Meetings Archive 2020–2021

Below is a summary of the meetings held during this year.

When possible, programs will be added to our YouTube channel.

June 2, 2021

Show & Share Your Art!

Coordinated by Elizabeth McKee

After a year of inspiration, it’s time for you to show off the wonderful art you created this year!

At the June meeting, we also elect officers for the 2021–2022 session, so please consider volunteering for a position!

May 5, 2021

Mounting Works on Paper onto Panels

Presenter: Patty Hammarstedt

Patty Hammarstedt will demonstrate a versatile and inexpensive method for hanging and displaying works of art on paper. Panel mounting provides a simple, uncomplicated means of presentation especially suitable for calligraphic art. It can easily be done in the home studio and requires minimal tools. The benefit of mounting vs framing is that the artist does not incur the expense of framing, which may or may not appeal to the buyer. However, the panel is still able to be framed allowing the buyer the option of selecting a frame to his/her personal taste.

Patty will demonstrate adhering a piece of art on paper to a small panel. She will discuss adhesives and how to avoid paper curling, how to avoid image offset when moistened by adhesive, how to avoid bubbles under the adhesive and how to firmly adhere the art to the panel as well as how to work with a large piece of art.

April 7, 2021

Zoom replay will be posted on our YouTube channel after editing.

Bling on Your Letters

Presenter: Michal Sommers

In this hands-on program, we will start with your initial and add stylized details to design a contemporary illuminated-style letter with a bit of bling. Pictured is a version made by students: linoleum block prints with hand-painted details.

Michal Sommers is an Escribiente member, artist, educator, designer, and life-long learner. She temporarily moved from the east coast to New Mexico for graduate school in 1990. Her website is on her ‘to do’ list.

Supply List:

  • Paper and pencil
  • Color media (colored pencils or gouache or markers or metallic paint)
  • Black fine-tip marker like a Sharpie or Micron pen
  • Optional: a reference to your favorite lettering style with a thicker weight
  • Optional: a ruler or straight edge

March 3, 2021

Zoom replay will be posted on our YouTube channel after editing.

How To Be in the World:
An Abecedarian Commonplace for Living

Presenter: Beth Lee

Beth Lee will present the pencil portfolio, How To Be in the World: An Abecedarian Commonplace for Living which appears in Letter Arts Review, Vol. 34, No. 2. It began in 2017 and was finally completed in 2020. The portfolio mainly consists of 26 pages each containing an illuminated initial, a verb (hence “to be”), and a quotation. The project hit some dry periods, and was revived when Christopher Calderhead expressed interest in featuring it in Letter Arts Review.

Beth will talk about how the project evolved, and the different approaches she took to find new variations in illumination and lettering. It was an exploration in graphic design, illumination styles, the pencil as a medium, and the writing-lettering-drawing continuum. Beth started the entire project over twice, and finally housed the project in a clamshell box. It had such an enthusiastic reception that she printed a short run of 100 for sale as a portfolio.

Beth Lee is a calligrapher, book artist, and piano accompanist living in Bozeman, Montana. Her primary focus has been the alphabet and mark making. Beth holds a BFA degree in Graphic Design from Florida State University. She has worked as a freelance calligrapher since 1982, and has taught calligraphy and book arts since 1990. She is one of about 20 founding members of the 1995 calligraphy email list that would eventually become Cyberscribes. She is the calligraphy correspondent for the national Guild of BookWorkers Newsletter and her work may be found in university and private collections around the United States.

Purchase a copy of How To Be in the World: An Abecedarian Commonplace for Living.


February 3, 2021

Zoom replay will be posted on our YouTube channel after editing.

Writing with Color from Nature

Presenter: Patty Hammarstedt

This program is not just another color theory class! Instead, Patty will demonstrate how to select a fail-proof color palette from nature, either from an actual specimen or a nature photograph. This will be a great review for those already incorporating color into their calligraphic lettering and will offer a method of creating successful color combinations for those wanting to use color in their calligraphy.

We’ll learn to see color more clearly using actual specimens (leaves, flowers, and so on) or photographs of nature and see “color within color” to create a palette. We will not only mix the colors we see, but learn to use them in the same ratios Mother Nature uses. From these ratios we will create a modern monogram letter composition which can be referred to for future calligraphic work.

The program is intended to be a demonstration but if you wish to follow along make sure to have a nature photo (Yellowstone, red rock scenery, etc.) or specimen (leaf, shell, etc.), calligraphic friendly paper (Arches Text Wove or such), a small welled palette, a mixing brush, some primary colored gouache, water jars, and a nib and holder.

A very happy accident led Patty Hammarstedt to discover calligraphy many years ago. She has learned, practiced, juried, exhibited, taught and published her calligraphy. She still finds it magical every time she sits down and her nib – and lately her brush – dances on paper.

January 6, 2021
Board Meeting

Board Meeting was held online (via Zoom).
All members are welcome to our meetings!

December 2, 2020

Virtual Holiday Party!

Bring your hors d'oeuvres and drinks and join us for an online holiday party to see what everyone has been doing while quarantining.

November 4, 2020

Artistic Envelopes

Online Presentation by Barbara Close

blind contour book

This will be a hands on demonstration with ideas on how to make your envelopes more beautiful.

Supply List
  • Bring at least one envelope
  • A writing tool and some watercolors OR colored pencils OR felt tipped marker
  • PLUS – and this is very important – one or two of your favorite stamps!

Barbara Close is an internationally renowned calligrapher, designer and instructor with a passion for creativity and a love of lettering. She encourages her students to create appealing calligraphic art using a wide variety of mixed-media techniques. Based in Southern California, Barbara teaches classes online via Zoom as well as through Sandia Workshops. For more images, visit her website at

October 7, 2020

Calligraphy is Flourishing: More Than You Might Guess

Online Presentation by Mike Gold

blind contour book

Join us as Mike Gold shows us how the spirit of calligraphy is alive and flourishing in many ways and with many artists. This image rich presentation will leave you wanting to see it all again. (Click above image for larger version.)

The calligraphic impulse is alive today not only in traditional calligraphy circles, but also in the work of artists creating work not always thought of as calligraphy: graffiti artists, painters of all kinds, commercial hand-lettering artists, among others. 

The presentation builds on two recent articles Mike authored for Letter Arts Review. The lecture was first presented as part of the 2018 international calligraphy conference in Seattle, Washington. It was also presented the following year in Portland, Oregon and has been updated for the presentation this October in Albuquerque via Zoom.


September 2, 2020

Blind Contour Alphabet Book

Online Presentation by Michal Sommers

blind contour book

Apply a fundamental drawing process to your calligraphy practice in this playful session. Every result is unique and surprising as we embrace seeing letters without looking at the paper. Directions for making a book from one sheet of paper will be an option for you to explore.

Michal Sommers is an Escribiente member, artist, educator, designer, and life-long learner. She temporarily moved from the east coast to New Mexico for graduate school in 1990. Her website is on her ‘to do’ list.

Supply List
  • Paper — Arches Text Wove is recommended, but any paper, any size will work. Try both smaller and larger selections. Options: charcoal, Canson Mi-Tientes, kraft paper, layout paper, paste paper, mixed media paper
  • Needle-tip bottle with Sumi ink, or Stabilo Pen 68 or Point 88 Fineliner Pen, Neuland markers or any other favorite pens or markers
  • Scissors
  • Protective covering for your workspace


  • your favorite exemplars or calligraphy book with example alphabets
  • spray bottle with water (something that can be set to mist)
  • colored pencils, pastels, or paints
  • bone folder or butter knife
  • glue stick or double-stick tape

August 5, 2020

The Value of Palimpsest

Online Presentation by Heather Martinez

YouTube Channel Replay

palimpsest example

Bring beauty to your lettering practice—create a modern day Palimpsest!

This is a modern way of practicing your lettering based on a 6th century discovery. You can work at any size and you will want to save your pages to reuse for making envelopes, collages or books. 

Palimpsest is a manuscript in which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain. View historical examples on Wikipedia.

Heather Leavitt Martinez is a visual practitioner, art coach and lettering artist living in Durango, Colorado. Heather believes that what we write on the wall is more than mere handwriting—letters are the building blocks of communication. Heather’s graphic recording work has been featured in Letter Arts Review where she was named an Amanuensis to master calligrapher Mike Gold. A peak-career experience that bridges the gap between art and being a visual practitioner. Visit her website at

To see how Heather has been using lettering and palimpsests in her recent work, check out the video from a Durango local news channel: Finding Peace Practicing Your ABCs

Supply List

We recommend having a variety of tools and inks on hand including: 

  • 1 light, 1 medium, and 1 dark ink or paint that dries quickly and layers well
  • Paper of any type - what you would typically practice on. 
  • Sketchbook and small mark-making tools to take notes and make thumbnail sketches of possible layouts. 

Heather will be using markers to show a variety of styles and compositions quickly for demonstration. 

You will want to have 1–3 lettering styles to practice as we go through the exercises. Consider using different hands or tools to add contrast to the composition. For example, have a lettering style in each: broad edge, brush and monoline. Or to simplify, practice one lettering style using three mark-making tools of different sizes.