Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Beginnings

Today is John Wayne's birthday. Seems an appropriate date to launch a blog with a Western flavor. April 3rd would have been a better launch date as this was the start date for the Pony Express. I was busy composting (thinking, planning, day dreaming) and missed this date. I'm in the process of reinventing me and what I do.

I've been giving my website a new look, started tweeting on Twitter, and a new blog. A rather odd combination. A little bit old, a little bit new. Calligraphy and computer graphics.

Why Pony Express? First, I love cowboys and Westerns. If you're going to do something, it ought to be what you love. Secondly, coming from Massachusetts, there are lots of Colonial, Pilgrim, Minutemen, Kennedy, and I wanted something different. Brainstormed with a friend. Cowboy, cowpoke, Maverick. That was cool sounding, but all variations were taken on the domain names. Outlaw, Renegade, but those implied something shady even though I liked Outlaw. Pony Express. Dependable, reliable. Ta-dah!

Cool, but why pick a name from a failed venture? There's a bit of irony there between the Pony Express, calligraphy and computers. I didn't consciously think of it, but it's there.

The Pony Express was started in April 1860. It was a dangerous and expensive mail run from St. Joseph, MO to Sacramento, CA and it lasted a little over one year. The invention of the telegraph made the Pony Express obsolete and the company folded in 1861. A little like computers and desktop publishing has impacted hand-done calligraphy. Ironic? Yes. Appropriate, yes. The legend and romance of the Pony Express still lives on in Western movies and those of us who love "The Old West". And even though computers have had a big impact on calligraphy, that still lives on, too. People still want their wedding invitations written in a beautiful hand. Some want their wedding vows, a favorite poem or quote turned into a piece of hand done art. Calligraphy is still taught at art museums, adult ed., and craft classes. The art will be passed on and it will still live on.

So stop by from time to time as I ramble on about calligraphy, computers and computer graphics and cowboys.

The graphic is an ATC (artist trading card) done for an exchange with the theme Words to Live By. From She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, John Wayne as Captain Nathan Brittles: Don't apologize. It's a sign of weakness.

Screen capture taken from the movie and then sepeia toned through the magic of Paint Shop Pro X2, walnut ink, gel marker, Rubinato pen on Diploma Parchment dyed with burnt sugar. The Duke's image was mounted with double stick mounting tape to give a 3D look.
Happy Birthday, Duke!

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