I'm hoping that I've tempted some of the visitors to the Open Studios will be keen to come along and try a day of calligraphy!
I'm optimistic that we'll be able to get to grips with a lovely calligraphic hand and play with some decorative ideas too - I'm looking forward to it, and if you're tempted please just drop me a note to reserve a place.
(For those of you not local to Nottingham, Bunny Village Hall is not something from Watership Down, there really is a village called Bunny!)
I spent some time practicing making corrections today.
It's not something I do very often, but when I do, I feel like I'm risking a whole piece with a technique where I'm guessing.
I have done the slicing off a layer of paper with a curved razor blade - when this works, it works brilliantly, but I've also sliced the paper too thin and cut myself a bled on a piece!
I've done the scraping off with a scalpel - but can't achieve anything like a smooth finish to the corrected paper.
Today I tried 2 techniques :
1. "Unpainting". Because I generally use gouache which is water soluble, I had a try at using a just-damp brush to wet the gouache and lift it with the brush. After each time of doing this I dabbed it with a clean kitchen towel.
You can see that although it's far from cleaned the letter off, it's removed a great deal of the dense colour.
2. Rubbing out. I am always reluctant to use the hard typists' erasers, but given that I'm really looking to remove stuff even if the paper suffers a little, I thought I'd try it. I used it in an electric eraser (pictured), and really it's been pretty successful. I removed the "unpainted" letters, but also the entire o from Bryon. The paper's a little shiny but there's not a hint of colour left.
I think I'd use the "unpainting" for colours that might end up being spread about by the eraser (reds!).
While I'd hope I never have to do a correction ever again (!) I do feel a little more confident about it now.
And here's an image of the white space being written on - no feathering - perfect.
The paper is from Artesavers - here : it's the one I was having fun with in the post on giant paper - here.
Hope you found that helpful!
At the Open Studios event last weekend I sold one of my canvas pieces to a lady who fell in love with it as soon as she saw it! She very kindly sent me a photo of it in place with some glass pieces that she loves. It's so good to see a piece in its final location - not an opportunity I get very often.
(I've only just having a go at lettering on canvases - it's trickier than paper, plus you have to get it all centred correctly, as there's no chance to adjust where the frame will go, as you can do with a paper piece. But it's quite satisfying, and rather nice to have a 3 dimensional object as the finished piece.)
As I mentioned in a blog recently (here) I'm working with a very large piece of paper for a current commission.
Well - the paper came on a roll, and it is clearly at its happiest all curled up! I am reluctant to soak it and stretch it (partly due to its size) so a piece cut to roughly the right size has been "persuaded" to relax for the last 4 days - it's finally flat enough to work on.
So today I've been ruling up for the family tree. It's thick paper, so when it came to wanting to trace through where the names will need to be written, I did what I always do which was to use a window as light box. But this time it had to be the patio doors - nothing else big enough!
Paint mixed to the right colour, but it's feeling really greasy, so I'm going to leave it overnight to dry out, then rehydrate it. (This sometimes works
The sun shone, and after a slow start, the crowds came! The day flew by, with visitors which included a steady stream of friends.
Demoing pointed pen writing worked well - I often thought I was demoing to just one or two people then glanced up to find 10 people watching me, all holding their breath - funny!
It seem birds were the key to sales - pieces of calligraphy featuring birds, and ceramic birds and bird canvases (no lettering!)
These long legged slightly vacant fellows are going to feature in a batch of upcoming work - I like them and it seems others do too!
Wonderful day at venue 19 on Trent Boulevard, Lady Bay, West Bridgford.
It wasn't hugely busy, but the people that did come were all so friendly and knowledgable that I had many excellent conversations.
Friends came from far and wide to say hello, which I really appreciate.
Hoping tomorrow is going to be like today, but with plenty of sunshine and maybe a bigger crowd!
Currently working on a great family tree for the families of a couple getting married next month.
Both sides of the family have great info on their relatives - the result being a very full family tree indeed, even though we're only having names (no dates) and going back to great grand parents.
It's going to be over a metre wide, and despite having a huge stash of paper, I had nothing big enough, so have just taken delivery of the mother of all paper rolls - 1.5 m x 10m. I daren't unroll it - it's scarily big!
Will post a picture of the piece if I get the OK from the customers (and if I'm pleased with it!)
One of my goals for 2013 is to actually FINISH pieces. So I've tried to create situations where I'm committed to finishing things - one of these is the A Letter A Week blog where people with all sorts of artistic skills committed to creating a letter a week for the year - 52 weeks is very conveniently 2 alphabets' worth.
The letters can be done in any way - but on a 7cm square, with them being brought together into a single piece (one per alphabet) at the end.
I chose really simple pencil uncial and watercolour squares, and I'm glad I did, because it's a pleasure never a chore.
I also chose to make the book they're going to live in first - each time I do a letter, I use the colour of the squares to add 2 more squares to the cover of the book.
It looks quite plain in the early photo below - it's looking much more carnival like now! (I was aiming to stay with muted colours, but somehow a few brights have crept in!)
Some of the alphabets are amazing with so much work going in to them - humbling!
Do please have a look HERE
I'm Janet Smith, a calligrapher who loves to experiment with lettering and calligraphy.