Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Enchanted Meadow Workshop

I started illumination classes in 2005. I was taught by an absolute master of the medium Debbie Thompson Wilson. I think her soul resides in the Medieval era. We learned more than just how to copy a medieval miniature. We learned about the meanings behind the minatures and the humour that was often embedded secretly within. I was captivated by the techniques and the subject matter. In 2011 I started to launch out with my own studies. I was not content to take an exisiting miniature and recreate it on vellum or paper. I wanted to combine my own ideas and perhaps some of my Victorian influences. As a result of those studies, I produces a series of miniatures called The Enchanted Meadow.
I did not keep an accurate photo record of those miniatures. Most of them ended up in the hands of dear friends over the years. I didn't make them to reproduce or to sell, I made them to share with others. I can't even remember where they all went, but there are a few owls, several rabbits, a squirrel, a butterfly and a fox in the hands of precious friends and family members. They have become the guardians of their miniature and I hope they still enjoy them. I have kept one or two over the years. The Gift Bearer started in my precious journal and then became my Christmas card one year.
This weekend, after years of study, and three years of trying to figure out how to teach this workshop over one or two days, The Enchanted Meadow will be launched at the Birmingham Calligraphy Guild. Birmingham seems to be my launching ground. Dana Jacobson first brought me there to teach in 2011. I was one of several teachers invited to teach pointed pen techniques over a one year study period. It was an honour to be part of that experience and such a talented group of calligraphers. It was my first guild teaching experience after my launch into the teaching world at the International Calligraphy Conference in Boston of 2010. In 2012 at the Birmingham calligraphy guild, Held Pens were launched. Chris's first designs were produced for that guild. I taughed my Enchanted Letters workshop for the first time in Birmingham and met lifetime friends at that guild. Packing right now is an adventure and I am taking a break to update the blog.
This class will go into the techniques for designing foliate scroll work as well as painting a charming little meadow creature. My head has been in books, vellum scraps, paint palettes and sable brushes for weeks as I put on final touches to this class.
I usually have an iron clad schedule for delivering a workshop but this one is a little harder to plan for. There is a bit of learning curve with the dry brush technique needed to develop the fur or feathers of the meadow creatures. I think I will be on a bit of an adventure as I teach it but I am so excited to launch this class. Painted miniatures, calligraphy, flourishing and now botanical studies are much needed times of slowing down for me. All of these studies force me to take time to really observe and notice what I am doing. It is a welcome practice in an age that seems to be speed driven. There is a definite balancing act that is needed these days in my studio, home, computer and studies. Still looking for a routine where I can work steadily on projects that need to be accomplished while staying in that student/explorer mode. I know that many of you are struggling with that same balancing act. I am right there with you and know what you are going through. At times it can be overwhelming. I find that those are times I need to "check out" for a time, go offline, and quiet down with a leisurely walk or a book on the backyard swing. This is a principle I will be sharing at the workshop this weekend. Painted miniatures require slow and deliberate techniques. They require a calming of the mind and the soul. I am looking forward to launching not only the techniques for painting the minatures but the thought process behind them. Happy painting everyone!!!


Linda said...

I have no doubt that this will be a wonderful learning experience for that Guild! Those little critters are charming & my guess is that all will pick up using the dry brush technique because you have given so much thought to it. I would love to be there!!

Edie said...

This class sounds like an absolutely wonderful composition of ideas and techniques. Hopefully I can take it one day.

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thanks Edie. This workshop will be going to Milwaukee in 2017! Big hug, Heather

Heather Victoria Held said...

Linda...thank you for the kind words! Heather

Cindy smith said...

I have had one day of Heathers class of the enchanted meadow. Even though , I had to leave early, I am totally enchanted by Heather and her talent. Totally different than anything else I've ever done. I can't wait till tomorrow to see what she has in store. What a fabulous teacher she is and how fortunate I feel to be able to have come and been able to meet her and learn at least a little bit of her un believable talent. As my granddaughter would rock, Heather!!!!!

Cindy Smith

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thank you so much dear Cindy. It was wonderful to meet you!

Big hug