Saturday, December 9, 2017

Madrid, winter 2017

It is the trip of a lifetime. Invited to the exciting city of Madrid I have fallen in love with another European city and it's people. Thanks to my friends and great calligrapher and teacher Anna Coll & her husband Pepe.

I attended an amazing exhibition at the Thyssen-Bornmeisza Gallery ...

... and spent a day at the Prado. I certainly got my steps up at these galleries. Amazing works.  I was thrilled to come across one of my absolute favourites Georgia O'Keefe.

 I have fallen in love with Madrid.

A pic of the class on our final day.

These were the early-birds to class and...

... here were the wonderful mischief makers. I loved every minute of it.

I am so fortunate.



Friday, November 24, 2017

I found a treat in Turin

Today I walked into a church in Turin, Italy that I discovered unexpectedly. It was completely empty. Not a soul, apart from in the crypt (I imagine). It was a strange yet special experience.

San Filippo Nevi Catholic Church

I found a treat there. It will be a part of my body of work for my residency in Venice.

Here is a sneak peek:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ampersands Mandalas, and Colour & gold

I am fortunate enough to teach at various places around the world and I'll continue to do so until such a time as the invitations stop flowing. I am grateful for time I have to spend with all my lettering artist friends.

A couple of weeks ago I returned to a favourite place of mine to teach, Adelaide. After an invitation from the  Calligraphy Society of South Australia we settled on two one-day workshops. Workshop one: Ampersands and Workshop two: colour & gold. Both workshops were just a taste in each area.

a shout of congratulations to the Calligraphers in South Australia.

Ampersand Mandala


My in-class sampler

My in-class sampler

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Ramblings from Missoula Montana

One of the lovely things on this trip is I don't have wifi at the home of the people hosting me Cindy & Jim. It allows me time, time I don't bother taking to do other things, things I used to do before wifi (BW) :-)

Long story but now in Montana, Amity has kindly given me access to her wifi so, here are my late night ramblings.

This year, to date, I have been invited to teach in three Australian cities & towns, Buderim, Sydney & Pokolbin with two more to go Sydney again and Adelaide. To my Australian colleagues I am eternally grateful for your support.  Thank you.

I have also been fortunate to visit and teach in eight US cities this year, Pittsburg, Salt Lake City, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Colorado Springs, currently I am in Missoula and next week I’ll be in Minneapolis.

To friends and colleagues around the world who, spend hours of their busy lives helping to organize these workshops and classes, I am indebted to you, thank you.

I have also visited Canberra a couple of times to have fun with the grandies, not to forget starting the year off with a New Years Eve concert  - and a few others - in China.

Each class takes a lot of preparation time in email conversations, creation of new exemplars, samplers and new artwork. Travel time and endurance is a huge factor to take into consideration with hours and hours of both flying time and airport time. To me it is a precious time for reading … oh okay and the odd movie or three.

This has been a marvellous year to say the least and it is not over yet.  In November I fly to Dubai, Saudi Arabia to visit with my sister then on to Barcelona to visit with my niece and family. Whilst in Spain I’ll teach in Madrid in November, then on to Torino after which I spend the month of December in Venice undertaking an artist’s residency at the Scuola Internazionale de Grafica Design, in Cannaregio with a workshop and a few afternoon classes.

Coupled with the sadness of loosing my mother in February the year has been one of frenetic periods of pure joy and deep sorrow. I think of her now knowing she would be so proud of the immature daughter who had lost her way in life and finally found it.


 I flew in from Colorado Springs yesterday.
Here, my gorgeous hosts Don & Cecelia Harris.

Just some of the 16 participants in my Colo Springs class. Fabulous share table in front here.

Cecelia and me outside their home.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Birdies, Ampersands & other ligatures San Antonio

My "ampersands & other ligatures" workshop has now finished in San Antonio Texas. The participants were fabulous and we all enjoyed our time of it. It was the first time I used a document camera but I am yet to be convinced that it is the way for me. I was also miked as the group was large and some a little hard of hearing. I got used to that but I had to keep my sniffles in check!

On the way to class, I snapped these "Grackles on a wire" out of the car window!

Participant mementos.


The classroom was a bright and airy pre-school!

Some of the participants painted Celtic ampersands.


 Students work:

 Depending on the style of ampersand some mandalas were quicker to execute than others.

My unfinished in-class sample.

It was great meeting so many talented peeps in San Antonio.

Highlights from The McNay Museum, San Antonio

Georgia Okeefe

Looking Down

A surprise seeing my favourite artist Amedeo Modigliani 

St Barbara
The Master of Frankfurt Southern Netherlandish 1460 - c1533

War Mother
Charles Umlauf

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The best laid plans ...

I really have not had a moment to log my travels since I arrived in Pittsburgh.  Amazingly & luckily I have been through a few doors but I am not going to be a crashing bore and show them all. The pace has been (happily) frenetic.

On my first day I visited the Carnegie Melon University where I was to teach. Fortunately I was able to spend many hours in the Fine & Rare Books Reading Room. The lettering below was designed by Arnold Bank and thanks to Karen Nordstrom Roberts I was privileged to to view many wonderful works held here.

What's this? 

 Wait for it ...

Father Catich's rubbing of the Trajan Inscription.

 Oh my, I was somewhat excited. I took photos of every word up close and personal for study purposes but lucky you I shan't bore you with them all. Studying from a book is one thing and the best way if you have no other exposure, but to study from the real rubbing is a grade up from that. Other than climbing a ladder as Fr. Catich did.

 But If someone can tell me the answer to my question of the last thirty years "why oh why are the "I's" in "DIVI" (divine) raised above the cap line. Nowhere else on the inscription does this happen with the "I's". My only idea is that it is in reverence/homage to the the "Divine". You know the reason church steeple spire high to touch the Divine ... in this case the Divine Nevae.

 And so, on the visit went pulling out drawers of works held in the collection.

There were at least fifty of Arnold Bank's Teaching exemplars available to view & study.

More to come ...

Visit my website too!

Visit my website too!
In-class illumination demonstration

Something about Gemma

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Blackmans Bay, Tasmania, Australia
I am an Australian, a letter designer & calligrapher. I enjoy working with letters and grounds, teaching and mixing with like-minded people.


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