Calligraphy on Mat: If a man does not keep pace with his companions

Hand lettering on mats can sometimes be a bit challenging, but it's always extremely rewarding, especially when the finished piece is to be presented as a special gift. My client is a photographer from my local art league, and his client requested calligraphy on the mat before it was framed. The familiar text by Thoreau reads, "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." I hand lettered this in black gouache on museum board, to complement the image. (Click on the images for larger views.) Photography by Bob Keating.

Calligraphy on Mat: Our dreams are as big as the Tuscan Sky

The calligraphy on this mat was commissioned by a client who wanted to add a special touch to her father-in-law's watercolor painting, as a donation for an elementary school auction. The names and the 'future occupations' of twenty-four young students were hand lettered around the inside edge of the triple mat, and a delightful poem about dreams and the Tuscan sky was lettered directly on the top mat. I used a warm brown ink to compliment the painting. This piece involved careful measuring and layout work, but the end result was worth the extra time, and the client was very happy. A few weeks later, I received a wonderful thank you card signed by each of the children, as well as confirmation that the piece had indeed sold. (Click on the images for larger views.)