Monday, December 24, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
link. Enjoy!!!!! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!!!!!
Monday, December 17, 2012
Still playing with ideas for my Enchanted Meadow series. Meet the Merry Makers~ Comfort and Joy. Inspired by the Yuletide season, I wanted these little rabbits to be incorporated into a festive border. I still have so much to learn about designing these little animals and merging them with a Medieval border, but I am enjoying the process.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
My Dad is a gifted musician and October 28th, he celebrated 50 years as a church organist. To commemorate the event, he gave an organ recital at Alexandra Presbyterian Church in Brantford. The concert was well attended and the local paper printed an article about his music ministry. I was unable to attend Dad's concert as I was teaching workshops in California. It was difficult to be so far from home while Dad was performing his concert. I don't think I have ever missed one of his organ recitals. The event was very successful and well attended. Our family was so proud of Dad's achievement and I wanted to make him an engrossed certificate to mark the occasion. I kept the certificate as a surprise to be presented to him at his concert with only my sister, Holly and Chris knowing about my plans. I had attended two previous Engrossing Sagas with Michael Sull. One was in 2006 and the other in 2011 but I had never really tried to combine techniques I had studied with Michael into a larger piece of work. I generally work very small and keep to illuminated miniatures, Spencerian Script, English Roundhand and Offhand flourishing. This piece would stretch my comfort zone. I ended up creating two pieces for him. The first piece would be presented at his concert but I was not entirely happy with it. I had chosen to draw my capital letters and draw lower case German Text letters that I would gild and paint. It seemed like a good idea but the finished design wasn't as clean looking as I had hoped for. On my second attempt, I drew my capital letters, but used a parallel pen with Best Bottle Ink for my lower case German Text.
Monday, November 19, 2012
This past weekend I had the absolute pleasure of teaching my first class in Handwriting to eager adults at a local stationery and fountain pen store. The class was filled to capacity with professionals who wanted to improve their handwriting for their day to day tasks! We will be having follow up classes in the new year. Preparation for the class had me diving into my penmanship archives. Just seeing the beauty of ornamental penmanship has ignited my passion to practice these historic letterforms. I wanted to share a few treasures from my archives. Enjoy!
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Exploring the effects of graphite with Old World Iron Gall ink on this bookplate design. It adds a bit of dimension. Finished size is 5"x 3.5" on Arches HP Paper. The Old World Iron Gall ink works well for work that will be reproduced. It is quite a bit heavier than McCaffery black and thickens up rapidly as it exposed to air. I still prefer it to any sumi inks for work that will be reproduced. It allows for the delicate hairlines and crisp shades without getting overly heavy. This design was done with an Esterbrook 357 in a straight holder.
Monday, October 8, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012
During the Milwaukee Iampeth convention, it was my pleasure to view Iampeth's recenlty acquired Charlton Howe collection. The collection contains many of his original specimens of Engrossers script as well as drafts and layouts of large engrossed pieces. I was amazed at the size of the Engrosser's script.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
I have been practicing Spencerian Script for 9 years now and can finally see progress!Michael Sull.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Part Three of my Enchanted Meadow Series.
Monday, August 13, 2012
What a treat to attend another Iamepth conference. It was an absolute pleasure to be asked to design the logo this year. It was a design challenge, but using the theme of hops and barley, researching beer ephemera from the Milwaukee area and studying vintage beer ads, I finally came up with a design I was happy with. To see the design printed on bags, aprons and paper products was a tremendous treat for me!
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
It has become a bit of a running joke with me but I find that when I work on flourished pieces, I have no real thought process going on in my mind! I seem oblivious to the world around me and instantly transported into a peaceful state of mind.It is hard to describe and even harder to capture on film as we are still working hard on the dvd. I was explaining this in my Philadelphia class. At one point in the class, we seemed to have achieved total silence as everyone had their heads fully engaged in their work. There was no chattering in the room at all. It was quite lovely to experience. There happened to be a psycho-therapist in the room at the time who was taking the class. We spoke about the experience afterwards and she told me that is a state called Flow. She recommended a book by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi called Flow which is my summer reading project.I hope to learn more about it and will keep you posted.As I worked on this graduation commission, once again I could transport myself to that peaceful state of mind. I am so grateful for the experience. This piece is done on the new diploma parchment with 23 K flat gilding, Staedtler Aquarelle watercolour pencils, Diane Townsend Pastels and Finetec Gold. I enjoyed adding an Enchanted Letter to the Emerson quote.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Over the years, I have noticed that my supply lists for workshops are constantly evolving. In fact, even though I re-do my handouts to update my supplies and techniques for each workshop, I now add a disclaimer to my notes stating that I constantly re-evaluate supplies and may be demonstrating with new products. During this morning's commission I noticed how much I prefer the Escoda Brush to any other in my brush box. I painted the entire piece with the size 4/0 Kolinsky sable brush. It felt very comfortable in my hand and the brush hairs have excellent springiness and water hold out.It maintains its point and there are no stray hairs in any of my Escoda Brushes. I was very impressed and find that I reach for the Escoda more than any other of my Sable brushes. The piece was done with an Esterbrook 818 Extra Fine which is another new favourite for me. It is very flexible yet not overly sharp so it doesn't catch the fibres in the paper no matter how much pressure I put on it. Another big change for me is from the oblique to the straight pen holder. Although I still use the oblique pen holder with my Spencerian work, all of my pen drawn floral flourishes, European style thrown flourishing and even Golden Age Style Offhand Flourishing are now done with my Snakewood Straight holder. The holder is very precious to me as my husband made it for me. I still get to spend time turning my own pen holders on the lathe, but the majority of the work is done by Chris. This commission was done for a birthday card. The terminal lobes of the ribbon script letters are gilded with 23 K gold leaf. Staedtler Aquarelle Watercolour pencil was used to colour the design and my favourite Diane Townsend Pastels, Finetec Gold, Sakura Gelly Roll pen and Hot Foil were used to add accents. It was done on another new favourite, the new diploma parchment from John Neal.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
It's been a rewarding experience for an introvert like me to get out and travel to other guilds. I always wrestle with the fear of flying but once I arrive at my destination, I am so happy to be in an environment where I can share my love of letters. I am preparing for another teaching venue shortly and had to complete some commission work before I go.
Friday, May 4, 2012
Years ago, Master Penman Brian Walker started encouraging me to add gilded touches to my offhand flourishes.I love being able to add the little hints of shimmering gold into my flourishing work. This 5x7 piece is done on John Neal's new diploma parchment with McCaffery brown ink. I have added shell gold highlights to the little cherub's hair and wings. My studies into the work of Kate Greenaway and Victorian ornamental scroll designs were underlying influences in this piece. I used watercolour as well as Derwent Metallic watercolour pencils to colour the design. The Derwent Metallic Watercolour pencils are very close to the palette that Kate Greenaway used in her work.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Working today on expanding The Enchanted Letter Workshop. I am adding more content to Fairy Tale Foliates! Today's work was interesting. I worked on Somerset Satin Print Making paper as well as Arches Hot Press Paper. Rather than the usual suspects, I used Old World Iron Gall ink for the sketch work. Usually I wait a few hours before painting the foliates if I am using any ink other than McCaffery Brown. But I was impatient and painted as soon as the ink was dry. There was a lot of bleeding with the Old World Ink on both the Somerset Paper and the Arches. It does dry to a waterproof state but patience is the key. I wasn't unhappy with the work. I kept the wash very light and it almost had a Victorian Chromolithograph feel to it. These foliates are unplanned and sketched out very lightly with pencil before inking them in. The result is more flowing than a pre-planned design.