't want to miss a word of any of your posts!

Thank you.


Love the post, but the font is way too small. Thank you for the detailed description of your drive. It is so evocative for someone who grew up in east Hollywood.


Corita Kent is high on my hero list. She was so kind to me and influenced my art more than anyone.
Do you have a hero list Mary Ann? I bet it would make great reading, just saying. ;o)

Yes, the font is microscopic! Interestingly, I've been finding a lot of calligraphy and font books at the thrift store, on the 25 cent magazine rack! Am thinking it must be a message...

too small! Oh but not the heart that wrote this,loved your stories, as expected..

You could write in another language, and I'd get it translated!
But, yes, it's small.
Conta Kent is new to me, but will look her up and check out the video that Cynthia mentions.
All the best at your new post and bless you for being on the road by 6 am.

Hi Mary Ann! Yes, the font needs to be changed back to whatever it was before you monkeyed around with it! Old eyes, even with glasses, just can't read it without squinting. So please, pretty please, change it back.

Don't you love the technology of today? I have not Face Timed with anyone, although it's on my iPad. But I have had many Skype calls with my niece who is really like my baby sister. She is 800 + miles away so Skype is our friend! We talk, show each other new clothes or stuff we have bought and even "hug" each other good-bye. Being able to see each other is wonderful and, although it's not quite the same as a face to face visit, it sure is fun and almost feels like we've been in the same space together!

Love the things you're posting about lately. It has made me inspired to plan a retreat with my sisters-in-law. There are wonderful beach houses here in Pensacola so I am sure we can find an amazing place where we can hang out and just have some fun together. I will definitely bring along an art project or two. Thanks for keeping us on our toes and making us want to do some of the fun things you report to us all the time! You also have a nifty way of making us laugh, too. We all need that....

Tiny print but I can make it larger. Love the intense "in the zone" expression on Carol's face. Also thanks for the link on Corita Kent. She painted a huge Boston Gas tank with brushstroke colors of the color wheel. To see: Google Images 'corita kent painting on gas tank'. Although I'm sure you may have seen this work. When we lived in MA and travelled in Boston we could see this amazing work. One day we actually saw her repainting/refreshing her work. Awesome, gutsy woman! Exciting and inspiring day. Fun to see your flowers and sketches. Thanks a million.

Mary Ann. I read your blog religiously. You are amazing. I am a former teacher of little ones coming from mostly Federally Funded housing projects. A labor of love. Happy for you to be in a new and different atmosphere. The decayed pear under the paperwork made me guffaw!! I'm with you regarding a clean and tidy work space… as for the font… too small but I'd still read your words no matter what.

I'm with Pauline about reading even though the type is small. But my eyes would definitely prefer less strain. Now your LARGE photos .... superb! Am loving your botanical sketches.

Yes...it's small...I liked it better the old way...the font that is...but if you didn't make it bigger...I'd still read...because I always like what you have to say. A lot.

Mary Ann, the letters are small, tiny really, on my iPad. I just enlarge and scroll.... Thanks for your posts. I love to see your sketches and read your descriptive reports. Hugs, Debbie

Yikes! Get me a magnifying glass! ;)

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