Category Archives: Calligraphy

Calligraphy Blog?

The wonderful people at the Scribblers calligraphy emporium have had a link to this blog since I first began writing here, which is very generous of them, considering I often go off on a tangent. I do feel sorry for those who come here seeking in-depth discussion regarding nibs, inks, and paper, but end up with a row of rubber ducks and witterings about secret villages and exotic train travel. It wasn’t supposed to be this way! I think a personal blog, such as this one, is a reflection on the core characteristics of its owner. Yes, I am random, and a little unfocused. Trying not to be does not work. I often fail when I try to be organised, and then I am cross with myself for failing so dismally, and then nothing gets done at all.

So, I am throwing out the plans; the challenges to write every day [actually I do write every day but I choose not to share]; the projects that seem to have promise, but ultimately go nowhere; and I will instead be true to myself. Yes, I would desperately like to be one of those people who can follow through on a project, such as the Loopy Letter project….but I’m not. No excuses. For those who did sign up for that crazy project – you will get something in the post one day, but it won’t be as exciting as a letter!

My current situation is not conducive to committing myself wholeheartedly to the things I’d like to do. Watching my parents die together, slowly and painfully, as I am doing, does not make me fit for much more than the daily basics, i.e. washing, dressing, eating, and walking the dog. Death eh? Old age is a killer. I am also having a bit of a sense of humour failure right now. I am trying to keep my pecker up, but it feels forced. My pecker is decidedly droopy. My intention was to use my Loopy Letter project as a distraction, something fun outside of the daily grind, unfortunately it turned into further pressure.

I am rambling now, which is self-indulgent. Anyhow, for those poor souls who come here expecting calligraphy….
I have taken up doodling, and adding my doodles to my calligraphy. It started with an ‘E’….

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E by gum….

….and progressed to writing out ‘Carbuncle’ for fellow calligrapher Amy….

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A graceful carbuncle for Amy…

I then went on to tackle some names….

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More doodling…

….but I like ‘Best’ the best….

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Best doodling…

This isn’t all the doodling I’ve done, I have reams of it, but these are probably the bits I liked the best 🙂

Dear Doris….

Remember Doris from the previous post… you know, the woman who was chucking things in a skip? Well, there’s a letter on its way to her… and relates to this post: How to Make Money from Art

May 2007

Dear Doris,

I am so sorry to hear that you have been suffering lately. Divorce can be a painful, bitter experience that can leave a person feeling bruised, empty, worthless, rejected, and insecure. May I suggest that you enrol on one of my visionary workshops?
All of my workshops encourage personal enrichment and spiritual enhancement, and are specifically designed to bring harmony where there is discord, faith where there is doubt, and hope when you’re feeling nothing but despair.
For your specific needs I am pleased to recommend: How to Express the Sound of a Vacuum Cleaner through the Medium of Paint – no previous artistic ability necessary! This workshop is person-centred and proactively designed to stimulate the development of personal empowerment. On completion of this workshop 92% of participants report an increase in general wellbeing, confidence, and light-headedness, and all participants are entitled to a 5% discount* on any further workshops offered by the Viridian Venus.
The next presentation of this workshop will be on Saturday 16th June at the Viridian Venus Gallery from 12 noon to 5pm, a deposit of £150 will be required in advance to secure your placement, and a further £150 on the day. Refreshments will be provided, but please bring your own vacuum!!

Look forward to seeing you soon!

Your friend,

Moonchild

*Early Bird Rate – Full payment 30 days in advance to claim discount.

I have been trying to write this letter out in copperplate on Crown Mill textured paper. It is lovely paper, but it does hinder my flow. It’s a slog to be honest, so I might scrap this…

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….and write it out in modern calligraphy. One of the reasons I started this project was to help me determine which of my hobbies I prefer, would it be creative writing, or calligraphy? I only have so much time and I’d like to dedicate myself to just one major hobby. My feeling is that creative writing wins….SO… I will continue with these letters…. but they might all be in modern calligraphy – far quicker, and less soul-destroying. I have decided that I loathe my copperplate!

I am feeling sad. Sad about lots of things. It’s okay. My parents were whipped into hospital at the weekend. For the past few years they’ve had ongoing medical issues causing them to be regularly admitted to hospital. I feel like a useless daughter. Perhaps I need a life affirming workshop?

Dear Esther….

calligraphy-letter-to-Esther-loopy-letter-project-2A Loopy Letter has been sent out and received!!! I can confirm that the postal system in the UK does work!! This letter relates to: The Only Eccentric Artist in the Village… To be fair this doesn’t really help, does it…?

Esther,

Just a quick note to ask you to tell John that I have cleared out his things. The clothes and belongings he left here have been sent to the church for the Summer Bring and Buy Sale. The vicar was grateful, though I think he has nabbed the cashmere jumpers for himself. For the items that nobody wanted, I have ordered a skip, it is on the driveway and contains most of the shed. Perhaps John would like to rescue some bits and pieces? You know, like the vintage gardening implements he is so fond of accumulating for no reason whatsoever. And that cricket bat signed by Shane Warne and Liz Hurley. There are even some things that you might like, for example: the hideous, tacky gold frock that John bought for me for my last birthday, it would suit you, although perhaps it would be too small? Also, I no longer wish to be called Mrs Fitzpatrick, so you are more than welcome to claim this mantle at some future date.
I’ve asked for the skip people to come and collect before the weekend as the neighbours are taking advantage by either using it as a public waste receptacle, or snaffling all the ‘good stuff’, so don’t leave it too long!

Doris

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This was not the first Loopy Letter set free to cause confusion and befuddlement. I am still awaiting news of the first – it had a long way to go so perhaps it is lost?
Anyhow…. I have wedding cake to eat…

Calligraphy Quotation – Mark Twain

*Originally posted on my Loopy Letters blog*

Although I’m no longer using this blog for the Loopy Letters project there will still be gratuitous shots of calligraphy. Sometimes I forget to upload pictures to Instagram or Flickr so slapping up pictures of my most recent work on this blog will help me keep a personal record.

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I wrote this quote out for a blogging chum in exchange for a crochet bunny. I was very happy with the bunny, but not so happy with my attempt at writing the quote. Sometimes I genuinely don’t like my own calligraphy, and this was one of those moments – it looks very stiff to me and ‘try hard’. Whenever I do try hard I seem to lose fluidity. One of my calligraphy goals is to achieve the look of freedom and flow. So, I wrote the quote out again, and made a bit of an effort with the background.

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I liked this effort more. It feels more fluid… yet I put more effort into this one than the one above! I like mixing up scripts as well, it gives the work more texture. Anyhow, neither were as good as the crochet bunny I received in exchange! Yes, I know, where is the picture of the crochet bunny?

Loopy Letters – The Journey Continues….

“What have you done to the Loopy Letters website?” Screamed Charmaine via a text message.
I sighed, and tossed my iPhone into a nearby plant pot.
“Too much faff”, I muttered to myself.
It was okay for Charmaine and her modern ways, she was, at this very moment, sunning herself in the South of France and languishing in luxury on the proceeds of her inky misdeeds. I knew this because she had plastered the evidence all over her Instagram account. I, on the other hand, was staring through a grubby window at the relentless Devon murk and was questioning my commitment to the Loopy Letter project.

Question 1

How many letters have I actually written since November?

a) 20
b) None
c) 100
d) 1000
e) French

Question 2

Why have I written so much?

a) Calligraphy is my lifeblood; I live to sling ink, it is all that I know, without calligraphy I would be a withered husk of a person. Calligraphy is the only thing keeping me alive; every morning I skip to my studio as though I am skipping through a dewy meadow strewn with daisies and buttercups with nothing else on my mind other than letter formation and the universal line of beauty; life would be meaningless without letters…blah, blah, blah, etc, etc….

b) I had nothing else to do.

Question 3

More pertinently, why have I written so little??????

a) Sigh. Do I really have to answer this?
b) It was Winter.
c) Christmas happened.
d) My boiler broke down.
e) It was very cold and my hand fell off.

Question 4

Do I still intend to complete the Loopy Letter Project?

a) Yes!!! Yay!!! Can’t wait to get on with it!!! My nibs are poised and ready to blast off!!! Go me!! #girlboss.
b) Yeah, go on then.
c) Yes. I have closed down the Loopy Letters website and moved it to Wonky Words so that I am more accountable regarding moving the project along.

After questioning my commitment to the Loopy Letters project I decided that I would write a blog post to let those who were waiting expectantly by their letter boxes know exactly what was going on. It was only fair. I also decided to post some pictures of one of my failures… just so they’d know I’d been trying….

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Well, that doesn’t look so bad….

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Ah…. didn’t see that coming…

Right, I’m off now to skip through the daisies….

Old and Past It

Yes, that would be me. I am sitting at my keyboard [as I usually do when writing a blog post] feeling angsty, grumpy, and rattled. Charmaine has been regaling me with all the unlikely friendships she’s been making on Instagram since she opened an account and started displaying all her lettering efforts on a white textured background board with a variety of props. She has mastered the flat-lay; knows what to do with a sprig of lavender; and can make unusual, yet visually appealing arrangements with nothing more than a set of keys and a bulldog clip. She has even been encouraged by her new playmates to build a website on Squarespace. This is all well and good, but her calligraphy is still crap.

I apologise. It is wrong of me to be critical of my dear, darling niece, … BUT… it is now me locked in the attic. I am being fed gruel. I am sat shivering in a cold corner with only Harold as a companion, and trust me, the constant clatter of castanets can get a little bit tiring. How did it come to this? Charmaine has smugly explained that I failed to move with the times. This is probably true, but in my defence I have been rather busy… Charmaine has suggested that I rebrand myself. Apparently, if I am to successfully market my calligraphy business I need the digital equivalent of brilliant white walls, Lloyd Loom furniture, and voile curtains rippling gently in a ylang-ylang scented breeze. D’ya know what? I can’t be bothered. I am an individual, and I can’t be bothered to faff about with bits of dip-dyed pastel shaded ribbon just to fit with the in-crowd. Oh the irony! I was one of the first calligraphers in the UK to wax lyrical about modern calligraphy online, and now I have been rejected by the young, the fresh, the cruel, and those who are led by the nose by an identikit design.

Enough. Enough of this maudlin swan song. Enough because the majority of my dear readers here won’t have the foggiest idea what I’m going on about. Apologies. Again. This has all been on my mind, and now that I have gotten it out of my system perhaps I will feel better.

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24th September 2011