Monday, February 24, 2014

Italian Hand Study Day

Having a wonderful day studying Italian Hand.
I have been asked to teach a workshop in Italian Hand at the Royal City Calligraphy Guild this coming Saturday. After back to back Spencerian workshops over the past several months it has been a challenge to work out the Spencerian tendencies to embrace this beautiful hand. Often overlooked because of its strange shading, and reverse shading on capital letterforms, I have found that this hand is challenging but not impossible. Many variations of the hand are found in George Bickham's Universal Penman. Right now I am taking a break from going through the Universal Penman looking for different letterforms.
My lettering today has been done on Canson Layout Paper with Walnut ink and an Esterbrook 556. Breaktime is over!!! Back to work!!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pencil Guided Thoughts

I never ceased to be amazed by the mediative qualities that a simple pencil can bring out.
As it glides across the paper, there is no fear of making a mistake. The eraser is built in. Mistakes are easily eradicated. This simple, mindful process allows thoughts to flow freely. If you have read some of my previous posts, you will know that I love to keep a journal and pencil handy. This journal is particularly special. It captures thoughts that come to me as I work out designs in pencil.
Often it is a thought that I need to try to expand and later finds its way into a workshop. It's just pencil on paper. Nothing incredibly difficult or complicated. But the action of putting pencil to paper does help hone my thoughts and ideas. The journal provides an added bonus that it allows me to return to my thoughts at any time.
Just a thought I wanted to share.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Too Busy Not to Paint!

Busy has been my default setting lately! I am making it a habit to find time for practice and for play even though my daily agenda is filled. I try to keep up with my handwritten correspondence and I am working on some very large projects at the moment. But in between the projects and the busy schedule the illuminated miniature has been a haven of peace. The sketch begins in my journal with a quick pencil drawing which is transferred onto my paper or vellum. The sketch usually takes me about 30 minutes and once I have laid down the gold size, the painting process takes about 2-3 hours for this small size.
My love of the painting techniques of Marie Angel, illuminated manuscripts and the only little animals I have seen on my walks in this harsh winter have provided the inspiration for the sketches and the paintings. In the midst of winter and an extremely busy schedule I find the quiet of painting to be a wonderful solace where I can recharge. The pen has been busy too as I explore new techniques and styles that are difficult. I will keep you posted on the pen progress soon!