Space( )Between art exhibit illuminated calligraphy, stage 2: finishing drawing the border and starting to paint

Continuing on from the Stage 1 post for this piece, I show you now what the border drawing looked like when all filled in. In the two subsequent photos you’ll see the colour being gradually added, using Winsor & Newton watercolours. I wanted to give each ‘direction’ in the Psalm its own colour variation. The top is light blue to represent heaven, the bottom is a murky black-blue to represent Sheol. The left is the rosy-tinted East and the right is the slightly more orange-toned red. The ‘flame’ pattern at the bottom also hints at Sheol.

© Letizia Morley 2019
© Letizia Morley 2019
© Letizia Morley 2019

Transept ‘Space( )Between’ art exhibit calligraphy piece, stage 1

This April (April 15-18, 2019) the Transept Artists’ group of the University of St Andrews Institute of Theology, Imagination and the Arts is putting on its annual exhibition. This year’s theme is ‘Space( )Between’, based on Holy Saturday but also more generally exploring the in-between places and states of being we all experience. I am part of Transept this year, despite not being a student in ITIA and have thoroughly enjoyed my time with this group.

When thinking about which Scripture passages I could use to go along with this theme, I decided upon a portion of Psalm 139 which describes the infinite space that God’s presence occupies and also mentions hell (Sheol). It encompasses the upmost heights and the deepest lows.

I decided to go with an elaborate illuminated calligraphy piece and over a few posts I’ll be showing you the progress of the work.

First I ruled the lines and toned the paper with a light tan shade. Next I wrote out the script. The script I chose was Uncial, characteristic of the British Isles between the 3rd and 9th centuries. I made a mistake with the first line but couldn’t erase so I’ll cover this up later with white.
Next I erase the pencil ruled lines from the text and go over the lines of the initial capital with a Pigma Micron archival, non-smudging pigment pen.
I continue to first sketch with pencil and go over with pen all the elements of the border.

Baby Birth Facts illuminated calligraphy finished product

© Letizia Morley

Recently an acquaintance asked me to do an illuminated calligraphy piece for her new baby. She wanted wall art that included Celtic knots, thistles and rabbits with a colour scheme of coral, blue and green. The baby was born here in St Andrews, Scotland so it seemed fitting. The piece took me much longer than I expected due to my busy family schedule but thankfully my client was very flexible as to the time frame. I am hoping that I can perhaps get more clients who may be interested in this kind of thing for either their own children or as gifts. The finished product was something I was very happy with and my client felt the same way, thankfully. 

Celtic Blessing Illuminated Calligraphy

© Letizia Morley 2017

Lately I have been trying to make some more Scottish themed illuminated calligraphy and decided to write out this Celtic blessing in the Artificial Uncial script. The Celtic knots here are identical, but are rotated in different directions for a nice contrast. It took a long time but I am happy with the result.

Here’s the text, which I think is wonderful: “May you have: walls for the wind, a roof for the rain, and drinks by the fire; laughter to cheer you, those you love near you and all that your heart may desire.”

Enjoy and I hope you have some laughter and warmth today.

If you enjoy this artwork, feel free to browse my zazzle shop for products featuring it. Go to or