Dreams with Dragonflies

If you subscribe to my e-newsletter, you may have seen mention of recent branding work created for my dear friend and long-time colleague Twyla Lambert Clark. After many years of working with her in her role as a print specialist rep, she came to me in need of branding for a new venture she is pursuing in the field of fashion and textiles under her business model, Lambert Clark, LLC. Behind the scenes of her printer rep work, Twyla has created beautiful hand-woven textiles over many years and more recently added sewn pieces to her skills with the intention of creating and marketing “made to order” pieces through retail and commissions. Her sewn pieces include Cappottos (Italian for “coat”) that flutter and float along with the movement of the wearer.

Twyla was very specific that her brand would be based on the symbolism of the dragonfly totem. Considered a symbol of transformation and adaptability, dragonflies also are said to have a magical joyfulness. These Cappottos exemplify this symbolism as they transform the wearers’ movement and style into one of unmistakable joy.

Initially Twyla wanted to have a logo developed that would be incorporated into the design of business cards, hang tags and an info sheet. Several options were presented but the ultimate selection was a dragonfly logo mark with the appearance of dynamic movement and hand-stitching.

With only small quantities needed initially, the selection of papers had some flexibility. We experimented with papers that reflected the iridescent quality of dragonflies’ wings, some of which weren’t categorized for digital printing. However, having a good relationship with our digital printer, we found the process was set for success. All of these cards were printed with the single color of black since the paper is so stunning, it doesn’t call for more expensive print techniques.

The papers chosen for the Lambert Clark LLC collection were from Neenah’s Design Collection. Only one of the stocks is a digital paper (105# Pearlized White Esse) which was specified for Twyla’s commission information card (far right) and a folded business card (center right). The latter is blank inside for additional notes to be added as needed. The other papers include So Silk Shocking Green 92# cover for a hang tag with size and care instructions (far left); and Astrosilver Orion 105# cover for the Cappotto hang tag (center left). The latter was selected due to its fabric-like texture on one side, mirroring the fabrics for the Cappottos it would hang from. A close dialogue with our representative Kelley McLaughlin at  Athens Paper  and  TruColor Litho  made room for a little experimentation and successful end products.

The papers chosen for the Lambert Clark LLC collection were from Neenah’s Design Collection. Only one of the stocks is a digital paper (105# Pearlized White Esse) which was specified for Twyla’s commission information card (far right) and a folded business card (center right). The latter is blank inside for additional notes to be added as needed. The other papers include So Silk Shocking Green 92# cover for a hang tag with size and care instructions (far left); and Astrosilver Orion 105# cover for the Cappotto hang tag (center left). The latter was selected due to its fabric-like texture on one side, mirroring the fabrics for the Cappottos it would hang from. A close dialogue with our representative Kelley McLaughlin at Athens Paper and TruColor Litho made room for a little experimentation and successful end products.

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Look for Twyla’s half-page ad in Nashville Interior’s Fall 2019 issue, to be  released  this week!

Look for Twyla’s half-page ad in Nashville Interior’s Fall 2019 issue, to be released this week!

Communication every step of the way in the design and printing process helped create a brand that speaks to Twyla's aesthetic. Her recent debut presentation was at an outdoor pop-up craft market (which she helped birth) in Nashville called Sew Pop! We created a banner for her booth that can be used again and again. Next steps will be her web site, an e-newsletter and social media graphics so stay tuned!

After so many years of collaboration on my client’s projects, it has been my sheer pleasure (please pardon the sewing pun) to have Twyla as a client. She brings such joy and wisdom to every project that we have worked on together in the printing of my client‘s marketing materials. I couldn’t be more honored to transform and expand the ways we work together for her new venture’s marketing. I’ve loved every step of the process.

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for your aMUSEment

If you’re looking for something to do Thursday evening, please join me and several other artists for a night of casual conversation, art and treats. I’ll have work for sale on display or you can just peruse and share your smiling face! Would love to see you there! The show is from 6-9 at Studio 615.

A month of birthdays

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If asked what month has the most birthdays, it’s a wonder how long it might take most people to figure it out. If one takes into consideration the U.S.’s celebrations of the holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, and then adds the average length of time of a healthy pregnancy, it might be easy to come of with the correct answer. According to a study cited in TIME, September is indeed the month with the most birthdays. With that in mind, sharing a birthday greeting makes this month’s journal entry easy. And if you happen to be celebrating a birthday this month, especially on September 9th—the MOST popular birthday—then may you have a wonderful day (or month if you’re like me) of celebration. Goodness knows we all seem love a good celebration.

Training in Waxing and Waning

Encaustic painting can incorporate layers of wax and collage utilizing many other mediums (watercolor, cut paper, pastels, etc.), allowing for the juxtaposition of textures, colors with defined as well as a blurring of lines.

Encaustic painting can incorporate layers of wax and collage utilizing many other mediums (watercolor, cut paper, pastels, etc.), allowing for the juxtaposition of textures, colors with defined as well as a blurring of lines.

It’s been a great summer here in Tennessee despite the heat. As in year's past, I make a kind of pilgrimage to some sort of creative getaway; and it is often in the unlikely little patch of heaven found in notorious Gatlinburg: Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. If you’ve never been there, you should at least visit to see the various art galleries with world-renowned artists’ work alongside the work of budding artists and artists-in residence. The workshops at Arrowmont are by far some of the best offered in any arts and crafts’ schools. It’s a gift and an honour to be a part of them. My vacations there have become a ritual of sorts and the excitement leading up to them builds with each day beforehand and all the days there seem to slip away too fast. But that’s what great vacations typically do.

This year’s creative focus was with encaustics—a process of painting with pigmented wax. While I was vaguely familiar with encaustic painting after having a printmaking instructor provide a brief introduction to her methods, this year’s instruction (with the ever-talented Erin Anfinson) incorporated around 20 or so demos all about encaustics. It was a deep dive into a thought process incorporating collages of drawing, printmaking, photography—literally anything that has a porous surface with which the wax will adhere to.

Well, I’m totally smitten. The colors are vibrant and the depth achieved in the artwork can be several layers thick, allowing for simultaneous translucency and opacity depending on the varying combinations of the wax medium, pigments and collaged elements. There’s a slow buildup of wax and imagery created as well as a scraping away to create smooth surfaces with textured colors. It’s full of surprises and occasional happy accidents—the very reason I’ve historically been so drawn to printmaking.

The history of encaustic painting is rich. According to one manufacturer, Encaustikos:

Encaustic painting is one of the world’s oldest art forms! The earliest applications of encaustic wax paint was done by the artists of Ancient Greece — hence, where the Greek word “enkaustikos” meaning “to burn in”. Greek artists were using wax paint to adorn sculptures, murals, boats, and even architecture. They also used wax paint to highlight the features of the marble statues placed around the Acropolis. Greek art spread to Egypt during the Hellenistic period and with a large Greek population, it didn’t take the Egyptians long to adapt to the use of wax paint.... Despite being over 2000 years old, [some paintings] are still on display in museums today withstanding the test of time with minimal cracking and without having faded or darkened in color.
One of several experimental pieces I created in the encaustic workshop at Arrowmont,

One of several experimental pieces I created in the encaustic workshop at Arrowmont,

I don’t know that my work will have any staying power through history but the process was one I hope to visit again and again. The medium provides so many opportunities to explore and revise (unlike the more common oil, acrylic and watercolor painting processes) and the possibilities seem endless. What artist doesn’t embrace endless possibilities for their creativity?

Thank you to all my clients that make room for this time away every year despite looming deadlines while I embrace yet another skill that I love.