Friday, February 22, 2013

for mom

This made my week, so I just had to share.  I recently learned that the piece below, had been the focus of a project in Don Masse's second grade art class at Zamorano Fine Arts Academy in San Diego.  It's a fun idea, Masse, looks to contemporary artists for inspiration in planning lessons and posts the beautiful results on the aptly named blog, shine brite zamorano. You can check out the wonderful landscapes and all the other fun work here, each tells a story as unique as the talented little hands that created them.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy President's Day 2013

"I've become a private citizen on the banks of the Potomac, in the shade of my own Vine and Fig tree."
-George Washington, 1784

Of course he was the first great President, but first and foremost he considered himself a modest farmer. His journey from Virginia planter to General and Commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, then finally to President, is one of the great American stories. It's been a while since I've last tried, but here is my latest attempt at illustrating George.  I gave him a cream colored oval frame, inspired by the White House's interior gilding, bundles of tobacco leaves decorate the base. 

* linework detail

Friday, February 1, 2013

Pohick Church

This one's especially for all the hand-lettering people out there. If ever you find yourself driving into D.C. through northern Virginia's Richmond Highway/Route 1.  Keep an eye out for old Pohick church, a little red brick colonial, just off the road and surrounded by trees and a cemetery. This Episcopal church, has stood at these crossroads for over two centuries. Both George Washington and George Mason attended services here, their family's pews are still marked. Although the interior is a must see, with its 18th century wood paneling, what I actually find more intriguing about Pohick, what speaks to me the most, requires a closer look outside. As you walk up to the church's stately entrance, you don't see them at first... 

but just as you're about to reach for the door knob, you notice all the writing, chiseled into the stone like ornamental relief.

During the Civil War, the church was occupied by the Union army, at one point it even served as a horses stable. Soldiers looted the interior and scratched their names and rank (some rather elegantly) onto the exterior stonework. It's as if they were saying to posterity, we were here, remember us too. As you can imagine, there were many critics of this 19th century vandalism in it's day, probably even a few today, but I think it's beautiful. The hand lettering is so distinctive, with all of its serifs and flourishes, almost artful. Like little whispers in time, the names seem to call out to you from the stone, ghosts from a troubled past. We were here, remember us too.