Thursday, June 16, 2016

July Cover for the Pikestaff

German, 1468


I am grateful that the staff of the Pikestaff chose my art for the July cover, as July is my birthday month. It is a special present to see my work sent throughout the Kingdom.

He reminded me of a professor riding off to Pennsic, book in hand and ready to teach all within earshot.

It appears in the Pikestaff in black and white.

Flemish for a Silver Wheel

My latest scroll, influenced by the Spinola Hours:
gouache on perg

I took some liberties with color choices, mostly because I chose not to paint in the background on the panes. In the original the branches are much lighter in color - I tried this on a test piece of perg and decided that a deeper color would give the border effect I was going for. I found reference images in the Master of Mary of Burgundy Hours that supported deeper color branches and pulled inspiration from there for some of the bugs as well.

While the style of the branches and flowers are similar to the original, I also took artistic license and did not copy all the elements exactly.

The panes with thread and bowls of food are reflective of the recipients likes. Additionally, all the plants represented on the scroll, as well as all the bugs, can be found on the Scottish island of Rona.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Finding a passion

I've painted a fair number of styles of scrolls, mostly because I wanted to know what I really loved painting and what I really didn't love painting.

I've found a style that I completely enjoyed and it's glorious. Flemish, in the style of the Master of Mary of Burgundy Book of Hours, or the Spinola Hours (also affectionately called "squashed bug" in the scribal community) was the inspiration for my most recent scroll...

I didn't know I'd have so much fun painting this scroll. It was amazing! I loved the detail, I loved the style, I loved the colors, it was all so fun! Each little pane was a new challenge, a new little story to paint and moving around like that, from detail to detail, was the sort of creation I want out of scroll making.

Additionally, a HUGE thank you to the calligraphers in my life- I am for once really happy with how the calligraphy on this scroll looks and it's all because of you guys and your excellent instruction. seriously - thank you!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

One for a fencer

I know many fencers, and I've painted scrolls for people who do fencing, but until this one I hadn't painted a scroll for a fencer.


This was a fun one - simple but nice.  I've done elaborate and I wanted to know that I could do something with very little paint.  Turns out, yes. I look at this one and I know what I could change - what I'll do better next time. Mostly I think the font size is too big, but I'm a novice calligrapher and I'm chalking that up to rookie mistakes.  Really, I wanted to paint a rapier, and I'm happy with how that came out.

I left a lot more margin this time, so matting should be pretty easy for the recipient. This is almost square too, which is an odd format for me, but again - pretty ok with that since I wasn't using a predefined layout.

Some of my scrolls are definitely "copies" of period works - it's easy to look at the folio and say "yes, she used this one."  I find though that I like to change it up as well, to go a non-traditional route and steer away from the Books of Hours for a while and see what my mind comes up with.  I know the rules of layout, and with those in your arsenal it's easier to create instead of copy.

I love both methods of scroll creation, it's really just whatever I'm in the mood to do when I sit at my desk.