This calligraphy is a journey through time using 17 different scripts. The left column shows the century in which each script was used. The right column includes “ego alpha et omega”, the words of Jesus from Revelation 22:13: “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last”. I wanted to show that God endures through all time, though things go and come around again. The last image shows which scripts were used.
My most recent commission was a quote from John Wesley written in Cancelleresca Corsiva. The client wanted celtic knots in the border although she and I were aware that it didn’t exactly fit the time period or style. However, a little extra Celtic knot never hurts!
A friend recently commissioned a calligraphy piece for her baby’s nursery room. She asked for A.A. Milne’s Daffodowndilly poem with a watercolour illustration next to it of daffodils, variegated tulips and trillium. I used the Garlic Butter typeface as the basis for this hand-lettered script. I am not often completely happy with my work but this piece came out much to my satisfaction.
In June I was commissioned by my church, Saint Andrew’s Scottish Episcopal Church in St Andrews, to create a goodbye present for a long-time congregation member who was moving way. They wanted the grace prayer and some sprigs of rosemary (her name was Rosemary) along with the Diocese of St Andrews coat of arms. There are a few purple rosemary flowers scattered throughout and some bees since our rector keeps bee hives.
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 entitled ‘Space( )Between’. This exhibit explores in-between places and states of being.
I decided to calligraph 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.
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 erased the pencil ruled lines from the text and went over the lines of the initial capital W with a Pigma Micron archival, non-smudging pigment pen.
I continued to first sketch with pencil, then trace over in pen all the elements of the border.
Then I added colour 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.
After many many hours of work, here is the final result. The first image is the final work before framing and the second is the framed work at the ‘Space( )Between’ exhibit in St Leonards Chapel on South Street, St Andrews.
A good friend commissioned this piece for her husband as he had just recently submitted his PhD thesis and this quote was a key part of his theme. The script is Uncial and there are small thistles inside the illuminated initial M.
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. I am hoping there are more clients who are 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.
The first stage of this work began with my sketching out lightly in pencil the Celtic knot border. I had to look through many design templates to find what worked best for the dimensions of the paper and the style that the client wanted. The Celtic knots took quite a lot of practice…quite a lot
The next step after the Celtic knots and going over all the pencil with archival ink was to drawing the thistles and rabbits. These took hardly any time at all, with a few reference photos. I began to put paint on the piece after I had gone over all the pencil marks with black Sumi ink (Sumi is a Japanese coal ink that is very thick and long-lasting). I used Winsor & Newton watercolours.