Thursday, June 18, 2015
I have a natural curiosity when it comes to art supplies. This has cost me dearly. I have invested way too much money in supplies that have not been suitable for my purposes. But sometimes my curiosity works out well! I invested in some Strathmore 400 Series Drawing Paper for sketching but quickly became impressed with its capabilities for ink. It is smooth 80 lb. paper and recommended for dry media.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Early on in my penmanship journey I was instructed to have my Spencerian Script conform to someone else's style. I tried hard to do that and for years I tried to conform my writing to that of A.D.Taylor or Daniel Ames. They both have tighter spacing and slightly rounded turns in their script. But in my mind, I always wondered if this Spencerian is handwriting..why am I trying to copy someone else's script? I know others have the same question as I get lots of email inquries with similar thoughts. Somewhere along the line, I added English Roundhand into my studies. The forms of George Bickham were so appealing to me. I loved his freedom, I loved his expression. Now, when I work on a piece that is to be my signature script...it is neither Roundhand or Spencerian but a blend of both.
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Creating custom pen holders was something that Chris and I were doing to take care of students in my classes. But we have been overwhelmed with requests for special painted designs and colour combinations. I love the ideas that have been coming from the customers. The designs are stretching me. We currently have a 12-15 week waiting list to get the pens done and shipped. Hoping to bring some to IAMPETH this year as well. Here are a few recent pens. I love the bunny pen!!!
Monday, May 11, 2015
Winter has given up and the outdoor studio is set up and ready for work!
Monday, April 20, 2015
I recognize that I am in overdrive work mode seven days a week and sometimes looking for an eight day week! As an artist I am always gratful for the work but recognize the need to take a break.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Feeling so blessed after a weekend workshop for Capital City Scribes in Austin, Texas. What a delight to come to such a well organized guild!!! They took care of everything that I could possibly need and even had time to show me the Bluebonnets that line the highways and fields! It was such a joy to escape from the brownish muddy landscape of a still thawing Ontario and get into the warmth and full spring temperatures of Austin!!! Pure magic and so restorative to see the greens and the blooming plants. I was happy to share my Enchanted Letter class and look forward to the rest of my workshops this year. I seldom post pictures of myself but my dear friend Trish Taylor captured this picture and I will always cherish this memory.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
The artist's studio is their workspace. Their workroom. Their place of study. That space is sacred. My space is small. It is somewhat shared space. The workhorse computer is in there and is sometimes accessed by others in the family. It is my cat Oscar's favourite space.
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.