Artist/Owner, Wasserman Design
Joanne Wasserman has been professionally engaged in original art, custom art services, and graphic design since 1979, when she opened Wasserman Design in Washington, DC, as a studio business. Joanne was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design
Calligraphy, drawing, painting, and graphic design are bedrock art realms that Wasserman uses interchangeably to explore diverse subjects material and create original formations of content and imagery. Her intention for every work of art is the same: to communicate what is most intensely meaningful about the circumstances which shape a subject's identity.
Over the years, Wasserman has produced a singular body of works for business clients and individuals whose interests are focused on serious issues of life in today's world. Her testimonial art honors statesmen and leaders for their career achievements and dedication to public service.
Recently, two exemplary works of calligraphy and illumination were composed for Senator John Warner, of Virginia, and Former Secretary of State Colin Powell. The Atlantic Council of the United States commissioned both of these works of art.
Wasserman's mural painting for the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing is a visual tribute to the school's educational mission across the entire field of nursing practice; the mural was named after an alumnus: The Leona Bowman Carpenter Center for Community Health Nursing.
Other works include several drawings and watercolors that were made to express the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation's advocacy on behalf of all countries in which landmines have been used against innocent civilians, causing the destruction of lives, homelands and national economies.
Wasserman's interests in current events, American history, and the development of writing systems and art traditions of peoples throughout the world are frequent catalysts for her choice of topics; moreover, through her work she cares to express the endearing aspects of living that are all around us.
Change Agents of Culture is an ongoing series of 27 works that address creativity and invention in American society from the late 19th through 20th centuries. The first seventeen of these calligraphy-paintings were exhibited at the Embassy of Japan's Information and Culture Center, in Washington, DC, where the artist gave a public talk about writing systems in the world, entitled, "Picture Writing Then & Now".
Calligraphy Flourishes Part 1
Calligraphy expert Joanne Wasserman demonstrates how to create calligraphy flourishes to add accents to the page.
Joanne Wasserman: Hi, I am Joanne Wasserman and my studio is Wasserman Design and we have been learning the Chancery Cursive Script from Renaissance Italy. It is the form of script and it is a beautiful script and the last thing after you have already learned your small letters and your capital letters. There are special ways of connecting some letters that you might find playful, fanciful, ornamental and just really enjoy making from time to time as you write a piece of text. So I will show you those now, you do not have to use them, if you would like to, you will think of that at the spur of the moment, but it is not already set up as a required version of your letter forms.
It is just from time to time they might seem appropriate. So, the first thing I will show you is how to make a variation on this letter D, that is the D you know that I taught you and another way of making this D is, is if it is a ballet shoe. Then I will write a word that connects the word and the letter form, there. So, as if this were a ballet shoe, it is coming from the right to the left instead of just leaning towards the right. Okay, so another couple of letters in the word 'Went' to have an exaggerated crossbar, that maybe at the end of a line. You have a little space before your right hand margin and this long crossbar will help get you to that margin at the right side.
But if you are writing a word where the T is in the beginning, you probably want to have that just fit in as the normal usual crossbar for the T. However the letter M doesnt have the constrain of having the other letters to follow it. So, now it could be an exaggerated stroke. Now that is a hairline and a flourish, and where you interject these exaggerations in your text will make for a decoration of the whole piece of writing without any pictures, without any color just with the abstraction of the letter form shapes and the added touches. Some individual letters we can show are this is our R which you have learnt today and this is another R and this is another R shorter.
This is an RT, so that becomes a like a ribbon which we can do that to the S and the T as well. Double curve for the letter S, here. Now the letter F is a tall letter, what if you have the word 'Ruffle' and you have two Fs together? Well, this is the top of the -- this is the longest letter in the alphabet of this script and this is the way we make it on its own. If we are having two letters together, we could make it like this shorter for the first one and longer and then put the hat on the first F, and the hat on the second f and put the crossbars as the joint link. So, it is over going there together, that is a double F. There is another way to make that, there and these are some of the ornamental features that you might want to add.
Now, those are two Fs, what if we have the word 'Willow' and we have two Ls together? Well, just like we did, we made a short F and then a tall F, we could make a short first L and then the tall second L. So, it just adds a little variation to the letter, also you might find in some piece where the two Ls of that word, you might want to. Now just add a ribbon to it, but add the whole bow in there, make your double L. There are some other, we have the S together I just want to show you, you can also -- if we have the word 'Finite' and the F and the I, what we can do is we can cross the F so that it connects to the I, and then just draw the I. We could also do this with the T, the small T and an I and the crossbar in the T connects to the I, it adds for a little saving of space.