This is just a little letter play I did while at Sheila Waters' house, nothing fancy or really all that well done, but just kind of fun. I had fun doodling it, for sure. I'm at home, tending to a very painful back problem, completely stumped about what I did to hurt myself. As long as I take lots of pain meds &/or muscle relaxants, I'm not too bad; but I'm certainly not awake for very long. Since this is perfectly unacceptable at work, I'll be home through the next week. Perhaps the rest will do me good.
This is an envelope I made for my son, Tim, made from some pretty cool wallpaper samples I found; and lettered with Pelikan 4001 brown ink and Schminke gold watercolor. I'm pretty sure I used a brush, rather than a pen nib. I'd like to get that blob of gold on the top of the "h" off of there, but if I monkey with it, I'll screw it up, for sure. Tim will like it, regardless... I like the color of the paper and the way the brush letters came together. So much fun, so little time... sigh.
This is a close up of some of Sheila Waters' lettering. Note the tiny SW in between the last line of letters... marvelous, beautiful letters. Marvelous, beautiful soul.
These are some of Sheila's colored pencils... such beauty in such simplicity.
This is an example of how I worked, on a slant board... my work sits above the fine example of pointed gothic letters, done, I believe, by Sheila's son, Julian Waters. The first step was to actually trace the example, using tracing paper, to get a feel for the shape of the letters; and then I copied the letters while looking at the examplar. Sheila endorses this method of learning, as it teaches muscle memory to your hand, and teaches your eye what the correct letter form looks like. Then it's possible to move on and make beautiful letters which are all your own.
Ten reasons why studying with Sheila Waters was one of the best experiences of my life:
1. Everyone probably was a better calligrapher than me, but, as a friend reminded me, "It's not about the output, it's about the input"! And with a teacher as gifted and knowledgable as Sheila, I couldn't have been in better hands.
2. Unbelievable, but true, Sheila had ice cubes in her freezer! And it worked out just fine, and yes, sometimes I'm an idiot!
3. I found Diet Cherry Coke the old fashioned way... I hitched a ride to the grocery store and actually bought a twelve pack of Diet Cherry Coke! It was really eye opening... Pennsylvania is pretty much like the rest of the country! (What WAS I thinking?!?)... As far as the bottled water... Sheila had filtered water and even better, she had HEXAGONAL water!!! I have no idea how that Hexagonal water machine worked, but I had no issues with (she whispers) loose poop, and I am grateful for that!
4. See number three... thank you Jan from Boston for driving to the grocery store!
5. See number three and four, above.
6. I knew I'd likely be sharing a room, and I couldn't have had a better roomie... Janet from LA was awesome... I liked her the moment I met her! And guess what?!? Janet snores, too!!! But she makes really cute, little snoring noises (not manly, drawer opening, deafening noises like me)... probably because she's so darned cute, herself!
7. I ate like a damn pig! I've decided I pretty much like anything I don't have to cook myself! Some of my calligraphy sisters were amazing cooks, thank God! And thankfully, I do dishes really well, so that worked out quite well. I even tried lamb that Sheila made, and I liked it!!! I figured if I was going to try anyone's lamb, it should be a woman who grew up eating lamb, right?!? QUITE delicious.
8. Some of my work really did suck, but I learned SO much from Sheila, that by the end of the week, I felt like I had a clue, and I'm keeping my pens.
9. Sometimes I worry about the stupidest stuff... I liked everyone... and I felt a deep connection with most of my calligraphy sistahs... it was truly an amazing experience.
10. I felt very much accepted by my sistahs and by Sheila... it was a wonderfully non-judgemental group of women (not something I've encountered very often in my life)!
It was one of the MOST amazing weeks of my life, and I'm SO glad I moved out of my comfort zone and went. We laughed till our sides hurt and everyone got along beautifully. It was just so incredibly much fun to pretty much do only what I felt like doing... my room was right outside Sheila's phenomenal studio (where she has more than enough room to teach ten students), so I could, and did, stay up late lettering, and got up, showered, dressed, and headed right back to my spot to letter some more!
Saying goodbye to Sheila after playing a little prank on her... I had so much fun making Sheila laugh!
This is the view from one of Sheila's kitchen windows... such a beautiful region of the country!
This is one of the teeny tiny books Sheila and her late husband, Peter, made about thirty or forty years ago. It was part of a miniature book display, and only approximately thirty of these sets were made. Recently one of these sets went for sale at auction, and garnered $16,000! I want one of those miniature book sets in the worst way!!! (Hey, a girl can dream, right?!? The workmanship was stunning, and I'd never seen anything like it before!)
Sheila and her husband came to the US when Peter was asked to be the curator at The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., after Peter worked for seven years to head up the restoration of the invaluable manuscripts that were ruined in the Great Flood of Florence, Italy; the 40th anniversary of which was just last week. I'd never known about the flood, and the video we watched with Sheila was incredible. I learned so much at Sheila's... so much, on so many levels; and I'm SO glad I had the opportunity!
Check out some incredible wildlife photos at the BBC Wildlife and London's Natural History Museum's "44th Annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit". This was brought to my attention by the good folks at VSL: Science. (VSL stands for Very Short List... emphasis short
). I get an email every so often with information about amazing subjects I might not otherwise be exposed to, and I love it! There are other VSL emails you can sign up for, such as VSL: Foods or VSL: Kids, or VSL: Web, even VSL:books! If I'm not interested, I just hit the delete button... but most often, I save these emails to view when I'm looking for some visual stimulation. If you haven't checked out the VSL site, what's keeping you?!? Have fun!
I put this together for a friend of mine, who is having a party later this month... I think I'm going to have to do something like this for myself! There's a change I can see that I may make in the way the tail of the "y" and the "z" come together, but for now, it will work just fine.
I hope you are having a great day, gotta run! Work calls...