Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas ... a glimpse of our tree!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Some of the place cards I created for a dinner held at MONA
Very generously given by John & Marilyn Canterford to thank the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and to honour their departing conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing.

Steph called by for dinner and brought these stunning poppies.
It was a fabulous evening at #67

Monday, November 21, 2011

I drew this “Thank You” up this afternoon. My brief was to keep within the corporate branding mimicking the logo-type of the Company. It is of course more difficult working to someone else’s brief though it works well enough I believe.

I have just completed these illuminations for an engaged couple. I have hidden their names for privacy but they are written in a beautiful gold leaf copperplate reflecting the flow of the foliage.  These will be mounted seperately but side by side on foamcore and floated on a backing mat in a box frame.

The absolute best irises in town from the Salamanca markets!
And look, Barb's dad's moody birds.

The Poppies from Duncan & Stephanie ... gorgeous!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Handwritten at the National Library of Australia

Blatent advertising. Among other things on the education program there wil be a series of calligraphy classes held by members of the Canberra Calligraphy Society.

Handwritten: ten centuries of manuscript treasures from the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
26 November 2011 – 18 March 2012
National Library of Australia

Handwritten: ten centuries of manuscript treasures from the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin features 100 unique manuscript treasures from Germany’s largest library.

From medieval illuminated manuscripts to the letters and works of world-renowned writers, explorers, scientists and philosophers, visitors to Canberra have a rare opportunity to view priceless manuscripts created over a period of more than 1000 years.

Handwritten is a who’s who of some of the world’s greatest thinkers and creators. Browse exquisite illuminated manuscripts, rare letters, sketches, documents and priceless musical scores, including Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Newton, Galileo, Descartes, Nightingale and Einstein, to name just a few.

The collection of musical scores alone is extraordinary. Never before have such significant manuscripts by Handel, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Brahms and nine other famous German composers come to Australia.

From Dante’s Divine Comedy to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, this is a not-to-be-missed chance to come face to face with significant moments in human endeavour. There are explanatory notes throughout and the National Library has also created ‘The Mind’, a relaxed space where people can take a moment to immerse themselves in the content of the exhibition and access the complementary digital resources.

The National Library of Australia in Canberra is the only Australian venue.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

the full quid

Heather Lee gave me this paper Fabriano Uno when I was visiting Red Deer. I had never used nor seen it before.  Feels like about 300gsm. It is beautiful for both pencil work and gouache ... just beautiful. This work has been done with a .035 propelling pencil, Schmincke gouache and a 1/2 Brause.

If we didn't do this we would die ...


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ancora Imparo

Ancora Imparo: A little gold piece 15 x 15 x 3.5cm
copper & gold leaf, collage & painting on canvas.
It is a little Latin quote attributed to Michaelangelo
translated to "I am still learning". It is also Monash University's motto.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Canberra Calligraphy Society 25th anniversary cake designed and made by Sara Rawlingson

In January 1986 three friends, Ricky Edmunds, Ali O'Flaherty and myself held a public meeting to gather interest to create the Canberra Calligraphy Society.  It was a well attended evening held at Bruce Technical College during one of Canberra's ferocious summer storms.  What a way to start a Society!

Now twenty-five years later some of those who joined in the early days are still with us, some have moved aways and sadly some have passed away.  It is however, still a vibrant and wonderful Society to belong to.  All best wishes to the the Canberra people who have continued to pursue and promote the pen's excellence.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Brush with Silence

An inspiring film:

This writing performance originated from “ A Brush with Silence”, an idea developed by Brody Neuenschwander.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Townsville - Calligraphy & Music

When David was invited to perform at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, I contacted my friends in Townsville to say I may be coming and would they like a workshop of their choosing if I came too.  Delighted with the response from Sue, I ran a workshop called Layered Lettering which involved coloage & colour as well.  The group Coral Sea Calligraphers, who I have taught for before were just as lovely and responsive as always. And, from the first evening's "meet & greet at Isabelle & John's home, to the workshop itself at the Jame Cook University Art School, the Townsville hospitality was exceptional.

Rae Smith devoted a good deal of her time to entertaining me around the galleries, cafes, artists studios & shops and other places of interest.  I thank her for her time and energy ... we had a ball!!!!

The Australian Fesitval of Chamber Music excelled in fine musician and craftsmanship.  The performers and performances were marvelous.  From Bach in the Cathedral to Jazz on Magnetic Island with Sharny Russell & George Golla & David Nuttall's brilliant "Misty".  I am still coming down from the high this workshop and music experience has left me with.

Class Scene

Isabelle & Rae

Coral Sea Calligraphers

Rehearsing in the Catholic Cathedral, Townsville
Vernon, Louise, David & Simon

These are the first few letters in my second alphabet for 2011 in ALaW.
Gessoed black paper with pencil letterforms & peircings.

Monday, August 22, 2011

What's on the drawing board ...

A golden commission and a table full of vellum.

A lovely little commission as a gift for Vonda.  I am pretty certain Vonda shan't be reading my blog.

A Letter a Week ... is well under way. I have cut my 7cm x 7cm squares from gessoes panels of black.  The lettering is coming along slowly and I am squezing ALaW in with the commissions.  Look out for the piercings to come!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Red Deer, Alberta Canada

An interesting find in Red Deer: the Bradley Stencil Machine Co. Stencil Maker.

I taught a very eager class at Red Deer College in Alberta Canada just a few weeks ago in July. In this workshop we explored the development of the versal form and studied the hand from the Stowe Charter, a Cnut charter hard.  We covered pen and ink lettering as well as pencil drawing. There was a very strong emphasis on good letterforms, study techniques and research methods.  The class was great fun, the student very receptive and interactive.

Detail of the Stencil Maker. I would have loved to use this maching for letter making artworks.

Oh Canada!  A desert on the menu on our last night celebration ... Oh Tummy!

Participants table at the students showcase.

Teaching colleague Massimo Polello from Italy

With Heather Lee who made it the Red Deer workshop happen for me.  I am grateful to Heather for her generocity and friendship.


I have started a series of work which include piercings.  I was inspired by these little trinkets, some of which I took to the Summer School in Winter and the others I took to Red Deer.  The more I am piercing the more I am enjoying the works.

Summer School in Winter - SSiW

Colleen Little at work.

The Summer School in Winter was held in Melbourne, Australia late June, early July 2011. It is an annual international calligraphy event organised by the Calligraphy Society of Victoria.

The workshop I taught was called Come in out of the Cold: the role calligraphy plays in our lives. It was a three-day workshop specially designed for the CSV SSiW.  After discussion of the role calligraphy plays in our lives, the words we use, the colours we choose and how we present work we made connections both creatively and spiritually with the work so the true essence of what we wanted to say, visually, speaks profoundly.  It was a scary propostion to run such a workshop where the theme is one which you can't quite put your finger on but once you go through the process it all makes sense.  Well ... for my participants I hope it did!

The joy of Colleen's work.

"It won't hurt a bit!"

My Love!

I am very happy with my love.

The Summer School Tutoring Team: Annie, Colleen,Thomas, Eliza & Gemma

... and the two beautiful ladies who made it all happen: Lyne De Luca and Nicoll Heaslip

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Up in the air ...

With all flights to Tasmania cancelled David and I find ourselves in Sydney unable to get home. Our flight was last Sunday 12th and our new scheduled flight, after many, is now planned for Thursday 16th. Qantas has been marvellous in looking after us with hotel accommodation and meals for up to five days. Wish us luck. The worst thing is we have been slightly inconvenienced, as our thoughts are really with our New Zealand friends and in particular our friends in Christchurch.

In the mean time I have my visual diary for my records. In Canberra the other day I bought this little pack of 12 x A7 (7.5cm x 10.5) pads and books called The Miniature Collection, which are giving me great pleasure.  My plan is to use all these 12 different supports for my upcoming A Letter a Week project. Here they are:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Nib sculpture

Pen Nibs, Sculpture by Anne Neil 2005

Can you believe these nibs!!  I was excited when my host Barb King, who was looking after me for my recent versals workshop for the Calligraphers Guild of WA, said I must see these nibs. Barb was right!  This nib sculpture is in Barrack Street at one of the entrances to the Supreme Court gardens.  There was no plaque to tell me the sculptor, nor it's name. It may well be "somewhere" on the work.   Makers ... please insist on leaving your mark!

I have done a little search and have come up with a couple of explanations to their significence. One is that scriveners worked nearby at the courts for the past two centuries ... but another says they have nothing to do with the courts at all and that they are related to the gardens and were a tribute to the far-sighted planners who established the gardens over a century and a half ago.

I took these photos obviously in the evening, lit up, as well as in daylight.

Thanks Barb! More on the workshop soon.

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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