Dear Mr Lax…

Dear Mr Lax,

As a valued reader of ATTT you have been randomly selected, at random, in a haphazard, random way to WIN a competition. YES YOU Mr Lax!!!
Mr Lax, do you have a wall in your house that needs a painting? Have you been searching high and low for a piece of elegantly written calligraphy to fill a space in your life? Search no longer!! Because ATTT has the solution!!

gothic-calligraphy

Competition Prize!!

Yes, Mr Lax, you have been randomly selected to win this prize!!
All you have to do, Mr Lax, is fill in the coupon with your name and address and tell us from where this quotation originates and who it is by. If you are correct then your blank wall could soon be enhanced by this magical piece of calligraphy as ATTT will despatch your prize…. possibly before the end of 2014… or even earlier depending on whether I have any parcel tape left and whether I have any petrol in the car to get to the post office.
We at ATTT look forward to your answer, Mr Lax, and your continued readership.

Missing About

I am querying my decision to call my new avatar Ms Quotes. Originally I thought it was a jolly clever misnomer as it seems to encompass all that I am – I write out calligraphy quotations; I make mistakes; I am female – jolly clever indeed. But perhaps, with hindsight, I was too hasty with this choice as it has now come to my attention that I could have been Ms Chief, Ms Chance or even Ms Leading… did I Ms Out?
Anyhow to quell my feelings of misdirection I have decided to write a series of scintillating screenplays about the Ms Misses, which are bound to be box office hits.
The first in the series will be a futuristic racy romp featuring Ms Guided who travels around the world blindfolded, with nothing but a faulty compass, a dowsing rod, and a camel to help her find her way. Everyone she encounters has teleport technology and 3D printing, but she is determined to prove that the world can be circumnavigated the old fashioned way.
The second in the series will be a dark dramatic tale of intrigue and horror, of subtle nuance and deep thinking, starring Ms Cast who is a sunny blonde with a penchant for slap-stick humour, peek-a-boo bras, and Ms Behaviour. Everyone she encounters has read and understood Ulysses.
The third, and possibly the last, will be a Police/Medical drama which will be an ensemble piece featuring Ms Diagnosis, Ms Apprehend, Ms Begotten and the glamorously named Ms Cellanea. I am not sure of the synopsis for this final screenplay but I am certain that it will have some handcuff detailing… a skirmish in a waiting room… some long lingering looks out to sea… some of it will be shot in black and white… some of it will be spoken in French and there will be subtitles… and possibly someone will fall off a bike…probably Ms Haps.
I am sure that all my readers will look forward to reading more about the production of these torrid tales…. or maybe I am sadly Ms Taken… my faith, Ms Placed…. this could all turn out to be Ms Adventure…

Doing it Large

very-large-calligraphy

Very large, approx A2 size…

large-hand-painted-calligraphy

Big Calligraphy…

This piece is very large! With this piece I was trying to represent what calligraphers focus on when they look at writing… they like to look at the detail. A well written piece of calligraphy has rhythm, flow and consistency… so with this painting I was trying to hone in on what the calligrapher sees.. or what the calligrapher is looking for.
This was painted as a detail of a quotation and not all of the words are represented… so you can’t really tell what it’s about… this was deliberate because this painting is about the shape of the letters that form the quotation and not the quotation itself – if that makes sense?!
In reality it looks quite abstract due to the size of it. I will do more of these. And try to make them a little more vibrant with colour.

On the Patio Today…

With a every new blog comes a new and fascinating series. My new series is called On the Patio Today – this may have been obvious to some via the title of the post, but there is no harm in further clarification. I intend to bring my readers exclusive pictures of my patio… this may sound dull, but it isn’t. Lots of exciting things happen on my patio, such as this…

grass-snake

A snake on my patio

close-up of grass snake

A round pupil means it’s a grass snake and not an Adder.

…and then it slithered off and vanished down a hole in the side of my house; I was a little perturbed by this…. so much so that I gave a little gasp.

….and the second post.

I used to have a calligraphy blog and I had a personal random blog… the thing is that it’s very difficult to keep two blogs going… and my two blogs were very different, they attracted different readerships, so something had to give… i.e I gave up them both!
I loved my personal blog, it was more about creative writing and being a social animal, public toilet reviews, peculiar adverts, strange social habits… but… I started it in 2008 and I’ve changed a great deal…BUT, I would still like to keep in touch with the blogging friends I made there. So this is what I’m going to do, because I am fed up with compartmentalizing myself on various blogs, I am instead going to merge the two blogs here to create one huge diverse, random blog, featuring anything from dental hygiene issues to what to do with a spare cucumber on a rainy day. Should be interesting.

The First Post

I used to sell my calligraphy service online for wedding place cards, invitations and wedding vows. I didn’t really do this for very long – a couple of years or so… and I stopped offering this service because I felt I wanted to do more with my calligraphy skills. I found it sad that the great craft of calligraphy was now reduced to featuring on little bits of card… peripheral… only used to enhance something other. I wanted my calligraphy to be ‘in yer face’, so to speak… I wanted it to take centre stage. So I spent a lot of time thinking of ways to make this possible… actually I spent years thinking of ways to make this possible. I thought about what it was that initially attracted me to calligraphic forms – what was it that made me want to write calligraphy? I realised that I practice calligraphy because it panders to the perfectionist in me – the desire to write a perfect ‘S’; the dedication it takes to write an aesthetically perfect sentence; the obsession needed to write something over and over until it looks right. I like spending time on things; I like being very involved with my work.
Once I had pin pointed why I loved calligraphy, my issue became how to make traditional calligraphy look clean and contemporary, as I am not a fan of anything I regard as too twee, and calligraphy can often fall into the twee camp. To solve this problem I looked at the work of other calligraphers I admire – such as Denis Brown, John Stevens, Barbara Calzolari, Anne Elser – probably my biggest inspiration – and many, many others, and then I looked at what commercial lettering artists were doing… I find commercial lettering artists just as fascinating as calligraphers and I am amazed by the time and effort they put into their work i.e that they will spend so much time drawing words, when it takes me seconds to write them. I became interested in commercial lettering after selling words written in calligraphy to a design studio, the design studio then manipulated my words into advertising copy; I can’t show any of that here because I have signed a confidentiality agreement, but the process got me thinking…
My conclusion to all my thinking and research is the work that I am doing now, work which I will be sharing on this blog. All my current work is a combination of calligraphy skills and hand lettering techniques. Not strictly calligraphy… not strictly hand lettering, but a hybrid of them both… basically I am making paintings of my original calligraphy!
None of my work is photo shopped – not that I disapprove at all – it’s just that I want my work to be on paper or on a surface… [to be real?]…to exist in its own right and not just be an image reliant on a digital process. I see working on paper as a challenge, and I like a challenge.

william blake calligraphy quotation

A truth that’s told….
A quote by William Blake

calligraphy experiments

First draft and final piece together!!!