Books        Edition Prints        Note Cards

I was asked to create a work of art to grace the book cover of the final collection of poems written by Reetika Vazirani (1962-2003). The poet was born in India, and lived in the United States of America from the age of six. Miss Vazirani's poetry has won critical literary acclaim for her inventive imagination with duality's of meaning, of perceptions woven by language into sharp-threaded myth-made ancient layers of life-long dreams, and memories. Radha Says was published from Reetika Vazirani's raw, unedited manuscript pieces, in 2009. Editors: Leslie McGrath and Ravi Shankar for Drunken Boat Media, LLC.

I began my work on the project by reading some of the poems as yet unpublished, in addition to both of Vazirani's earlier poetry collections: World Hotel, published by Copper Canyon, 2002; and, White Elephant, published by Penguin Random House, 1996. Other books I read were on the Hindu religion, including the cultural aspects of Hinduism's expansive mythology during four millennia throughout the Indian subcontinent. A few times I met with Heea Vazirani-Fales, Reetika's mother, who talked about her daughter's childhood and her creativity as an artist.

More of my subject matter study took place within orientalist-specialized art museums, where I was able to look closely at original works of painting, illuminated manuscript pages, drawings, tapestries, sculptures, and objects d'art, and formulate a concept of pictorial portrayal to celebrate the artistry of the poems in the forthcoming publication. Painting title:                 Radha Says
Watercolor painting, 12 x 18 inches, unframed

my calligraphy title art, Sanskrit, for the cover: Radha Says

The International Perfume Bottle Association is an organization founded to inform collectors and enthusiasts about the origins, earthen materials, processes of manufacture, social allure, monetary value, aesthetic quality, and owner provenance of scent bottles through the ages. Design and manufacturing of such petite fragrance containers took place on many continents and were sought after by men and women in lands far distant from the vessels' origins.

A History of the IPBA: 1988-2013

was written by Barbara W. Miller, who is the chairman of the Florida Chapter and a former member of the organization's board. The book is about a niche specialization of objects d' art within the art world's over-arching classifications of antiquities and decorative arts. The author recounts serendipitous explorations in treasure-hunting by individual IPBA members, among whom include auction house representatives and independent dealers in the trade.

I created the Front Cover design and art work for the book. The title and sub-title inscriptions were written by hand, using paper, pen and ink; my calligraphy is a personal expression of the cursive round hand script. As for the six photographs of perfume bottles---together, they form the actual Logo Art of the IPBA.

The Front Cover Final Art measures  8.50 x 11  inches

In addition, I wrote by hand the inscriptions for
  A History of the IPBA: 1988-2013 Chapter and Section heading divisions of textual content, using the formal calligraphy script, Chancery Cursive.

This is my Promotional Page of calligraphy headings on the book's interior pages. 
Size,  8.50 x 11  inches

I created the Front Cover design art of a second publication on the topic of perfume and scent bottle objects d' art. The final art measures 11 x 8.50 inches. My calligraphy for the book's title and name of author was written by hand. On paper I composeded using a flexible pointed pen, and black sumi ink. The English Round Hand was the dominant commercial script of handwriting used by businessmen and women from the seventeenth century through the nineteenth century.

Victorian Scent Bottle Designs at The National Archives of the UK
by author Barbara W. Miller

presents an exquisite showcase of drawings, paintings, and photographs that are "Representations" of 318 ornamental designs made between 1845 and 1902, which were recorded in the United Kingdom's Board
of Trade Designs' Registry for copyright protection.
The book was released in 2018 as a collectors' guide.
In addition, Ms. Miller has produced a web site about one luxury house of perfume in London, founded in 1872:    The Crown Perfumery Company
   Fragrance containers are luminous exemplars of creative imagination! So many of them are quite humorous!  e.g., a sterling silver bulb of garlic;
a silver horse hoof and fetlock.

Men and women who designed fragrance bottles in all of their multi-faceted parts (container bowl, container body shape, caps, handles, appendages, bottle stoppers, interior capsules, fitted box packaging) worked closely with metalsmiths, industrial manufacturers, and retailers to produce the finest works of craftsmanship.

Together, they structured the entire design reproduction process so that the completion of the machine-formed early phases of a product would seemlessly enjoin the finalizing touches of skilled artisans. Their work, wrought by hand, completed the production process beautifully, for art's sake.

Federal City

Since 1800, Washington, DC has been the permanent residence of the government of the United States of America. The Constitution provided for land, 10 miles square, to be set aside fo a federal city. The nation's Founding Fathers chose to create a new city, free from the jurisdiction of any state, for a capital belonging to all the people. They established the District of Columbia on a site strategically located on the banks of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, an entrance to the continent's western lands and midway between the nation's original northern and southern states Pierre Charles L'Enfant designed the new capital city to express the ideals of the young nation and the integrity of leadership by its citizens. Nearly two centuries later the buildings and monuments of Washington, DC have become universal symbols for freedom and self-rule.

Gouache painting, 18 x 24 in., unframed

The                      1)   Jefferson Memorial              4)   Lincoln Memorial
structures:         2)   United States Capitol           5)   White House
                            3)   Washington Monument

I composed  Federal City to be the feature illustration in two poster publications. The first poster was designed in 1985, for the promotion of the upcoming international Tenth World Congress of Cardiology meeting. A few years later, I produced a new poster design with the  Federal City painting, plus, a note card, to function as a "history reminder" or "keepsake" for visitors to the nation's Capital.

Portrait of
Family Life
        The art is about the value of home and                                      community in the lives of Americans                                      and their families.  We are a nation of                                      communities.  Neighborhoods and residential settings all across our country's landscape provide nurturing environments and contribute to our
health and well-being.  The benevolent qualities of life inherent in such places elaborate, for me, the meaning of 'home is where the heart is', and these are the qualities comprising my intention of expression in the created scenes.  Amidst blue sky, green trees, and green grasses both children and adults are seen playing, talking and laughing with each other, while a mother here and a father over there read in the company of their little ones. These engagements seem quite typical---they are common social encounters occurring throughout America everyday among family members, friends and strangers. This heartfelt sincere

interest in one another that's portrayed in the painting is
the meaning of the art.

Fourteen painterly symbols at the base of the painting signify some of the industrial categories of the corporations that support affordable housing in the United States. These corporations are truly the cornerstone in the building foundation of the federal affordable housing program.

Portrait of Family Life
was created upon my receipt of an art commission from Meridian, Inc. My original work of art is a watercolor painting, of the size,  43.50 x 34.25  inches, unframed.  I had the painting framed for a ceremonious unveiling at the 1993 Meridian Gala. In addition, I produced a limited edition print from this painting, plus, a non-limited edition of note cards, with envelopes and custom mail-packaging.

The American Historical Association and the American Political Science Association formed Project '87, a joint venture dedicated to commemmorating the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, 1787-1789 to 1987-1989.

Project '87 produced and published This Constitution:
A Bicentennial Chronicle, which is a series of 13 Journals, plus a large number of historical materials, and classroom-use Guides for Teachers. The collected works provide scholars' articles, resources, classroom materials, ideas, and practical information for those who plan programs for the public and for the schools at various educational levels.

For example:

The story of the United States Constitution is told in 12 posters. I created a unique logo-as-title work of art for use on poster no. 1 and the Teacher's Guide book. My composition is hand-lettered, using a pointed pen and india ink on paper. Each poster measures 21.50 x 35 inches, unframed

"The Blessings of Liberty"
"The Articles of Confederation"
"A 'Less Perfect' Union, 1781-1788"
"The Founders' Achievement"
"The Anti-Federalist Argument"
"The Bill of Rights"
"A City Plan for the Constitution"
"The Principle of Federalism"
"The Supreme Law of the Land"
"To Ourselves and Our Posterity"

The Hope Diamond is one among 15,000 gems, 350,000 mineral specimens, 300,000 rock and ore specimens, and 35,000 meteorites that are housed at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

What is known as our country's National Gem Collection
was begun James Smithson, who bequeathed his own mineral collection, along with 1,316 gems and minerals assembled by the naturalist Dr. Isaac Lea, and donated by Mrs. Frances Lea Chamberlain, his daughter, in 1894. Gifts from other individuals, and new purchases, as well as transfers of specimens from the United States Geological Survey, greatly expanded the categorical range of precious items into varieties of specimen microcosms. The collections of gems and minerals are presented to the public in continually changing exhibitions; in addition, they are made available for scientific research.

The title inscription of National Gem Collectionis my own composition of calligraphy art, made on paper with india ink and pointed pen. The printed poster measures 23 x 33 inches.

T'ae Kwon Do

This is a martial art of self-defense practiced around the world.  T'ae Kwon Do is the national sport of both South and North Korea, having evolved out of the culture's ancient heritage "arts of the warrior" plus, a blending-in of twentieth century Karate styles from Japan.  T'ae Kwon Do was honored as a demonstration sport for the XXIV Olympiad, in the Summer of 1988; twelve years later, this Korean martial art obtained official status as an Olympic sport.

I had been training in  T'ae Kwon Do for four years when the Summer Olympics in Seoul took place; and
I longed to see  T'ae Kwon Do performed at the highest levels of competition, by the best athletes of the martial arts profession, inside the country that claimed it as its own. There I went, to live for a couple of weeks with a Korean family, in Seoul. Each day was an adventure as I traveled around the capital city, or into the countryside, attending  T'ae Kwon Do  competitions, plus, other Olympic sports that I revere.

T'ae Kwon Do is made of Sumi ink and Black Watercolor, of the size  23 x 36.50  inches, framed

I produced a poster edition of the painting and sold it through martial arts supply companies. The poster measures  20.25 x 35  inches, unframed

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

In 1979, ground was broken on the National Mall, and construction of the  Vietnam Veterans Memorial moved forward. On the completed architectural work of art as of today, the names of 58,318 American men and women have been chiseled into the mirror-polished granite arms of the structure, for they have given their lives in service to the United States of America, their country, while fighting in Vietnam during its long war, from 1957 - 1975.

Watercolor painting
of the size  27.50 x 26.50  inches framed

I published an edition of posters as well as note cards of my painting, which were sold in bookstores and gift shops, and teacher supply catalogues.

                                                Joanne C. Wasserman


                                                                     Wasserman Design