Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Season is upon us ...

The time has come when we set the Christmas tree yet again. I am not big on the god factor of Christmas but I am big on enjoying the festive season and seeing the wonder in children's eyes & hearts during Christmastime. So the tree is set and here is a glimpse of the birdies atop and one of our baubles from the Montville (Qld) Clock Shop midway down.

Wishing you all

Compliments of the Season

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Mentoring Program - Australian & International calligraphers

I am often asked privately if I can give my advice on someone's calligraphy. For many many years I have been extremely flexible in my mentoring, giving a good deal of my time and advice freely through constructive critiques and happily so, so far.  The time has come I am no longer in a position to mentor without charging a small fee.

In a nutshell:
I request a few sheets of work via a short list of text by prior discussion. I give it a thorough critique and send it back with suggestions, ideas and direction.

You can have a one off, two, or several sessions.  I do not accept scans so you have to mail me the hard copy of your work and I mail it back to you.  It's worth it.  If you want a job done, it is to be done properly.  Most of the scanned work I have received over the past few years has been substandard and I do not get a real sense for the quality of the work and hence I can't give you the best direction that I would prefer.  With the hard copy I can relish in the sumptuous texts you have produced, then get on with the critique!

If you are interested I will send you the Mentoring Program specifications which includes the hands I am able to mentor in, the fee structure, the tin-tacks of how it works and we can take it from there.  Please email me and if you can pass this information on to your group, society or club I would appreciate your help in spreading the word.

Here is an image of a small part of an enormous vellum commission I am working on, perhaps it will whet your appetite.  I am just about to go in and add all the detail and highlights but all the drawings have been completed.  It will not be given to the recipient until the middle of February so you will have to wait until then to see more of it.

Latin for today's exercise: Quid pro quo!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Purely Pencils Plus

Hello there!

Today was the final day in my workshop teaching calendar for 2015.
I am delighted that the final workshop for the year was with the talented and lovely group
Stitching & Beyond. There were sixteen enthusiastic pencil workers in this group.  They are not calligraphers but enjoyed a little text instruction!

Purely Pencils Plus
We worked pencils into smooth gesso and textured gesso.
We worked pencils under gold leaf.
We enjoyed graffito into gold leaf with pencils.
In our downtime
... twiddling thumbs time ...
we worked the mandala,
emptying our minds, relaxing and just enjoying the pencil process. 

What a marvelous array of works created by this lovely group of local Tasmanians.  Thank you Stitching & Beyond & Chris Hussey for organising my workshops and for having me join you as tutor for the third time in twelve months ... wow!

Here is a sampler only of the two days (one or two are my demos).














Verna (did two of these)


  Great, eh!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

CSV - last away teaching for the year

Group: The Calligraphy Society of Victoria
Place: Melbourne Victoria AUSTRALIA
Date: this past weekend November 2015
Theme: Purely Pencils - a two-day workshop

It is always rewarding to see the what class participants create by the end of a workshop. This class was no exception. Unfortunately many of my photos were blurred, which is unlike me, so I can't show a full representation of the group, what I can show are these excellent results.


It is the nature of the pencil, be it H, B or other to demand a slow and consistent amount of time and effort to create little finished works. Most of the work here therefore, is unfinished.

This exercise is called from Nature to Paper. It is an exercise I developed to show people how easy it is to create a colour scheme from a small snippet from the garden. People are astounded just how many colours, tints and shades can be found in just one small plant. But, the beauty is, it works!

Here we have used the letterforms of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the simple design backgrounds of both his and the painting-to-the-line technique of Adolf Bernd.


My unpainted grevillea demonstration

These simple little graphic design exercises
are for trialing different pencil media such as water-soluble graphite,
watercolours, graphitint, inktense etc.

Thank you CSV for the invitation to teach this enjoyable workshop for your group and thank you to the creative participants:

Kate Adderley
Patricia Barth
Glenice Burn
Margaret Burgess
Susan Byrdy
Moya Carroll
Eve Cazalet
Lisa Churchward
Sally Diserio
Lyn Hope
Bev May
Janine Mitchell
Diana Prewett
Liz Sansom
Adeline Tijo
Murray Vagg
Rhonda Walker
Lorraine Watt

A night out with friends. My hostess Liz Sansom & Lyne DeLuca.  

The weekend was tinged with incredible sadness and shock of terrorist attacks in Paris, the second time this year, outrageous!  From someone who travels a good deal and in my sixtieth year, I shan't shy away from future travel to share and enjoy my passion for letters.  These criminals - not only those who pulled the triggers but their lunatic supporters - will be defeated and I shall continue to stand in support of, and solidarity for, democracy, equality and freedom.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Grounds by the guidance class crew

My calligraphy guidance class crew had never created grounds before
so here you will see some of my demonstrations and some of their outcomes.  
This was one of the absolute best ways to spend time for all of us.

Paper taped, secure & ready to work upon.

 300gsm Arches cold-pressed (medium) watercolour paper.

 Stonehenge - tan

Masking fluid & rock salt

Can you believe it - never done grounds before!

Before ... 

... and after

Mushroom clouds and all . . .

Great results and a great deal of fun.  Well done guidance crew!

Visit my website too!

Visit my website too!
In-class illumination demonstration

Something about Gemma

My photo
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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