State Fair 2015

I entered one piece this year, a commissioned work for my most enthusiastic client ever, Nick Garside. Nick grew up in the shadow of Castle Hill in Yorkshire, England, as did his progenitors. He and his Mum verified geneaology done by a grandfather stretching back to the 1300s. He and I worked together to conceptualize a family tree depiction that would be personal and fit nicely in his home. He says it is his favorite piece of art ever!


I had a great time in Tennessee at the annual convention of The International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting. Here I am with my Canadian roommate for the week, Susan Pinard. We discovered that besides having a serious calligraphy addiction, we both also drag crocheting projects with us on our travels. I always learn a lot at this great convention; it provides inspiration for months and years to come.

Show at CV Art and Frame

On the heels of the show at Robert Goodman I was able to move a block down historic Main Street Zionsville to CV Art and Frame (formerly known as Corner Vise). I lettered on site during the First Friday celebrations and came back for all of Saturday (December 6 and 7, 2013) during Christmas in the Village. I live in such a charming town! It is especially nice at Christmas time. For this December show I created three calligraphy wreaths.

My First Show

During October and November of 2013, my first solo show, Flourishing Now, was displayed at Robert Goodman Jewelers in downtown Zionsville, Indiana. I had twelve original works and giclee prints of four of them. What an amazing turnout I had for my opening reception! So many people from different parts of my life came for the party. As you see from the photo, Reggie Ezell, calligraphy teacher extraordinaire, drove down from Chicago for it (actually he was in town to teach a workshop, but it was great to finally meet him). Thanks to those who made food, traveled long distances, and purchased artwork! I appreciate Robert and Rose-Marie for this wonderful experience.

Indiana State Fair 2013

It was a big year for me at the fair--for the first time I took first place in the professional calligraphy division. I received this email from the judge:

Hello Julia, I will introduce myself as a judge of the Fine Arts Division at the Indiana State Fair. I also judged the Calligraphy entries where your pieces easily received awards. However, I want to tell you that your Blue Ribbon means much more than it appears. The panel of 3 judges, myself included, juried over 400 pieces of ART for the Fair. The task was daunting due to the high number of fine caliber artwork entered. At the end of the day, Blue Ribbon winners from all of the categories were gathered to choose the Best of Show. You should know that out of all the Blue Ribbon winners, and after much debate, your piece was 2nd runner-up. As a calligraphic artist, I was pleased and proud to have your piece so recognized by the other judges. I hope it pleases you even more to know how close you came to receiving BEST of SHOW. marianne burke

Also pictured here is the quilt made by my painting group, Indy Decorative Artists. The quilt is hand painted and hand quilted every year and half the proceeds of our raffle go to Riley Hospital for Children. This year we chose scenes from Indiana and I wrote out all the identifying information for each square.


I attended my first ever convention of the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting. It was in August of 2012 and held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By the end of the week, my brain was full! I loved the willingness of all participants to share information, supplies, and talents with the group. No instructor is paid at this convention and all are gracious and giving. I did not know that the "who's who" of the pointed pen world would be in attendance! I saw a demonstration by Pat Blair, the White House calligrapher. Here is a photo of me with Barbara Calzolari, the Pope's calligrapher.