Our plucky heroine has really been enjoying painting SCA charters this year, have begun to design some charter illuminations, learn some historic calligraphy, and am considering possibly creating some original scrolls and medieval inspired artwork.
The process is so different than my enameling work that in truth "a change is as good as a rest"*, and I find that it is, for me, a form of meditation in action. Probably the fact that I am doing it for my own pleasure has a lot to do with that, as opposed to my metalwork and enameling, which, while pleasurable, also is my vocation, and hence needs to be pleasing to my patrons. (I find building regalia to be satisfying but highly stressful, since I always worry that it is "not good enough", one would think that after all these years, and with the almost always delighted recipients, that my worries would have faded)
Left is a glimpse of the border design from charter #15. I added quite a bit of internal detailing to the basic outline, and spent some time looking at medieval Persian miniatures for inspiration. Each reign chooses styles and options for the charter designs to be awarded during their time on the thrones... The unusual turquoise background color was my first decision, and all the additional colors and patterns were a result of balancing that out. It was a real challenge, and very different from my usual choices, very much a pleasant feeling to stretch in that way.
I really felt that the scrollwork needed the internal detailing to look well, and eventually found this contemporary site showing some really close images of traditional Persian painting techniques. I don't know much about Esra, but in this blog post she shares a great deal of information and photos of preparing the paper, grinding the pigments, and creating the artwork... It is a fascinating process!
There is not much use in wishing that the several overloaded plum tree branches did not break. Apparently the old shed, recently removed from the backyard, did more than gradually deteriorate, but was also supporting the plum branches when they were close to harvest. This is a sad thing, that will require some additional tree pruning in the next few days...
What I am adding to my wishlist is some Finetec metallic paint. It would be quite nice to be able to add some gold details to future painted artwork, as was sometimes done in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (without the expense of using actual gold) These paints are quite highly recommended, and at the very least, adding a pan of "Arabic Gold" to my kit would be easy... I will need to visit Dick Blick and see if the Finetec pans are
* When looking up this homily, I was amused to find a venerable and almost unknown bit of doggerel from 1857 (author unknown) intended to popularize the phrase...