Sunday, December 23, 2018

Sending Joy!

During these busy days before Christmas, I wanted to stop in and wish you all the best for this season.  This year, my Christmas card was painted with watercolour and gilded with 23K gold leaf.  I had so much fun with the letter designs in this card.

I also want to share my youtube video with you. If you feel like sitting and watching, the video is just over eleven minutes and will show the process of creating a bell flourish from start to finish. Grab your favourite holiday beverage and relax for a few minutes. Sending you hugs, best wishes for the upcoming year and my sincere gratitude for all of you who take the time to check in on my blog. You are such a blessing to me. 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

December Thoughts

This is always a busy month for me. Although I can breathe and rest from my travels there are always so many last minute orders that I try to take care of before Christmas. I also work hard at getting my Christmas cards sent out during the first week of December but still have a few to complete. This year's envelopes were done on Comet Blue. I will show the card design later on.
Even though there are lots of tasks to complete, I try to enjoy the charm of the season and dash off some flourishes as time allows. 
I still prefer to use bleedproof white as my ink on dark papers. It stands the test of time and stays bright on the paper without losing its intensity.  I have been experimenting a bit with a modern Hunt 101 nib. I have been pleased with the quality control so far and I do enjoy the flexibility of the point. It's nice to know that there is a serviceable modern nib beyond the chrome nibs that are readily available.
I was able to attend the November illumination class with Debbie Thompson Wilson at the Ancaster Old Town Hall. It is a Christmas tradition for me and I love to attend as many as Debbie's classes as I am able to. This time she proved Saunders Watercolour paper for us and it was quite nice to work on. 

Early in November, Reggie Ezell launched One on One calligraphy sessions on his website and I jumped at the chance to study Carolingian with him.  Over the years, I have not had a lot of success with broad edge hands. They just did not capture my heart the way pointed pen hands have done. But Carolingian has a whimsical quality that is very enticing. And studying one on one with Reggie has been so helpful. He is a patient and careful instructor and knows his subject so well.  I have heard so many wonderful testimonials from his students who have been part of his year long study courses that when I finally met him online, he felt like a lifelong friend. Since beginning my Carolingian studies with him in November, I have wanted to pick up the broad edge pen every day. I was able to complete lots of study pages during our 4 sessions, and so far I have completed two finished pieces with another one waiting to be completed on my desk. I think this whimsical Carolingian hand has found a permanent place in my heart. My mentor and dear friend Brian Walker often tried to introduce broad edge hands to me. He spent many months trying to show me foundational hand and I remember having so many struggles with the broad edge nib. One of the last conversations Brian and I had online was him encouraging me to try italic calligraphy. I will be doing some Italic studies with Reggie in the new year and I can sense that Brian would be so pleased that I did not give up on the broad edge hands. He definitely planted a lot of seeds of encouragement and I feel like Reggie is watering those seeds.

Both painted pieces that are pictured here were done on offcuts of 90lb. Arches Hot Press paper which Reggie recommended as good practice paper. If you want to try your hand at broad edge I would highly recommend Reggie's site as a wonderful place to begin. He also has instructional dvd's for the broad edge hands that he teaches if you are nervous about online lessons. The dvd's are a wonderful resource.
Finally, in keeping with the season, I am doing a draw giveaway through my instagram and facebook feed. If you are interested in being included in the draw, just send me an email at I will do the draw on Tuesday December 11th. Sending hugs all around and hope you enjoy the beauty of this season.