Another awesome book, subtitled An Inspirational Introduction to Creating Decorative Calligraphy. Calligraphy by Timothy Noad. Text by Patricia Seligman. Similar to yesterday's presented book in many ways--introductory chapters on tools and methods; sections by Celtic, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Modern Revival.
Both books offer exercises as well as pieces of scroll, animal, and plant ideas for building one's own work. What I have grasped in a general way is that one can study examples of the past but the thought is not to reproduce what has been done but to use the past as inspirational launch points for one's own creations. Loosey-goosey, that's what it's all about.
I'd like to quote a bit of Gretchen's recent comment, seconded by Threadspider:
A bit overwhelming isn't it, when one delves into the calligraphic arts-such a rich history and influenced by so many cultures. Each individually formed letter is a story unto itself, let alone the stories they tell can when combined onto the page to form words and sentences.
That sure seems so very, very true for me. History, cultures, religions--an incredibly fascinating world that I have stumbled into.
I am taking a baby step into this world with the first exercise in the Celtic section of The Illuminated Letters. My scanner is not catching the wonderfully glistening coppery-gold finish of the W&N gold gouache that came in today. That stuff is so cool. If I'm understanding correctly, traditional Celtic illumination did not use gilding, only gold colored paint. Works for me as I don't have any gilding supplies. (In fact, I've not yet written up my shopping list. And no worries, as I suspect I can live in the Celtic world for quite some time.)
The before and after pine cone drawings were enthusiastically accepted today, and my blog as a recent screen shot graphic will also be included on the "Meet John Perry" slide. I'm not expecting to hear any more for a couple of weeks--Marcia's off on an international junket.