Monday, June 4, 2018

another original scroll

In which our plucky heroine spends hours with pen and paintbrush...

Last month I made a Friend of the Summits scroll for Michael Sinclair. I lost count of the hours I spent working on this project, as this sort of work is so delightfully absorbing. It is always a great honor to be asked to create an original scroll, and particularly when the recipient is someone I know!

Once I decided on what manuscript(s) I was going to use for my inspiration, I began by making a rough sketch, taking some notes about typical colors used, and also noting the particular pages that had Useful Initials to use as examples for the decorated versal letters

Some more hunting through the pages of the manuscript helped me sketch out likely leafy vines and to balance the design, aiming for a characteristic "look" but also allowing for our own SCA specific use, with room for signatures. Usually there needs to be space left for a seal, but in this case, there will be a pendant seal at the bottom

Pardon the odd lighting, I was working at night. Calligraphy is still very slow for me. I was using a 3/4mm Brause nib, and working for the first time on Pergamenata rather than on Bristol board. The text of the award was penciled in before I did the actual writing, to give me a better sense of the spacing, and to help me get the wording correct. As it turned out, I had to adjust the wording a bit, as my own printing is not as compact as the calligraphy.

The full text inked in, with room left for the large and smaller versal letters, and space for the actual date the award will be handed out.

Once the lettering was completed, I then inked in the surrounding decoration. Pergamenata is somewhat translucent, so I was able to line up my detailed sketch underneath to get the basic shapes and vines in place.

Bit by bit I filled in the colors. About half the paints used were ones I had made myself in a workshop taught by Eulalia several years ago. I always try and improve or challenge myself a bit in each new scribal endeavor, and this one I used both a different substrate, and also handmade gouache paints. Some of the paint worked better than others, and I substituted commercial gouache for the green and some of the brighter reds.

Eventually my efforts on the scroll were completed. It was particularly fun to adapt the tiny marginal grotesques to an artistic theme, since Michael was being honored for his scribal work. The actual piece is quite small, being about 6 x 9 as I recall... Based on a manuscript from the Morgan Library, France, St Omer, Book of Hours, between 1320 and 1329. Special thanks to Marya who responded to my pitiful plaint of "I need an image man painting, from the 14th C" with a Very Useful Suggestion

Lastly, the scroll was signed, sealed, and delivered on site at Egils last weekend. I brought pen and ink to add in the date. The princes of the Summits signed it, and it was sealed with a pendant seal below the document.







8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. thank you Ruthie... This is what I do to relax

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  2. Beautiful! I also find calligraphy relaxing, but the illustrations you've added are amazing!

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    1. Thanks Sasha! I have a particular fondness for 14th C psalters and books of hours.

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  3. Alison, you made my drop to the floor with the artistry in this scroll. It is so beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. Aw Cherie, thank you for your kind words

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  4. Amazing work. Congratulations on an artistic triumph.

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    1. Thank you... I was really pleased with how this turned out, and the recipient was as well.

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