QuilliGraphy artist, Judy Orcutt, was born in York, PA – the “baby” of the family during World War II. Growing up in the 1950’s was during one of the best times in our history. Life was not as hectic or on edge as it is now. She was (and is) idealistic and had dreams of pursuing a medical career. So she went to pharmacy school at Temple University as a possible pre-med curriculum. During that intense period of education, she realized that being a medical doctor was probably not her calling. She found that she loved making the drawings in biology class from the microscopes and the anatomy drawing projects.
She was always a tomboy and loved being outside. Tennis, skiing, football, swimming and exploring the local creek were the best. She was a synchronized swimmer and had her life saving certificate at 12 years of age. She also was given piano lessons and played the flute and saxophone. She was fortunate to have parents that wanted her to learn new skills and to this day, that is one of the most significant and important aspects of her life-the pursuit of new skills and challenges.
She practiced pharmacy for almost 30 years before pursuing her dream of an art career. From the very day she graduated from pharmacy school, she knew she wanted to to do something else. But life experiences sometimes do not allow our dreams to surface until later. Through divorce she became a single parent and had to provide for her family.
Two sons are both graduates of Penn State University. She also has a rescued greyhound, Cyrus. She is a 12 year breast cancer survivor and many of her designs are related to healing and encouragement.
She learned calligraphy in the early 1980’s at the local YWCA. Letters have always fascinated her and the drawing skill was reinforced.
Hours and hours and hours of practice of just doing lettering ensued and she started to do projects and gifts for friends and wedding addressing, invitations, etc.. In 1995 she started to add pressed flowers to her work and this created a whole new look that was very satisfactory. Having a botany background enabled her to work on the identification of her flora and she includes that information for each of her designs. The framed work has the flora listed and is signed on the back.
In 1997 she developed QuilliGraphy ™ which specializes in designs that celebrate life and beauty. She will tell you to never give up on your dream and to work very hard.
She is a committed church member and she plays tennis, bridge, swims and volunteers for several local organizations.
She is a juried member of the York Town Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and an active participant in the activities of the organization. She has participated in numerous art and craft festivals in New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Currently, there are ten QuilliGraphy product lines with more than 130 designs. The names of the garden flowers used are written on the back of the limited edition framed work and it is signed by Judy.
Judy recently won an art competition which culminated in the design being presented to Dorothy Hamill, the Olympic ice skater.