Terrible news, Charmaine has abducted Harold! I am beside myself with worry. They were last seen having coffee in a Little Chef service station near Kettering on the A14, so I am packing my bags and going on a road trip to track them down. I may be some time.
I will continue to try to update this blog every Wednesday with news of my progress, but I think you’ll agree that blogging whilst driving up and down the length and breadth of Britain might be awkward, so apologies in advance for not keeping up with your blogs.
Meanwhile, here is some of Charmaine’s most recent colouring in… I miss her already, she was so handy with the crayons – I can still see her in my mind’s eye concentrating so hard not to crayon outside the edges of the lettering – her little lizard tongue poking out the corner of her mouth as her mono-brow knitted itself into a cardigan…. *sob*…..
Smoke me a Kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast!
Nobody is interested in broad edge calligraphy, Aunt Scarlet’, said Charmaine with a whine in her voice.
She had somehow escaped from the attic and was slumped in the doorway of my light and airy studio.
‘What do you mean, you silly girl, why do you come out with such piffle?’ I said as I balanced precariously on a sixteen foot ladder trying to dust my chandelier.
I glanced down at her. The girl had gone an unattractive shade of puce, and I made a mental note to take her out in the afternoon for some fresh air and a brisk trot around the paddock.
‘I’ve been looking at your blog stats, only 0.256 people read your recent post about the dimple nib reservoir on the Mitchell nib. Nobody cares, Aunt Scarlet, your arse is way more popular than stupid broad edge stuff.’
I smiled to myself, my rear end had always been popular with my readers, but I knew where Charmaine was going with this conversation, it was obvious to me that she was desperate to get her mitts on my pointed nibs. I intended to stand firm and resolute, I wanted her to have a good grounding with broad edged calligraphy before she progressed further, after all she was my protégé; I had hopes of her becoming the calligrapher I never could be; there was nothing she could say to temper my resolve.
‘It’s no good, Aunt Scarlet, if you want this blog of yours to be popular then you’re gonna have to get your tits out next week.’
I felt the ladder sway and wobble as I let her words sink in. The girl probably had a point, but it was not the one I had been thinking of.
Chin Up, Tits Out!!
Amazeballs!! I have reached day 23 of the 365 lettering project, and am so drunk on my success that I have started using corrupted superlatives. Anyhow, here are some highlights of the last 23 days…. apologies for the rough photos, they look better on my Flickr feed, which is Here.
My will is secondary?????!
In some respects I am very pleased with myself… BUT, in relation to calligraphy, lettering, decorative writing…whatever… I NEED A BREAK!!!! Yep, I am questioning why I am doing calligraphy, again. I am not really enjoying doing it for the 365 project. I mostly enjoy writing calligraphy when it surprises me… when I sit down and mess around with a pen, and a flourish or an unplanned squiggle jumps out and makes me smile. This diligent pursuit of calligraphy every day is perhaps too workmanlike to be enjoyable for me. We shall see.
These days I mostly get enquiries from people wanting to know how to learn calligraphy, my answer is to point them in the direction of CLAS, who provide a comprehensive list of accredited teachers. I also tell enquirers to visit Scribblers who advertise calligraphy courses in copperplate, roman capitals, italic etc. Janet Smith at Oakleaf Calligraphy also provides an online learning course. It is no good asking me to teach you… I am entirely self-taught, which means I have probably taught myself some appalling bad habits. I wish I had learnt properly from the outset, as it would probably have been quicker, and cheaper.
I learnt copperplate calligraphy from a book – Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy by Eleanor Winters and I taught myself quirky calligraphy from following the advice in Lisa Engelbrecht’s wonderful book – Modern Mark Making. I Recently purchased Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe – which is a superb book covering everything you need to know about writing quirky modern calligraphy… it has a great projects section as well, which ranges from how to write on chalkboards to making water colour gift tags for weddings, parties and special occasions.
Calligraphy books for learning…
I usually buy most of my supplies from Scribblers, I mostly use a Gillott 303 nib… but to start with I used a 404 because a 404 is less flexible and therefore easier to control. The nibs from Scribblers are HERE. When I started learning copperplate I did use an oblique pen holder, but I now only use straight pen holders… all pen holders are HERE. When starting out there’s no harm in trying a straight and an oblique just to see which you prefer, I like short pen holders like the school pen holder. I am cheap and cheerful 🙂 For general calligraphy and practice I use Higgins Eternal permanent black ink; for ‘best’ I use Schmincke calligraphy gouache.
Some would imagine that the calligrapher is neat, tidy and organised… I wish I was. My desk always looks like a bomb has hit it… don’t work like this, it is hellish and I never know what I’m doing….
My new studio…
Meanwhile, my mantelpiece is tidy….
On my mantelpiece….
As I mentioned in a previous post I will be moving again… yes, again, both house and website…. this is confusing! Let me deal with the website issues first; I’ve decided to keep this as my calligraphy site and the more personal stuff reverts back to where it used to be, i.e. www.scarlet-blue.blogspot.com. Apologies for this, but it’s just not working with the calligraphy, not in my head in any case. I seem to be someone who can’t sit still for longer than five minutes… let’s face it, I moved house and home twice within the space of two weeks in 2012, but I don’t really like to dwell on that for too long.
General natter about calligraphy will stay right here. It isn’t going anywhere. But physically, yes it is! To a new home in North Devon. I will miss my studio here, I have been spoilt. From 2014 I will no longer be working from a proper separate studio, I will instead be working from a table in the dining room and I will no longer be able to say ‘In the studio today’, cos that would be fibbing. I am quite looking forward to writing ‘In the dining room today’, it will put a fresh spin on proceedings and the cake crumbs won’t look out of place.
Meanwhile, I have been trying to sort out my studio in preparation for the move…..
sorting stuff out….
Bits and pieces…
And I decided that I’d like to get this piece framed and maybe put it on the dining room wall.
…to be framed…
I hope all the moving palaver is clear? Obviously I am going to be fairly busy over the coming months, what with packing and Christmas and packing and unwrapping presents etc…
Oh…. one last piece of calligraphy…. this is for Wendy
…love, laughter, peace…
Very large, approx A2 size…
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.