Creative Manifesto

Inspired by a recent challenge in Uppercase magazine I decided to hand letter a Creative Manifesto.

hand lettered creative manifesto by debbie kendall

I added a couple of vintage illustrations and set it against a nice sheet of ageing ledger paper.

I do love the sentiment… as behind the polished and perfect world of self promotion via social media, which can make success look so effortless, is a lot of unseen creative angst!

I might get a plate made and hand print a few on my press… I think it would be a good reminder to have on the studio wall!

Find out more about me and my work at The Enlightened Hound

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Hand Lettered Pug Print

The Enlightened Hound’s “Dog Tag” series of prints has a new addition – The Pug Print.

Hand printed Pug 'Dog Tag' Art by Debbie Kendall, The Enlightened Hound

I must admit that I didn’t know much about these popular little dogs before I started researching them for my latest Dog Tag breed story print. The pug is often characterised by the Latin phrase “multum in parvo” which means “much in little”. This refers to the fact that these little dogs have such huge personalities!

Hand lettered detail of Pug print by Debbie Kendall

Pugs have a fascinating history dating back to ancient China. Also known as Foo Dogs in the West, they were bred by the Chinese Imperial Family of ancient dynasties to resemble the sacred Chinese Guardian Lion. Historical documentation indicates that pugs could only be owned and bred by emperors ~ breaking this law was punishable by death.

A very desirable feature was the “W” shape in the forehead folds, which in Chinese letters meant prince.

Pugs were treasured companions who were held in the highest esteem. They lived in the lap of luxury, eating only the best food, with their own devoted attendants to look after them and special carriages to ride in (not that different from today then!)

Framed Pug Art Print by Debbie Kendall

Pugs have long been associated with royalty, favoured as companions by several European royal households. From a Russian princess to the Dutch king, William I, French ruler Louis XIV, and British monarchs, King William III, Mary II, Queen Victoria and Edward VII and more recently The Duke & Duchess of Windsor. A more royal pedigree could not be found!

Fame and fortune go hand in hand with these great little dogs. Other celebrity owners include Josephine Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, Andy Warhol, George Clooney and Grace Kelly.

Pugs have also been immortalised in many movies and books, perhaps the most famous of which is Frank the Pug in Men in Black – an extra-terrestrial living on Earth in the disguise of a pug!

The print combines my hand drawn lettering with illustration and each one is hand printed on my press in a rich deep orange/red – and individually signed. Available from my website both framed and unframed.

Also available are Labrador, Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel, Whippet and Portuguese Water Dog. Up next is the Staffy!

Labrador Retriever “Dog Tag” print

Ta Da! Announcing a new addition to my series of Breed Story Dog Tag Prints. This latest one is for all you Labrador Lovers out there… and I know there’s a lot of you, as the Labrador is the number one breed in both the UK and the USA… and now I know why!

I had great fun researching the Labrador Print breed history for this latest print. They really are the most wonderfully versatile dogs and they definitely deserve their status as Top Dog (my Portuguese Water Dog can fortunately never read of my disloyalty!)

Labrador Retriever Print

Determination is one of the Labrador character traits on the print and funnily enough, the last couple of weeks on our daily walks, Figo and I have met some particularly determined Labs whose show of determination mainly related to stealing Figo’s ball and refusing to give it back! One lady tried to prise it from some very firmly clamped jaws (to no avail) and the others simply evaded capture, much to the embarrassment of their owners.

Labrador print lettering detail

Despite often seeing Labs as assistance dogs, it was not until I researched the breed in more detail that I realised just how many different ways Labs have been trained to help humans. These steady, soft-mouthed, warm hearted and waggy-tailed dogs are the perfect companion for so many people.

The prints combine my hand drawn lettering with illustration and they are each hand printed on my press in a chocolate brown ink – and individually signed.

Framed labrador print

Available from The Enlightened Hound

The prints can also be purchased framed in a selection of my handmade reclaimed wooden frames, or they will fit happily in a ready made frame, like the Ikea Ribba (52x52cm square frame with matt/mount included).

A Dog is the Best Medicine

Ta Da! Here is my latest piece of work…

A dog is the best medicine linoprint and collage by debbie kendall

Ask any dog lover and they will tell you how good their dog makes them feel. Whether we are feeling sad, grumpy, irritable or under the weather, somehow dogs have the ability to make us feel better about life.

My dog, Figo, can immediately smooth over any family rift — at the first sign of raised voices he comes rushing over wagging his tail and never fails to get us all smiling again.
I created this print in honour of a dog’s gift to make us feel better, whatever our situation.

But there is something that makes this print really unique — it is printed onto an ephemera collage of vintage, original pharmacy labels from old medicine bottles. These are very collectable and have a wonderful array of old typefaces, both scripts and block letters. They are the lovely, aged, mellow colour of old parchment.

dog inspired linoprint detail on collage by debbie kendall

This is not a pre-printed digitally reproduced background – I make a unique, individual collage of actual, original labels for each print, so each one is different.There will only be 100 of these prints and each are individually signed and numbered on the reverse.

medicine bottle label collage by debbie kendall

The size of the paper (the labels go to the edge) is approx. 300 x 300 mm (11 3/4”) square.I have chosen to make frames for these prints out of reclaimed wood, which echoes the vintage appeal of the labels.

The frames are made from what ever wood I can source and each frame has its own pattern of knots, grain, dinks, scratches, nail heads, rusty staples, wonky edges and aged patina.

The size of the framed print is around 43 cms (17”) square.

reclaimed wood picture frame by debbie kendall  recalimed cedar wood picture frame by debbie kendall
Linoprint and collage in handmade frame by the enlightened hound
Prints come ready to hang and are fitted with crystal clear acrylic glass.
Available unframed or framed from the Enlightened Hound’s Website

Dog Inspired Typographic Prints

My Portuguese Water Dog, Figo, has been a great source of inspiration to me. We have just had a book published – Buckinghamshire A Dog Walker’s Guide – (see earlier post) and I have also been busy working on a series of dog-inspired linocut typography prints titled “The Enlightened Hound”

My Portuguese Water Dog Figo

The Enlightened Hound linoprints celebrate the instinctive principles dogs follow for a simple and contented life. We humans can learn much from their canine wisdom!

Canine Wisdom typographic prints by Debbie Kendall

No 1: “Start Each Day…”

Canine Wisdom Typographic Prints by Debbie Kendall

No 2: “If What You Want Lies Buried…”

Canine wisdom typographic prints by Debbie Kendall

No 3: “Run to Greet…”

Canine wisdom typographic prints by Debbie Kendall

No 4: “Explore New Paths…”

The prints have been created using authentic fonts from original Wild West and US Civil War posters. The letters are hand carved onto lino printing plates, then each poster is individually hand-printed on acid free archival 170gsm printmaking paper with traditional linseed oil inks, using hand-mixed colours, inspired by the American Colonial era.

Lino Plate by Debbie Kendall

Carved Lino Plate

Each print uses 4 different lino plates and three colours to produce. Each plate/colour is printed separately by hand. Here are some photos showing the prints at at stage of the process.

Linocut printing process by Debbie KendallLinocut printing process by Debbie Kendall

Linocut printing process by Debbie KendallLinocut printing process by Debbie Kendall

The vintage style, slightly distressed lettering and the typographical style is reminiscent of old Wild West Wanted Posters and 19th century American Show Posters.

They work beautifully as a series or as a single print and will appeal to dog lovers everywhere. They make a great gift.
Prints are signed and editioned in sets of 250.

Paper size is 400 x 500 mm (fits a standard 40 x 50 cm frame)
Image size is 277 x 397 mm

If you like them, why not buy one to celebrate your own dog’s wisdom or treat a fellow dog owner.