Wednesday, October 8, 2014
I love these autumn days. Every day I go through one of my Commonplace books to find an inspirational autumn quote to work on. I currently have 1 book filled from cover to cover and 4 that still have room for notes. I find this season so inspiring with the colours and the ever changing weather.
Monday, September 22, 2014
Autumn is a very reflective time for me. Not so easy to sit outside and work in the chilly air but nature still entices. The colours around me are influencing my work. I am still playing with my "wonder of the world" quote. My indoor studio always has the window open no matter what the weather outside is doing. I need to hear the trees in the wind, or the rainfall or the birds chirping. It helps me to breathe. The open window invites the opportunity of surprise. This little piece although gilded is still practice.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
As I continue to design and explore ideas for The Victorian Pen workshop, sometimes I get overwhelmed with inspiration. Morning time for me involves sitting outside on my swing and reading for about 30 minutes before I start my day. I picked up an old Fairy Tale book to read and was inspired by the inscription on the first page. "The wonder of the world,the beauty and the power, the shapes of things, their colours, lights and shades, these I saw; look ye also, while life lasts"
Thursday, August 21, 2014
After numerous requests to expand my Artful Flourish Workshop I am thrilled to offer The Victorian Pen.
Monday, August 18, 2014
A highlight of my summers over the past several years has been attending illumination workshops with Master Illuminator Debbie Thompson Wilson. Debbie has a passion for sharing her love of illumination with her students. Her classes are sold out months in advance. I always sign up for the next class without blinking! It doesn't matter what she is teaching, it just matters that time is put aside to study with her. This year, we spent the past two days working on dragons! So much fun. I always learn something new and cherish the dedicated and peaceful time working on honing skills. Meet "Ack" and "Chomp". So much fun to paint. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful teacher to study with. Illumination has been part of my study time for the past several years. I think it is so important to credit our teachers for helping us achieve skills that bring so much joy to our lives. Thank you dear Debbie! Her work will be part of the 2014 Guelph Studio Tour.
Monday, August 11, 2014
Friday, August 1, 2014
I should be packing, but its been so long since I just played with the pen.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Sometimes it just takes one moment to completely change your perspective. Tasks of late have been overwhelming but out of the blue I got a phone call from a member of the Calligraphic Art Guild of Toronto. A month ago, I taught my Italian Hand class there and she called to tell me that she had been practicing daily since that class! She had accepted my 6 week boot camp challenge and not a day has gone by when she didn't pick up the pointed pen. I couldn't be happier!!! This piece was created just after that phone call. It reinforced the importance of spending time in practice. This weekend, I put aside some tasks, met with a student for a private lesson, went out for a coffee and did a piece of work just for me. The "Rejoice" piece is done on Canson drawing paper with Robert Hurford's homemade walnut ink which is a gorgeous rich brown!
Monday, July 7, 2014
Without question, I am asked to create artwork around the word Breathe more than any other word. I have lost count over the years. My most unusual request was to create a tattoo design! My most precious design was created for Trish Taylor, my beautiful friend who has just undergone a double lung transplant. Operation Deep Breathe. Many people have contributed to help fund her transplant and I have included a link here to Operation Deep Breathe. Today's design made me think of dear Trish and all that she has gone through leading up to her transplant and now as she recovers from the surgery. Sending her a huge hug as I am mindful of the blessing of being able to breathe no matter how cluttered the days become.
Friday, July 4, 2014
Monday, June 23, 2014
I wanted you to peek at my morning ritual. I try to guard my solitude in the morning before officially beginning my day. The time with pen in hand outside is very healing and sacred to me.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
I have been up early this morning to work on place cards and catch up on correspondence. But my husband Chris was up even earlier and has already started his workday. Working quietly in my studio, I was struck with a thought about how intregal Chris is to my work. This past weekend he was on the road with me as I taught Italian Hand. He stayed for two days with our merchandise, politely answered questions about nibs and paper, adjusted penholders and visited with the calligraphers. They kept wondering if Chris was really a practitioner of the art form. He did try his hand at it but sadly, it was just not his idea of fun. Today as I wrote with a very special penholder that the two of us made together, I wanted to pause and be thankful for all that he has done to help me on this calligraphic journey.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Giving Special thanks for my dear friend Don Marsh today! Over the past 2 years, he has helped me with advice and insight as I prepared for a March workshop in Italian Hand. On March 1st, I soft launched this workshop to 22 participants from the Royal City Calligraphy Guild. The results were amazing as people who had not handled the pointed pen before became as intrigued as I am with this gorgeous hand.
Monday, June 9, 2014
I am long overdue in updating my blog!!! This is an understatement, but life has been busy. I am still playing catch up on commissions I received in December! Thankfully, I still find moments when I can share my work with someone who just needs a little lift.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
" We have only this moment...." I am trying to remain conscious of each precious moment while being fully absorbed in this busy season. So thankful for the pen and ink. No matter how hectic things get, I am taking time to clear my writing desk each night and put some playful strokes on paper.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Friday, April 11, 2014
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.