These Summer days have be passing quickly and it seems impossible that July is here already. I spend time every morning tidying up the gardens, making sure everything is well watered and then sitting in the garden swing before my day really begins. The ever changing garden is a constant source of inspiration. Although I had great hopes for my Acanthus plants, the rabbits had other plans and have eaten almost every leaf. The clematis has been amazing and I appreciate it every day.
I have been studying so much as I prepare for a William Morris inspired class with Ardington School online. Be sure to join their mailing list to be notified of new classes. The page will be live soon and will combine a lecture with Martin Beek about the life and work of William Morris and then a practical demonstration of some of his floral work and how we can integrate it alongside our calligraphy.
As I study Morris' work, the words Beauty and Grace keep coming to mind.
There is something just so timeless about his work and how he allows vines to meander gracefully yet there is a sense of restraint. I am reading everything I can find about William Morris as well as Edmund Burne Jones. Two books by Fiona MacCarthy are keeping me busy.
But the book I have found most helpful is William Morris's Flowers that I bought at the V& A gift shop back in 2019.
Seeing the details of his florals and leaves, beyond his amazing acanthus work has been a delight. As I study and continue to dig deeper into his work as well as floral illuminated manuscripts, I am finding different approaches to integrate the details into my flourishes. As I observr his timeless designs my objective is not to copy but to extract details of the style or colour combinations. I see how he integrates the leaves around the florals and I can find hints of Persian and Chinese influences in his work. The process is fascinating. Observation informs artwork. Approaches get refined over time and with patient practice. I always appreciate the process which includes struggles and the occasional derailed design. Whatever occupies you time these summer days, I hope you can observe the details around you. There is so much beauty and grace around us. It is so easy to be overwhelmed by the news of the day. It is ok to unplug and withdraw from it. Believe there will be beauty in each day.
Sending hugs to you all this July 1st. I know I will see many of you in Captivating Curves for The Gentle Penman later this month A little bit of William Morris influence will likely . I know the days are rushing by and I still have so much to capture on paper before the course starts.
Enjoy your July dear friends.