I come from a musical family; my Dad is a cellist, my brother plays jazz violin, two of my cousins are professional musicians, and my uber talented daughter is a worship leader and songwriter. For me, music and prayer are inexorably intertwined and I often incorporate musical themes into my work. This is a page from one of my daily journals… it’s one of the few pieces that I’ve written in rhyme.
Like many calligraphers, I often strive for my work to enhance the meaning and beauty of the text, especially when I am lettering Scripture. Psalm 96:1 is one of my favorite scriptures, and I have lettered it numerous ways over the last two decades. Before I started Zenspirations® in 2008, I enjoyed painting large canvases. Here are three different paintings, all inspired by Psalm 96:1, which I painted a decade or so ago. The center image is the smallest one, and measures 24 x 30.
Here is a close up of the painting on the right, next to a pen and ink version of the Psalm. The original lettering of the pen & ink version was done with a Pigma® Micron®, and is approximately 12 inches high.
I’ve included Psalm 96:1 in several of my books. This is the version I used in Expressions of Faith, which is part of the Create, Color, Pattern, Play! series.
And here is a version I did as a greeting card.
As many of you know, I started my career as a greeting card designer, and still design lots of cards today. I thought you might enjoy seeing how I design cards, and since Easter was this past weekend, I thought I’d share an Easter card as an example. Generally, when a company asks me to design a card for a specific occasion, I like to provide more than one option. In this case, I came up with three different concepts. The first sketch was a patterned cross design:
The second concept, which is my favorite, was a Dangle cross design:
And the third concept was a floral oval:
My card licensee selected the third concept, and the next step was to paint the design:
After it was painted, I specified which parts of the design I wanted to be embossed, and which parts I wanted to be foiled. Sometimes, as in this instance, I emboss and foil the same parts of the design; in this case I wanted the flowers and letters to ‘pop-out’ from the background. We used holographic foil to achieve the shimmery effect. The photo doesn’t really do justice to the special processes, but I hope you can see some of the shimmer and embossing.
And while we are on the subject of cards, I wanted to share a dual-purpose card I made for my friend Jane, who retired last week, and will be celebrating her birthday on Friday. Because Jane is embarking on a new, exciting part of her life’s journey, I wanted to create a design which would underscore the meaning of this special time in her life. Since I’m not sure where Jane’s journey is about to take her, I have the rainbow wash going in different directions. I incorporated a path to symbolize the journey ahead, a world at the center of a sunflower to symbolize that the world is open to her, and a dragonfly to symbolize the flight she is about to take. Happy birthday Jane! I look forward to watching you soar!
PS The Miracles from Heaven Coloring Contest ends March 31st. Don’t forget to post your designs before then if you want to participate.