Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Happy Easter Dear Friends!!!! A quick post today. This little piece represents lots of exploration for me. I am undertaking a huge study in Italian Hand as I prepare to teach an extended class over the summer. Italian Hand and walnut ink go hand in hand and as a result, I used it to letter this piece taking a break from my usual McCaffery Brown. The use of the walnut ink required a change in my usual line and wash technique. I also changed my trusted gilding medium to experiment with Instacoll and Miniatum Ink. Still not a fan of the Instacoll but I love the possibilities with the pointed pen and Miniatum ink. Other changes included experimenting with a porcelain rather than plastic palette, Sennelier Watercolour rather than Winsor Newton, the entire piece including the fur on the rabbit was done with a Kolinsky sable brush size 2 rather than my normal 000. All the greens were mixed rather than relying on altering Sap Green. A fun piece to play with and enjoy different techniques. I love Spring!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Recap Of the Enchanted Letter Workshop: Goldner Walsh Nursery, Pontiac, Michigan

In 2011, I embarked on a year long project with my dear friend Dana Cochran of A Fine Line Studio in Asheville, North Carolina. Dana and I have been friends since meeting at The Spencerian Saga in Ohio back in 2005. There has scarcely been a day gone by that we don't email each other! You can read all about our year long project together if you follow my blog posts from 2011. Dana's work followed a botanical path. She would take an elegantly drawn Roman capital and embellish it with a beautiful botanical water colour. My journey started with traditional illumination techniques which I quickly got bored with. I wanted to design letterforms that could work with script lettering. I did not want to copy traditional illuminated letters. I wanted my designs to be unique and a reflection of my taste. I took traditional gilding techniques but throughout the year, I developed ways to make the letterforms more flourished. The resulting study year with Dana turned into The Enchanted Letter workshop. I was taking bookings to teach the workshop before the project was completed. Since 2011, I gave been delighted to travel to many locations to teach The Enchanted Letter. This past weekend, I spent time in Pontiac, Michigan at The Goldner Walsh Nursery teaching the class. One of the attendees sent me some pictures and I am delighted to share them here. The workshop starts with an exploration of the influences that came together to create the letterforms. I start with Medieval and Renaissance illuminations and how they shaped my thinking. I also introduce my students to the work of my illumination teacher Debbie Thompson Wilson and my favouite Victorian Illustrators. Each letterform is designed by the student.
Nothing is copied, they all explore their own sense of design and learn techniques to critique their own work. The two days fly by at lightning speed and I hope that each student leaves with a sense of Enchantment in their own abilities to create something unique! Hope you enjoy the pictures. I had no idea that the year long study with Dana would end up being such fun to teach in a workshop. The workshop proceeds through various styles of letterforms as well as learning to design ornamental foliate extensions.