“Comparison is the Thief of Joy” Calligraphy Practice

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© Letizia Morley 2017

Calligraphy practice again. The art of calligraphy takes much practice, of course, but is very soothing and almost meditative. I found this quote by Theodore Roosevelt that encapsulates the idea that I should be thinking almost every day. It is so true. So many discouragements in my life could have been avoided if I practiced what this says. I think the form of comparison that is helpful is comparing one’s own work to itself to notice improvements. Or sometimes you see the misfortunes of others and are more grateful for your own blessings…but I mean this in a way that is not demeaning of others or prideful of one self.

The script here is the beautiful Insular Majuscule, one used in the amazing Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels from the very early Middle Ages in Ireland, England and Scotland. The script was used as early as the 7th century. Difficult to write but very rewarding.
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Gothic calligraphy practice

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© Letizia Morley 2017

A few days ago I decided to take up my calligraphy practice again in order to work on some illuminated calligraphy projects. I have had friends commission me to do such things before but I only work my calligraphy when people ask me to. Now I want to keep up the skill more regularly. Here is the Gothic Textura Quadrata script used in the Middle Ages between 1200 and 1500 AD. Very challenging to write and this practice is back from when I was just learning the script. I hope to post more practice sheets and then hopefully some finished products before too long.
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Abbey of Sant’Antimo, Tuscany

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© Jake Morley

The view from afar of the Benedictine Abbey of Sant’Antimo near the town of Montalcino in Tuscany, Italy. Construction began on the abbey in the 12th century. The monastery stands out alone amid lovely golden fields of wheat, the typical narrow Tuscan cypresses flanking it.

 

 

 

 

View of St Peter’s Basilica from top of dome

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© 2007 Letizia Morley

I’ve been going through my photo archives recently trying to weed out duplicates; for some reason the photos on my Apple devices are showing up double or sometimes even triple. While I was deleting extras, I culled out the duds and then collated some of my favourite travel photographs from over the years into albums. I found quite a few good ones from my summer in Italy in 2007. 

For this picture I had climbed the many many winding narrow steps to the very top of the dome of the basilica. Boy, did that make me dizzy! It was early in the day and as I gazed out over the nearly empty plaza in front of the façade and Bernini’s colonnade, there was a sense of overwhelming grandeur. What a place! What a place! From the top of the inside of the dome, one could look over a railing and see down to the impressive tomb of Saint Peter himself directly below. Inside the church, with its dusky side chapels and shafts of dusty light coming down in long rays, I even saw the famous Pieta statue of Michelangelo, circling around it slowly and in awe. Michelangelo was one of the principle architects for the basilica, did you know?

It’s hard to believe that trip was 10 years ago. How time flies…

Spanish Moon Moth

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© Letizia Morley 2017

To my ongoing series of butterflies I have added this new painting of a Spanish Moon Moth, which I know isn’t a butterfly but it is just as colourful as one, if not more. Both moths and butterflies fall under the order of Lepidoptera and many moths are just as showy as butterflies so there isn’t as much of a difference as you might think.  The Spanish Moon Moth’s scientific name is Graellsia isabella. It is native to Spain, as you would expect, and parts of France. It feeds exclusively on pine needles high in the Alps and the Pyrenees. This is a digital painting done on my iPad Pro.

Shakespeare’s Church, Oil Painting

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© Letizia Morley 2013

I visited Stratford-upon-Avon a few years ago to see The Merchant of Venice at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. We went to the tomb of Shakespeare at the Holy Trinity Church in the town, the church where he was baptised as well. The tomb is inside the church and on the grave there is this inscription:

Good frend, for Iesvs sake, forbeare to digg the dvst encloased heare. Blese be ye man, ye spares thes stones, and cvrsed be he ye moves my bones.

I guess I was expecting something a little more meaningful or transcendent than a grave-robber’s curse. Very interesting indeed…

This oil on linen painting is based on a photo that I took of the path leading to the entrance of the church.