Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sneak Peek Just for My Blog Viewers!!!!

Chris and I have been working dilegently completing orders while trying to launch a new website which adds a feature for Held Pens..
It is an upgrade from our old site as it should be easier to view on ipads and iphones and it has the ease of being a wordpress site which I understand much more than my old site. I wanted to create some artwork specifically for the site and for the studio and began working on the Held Pens sign a few weeks ago.
My initial idea was to do an art nouveau style but once again the Victorian Muse took over!
So far Chris is being a good sport about all the pink Swarovski crystals and glittering stardust emebellishments. More to come soon!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Desert Island Hand

I am home. It is safe to unpack and put all of my treasured supplies away in their proper spots. All of my workshop engagements are wrapped up until the New Year. Time to breathe. There is a huge workload here at home but it will be easier to see to it without a suitcase waiting by the door.
I just completed a week of classes in British Columbia.
Starting with The Victorian Pen, then The Artful Flourish and finishing with The Poetic Pen....my workshop in Italian Hand! Italian Hand remains my favorite script hand!
Historically, it has been around longer than any other script hand. It is firmly rooted in the Italic
and has a grace and beauty that completely captivates my soul.
I prefer to study the European influences and exemplars of the hand rather than the later American versions. My hand is now hybridized. It has some nuances about that borrow from my Spencerian roots and I definitely gravitate to the English Roundhand capitals over the reverse shaded capitals!
After three years of study and exploration, this is the script that I would take with me to a desert island. There is a sense of delight to it. A playful exuberance that is reflected in the bounce of the strokes. A lack of rigidity and preciseness that gives it a whimsical look.
Although Ambrose Heal may call it 'bulbous and degenerate" I choose to disagree and call it pure magic! All of my study sheets and exemplars stayed with the guild members in Britsh Columbia, but I did get a few shots as they were being written.
If you have never tried this hand, I recommend the starting place of The Universal Penman and Penmanship made Easy by George Bickahm. Both are available from Dover Publications. Also try the exemplar here by Becker.
You can see how he contrasts it with English Roundhand. I owe my study and passion of this hand to my friend Don Marsh.
 Don's passion for reviving the history of this hand sparked my interest a few years ago. Now I can hardly imagine my life without with this incredible hand. Let it into your soul...see what evolves. Remember this is handwriting...it will take on the quirks of the writer. Let that happen. In the end, you want a script that is positively dripping from your fingertips. Play, Breathe, Write.