Sunday, September 13, 2009

Journal Series: Sharon Zeugin is my hero

Well one of them anyway...

As a calligrapher, I have attended my share of conferences and functions put on by the international Lettering Artist community. In most of these, there is a "faculty show" where the instructors present display their work. Some will hang traditional framed images of their art, some more casual wall hangings or mobile-like constructions, and the book artists usually display their work (which is exceedingly precious) under some kind of glass protective case.

At one such conference in Ohio, there was Sharon, with her amazing little journal, inviting people to participate in turning pages and allowing them the experience of a real working artistic journal done with style, skill and emotion. I never forgot the open attitude with which she shared and the easy way that she coexists with her art.

A couple of years later I found the right journal for me and began my own.

The journal I found was a product of the Punjab region of India, and came in various sizes including a large 12 X 16 book. Open, this means there is a 16 X 22" surface that I can make all my own. Further, since I am not a fan of sewing, I didn't have to make my own journal! And the paper was a heavy and pretty rough watercolor paper that is the type I really love to work with.

Beginnings are always interesting. New book, blank pages, what should I write. I happened at the time to be reading the Book of Daniel the biblical prophet. The particular passage spoke of God revealing the "deep and Hidden things". I have always looked at a page spread like this not as two pages but one surface... including the gutter. "Why do I have to stop where I am supposed to?"

The first spread speaks of the "man" with the large lettering in full strength inks, and the second of the "Spirit"... inks watered down to give a more ethereal appearance.

Large text was done with a ruling pen and small Roman letters done with a traditional brause nib and acrylic inks dipped for color variation.

In future weeks I will be displaying and discussing this journal, which eventually evolved to be a personal working journal. I hope to discuss design and color and style choices based on the content of the texts I am using. These two page spreads kick off the process.
Authors Note:
Sharon Zeugin is an artist and calligrapher from Austin TX. She has appeared in numerous publications including Letter Arts Review, and teaches all over the world. Her work and further info can be seen here:

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