#137 Hot & Humid

137 Hot & Humid
#137 Hot & Humid
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#137 Hot & Humid was eas­i­ly inspired:

July 2019 is the hottest month in recorded history

Glob­al warm­ing used to be a phrase I’d pret­ty much ignore, but no more. It’s real­ly hap­pen­ing, & I feel worse for the ani­mals (from hip­pos & whales to the tini­est insects & fish) than I do for the humans; after all we caused it. Let’s hope it’s not too late to reverse the dam­age. Here’s a Newsweek arti­cle on the sub­ject.

July 2019 is the hottest month ever record­ed, accord­ing to accu­rate, sys­tem­at­ic, glob­al ther­mome­ter mea­sure­ments of sur­face tem­per­a­tures — that means only since 1880. Still, it’s the hottest July in over 100 years.

Going back fur­ther, start­ing in 1639, with the inven­tion of the rain gauge & evap­or­ime­ter, & sev­er­al years lat­er, the barom­e­ter & con­den­sa­tion hygrom­e­ter, new instru­ments made it pos­si­ble to stan­dard­ize the record­ing of mete­o­ro­log­i­cal data from place to place. More at earth​magazine​.org

Too hot to cool off

Zero table fan
This is the cute lit­tle fan our fam­i­ly grew up with in the 50’s & 60’s.

It’s so hot — mean­ing every­body in town is run­ning their a/​c at max — that my air con­di­tion­er keeps cycling on & off due to lack of pow­er, so to save it from burn­ing out I just turned it off & sur­round­ed myself with a bunch of box fans, table fans, and even a lit­tle per­son­al fan. (They are also keep­ing the place cool for the cats.) Inter­est­ing how fans keep us cool: By blow­ing air around, the fan makes it eas­i­er for the air to evap­o­rate sweat from your skin, which is how you elim­i­nate body heat. The more evap­o­ra­tion, the cool­er you feel. (A fan alone actu­al­ly increas­es room tem­per­a­ture from the heat gen­er­at­ed by the motor.)

Concept & design

I’m cre­at­ing this piece in 100º weath­er with no air con­di­tion­ing (rea­son explained above) so there was no lack of inspi­ra­tion for the art­work. Swel­ter­ing sun, and humid­i­ty that caus­es glass to fog up, lends itself to the very device I used in my teens to learn the art & nuances of hand let­ter­ing: draw­ing on the bath­room mir­ror right after a steam­ing hot show­er. I used to draw on the mir­ror, my fin­ger repli­cat­ing the exact shape of a ful­ly loaded let­ter­ing brush or mark­er, some­times using the side of my thumb, some­times using my fin­ger­nail, but always pro­duc­ing nat­ur­al script & hand­writ­ten style let­ter­ing. I still do that to this day. (Fin­ger­paint on that slick paper accom­plish­es the same thing.) That’s where the amper­sand came from in #137 Hot & Humid. The rest of the design was inspired sim­ply from the heat & humid­i­ty I cre­at­ed it in.

Here, cool off:


 Please comment here.

chaz sez

Want more?
Rants & raves most­ly about design, some­times about the uni­verse.

An occa­sion­al bit of use­ful advice.


Production notes for #137 Hot & Humid:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Block Berthold, Boli

Ampersand: Boli
Artwork images: deposit​pho​tos​.com
Fan: apart​mentsi​like​.files​.word​press​.com/​2​0​1​1​/​1​0​/​z​e​r​o​-​f​a​n​.​jpg
Note: &” replaces “and” in most or all text, including quotations, headlines & titles.
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

An excel­lent com­pa­ny, prod­uct or ser­vice needs brand­ing and graph­ic design that is prop­er, per­fect and pro­fes­sion­al.
Please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#146 Prose & Poetry

146 Prose & Poetry
#146 Prose & Poetry
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-​quality printing & framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

#146 Prose & Poetry — inspired by an ampersand fan

I just fin­ished one of my very favorite Amper­Art pieces ever, thanks to the inspi­ra­tion of a tal­ent­ed poet & fel­low amper­sand fan. Sev­er­al years ago Saman­thi Fer­nan­do, a sub­scriber, left a spe­cial com­ment on an Amper­Art post. That led to my dis­cov­ery of her poet­ic min­istry of hope & heal­ing — & the per­fect poem for an Amper­Art piece, as it con­tained an amper­sand! More about that piece below. 

A novel set in poetry

& the leg­end lives on — in the poet­’s love song.

Most nov­els are writ­ten in prose. But one par­tic­u­lar writer sur­pris­es & delights. I am pleased to announce that Saman­thi Fer­nan­do recent­ly com­plet­ed her first nov­el — com­posed entire­ly in poet­ry. As she says, “I wrote the romance I dreamed of writ­ing when I was a kid.”

Saman­thi invites you to take a jour­ney through nature with rhyme & romance.
A gar­land for love.
A roman­tic epic.
A mov­ing love song.
Saman­thi Fernando’s ninth poet­ry book, her sixth themed in nature, & final­ly after many years…the one romance she dreamed of writ­ing as a kid.

Silver Lotus Song: Romance in Nature

Silver Lotus Song by Samanthi Fernando

Sil­ver lotus
we meet again
in flow between
real­i­ty and dream

Sym­bol of love
pas­sion and pain
your seed gave life
to this song of mine

This book is a set of lyri­cal poems arranged with the aura of a roman­tic epic.

You can sample & purchase Silver Lotus Song on ama​zon​.com


Love & Be Loved

Back when I first dis­cov­ered her poet­ry, Saman­thi Fer­nan­do had writ­ten a poem which con­tained an amper­sand, so of course I asked to fea­ture it as an Amper­Art piece. #79 Love & Be Loved was issued for Valen­tine’s Day 2015.

Just like this issue’s #146 Prose & Poet­ry, it too is one of my favorite pieces. Saman­thi even con­tributed to the design, as she intro­duced me to the col­or rose gold.

Love & Be Loved

Feel the warmth & uplift­ing spir­it of Saman­thi Fer­nan­do’s lyri­cal poet­ry on her blog. Just like her writ­ing, Saman­thi’s visu­al com­po­si­tion is stun­ning — the pho­tog­ra­phy com­ple­ment­ing each poem is hers as well.


Read poetry of hope & healing by Samanthi Fernando here.

Prose & Poetry & Verse

For those of you who write prose & poet­ry, or sim­ply enjoy read­ing it, here is a great web­site: poet​ry​foun​da​tion​.org. Of par­tic­u­lar inter­est is an arti­cle “Is It Poet­ry or Is It Verse?

Concept & Design

The illus­tra­tion for Amper­Art #146 Prose & Poet­ry is a repro­duc­tion of a chap book from the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry. This is the orig­i­nal repro­duc­tion:

19th century chap book

A cou­ple ele­ments were mod­i­fied for this piece:

font: GermanicaThe orig­i­nal title “The Chap Book” was replaced by a custom-​designed mast­head “Prose & Poet­ry” fea­tur­ing a type­style that I felt was reflec­tive of the peri­od, Antique No. 14.

I like to give a spe­cial treat­ment to our friend the amper­sand when­ev­er fea­si­ble, so here I took the orig­i­nal form of the amper­sand set in Ger­man­i­ca, shown at left, & extend­ed the flat top & bot­tom ele­ments into long hor­i­zon­tal rules.

Note that there is anoth­er amper­sand in the low­er para­graph in the orig­i­nal illus­tra­tion, form­ing the con­trac­tion “&c.” In the past, this was a com­mon way of abbre­vi­at­ing the term “et cetera.” It is sel­dom used today (but one of us still uses it fre­quent­ly).

On the oth­er hand, anoth­er type of con­trac­tion is nev­er used any­more. That con­trac­tion is “annex’d,” seen in the same para­graph, where the apos­tro­phe sub­sti­tutes for a miss­ing let­ter; it used to be applied to any num­ber of words in a doc­u­ment, cor­rect­ly or not. There is the excep­tion to this type of con­trac­tion falling out of style, as we see every­day in ubiq­ui­tous con­trac­tions such as “don’t” & “can’t” & “del’d”…&c.

original artThe oth­er change to the orig­i­nal illus­tra­tion is where you see a chap book with­in the chap book illus­tra­tion, held by the dude read­ing to his hot date. There was a human char­ac­ter on the cov­er of the lit­tle book in his hand. This was replaced by a more inter­est­ing char­ac­ter: an amper­sand, of course.


The orig­i­nal illus­tra­tion showed the tex­ture of the sub­strate it was print­ed on. I sam­pled the tex­ture & applied it to my new art­work. Then a pho­to of old paper, suit­able in the shape of a chap book, was placed behind the cov­er art. I guess you could say I turned the chap book into a chaz book.

Ampersand Land

by Chaz the Poet

There once was a com­po­si­tion of land
Where each neigh­bor was an amper­sand

Mr. Gara­mond & the Bodo­nis & Miss Hel­veti­ca Neue
Fritz Quadra­ta & Arnold Bock­lin & even Com­ic Sans too

Every type of char­ac­ter was styl­ish­ly grand!

This is my attempt at a lim­er­ick. How­ev­er, “The Struc­ture of a Lim­er­ick” states:

Lim­er­icks are short poems of five lines hav­ing rhyme struc­ture AABBA. It is offi­cial­ly described as a form of ‘anapes­tic trime­ter’.

The ‘anapest’ is a foot of poet­ic verse con­sist­ing of three syl­la­bles, the third longer (or accen­tu­at­ed to a greater degree) than the first two: da-​da-​DA. The word ‘anapest’ shows its own met­ric: anaPEST.

Lines 1, 2 & 5 of a lim­er­ick should ide­al­ly con­sist of three anapests each, con­clud­ing with an iden­ti­cal or sim­i­lar phoneme to cre­ate the rhyme.

Lines 3 & 4 are short­er, con­struct­ed of two anapests each & again rhyming with each oth­er with the over­all rhyme struc­ture of AABBA.

That is all too con­fus­ing for me, so I’ll just let my lit­tle rhyme be & con­cede:

I’m not a poet
But I don’t know it

 Please comment here.

chaz sez

Want more?
Rants & raves most­ly about design, some­times about the uni­verse.

An occa­sion­al bit of use­ful advice.

Production notes for #146 Prose & Poetry:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Antique No. 14, Germanica, Attic (all modified)

Ampersands: Germanica (title), Attic (illustration) (both modified)
Chap book cover: Will H. Bradley, 19th century; deposit​pho​tos​.com; vector by Morphart
Paper background: deposit​pho​tos​.com
Note: &” replaces “and” in most or all text, including quotations, headlines & titles.
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, you absolute­ly, pos­i­tive­ly* must vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

*Thanks, FedEx.

#142 Snow & Ice

142 Snow & Ice
#142 Snow & Ice
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-​quality printing & framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Snow & ice & unbelievably freezing cold weather

Liv­ing in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, I can­not com­pre­hend how cold it is in the mid­west & north­east this win­ter. Schools are closed, postal deliv­ery is halt­ed, & sad­ly there have been sev­er­al deaths relat­ed to the freez­ing weath­er & slip­pery roads.

Neither rain nor sleet…

I was giv­en a great idea from a friend, to do this piece about the unbear­ably cold weath­er & name it after the “mail­man’s mot­to”— 

Nei­ther rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the post­men from their appoint­ed rounds.

That sound­ed like a great idea until I real­ized it’s all “nors,” not “ands” — no place for an amper­sand! But the idea for the top­ic stuck, & I learned some inter­est­ing facts about that “mot­to” to relay here:

First, it’s not an offi­cial mot­to of the US Postal Ser­vice. There is, in fact, no mot­to for the agency. 

What’s more sur­pris­ing is that the orig­i­nal say­ing, “Nei­ther snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these coura­geous couri­ers from the swift com­ple­tion of their appoint­ed rounds,” was said about 2500 years ago by the Greek his­to­ri­an, Herodotus. He said this adage dur­ing the war between the Greeks & Per­sians about 500 B.C. in ref­er­ence to the Per­sian mount­ed postal couri­ers whom he observed & held in high esteem.¹

The rea­son it has become iden­ti­fied with the USPS is because back in 1896 – 97 when the New York City Gen­er­al Post Office was being designed, Mitchell Kendal, an employ­ee for the archi­tec­tur­al firm, McKim, Mead & White, came up with the idea of engrav­ing Herodotus’ say­ing all around the out­side of the building.¹

This unbear­able & unsafe weath­er has even defeat­ed the unof­fi­cial “mail­man mot­to.” Postal ser­vice has been halt­ed in the cold­est regions. I don’t blame those mail deliv­ery work­ers one bit. Mail­men & mail­women are many peo­ple’s favorite ser­vice providers. Some­times they’re the only human con­tact peo­ple have in a day. I’ve seen videos where cats wait for the mail­man, either to rub an affec­tion­ate hel­lo, or jump to the mail slot in the door to destroy the incom­ing “toys.” For all their ded­i­cat­ed ser­vice, includ­ing the friend­ly hel­los, mail deliv­er­ers deserve to not go out & endan­ger them­selves. I read that frost­bite can occur with­in min­utes with the cur­rent tem­per­a­tures. 

Baby, it’s cold outside

When I heard how ridicu­lous the flack was last Christ­mas sea­son about the lyrics in the clas­sic song “Baby, It’s Cold Out­side,” I was dumb­found­ed by how stu­pid­ly the PC Police have cen­sored just about every­thing, just because some peo­ple are too frigid­ly sen­si­tive or just plain fool­ish. It’s embar­rass­ing. We’re talk­ing about a clas­sic song here, writ­ten in 1944 with a fun lyri­cal exchange, & win­ning an Oscar in 1949.

Seems that in this MeToo move­ment, every hint of a rela­tion­ship between a man & a woman should be regard­ed as date rape. This is just too much. Get real. Espe­cial­ly when it is so cold out­side. Baby.

Here’s a good arti­cle on the top­ic, by Inc. Mag­a­zine.

Snow & ice — what’s the difference?

Here are some mete­o­rol­o­gy facts about the sub­ject of this Amper­Art piece, Snow & Ice:

Is snow a form of ice?

Snow is pre­cip­i­ta­tion in the form of ice crys­tals. It orig­i­nates in clouds when tem­per­a­tures are below the freez­ing point (0 degrees Cel­sius, or 32 degrees Fahren­heit), when water vapor in the atmos­phere con­dens­es direct­ly into ice­with­out going through the liq­uid stage.
Nation­al Snow & Ice Data Cen­ter 

Why does frozen water appear as snow in some cas­es & ice in oth­ers?

Water comes in a vari­ety of forms, or phas­es. Depend­ing on tem­per­a­ture, the three com­mon­ly found are gas (water vapor), liq­uid (liq­uid water), & sol­id (ice). Snow & ice are made of the same mate­r­i­al but snow is com­posed of crys­tals with reg­u­lar shapes, while ice forms as sheets or sol­id chunks.

The dif­fer­ence between snow & ice lies in how water freezes into its sol­id form, & here’s how that hap­pens. (Read the entire arti­cle at the Boston Globe.)
—Boston Globe

What is the tem­per­a­ture for it to snow?

The falling snow pass­es through the freez­ing lev­el into the warmer air, where it melts & changes to rain before reach­ing the ground. When the air tem­per­a­ture at the ground is less than 32 F, the pre­cip­i­ta­tion begins falling as snow from the clouds.
—Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois arti­cle with illus­tra­tions

Why does snow some­times sparkle?

Some­times on a sun­ny day, fresh­ly fall­en snow may appear to sparkle or glit­ter. This hap­pens because when light hits an object light, it can be absorbed, in which case the object is heat­ed; trans­mit­ted, in which case light pass­es through the object; or reflect­ed, in which case it bounces back.
The Why Files 


The artis­tic con­cept for this piece was obvi­ous, but I did want it to be rather somber for those who are deal­ing with the cold & dan­ger­ous weath­er. One prob­lem I had to solve was whether the com­mon phrase should be “snow & ice” or “ice & snow.” I pre­fer the design of “ice & snow” but sound­ing it out, real­ized most peo­ple would prob­a­bly say “snow & ice” because it rolls off the tongue eas­i­er (as long as their tongue is not stuck to a lamp post). Also, I think you have to have snow before you have ice, right? Or is it rain? I don’t know — I con­sid­er any­thing beyond a driz­zle a full-​fledged storm.

Maybe I’ll switch the words lat­er & re-​issue the piece. What do you think? 

I was pleased with how the ice blocks stacked to form the amper­sand. The type­style for the words “snow” & “ice” — called Pel­i­can (seems it should be called Pen­guin for this piece) — offered the per­fect ice shard effect.

Hang onto this issue! Print & frame & intense­ly stare at it this sum­mer, when we’ll have record-​breaking tem­per­a­tures on the oth­er end of the scale. I could use some of those right now. Any­thing under 70 degrees is too cold for this So Cal beach bum.

Stay warm & dry.

I sincerely hope you, my ampersand friends, stay warm & safe this winter.

 Please comment here.

Production notes for #142 Snow & Ice:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Photoshop
Font: Pelican

Ampersand: Chaz DeSimone, manipulated stock images
Stock images: deposit​pho​tos​.com
Fire: giphy​.com

¹The Phrase Finder, UK
Mailman illustration: attic​pa​per​.com 1956 John Hancock Insurance ad
Other editorial credits as noted in article.
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!