Judy Melvin: Class in Mixed Media

Judy Melvin, a mixed media artist, taught a class to the Calligraphy Society of Arizona this past weekend. Judy is a calligrapher with a big portfolio. She has a 12-year career with American Greeting Corporation where she designed and lettered product, invented new fonts and painted and designed cards.

Radish bird, bleach, pastels on Arches cover stock © Quinn McDonald 2009

For members like me, who aren’t calligraphers, the class was still rich in opportunity. I used mark-making, found poetry, and hand lettering in this class and had a wonderful time.

Judy demo’d “Sink Art” –you start by using sumi ink on white paper, then rinsing it under running water. Sumi ink is tenacious, but the running water washes some of it off. With careful manipulation, you can run the ink to other parts of the paper and develop a marbling effect.

We also used brushes and calligraphy pens to write on black cover stock with bleach. The stock was black all the way through, so the result looked like batik. We then went back and added pastels to incorporate color into the positive and negative spaces.

We worked with gesso and walnut ink as well, creating several pieces. The class ended with an art show. One of the delights in a class of creatives is seeing the results of people who have received the same instruction. None of them are in the least alike.

Judy’s friendly, easy-going style and encouraging manner is a big plus in making the class interesting and fun.

Below: Detail of a bleached  piece of cover stock, colored with pastels and then collaged with found poetry.


Bleach and pastels take away and give color

Rebels & Radicals

Dangerous women
Fight to build clarity, creativity and courage
Demonstrate How we are connected
in a world gone mad.

Below: Detail of a bleached piece of cover stock, colored with pastels using hand-cut stencils.


Detail of Radish Bird, showing stenciled pastels