Styles in development

People sometimes ask me “What style of calligraphy do you do?” but I never have an easy answer. I do whatever I’m currently hooked on, whatever I think the job may require, and whatever I really wish I could learn to do. Much of what I do is based on Italic and uncial, two of my earliest calligraphic loves, but a lot of my recent stuff has been heavily influenced by the brush. I work a lot on my Romans, but they’re never good enough to make me happy.

The easiest way for me to give examples is just to dig into my files of practice sheets and drafts. I do a lot of calligraphic doodling as I sit in my chair in the den, theoretically watching TV, and I accumulate huge piles of practice sheets and doodles. Most of them have no value at all, but when I get a stack an inch or so high, I usually go through them and find the 10 or 12 pages that might have a hint of something interesting on them. Those go into a box that’s used for an “inspiration file” when I’m looking for a new direction for a “real” piece. If you’re looking for finished work, this is not the place, but here’s a look at one of the piles:

Looking at that picture reminds me of “there must be a pony in here somewhere!” If you don’t recognize that punchline, try Googling “the pony joke.”