Remember Colorforms? Those plastic pieces that you could move around to make pictures? Sometimes my collage feels like that, since I love to cut up catalogs and magazines and use the images in my work. Interestingly, even though I have always loved calligraphy and enjoy when others use letter forms in their work, I've been slow to add them.
But now I have some fresh inspiration. I've been flying around the world via the Web in search of master calligraphers whose styles really sing to me. High on the list is the brilliant Belgian letter artist Yves Leterme. I know his last name is probably not pronounced LETTER-ME, but wouldn't that be appropriate? Yves is a master at letter deconstruction and you can see his amazing work HERE.
If Yves is big in stature, teaching classes around the world, Irishman Denis Brown's amazing work is just plain BIG! There's a photo of him doing calligraphy with a broom on his Web site and the letter forms are completely gorgeous. Like Yves, Denis pushes the envelope -- ahem!
You can visit Denis HERE.
Sophie Verbeek is on my OMG list of artists. Her work totally blows me away. Some of her art transcends letters and creates new calligraphic forms. Another European, Sophie lives in Switzerland but her talent is international. See what I mean HERE.
La Caligrafica teases with promises of English coming soon, but you really don't need it. Scroll over the banner to find the boxes directing you to fabulous work.
Parisian master Julien Chazal has a Web site that includes video of him creating letter forms, a variety of the hands he's mastered, his gallery and much more. Don't miss his gallery of envelopes. You'll never place a stamp on a letter quite the same way again. Grab a nice glass of beaujolais and take some time to explore HERE.
For the spirituality behind words, stop in to see Japanese artist Yuko Wada. Her work straddles the line between painting and calligraphy but her every stroke is calligraphic.
Finally, the last stop on this world tour of calligraphy masters must include the Baghdad-based artist Malik Anas. It pains me to think that a young man this gifted lives in such a dangerous place, but his stunning work is in good company with the rest of these masters.
After all this, I may have to dig out my old calligraphy supplies and start practicing. I may not be able to match their gifts, but they've inspired me to see words in an entirely new way.