Literary Calligraphy by Susan Loy ~ Calligraphic Art Paintings with Quotations from Authors, Poets, Playwrites, Bible, Literature
5326 White House Road
Moneta VA 24121
WHAT'S NEW! Updated 02/17/13
Online Ordering Update
· Order by March 17, Ship by March 22;
· Order by April 14, Ship by April 19;
· Order by May 5, Ship by May 10;
· Order by June 16, Ship by June 22.
· During other months, we will strive to ship your order in a timely fashion between shows. Please send your order in early and we will estimate when you will receive your item.
Ordering information is online here. First, choose your item from our Price List. Sorry we don't have pictures of all of the framing options. Then provide us with shipping information and credit card number, choosing from the following options: (1) online with secure credit card entry and processing, (2) via downloadable order forms, (3) via email at email@example.com, or (4) you can try calling us at 540-297-7938, (M-F 9 am - 4:30 pm EST). We will confirm your order and the dollar amount before shipping.
Here is our spring 2013 shipping schedule:
We will continue to sell at shows and will maintain our show schedule, giving you many opportunities to purchase Literary Calligraphy© art and to see us in person. We welcome your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org
With warm regards,
~ Susan & Ron
We set up a Facebook page for our small business, Literary Calligraphy, publisher of art prints and stationery by artist Susan Loy. I hope you follow the link and Like us.
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We'll keep you posted of our shows and promise some beautiful quotations and thoughts along the way. Follow the link to see some of our popular images and photos from the personal collection of Ron & Susan.
Our newest art print, "The Flowers of the Month," includes monthly flower illustrations and seasonal poems in a vibrant color wheel that reflects the change of seasons. Susan Loy actually painted 23 flowers that are pictured on the print because most months (except November's Chrysanthemum) have more than a single birth flower. Birth flowers are a very old tradition. The oldest known flower calendars were created by the Chinese and present flowers that bloom in Asia. Western calendars depicting The Flowers of the Month began to appear in the 18th century and were formalized in England and North America during the 19th century. Susan Loy chose the flowers for each month, based on these North American and Old English flower calendars.
In the corners of the painting, she hand-lettered quotations by William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, James Whitcomb Riley, and Henry David Thoreau. Each quotation describes a season; for example Dickinson speaks of the "Azure depth" of a summer afternoon while Riley mentions the frost on the "punkin'" in the autumn quotation. The print image is 9-1/2" x 9-1/2" and we frame it to 16" x 16."
View... The Flowers of the Month
Thanks for Liking us!
Susan Loy presents her Spring 2011 prints!
After spending the past five and a half years lettering the Constitution of the United States, I have returned to my roots with my newest piece, "A Midsummer Night's Dream." I chose four quotations from Shakespeare's play that describe the flowers of midsummer, and I painted these flowers as Shakespeare would have know them – crimson roses, creamy honeysuckle, yellow primulas, purple violets and wild thyme. My new piece is a perfect size for most homes, 16-inch square when framed, and it even includes a house blessing from Act V, "Through the house give glimmering light and each and every chamber bless - through this palace, with sweet peace, ever shall in safety rest, and the owner of it blest."
View Literary Calligraphy's... A Midsummer-Night's Dream
Kipling's inspirational poem "If" has been on my "to do" list for most of my career and so I am delighted to release my interpretation of one of the world's favorite poems. I lettered the poem to form the word IF, creating a calligram, which is a poem in which calligraphy is arranged in a way to create an image that expresses visually what the poem says. I arranged the words of the poem to form three-dimensional letterforms of I and F in gradient shades from orange, to red, to burgundy, surrounded by a detailed black border inspired by designs of India, where Kipling was born. This piece hangs on the diagonal, when framed it measures 17 inches on the diagonal or 12-inch square. This well-known poem makes a perfect graduation gift.
View Literary Calligraphy's... If
Literary Calligraphy Craft Show Coupon Now Available!
Come see us at a craft show and take 10% off your in-booth purchase ~ click the thumbnail to print out our special discount coupon...
Read what our customers have to say at our... Customer Comments!
OUR MARKETING MESSAGE: SUPPORT AMERICAN ARTS & CRAFTS
For the past 20 years, we have provided the best customer service in our industry -- first with an 800 number, first with
email, first with a complete web site, etc. This commitment and our busy show schedule cause many to believe that we are
some big company. Wrong. We are just a small group dedicated to giving you the type of customer service offered by our
favorite large retailers.
To address this misperception, we are now including the following explanation in our printed literature and web site:
"Susan Loy, her husband Ron Ayers, and some 'righteous women’ have worked with pride to deliver this Literary Calligraphy
art work to you. It all begins in rural Bedford County, Virginia in Susan's studio, which occupies the second floor of the
1918-era farm house she shares with her husband and various cats and dogs. Each painting may take months to complete. The
shop and offices are in another building next door and are surrounded by rolling pastures, forests, and gardens. Susan's
original watercolors have been printed in Bedford County by Bison Printing for more than twenty years.
Whether you support Literary Calligraphy at your local art or craft festival or by ordering on the toll free phone number or
web site, thank you for supporting a genuine American small business and American arts and crafts."
Susan has been busy in the studio and the result is a new print. She was inspired by a recent trip to Ireland to create "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," based on the poem by William Butler Yeats. Innisfree is a little island in Lough Gill near the Irish town of Sligo, where Yeats lived as a boy. The poem celebrates the poet's love of the glow of heather and of the simple life in a small cabin in the bee-loud glade, "where peace come dropping slow." I illustrated the poem with two species of heather that grow in Ireland near Sligo.
View Literary Calligraphy's... The Lake Isle of Innisfree
TWO NEW CONSTITUTION PRINTS!
New prints are the latest in Susan Loy's project to hand-letter the entire U.S. Constitution. Prints include "Articles IV-VII" and "The Bill of Rights."
"ARTICLES IV – VII States, Amendments, Laws, and Ratification"
Susan hand lettered the words to Articles IV through VII in watercolors that form a colorful map of the United States, surrounded by a background in shades of dark and light blue. A border in black and brown contains the names and states of the signatories of the Constitution as well as symbols of liberty and justice.
View Literary Calligraphy's... ARTICLES IV – VII
"THE BILL OF RIGHTS"
The Bill of Rights is hand lettered in shades of blue over a drawing of the Statue of Liberty. Words from the first amendment form a circle surrounding the Bill of Rights with words from amendments two through eight forming an inner circle, all lettered in black. The themes of we the people, justice, and liberty established in Susan's rendition of The Preamble are carried throughout the piece as is the color scheme of red, white, blue, black, and brown.
View Literary Calligraphy's... Bill of Rights
NEW WEDDING GIFT!
"I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine..." Susan lettered this beloved verse in English and in Hebrew: "Ani l'dodi v'dodi li." The verse is from Song of Songs 6: 3, also called The Song of Solomon or Canticles. It is a book of the Bible, traditionally ascribed to Solomon, the son of David and Bathsheba and king of Israel from 960 B.C. to 922 B.C. Some scholars believe it was composed later, and some believe it is an allegorical love poem that may have been sung at ancient weddings. It remains a popular wedding verse today.
View more about... I Am My Beloved's
Click to see our 12 additional... Wedding & Romantic Quotations
Check out our latest prints in Susan Loy's project to hand-letter the entire U.S. Constitution:
"ARTICLE II: EXECUTIVE"
Susan’s hand-lettered "We the people," in deep red Gothic capitals, looms above the White House. The complete text of Article II is
surrounded by the names of real people who Susan met at her art shows and agreed to help her represent "We the people."
View... ARTICLE II
"ARTICLE III: JUSTICE"
Susan hand-lettered the text over a drawing of the scales of justice. Fragments from Hammurabi's code, lettered in cuneiform, provide the background for the words to Article III. The names of historic law givers, lawyers, and Supreme Court justices fill the arcs on four sides.
View... ARTICLE III
"Desiderata" (Latin for "desired things") is an inspirational prose poem about attaining happiness in life. Copyrighted in 1927 by Max Ehrman, it was widely circulated in the 1960s without attribution to Ehrman, often with claims that it was found in a Baltimore church in 1692. Susan Loy has obtained copyright permission and paid royalties to use this beloved poem.
Susan has given "Desiderata" a modern setting, in shimmering shades of blue, violet, black, and brown. She highlights the opening
sentence, "Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence." The words of wisdom that
follow, from "...be on good terms with all persons" to "...everywhere life is full of heroism," form a tower, rising above and sitting on a foundation created by the words, "Be yourself." The remaining words of the poem form a half-circle. The whole poem is surrounded by a background made up of cuneiform signs, spelling desiderata.
FAMILY GIFT IDEAS
Here’s our niece Lydia Claire showing off her new personalized birth flower print (she’s a violet for February) in our yard last month. We celebrated the golden anniversary of Ron’s brother and his wife. Not pictured is “Red Rose: Love” with the Robert Burns poem, “Oh my luve is like a red, red, rose…” which we framed in gold with a gold plaque to give to the happy couple.
We now have exclusive birthday cards based on Susan Loy's "Flowers of the Month" series as hand-made art cards. Literary Calligraphy © hand-made art cards consist of a full-size art print combined with an inside greeting designed and written by Susan.
View the... Art Cards
Card front has a deckle-edged Literary Calligraphy © art print by artist Susan Loy that is attached to a complementary square of colored paper. These squares are in assorted colors for each card design. The print and square are then secured to heavy-weight ivory card stock whose front cover has been cut to fit the square and to provide a window on the card's inside.
The inside message tells about the flower and/or the author of the quotation. The message was composed by Susan Loy and is set amid a frame that was designed and painted by the artist.
The back of the card has a small box that reads "Hand-made in Moneta, Virginia," and provides contact information for Susan Loy and Literary Calligraphy ©.
A heavy-weight envelope and clear plastic sleeve completes the package.
6-1/2" wide x 8-1/2" height.
Currently, we are limited to flower of the month birthday cards. However, other greeting cards including Anniversary, Congratulations, General Birthday, and Special Occasions will be available soon. (Check back again).
Spring is now officially on the way. We're pleased to have a complete selection of Birth flowers,
beginning with Snowdrops for January and ending with Paperwhite Narcissus for December. Susan
Loy found the perfect verse or poem to accompany each illustrated flower.
Choose Hops for October and read Thomas Jefferson's thoughts on gardening. Or choose the
James Russell Lowell poem, "And what is so rare as a day in June?" that accompanies delicate Red
Rose Buds, the June birth flower. Ten additional designs include daisies, larkspur, and daffodils.
Go to the selections for... BIRTH FLOWERS
"1 CORINTHIANS 13"
Edition limited to 4,000 signed and numbered prints from an original watercolor. In this print, a striking pink biblical rose, surrounded by the complete 1 Corinthians 13 text, is placed amidst a blue, deep rose, and green border suggested by early Christian art. This is a favorite verse for weddings and anniversaries.
View... "1 CORINTHIANS 13"
Celebrate the Timeless Romance of
Elizabeth and Robert Browning!
"HOW DO I LOVE THEE?" ... Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Pale pinks from sweet briar rose buds (eglantine) mix with the deep green of ivy which are brilliantly illustrated to accompany one of the world's favorite romantic poems. In the language of flowers, eglantine is the flower of love and poetry while ivy represents marriage and fidelity. Signed and numbered prints produced from an original watercolor painting.
View... "HOW DO I LOVE THEE?"
"AUTUMN CROCUS: GROWING OLD" ... Robert Browning
Funnel-shaped, pale purple blossoms and buds emerge dramatically from a thick, bulb-like corm; Browning's optimistic words are carefully calligraphed to match the light green of the stylized leaves. "Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be..." Signed and numbered prints produced from an original watercolor painting.
View... "AUTUMN CROCUS: GROWING OLD"
New Blog! Many of you have asked how current economic conditions are affecting artists. Ron's most recent blog addresses this issue.
Check it out at... Ron's Blog
We've got a new Constitution art print and two new flower prints, Morning Glories and Snow Drops.
It took Susan more than 500 hours to complete "Article I. Congress" that is our new art print. She lettered the 2293 words of Article I, dividing it into 102 lines forming a 12-3/4-inch square. Using color change in the letterforms, she created a glowing landscape for the backdrop of her drawing of the U. S. Capitol Building. This is a print for the history buff, legal scholar, or anyone who loves liberty.
View... Article 1
In the new print "Morning Glories" Susan lettered the ancient Sanskrit Salutation of the Dawn as her quotation. These words are attributed to Kalidasa, an Indian poet and dramatist who lived from 353 to 420 a.d. It was probably written in 400 a.d., yet its message to live each day to the fullest is as meaningful today as it was sixteen-hundred years ago.
View... Morning Glories
Susan found a lovely quotation from American poet and writer, Celia Thaxter for her snowdrop illustration. Snowdrops are one of the first flowers of the year and have been known to push their pure white blossoms up through the snow. The snowdrop means hope in the Victorian language of flowers and is the flower of the month for January.
We did a lot of publicity for Constitution Day and, although we didn't make USA Today, we did get local coverage. The Roanoke Times did a feature on Susan that you can read at
View... Roanoke Times Feature
The story got picked up by the AP and many local newspapers throughout Virginia. Susan visited two schools to describe her project to elementary and high school students. Stay tuned for more details!
View... The Lynchburg News & Advance
SUSAN DESCRIBES FOUR FLOWER PRINTS FROM SPRING 2007
Common themes run through the poems in my four new flower prints, featuring daffodils, chrysanthemums, poppies, and violets. Wordsworth's "Daffodils" is one of the best descriptions of flowers and their impact on the human spirit that has ever been written; not only do flowers fill our hearts with pleasure, but return in memory, where our hearts can once again dance with the daffodils. "Out in the Fields with God" by an unknown author shows how we lose our fears and cares in the presence of nature, among the trees, the birds, or the poppies.
For Maeterlinck chrysanthemums symbolize the interconnectedness of all things, and the modest study of such a flower can explain many mysteries.
Donne uses a single violet transplant to show how this modest flower has the strength to multiply and move us to ecstasy.
These poems each extol the benefits of nature, and the reward is bliss. Who can resist?
I've wanted to letter William Wordsworth's "Daffodils" or "I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud" ever since I visited the Lake District in 1993. "Daffodils" was probably written between 1804 and 1807, when it was first published. The second stanza was added in 1815. This poem was a collaboration between William, his wife Mary, who wrote lines 21 and 22, and his sister, Dorothy, who was often William's muse. The wild daffodil seen by the Wordsworths would have been Narcissus pseudonarcissus, which has six pale yellow petals and a trumpet in a different shade and is exceedingly variable in size, shape and color.
The author of "Out in the Fields with God" is unknown, but like many great poems whose author is unknown, it has been erroneously attributed to several great poets, most often either British poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) or American poet Louise Imogen Guiney (1861-1920). I loved painting the bright red Papaver rhoeas, the field or corn poppy .
Chrysanthemums were so beloved by Maurice Maeterlinck, a Belgium writer awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1911, that he devoted an entire essay to them. Published in Old Fashioned Flowers in 1905, "Chrysanthemums" catalogues the virtues of this variable flower. It was a challenge to paint the florist's chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum hortorum, a blend of C. indicum and C. morifolium, with its riot of orange spidery petals.
John Donne is considered by many to be the best of the "Metaphysical Poets." "The Ecstasy" is a long poem, probably written 1601 to 1615.
There's a lot of meaning packed in just the one line that I've chosen from this poem, "A single violet transplant, the strength, the colour, and the size (all which before was poor, and scant) redoubles still, and multiplies." It reminds me of the power of seemingly tiny elements of nature to move us to ecstasy. Violets grow wild all over our farm, and at least eighty species are native to North American. The violet of European poets is most often Viola odorata, the sweet violet.
FEBRUARY 2007 RADIO INTERVIEW
Susan Loy was interviewed by Becky Booker of KRXT Radio in Rockdale, Texas on February 13. Becky found Susan on the web and wanted to interview an expert on the language of flowers for her pre-Valentine's Day show. They talked about the Victorian Language of Flowers, Susan's series of flower paintings based on that tradition, and about tussie mussies. (View... "Tussie Mussies")
Susan told Becky that we send red roses on Valentine's Day because they mean love in the language of flowers. Also she noted that the Victorians must not have liked the yellow rose because it means jealousy in the language of flowers. However, Texans should be proud that their native bluebonnet (a lupine) means voraciousness, a very Texan trait.
FALL 2006 PRINTS
Susan Loy has recast the Preamble to the Constitution in a striking geometric design in brown and black, and of course, red, white, and blue. The opening phrase, "We the People," is at the center of the painting surrounded by interlocking graphics representing "liberty," "justice," and "tranquility."
View The Preamble
Gift for a Child!
Primary cheerful colors, intricate designs, and alphabet blocks surround this popular Mother Goose nursery rhyme, "Monday's child is fair of face, Tuesday's child is full of grace..."
View "Monday's Child"
SUSAN LOY DESCRIBES SPRING 2006 PRINTS
Seven years ago I read a passage in Thoreau's journal that made me want to paint birds. With a mind to paint them, I studied
birds for five years before creating my first three bird prints. Last fall when I decided to letter the popular wedding
quote, "The Apache Blessing", I knew right away that I would use bird feathers to illustrate the "shelter"
mentioned in the poem. I welcomed the opportunity to further my bird study. My research told me that Orioles were revered by
the Apache. I learned that the orange color in Oriole feathers comes from a type of pigment called carotenoid and that the
white at the tip of the feather is where pigment has worn away. There are many types of bird feathers, but most are either
flight or contour feathers. Contour feathers provide warmth and shelter. I loved drawing these beautiful black and orange
The old maple tree outside my studio window has been host to many birds, and though it is slowly dying, it only
improves in hospitality. I would mourn its passing were it not for the maple sapling growing beside it, teenage pin oaks, and
a crepe myrtle tree that already provide incredible beauty and delicious shade.
Speaking of breath-taking, lily of the valley grow at the base of the crepe myrtle tree. I painted the flowers for my
new print, "Lily of the Valley" last May when they were blooming. It's winter now, so I await the return in
spring of their sweetly-scented white flowers.
I have painted lily of the valley many times. When I was a girl visiting my grandmother, who owned a snow cone and
waffle stand in an Ohio amusement park, I would follow the creek outside the park to where lilies of the valley bloomed in
huge drifts. The drift outside my studio is much smaller but still reminds me of those happy days.
NEW! Now Available as a blank note card!
Fall, 2005 New Prints
The stunning view from Susan's studio in all four seasons was the inspiration for our new print "To Every Thing There Is A Season". Elaborate patterns of interlacing circles form a color wheel representing the changing seasons. The borders in the primary colors of the seasons are set off by a black background, which forms an elaborate knotwork pattern. Each corner contains a tiny painting representing the season.
"The Lord bless thee and keep thee..." is lettered in English and Hebrew in a shimmering rainbow of colors in "The Priestly Blessing". It is a perfect gift for Bar and Bat Mitzvah, birth of a child, housewarming, graduation, retirement, and wedding.
PRACTICING PEACE is a collaboration between Susan Loy
and poet Cathryn Hankla.
Susan hand lettered Hankla's
inspiring poem that urges the reader to live "moment
to moment" and to practice peace when, "the grill
won't start, when the dog keeps barking, when the
check bounces, when the train is late, when we are
angry and searching for someone to blame."
Calligraphy by Susan Loy will donate $25 for EACH
print sold to the Endowment Fund of the Unitarian
Universalist Church of Roanoke, Virginia.
Our Literary Birds make a lovely grouping.
· One will be a double treat for all Susan's
collectors that have asked for a gift for a sister, because Wordworth's poem
artfully captures sibling affection in "To My Sister", starring a European
· Bird-watchers and lovers will appreciate Thoreau's masterful nature
writing from his personal journals in "Purple Finch".
· Third in the flock
is "My Symphony" with a pair of yellowthroats and an inspirational text
about living simply but elegantly. Special pricing is available for flocks
of 2 or 3 birds.
Custom Engraved Plaques Now Available On-line!
Custom engraved plaques are available on-line for any size
Literary Calligraphy® print at one price, $30. Usually, collectors have
names with wedding, birth or other dates engraved. Other popular options are
an event, e.g. Ruby Anniversary, graduation, or as a service award (call for
The design is a double mat with a surrounding V-groove creating an inset for
the gold or silver plaque. It is different from our famous
"circle-in-a-square" custom mat, which is not suitable for a plaque (trust
us). You choose from a variety of frames.
Plaque includes lettering up to 20 characters (including punctuation and
spaces) on each of two lines. We send these out for engraving; please allow
2 weeks for final delivery. A plaque is a service item, so that the $30 fee
does not add to your purchase amount when calculating shipping charges.
Engraved items are non-returnable.
You order your plaque during your print order, once you are in the Shopping
Cart. There will be a box for you to write in your message to be engraved.
If you have problems, please email.
More Recent Designs
Calling all Irish! "May the road rise to meet you" is perhaps the most famous traditional Irish blessing, and is featured in both English and Gaelic in our popular print "IRISH
BLESSING." Susan expertly combined green shamrocks and navy Celtic designs to create this tribute to to all things Irish. It's a perfect friendship, wedding, or housewarming gift.
Want to know why we decorate with holly at Christmas, and why it means foresight in the Language of Flowers? Learn more about the history and lore of flowers at Our Book Section!
Excerpts and reviews of Flowers, the Angels' Alphabet can be read on-line at
Books ordered directly from us - via shows, internet, or telephone -
will be signed and personalized at your request.
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