Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Labours of Love

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.
The piece was then gilded with 23K gold leaf and I applied a very light application of watercolour pencil.
I used my Victorian line and wash technique on the flourishing. The English Roundhand was done with a Vintage Eagle 750 EF pen point which has a medium flexiblity and is incredibly smooth.
It was done on Fabriano 140 lb watercolour paper using McCaffery Black and Staedtler Aquarelle watercolour pencils. While my parents were away this weekend visiting my sister, I went over to their house and removed the first certificate I had done and replaced it with this final piece. I am happier with it than my first attempt. I learned valuable lessons in the execution of both certificates. I am so very proud of my Dad and wanted to do something to honour his achievements. Way to go Dad!!!!!!

10 comments:

Joseph Chapman said...

A beautiful piece--I especially like the capital F and M. (I've also always felt that your comfort zone is where your dreams go to die.)

Congratulations to your dad from a church organist for 35 years!

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thanks Joseph. I will pass on your congratulatory message to my Dad. 35 years for you!!! Congratulations to you as well. I hope I will always remember what you wrote about comfort zones. That is so true. I enjoyed being stretched!!!

Dana said...

Beautiful, Heather! It almost looks like wings surrounding his name. xo

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thanks Dana. I started seeing a butterfly shape emerge as I was flourishing it!

nutcake said...

Hi Heather

Just followed the link from Facebook. Your finished piece is absolutely gorgeous. Your Dad is a lucky chap!

Best wishes
Hazel (in the UK)

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thank you Hazel!!!!! Glad you found the blog!

acornmoon said...

Another lovely post from you Victoria. Congratulations also to your father and his amazing achievement.

I still have examples of your remarkable penmanship and this Christmas I shall find a place to display them again. I could not part with the envelopes either, the most exquisite envelopes ever to fall on my doormat!

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thanks for the kind words Valerie. I just posted a Christmas card to you! Hope it arrives safely. So glad you enjoyed the others!!
xo,
Heather

acornmoon said...

It arrived Victoria! Miraculously escaping the jaws of Ted, it landed on my doormat perfectly intact. I have both card and envelope here on my desk and can only marvel at your artistry. I am so delighted to have them to admire, thank you so much! X

Heather Victoria Held said...

So glad that it arrived safely!!! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!!
xo,
Heather