Sunday, March 15, 2015
Busy weekend. So thankful for an abundance of work. I spent most of the day working on this small gilded piece. I encountered some obstacles with it. My original design was lettered in a dense black ink. I felt that the lettering was too harsh for the gentle quote. I defaulted to my favourite McCaffery brown and used a split nib to tone down the lettering. This piece is gilded with 23K gold leaf. I used instacoll for the capital T and miniatum ink for the gold throughought the flourish. I was nervous about the instacoll but it worked and shone brilliantly when the gold was burnished. Swarovski crystals are embedded throughout the piece. On its way to its new home.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The calender is into March but snow abounds!!! I took a little time out to work on this wingless cherub. Experimenting with glues to adhere the Swarovski crystals. Beacon's Gem Tac seems to be working well. This design went from sketch stage to inking with McCaffery brown.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
As I was cleaning up my studio this morning I was struck by how ritualistic I have become with my work and my workspace. I have a very small studio. Not much more than a corner to work in. I am surrounded by books that I refer to constantly and very special tools. After each piece is completed in my studio, I clear off the clutter that has encroached my space during the working process and wash down the work surface. It seems to cleanse my mind from the previous project and prepares my little space for the next project. My Valentine card this year was created with some precious tools that I don't think I have shared before. Some small detail brushes and containers have been very helpful in my illumination work. The Size 1 Detail Sable Brush is from Dick Blick. I picked it up on my first trip to Philadelphia to teach Enchanted Letters. I had forgotten my brush box and although I don't mind borrowing tools when I am away, I am very particular about my brushes. Lucky to have a Dick Blick near the workshop it was my first trip into that store. I don't remember the brush being very expensive but it has held a perfect point for a few years now and is the best Sable brush I have ever owned. I realized how attached I was to it and it was only purchased out of desperation. I would normally have chosen a Winsor Newton Series 7 but the store did not have them in stock. It was a lucky purchase! The aqua Princeton Select 18/0 brush was purchased in Nashville this past October. Again, lucky to be teaching a workshop in an artstore and I needed a detail brush. This was a new discovery for me and now all outline work I do is done with this little brush. It too retains its point and is easier for me to manage than other liner or monogram brushes. The Royal & Langnickel 20/0 acrylic brush was recently purchased at Michaels. Another desperation purchase for applying gold size. The brushes used for gold size can deteriorate very quickly but this one is my new studio iron man! It has already survived multiple miniatum ink applications and the perfect point has been retained. I am very impressed with all of these very inexpensive brushes.
Monday, February 2, 2015
First in a special series I am working on that will be printed into note cards.
Friday, January 23, 2015
The letters are sealed and on their way!!! A joy to write with the pen! I have attached samples from my Palomino Blackwing Journal of my normal everyday handwriting in its pure form and unaltered form.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
I have been inundated with questions lately about the straight holder vs. the oblique holder. I post quite a few pictures on Instagram and many picturers display a straight holder. I love both types of pen holders and switch between the two quite often.
Monday, January 12, 2015
I had an interesting day today. I had an opportunity to see some gorgeous fair trade artwork. I loved seeing hand woven purses,scarves and soapstone carvings. I thought of the artisans in Thailand and Kenya who had produced the work. What was their struggle? How can charging so little for this piece of artwork possibly help the artisan? The work was so intricate and detailed. Far from perfect yet it all had such a charm about it. I felt connected to the artist. I wanted to take it all! I came home to an email from a student who wanted some thoughts about her work. As soon as I saw her work, I felt instantly connected to her process and joy as she produced something she was proud of. I could see the rhythm and the movement of her work. No signs of struggle in the pieces that conveyed so much beauty. I was honoured to look at it and share my thoughts. As a teacher, I feel like I have such a sacred trust with my students. They are so precious to me. They are my peers and my friends. I learn from their process as much as they learn from mine. I am grateful for that opportunity. Beyond anything I do as an artist, I learn and grow from seeing the work of others. If you have crossed my path as a student, I want to thank you for what you have given me.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
I have caught up on correspondence almost every Sunday for the past several years. It is wonderful to relax and put aside the time to write to dear friends. Lately, I have dedicated a lot of time to edge pen projects. As I completed one project it was such a joy to pick up my beloved pointed pen!! A delight to write with! Although I love my fountain pens and edge pens, there is nothing quite the same for me personally as the beloved pointed pen. Happy Writing!!!
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Working hard on teaching pieces and notes for The Victorian Pen workshop. With each piece I do, I learn new techniques while refining old. This art form will never cease to amaze me with the lessons it has to teach. I am enjoying this research and design phase as I continue to construct notes.
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Welcoming all good things for 2015! This is a designed flourish and part of The Victorian Pen workshop which picks up where the Artful Flourish leaves off! Walnut ink, pastel and coloured pencil on Strathmore 400 series drawing paper. Happy New Year dear friends. May 2015 be full of creative ideas.
Monday, December 29, 2014
" For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await a new voice." T.S. Eliot. It's been a wonderful year of learning and growing. Lots of changes in store for 2015. A torn rotator cuff is causing me to rest and recover but I have filled that time already with increased study! I have reduced my teaching schedule for 2015 to work on updating workshop notes, studying, expanding skills and reaching long neglected goals. We still have a long list of pen orders to fill over the coming weeks. They are a joy to make and thankfully easy on the shoulder. I will keep the blog updated and you can find me on facebook at Heather Victoria Held and The Victorian Pen and instagram at heathervictoria1. Looking forward to learning and sharing in 2015.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Feeling relieved that for the time being I am caught up on work. The desk and studio need to be set back in order before I begin the next project. I wanted to reflect on the blessings of 2014.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Monday, November 24, 2014
November has been a whirlwind. I wanted to update the blog with a miscellany of work I have been up to. I have interesting commissions to work on. I have had to sign non disclosure and confidentiality agreements with some companies so I can't let you in on something exciting in the works! But I did get a chance to work on a holiday card with a design firm. That was a lot of fun. I am posting just a clip of the corner of the design until the final is released.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Taking one more trip to beautiful British Columbia to teach my last travel workshop of the season.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
here. I have it safely downloaded to my iPad and can enjoy the writing and illuminations at my leisure. In a few weeks, I will have my study day with Debbie and continue to learn illumination techniques. I am constantly grateful for the skills she has helped me develop over the years and her generosity in sharing her techniques. She is a delight!! I think you will enjoy her illuminations as well. I am in the midst of experimenting with different gilding mediums on vellum and paper.
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.