Friday, June 11, 2010

Flourish Friday with Diane Von Arx

I recently had the privilege of attending my local calligraphy guild's workshop with Diane Von Arx.
The workshop "Oh My Gouache" was excellent!  Diane taught us there are only two things that can go wrong when working with gouache: getting the gouache too thick or getting it too thin.  
She had us trace Roman letters and practice painting them with our fine point brushes. We were to leave a small gutter between the letter and our background to help the letter pop.  My gutter got a little clogged here and there, so I went over it with a pointed nib and Dr. Martin's Bleedproof White.

Diane continually challenges her students to look, really look, to be observant, critical and exacting.  She encouraged us to pay attention to the details and to always expect the best from ourselves.

Here Diane demonstrates painting a Roman letter using a student's paints.  (Diane's favorite gouache is Windsor & Newton Designer's Gouache.)

Here is the lovely Diane! Don't let that beautiful smile fool you...she is a taskmaster!! (But in a good way, not in an intimidating way.) :) She demands that you always do your best work. Don't just draw a baseline, get out the T-square and do it right.  Why create a piece, when you can create a MASTERpiece?!

Here Diane explains one of the Special Treatments she did for The Saint John's Bible.
If you would like to learn more about The Saint John's Bible project click here.
To say the project is "incredible" is a gross understatement.  In addition to the books that are already available, Diane said there will be a special edition of The Saint John's Bible. I can't wait to see it!

Diane was gracious enough to do lettering for each student to take home.
She was too savvy to take me up on my request for "Merry Christmas....Love, The Farrs"
However, she did email me her 2009 Christmas card.
How beautiful is this?!!!!

Thank you Diane for a terrific workshop, and thanks to Jacquie Banks for the great job she does as the Calligraphy Guild of Indiana's workshop chair!

To visit Diane's website, click here.
To visit Diane's page on The Saint John Bible website, click here.

Happy Flourish Friday everyone!


  1. I posted this blog spot on the Saint John's Bible Facebook page...Thanks for the kind words about the project. -Connie Carlson, Saint John's Bible Program Manager

  2. Jane, I literally exclaimed "Oh!" when I opened this post. The "F" is lovely but it is the elegant flourishing around it that makes it, and that is so distinctly "you". Beautiful!

  3. Diane is wonderful! I took a workshop with her last year. Your projects really look like fun and useful. I could think of a dozen uses for those caps. Great job!

  4. Hi Jane,

    I may be posting this twice...but I hit the "back" key accidentally.

    What a great opportunity to take this workshop. I love the "Oh My Gouache"!!!

    I know you will do fabulous things with these fun caps. You always do the most creative projects!!

    I hope you have an amazing weekend~~

  5. ps....thanks SO much for your kinds words about me over at French Blue!!! You are so sweet.

    xo ~Dana

  6. Hi Jane,
    WOW! That workshop looks like it was great-I love the name, too. Your letters are beautiful as always.

  7. Wow Jane....what a delight to see your beautifully executed "F". Sounds like you enjoyed your workshop and learned a lot!

    For me, it's not easy to be a lettering takes lots of discipline that I don't have. I love visiting your blog and so enjoy your awesome letter forms!

  8. what a blessing it is that you are in the midst of such a wonderful guild.....i miss ours so much!! diane sounds like a breath of fresh air....i think that most calligraphers have that "be a master" imbedded into our DNA, don't you (i don't go anywhere without my t-square!)?!! i love your gouache glad you enjoyed the workshop!! xox, :))


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