My vellum studies are still in process. The current assignment is small round subjects on vellum. After a disastrous encounter with trying to paint a walnut, I switched over to a Mission Fig.
I have never really observed a fig! What a mysterious fruit! Absolutely gorgeous colours on the inside. I really should try to paint one that I have sliced! Nature is spectacular! Part of the study is to try to find the underlying colour in the fig and mix it appropriately. There are greens, golds, red purples and deep blue purples as well as the cloudy bloom that still needs to be painted. I am figuring out how much water to have on the brush. Almost none! The brush is very dry and this technique I can see is very hard on the sable brushes. I am using a size 4 Winsor Newton Series 7 Brush. The more I paint on vellum, the more I fall in love with the surface. It is so forgiving. And the work gets such an old world feel with that golden colour background! This has been a welcome retreat from my usual studies. I find the same meditative peace that overtakes me while I work as I do with pen and ink. This challenging art form engages more of my mind as I can't be on autopilot as I work. I hear the conversation in my head as I try to mix and match colours. It feels like such a luxury to take some time out to paint. But much necessary restoration.
Yesterday's study day was in preparation for The Poetic Pen Workshop for Binders in Atlanta next month. Just a few hours with the letters reinforced that they are more a part of my soul than any other script alphabet.
English Roundhand is a close second but no other script alphabet seems to bring me so much joy! The study days are so important. They give you a chance to really tune into the artform and shut out the forces of the outside world even if it is just for a few hours. No matter what other work comes along to fill my schedule I am constantly reminded of the restorative importance of study. I hope that never changes. Beyond anything I achieve as an artist or a teacher, my happiest time is spent as a student, constantly learning and exploring.