Image
Top
Navigation

Stewart’s Blog

Calligram: staying on the theme of birds for the moment, this eagle is made up of the Arabic words for “anything and everything” — أي شىء وكل شىء . A calligram is a picture made up of words. A zoomorphic calligram is one where the picture is an animal. Such pictures made of words are very popular in all the languages that use Arabic script, but not so much in any other calligraphic tradition. Calligraphy by S. J. Thomas. www.palmstone.com

Calligram: staying on the theme of birds for the moment, this eagle is made up of the Arabic words for “anything and everything” — أي شىء وكل شىء . A calligram is a picture made up of words. A zoomorphic calligram is one where the picture is an animal. Such pictures made of words are very popular in all the languages that use Arabic script, but not so much in any other calligraphic tradition. Calligraphy by S. J. Thomas. www.palmstone.comRead More

Phoenix — Simurgh — Huma or Homa — سيمرغ — هما — Iranian legends consider the bird so old that it has seen the destruction of the world three times over and has learned so much by living so long that it is thought to possess the knowledge of all the ages. The phoenix famously plunges itself into flames before arising again. The simurgh purifies land and waters and hence bestows fertility. The bird represents the union between the Earth and the sky, serving as mediator and messenger between the two. The simurgh roosts in Gaokerena, the Hōm (Avestan: Haoma) Tree of Life, which stands in the middle of the world sea (Vourukasha). The plant is potent medicine and is called all-healing, and the seeds of all plants are deposited on it. When the simurgh takes flight, the leaves of the tree of life shake, making all the seeds of every plant fall out. These seeds floated around the world on the winds of Vayu-Vata and the rains of Tishtrya, in cosmology taking root to become every type of plant that ever lived and curing all the illnesses of mankind. The calligraphy of this image is in Persian (Farsi) and reads اين نيز بگذرد translated as “This too shall pass” a phrase popularized by the Sufi poets of Nishapur, Iran from the 9th century CE onwards. This piece is available as a print. Calligraphy design by Stewart J. Thomas. www.palmstone.com

Phoenix — Simurgh — Huma or Homa — سيمرغ — هما — Iranian legends consider the bird so old that it has seen the destruction of the world three times over and has learned so much by living so long that it is thought to possess the knowledge of all the ages. The phoenix famously plunges itself into flames before arising again.
The simurgh purifies land and waters and hence bestows fertility. The bird represents the union between the Earth and the sky, serving as mediator and messenger between the two. The simurgh roosts in Gaokerena, the Hōm (Avestan: Haoma) Tree of Life, which stands in the middle of the world sea (Vourukasha). The plant is potent medicine and is called all-healing, and the seeds of all plants are deposited on it. When the simurgh takes flight, the leaves of the tree of life shake, making all the seeds of every plant fall out. These seeds floated around the world on the winds of Vayu-Vata and the rains of Tishtrya, in cosmology taking root to become every type of plant that ever lived and curing all the illnesses of mankind.
The calligraphy of this image is in Persian (Farsi) and reads اين نيز بگذرد translated as “This too shall pass” a phrase popularized by the Sufi poets of Nishapur, Iran from the 9th century CE onwards. This piece is available as a print. Calligraphy design by Stewart J. Thomas. www.palmstone.comRead More

Lila or Leela — लीला — This Sanskrit word has the meaning of play, amusement or sport. It can refer to the concept that the cosmos is the outcome of the creative play of the divine; and to the idea that our own creativity is an extension of that divine activity. How often do we try to give ourselves permission to be creative by saying, “I’m just playing.” Indeed! That is the highest activity. Here the Sanskrit word, lila, written in the Devanagari script is turned 90 degrees clockwise to form the shape of a bird in flight: creativity takes wing! Calligraphy by S. J. Thomas. www.palmstone.com

Lila or Leela — लीला — This Sanskrit word has the meaning of play, amusement or sport. It can refer to the concept that the cosmos is the outcome of the creative play of the divine; and to the idea that our own creativity is an extension of that divine activity. How often do we try to give ourselves permission to be creative by saying, “I’m just playing.” Indeed! That is the highest activity. Here the Sanskrit word, lila, written in the Devanagari script is turned 90 degrees clockwise to form the shape of a bird in flight: creativity takes wing! Calligraphy by S. J. Thomas. www.palmstone.comRead More

Tavoos Malek, the Peacock Angel — طاووس مالک — The peacock #طاووس is a major component of the iconography of the Yazidi group, but the appeal of the bird and its imagery extends far and wide. Here the peacock (tavoos) is portrayed in the curved paisley or buteh (بوته) shape, with the “Lady Sun” motif appearing from behind. The brilliance of the turquoise feathers contrast with the dry landscape. Remnants of the ancient cuneiform script can be seen at the bottom of this watercolor painting by S. J. Thomas. www.palmstone.com

Tavoos Malek, the Peacock Angel — طاووس مالک — The peacock #طاووس is a major component of the iconography of the Yazidi group, but the appeal of the bird and its imagery extends far and wide. Here the peacock (tavoos) is portrayed in the curved paisley or buteh (بوته) shape, with the “Lady Sun” motif appearing from behind. The brilliance of the turquoise feathers contrast with the dry landscape. Remnants of the ancient cuneiform script can be seen at the bottom of this watercolor painting by S. J. Thomas. www.palmstone.comRead More

Always in Gratitude, Always in Grace — Sempre in Gratia — Latin. Limited edition print available. Calligraphy by Stewart J. Thomas. www.palmstone.com

Always in Gratitude, Always in Grace — Sempre in Gratia — Latin. Limited edition print available. Calligraphy by Stewart J. Thomas. www.palmstone.comRead More

Comics as Commentary exhibit opens at Sweetwater Print Cooperative this Friday, featuring work by myself and ten other cartoonists from Disney to now. This is a detail of a cartoon I did during my stint as commentary cartoonist (usually called “political cartoons”) for Moon Magazine in Gainesville, Florida. S. J. Thomas.

Comics as Commentary exhibit opens at Sweetwater Print Cooperative this Friday, featuring work by myself and ten other cartoonists from Disney to now. This is a detail of a cartoon I did during my stint as commentary cartoonist (usually called “political cartoons”) for Moon Magazine in Gainesville, Florida. S. J. Thomas.Read More

FOREVER – 永 – yǒng – Chinese character: forever, always, perpetual. This character is formed by adding a dot and a horizontal line to the character 水 for water. Water on this planet is not made anew, it is forever, it cycles and cycles through our bodies, the bodies of all creatures and through the vast ecosystem that makes up our planet. Biologically, water is as close to forever as we experience. Calligraphy by S. J. Thomas www.palmstone.com

FOREVER – 永 – yǒng – Chinese character: forever, always, perpetual. This character is formed by adding a dot and a horizontal line to the character 水 for water. Water on this planet is not made anew, it is forever, it cycles and cycles through our bodies, the bodies of all creatures and through the vast ecosystem that makes up our planet. Biologically, water is as close to forever as we experience. Calligraphy by S. J. Thomas www.palmstone.comRead More

Lion Zoomorphic Tattoo Design in Arabic Script. I’ve done quite a few variations of the lion’s head, each with a different set of words as the mane—usually people’s names that are important to the person commissioning the design. Here’s hoping we can preserve lions in the wild, and not just as inked art. Design by S. J. Thomas www.palmstone.com

Lion Zoomorphic Tattoo Design in Arabic Script. I’ve done quite a few variations of the lion’s head, each with a different set of words as the mane—usually people’s names that are important to the person commissioning the design. Here’s hoping we can preserve lions in the wild, and not just as inked art. Design by S. J. Thomas www.palmstone.comRead More

I did this piece of calligraphy for a book title. The tool is a ruling pen, which I absolutely love. I use it as if it is half way between a pen and a brush. The result is a wonderful ability to flow between thin and thick lines. Of course it does take practice to get the control needed to produce lettering this even. Calligraphy by S. J. Thomas. www.palmstone.com

I did this piece of calligraphy for a book title. The tool is a ruling pen, which I absolutely love. I use it as if it is half way between a pen and a brush. The result is a wonderful ability to flow between thin and thick lines. Of course it does take practice to get the control needed to produce lettering this even. Calligraphy by S. J. Thomas. www.palmstone.comRead More