Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Carolina Wren

I have spent every possible moment I had this summer in my little outdoor sanctuary. I love my studio but Oscar loves it too and his favourite thing lately has been to lie down on my hands while I am working. He also loves a fresh sheet of paper and thinks it is his job to bruise it before I start working. I still take him outside on the leash to let him explore and last week when I took him out I saw my first Carolina Wren.
The song from the little bird is positively enchanting They are loud, fast and very musical. There were at least six of them in my weeping pea tree before Oscar started climbing the tree. But one of them lingered for nearly 20 minutes.
I was able to observe him carefully and I wanted to try to capture him in watercolour. I first thought the Wren would be a good addition to my Enchanted Meadow series but I wanted to work slightly larger and capture as much detail as possible. This piece is on vellum. Finished size is 3"x2". I gilded the piece with Miniatum Ink and 24K gold. The colour palette for the wren was yellow ochre, brown ochre, burnt sienna, burnt umber, sepia and payne's grey. I used a moist brush technique to build up the layers. There are several layers.
The piece is done entirely with my 3/0 Escoda 1212 Sable brush.I am enamoured with the work of Marie Angel and I used the limning techniques described in her book Painting For Calligraphers. The outdoor sanctuary has brought many birds for me to observe this summer. I hope to capture a few more with this technique to remember such a wonderful summer of sights and sounds.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Logo Design For Iampeth: Created By Don Marsh

This year has a completely different work load in store for me. I have committed to my usual local teaching venues but I have cut down on my travel venues to do the work as President of Iampeth. One of the first decisions I made was selecting the designer of our new logo. If you are not familiar with his work, please let me introduce Don Marsh. He is a Cincinnati based artist, designer, calligrapher and author. Don is a long time friend and his work has been admired by many of us online. His professional work may be seen on branding for Febreeze, Butterball and John Morrell among many others. Don began his career as an illustrator in 1970 and by 1980 his professional focus was exclusively letterforms, especially for commercial use. His passion for letterforms is as great, if not greater, today as it was 33 years ago. I have long admired and appreciated his design skills and his knowledge of the history of English Roundhand. He is passionate about the history and progression of script lettering and is so generous in sharing his knowledge and skill. It was so exciting to watch him draft and complete this beautiful logo that Bickham himself would be proud to display. Enjoy the abundance of ovals in this elegant design and please visit Don’s website at or find him on Facebook to see his beautiful calligraphic artwork. I look forward to putting this logo to good use at our conference. It is the first of many wonderful things I have in store for you.” Heather

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Miniatum Ink

I will never depart from my love of the Victorian era. I know they overdo everything they but their romance of the whimsical and the ornate is fascinating. I still take a weekly trip to the antique shop to see if I can find a doily that needs to be resucued and repurposed. I am still known to take out the finest bone china teacup for tea in the garden for one in the afternoon. There is something so delicate and graceful about the ornamentation they choose to put on their pillowcases, china patterns and stationery. This little angel was inspired by a Victorian Scrap. I was sparked by the idea of putting the foliate work around the intial similar to my Enchanted letterforms.The initial measures 2" x 1 1/2", on vellum with Ziller Buffalo Brown Ink, Watercolour, Miniatum Ink and Pastel.
But the delight of the design is the Miniatum ink. It looks like Pepto Pink in the bottle.
Flows through a pointed pen or ruling pen beautifully. Has all the ease of use and adhesion power of my beloved Rolco with the increased shine of Instacoll. It is a delight to use but it is more expensive than the PVA based Rolco. I pay $29 for 32 oz. of Rolco. I got nearly 8 years out of my last 32 oz bottle and it was usable to the last drop. The Miniatum ink is $25.50 for 50 ml. The glow it creates with the gold is worth the extra. I will continue to experiment with this but so far, I love how it works and shines. I think will be able to create a diaper pattern effect by alternating the Rolco with the Miniatum ink. So much fun!