Thursday 20 February 2014

An Accomplished Afternoon

uncial script

I'm midway through my second term as a student of calligraphy and I've chewed over this assignment for weeks! To produce a script in uncial following the style found in the Book of Kells. It has to include a verse or quotation featuring animals and also be illustrated with animals. Kells features animals that entwine with initial letters and are beautifully coloured. 

I have to admit uncial script is a real challenge for me. I had spent my first term practising italics and was feeling quite happy about it (almost smug) and then the rug was pulled out from under my feet when I and my fellow scribes were plunged into the upside down, back to front world of uncial. Gosh! I can imagine ancient scribes sitting in their cells with just a candle for light and warmth, huddled inside their monks' habits, painstakingly creating illuminated manuscripts day after day after day. It must have been a lifetime's occupation for some of them and the work they created still in existence today, is amazing.  

In contrast I sat in my cosy kitchen this afternoon with the sun shining in through patio doors, coffee and oatcakes by my side and produced my own little masterpiece shown above. To be honest I had made several drafts and gave it all a lot of thought before finally finding the confidence to do the master copy today. 

I'm happy with the result and feeling quite proud of my achievement even though its not 'perfect' its good enough for me. I particularly like the way my sparrow sits well with the initial W. I suppose I really should have used watercolours for the illustrations but I have some lovely Promarker pens that were just begging to be used and they are so much more handy it would be a shame not to use them. 

Sunday 16 February 2014

Letter to self and others

italic hand with pressed flowers

I can't believe its 6 months since I last posted. What have I been doing??? Well for a start I've taken on too many projects, most of which are presently languishing unfinished, such as Eva's first year scrapbook, a sketch of family that needs coloured, a script in uncial in the Book of Kell's style with odd looking animals entwined in the letters and several more, some of which I'm sure I've forgotten about. I can make a mental list of things to do but it becomes so long and unwieldy I get exhausted just thinking about it and end up doing nothing. So no progress is made and I might start yet another project at the kitchen table until I can't bear the clutter any more and that project is 'retired' with all the others. 

Of course I could work at my arts and crafts in my craft room but I've run out of desk space in there. I really should spend a day tidying up and reorganising my work space and my time. Did I tell you I joined the U3A Bede, Jarrow Branch and go to their art group once a week. Also, I joined a calligraphy class, held once a week, my tutor being the Chairperson of the Northumbrian Scribes. Yay!! I'm enjoying both.

All the above interspersed with the occasional coffee morning, socials, trips out, breakfast and lunch dining out, day dreaming and getting comfy on the sofa, watching rubbish on TV and planning on doing things but then never do and more. Such is life in retirement. I can't complain, though I could do with a kick in the proverbial to get me motivated more... or maybe some spring sunshine.

Next project please!