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The past five or six months has been frenetic to say the least. There have been vaccinations, TSO concerts, lectures to attend online as a participant, lectures to give, Book of Kells, A calligraphers Life. There have been workshops both in-person and online ... many of them. Some have been pop-up workshops that I organise on the spur of the moment with a group or groups in pandemic lock down (gratis) then I have have some invitations to teach in Australia, the UK, and the US. There have been exhibitions to attend and exhibitions to contribute to not to mention preparing works for a major journal (shhhhh) about to go to press. Gosh ... and lunches & dinners to attend. Now I'm off to meet a calligraphy friend for a coffee!
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    Thursday just past we gathered at the Lettering & Arts Shed to craft a couple of drum leaf bound booklets. Thanks to the guidance of Jenny Blake, friend and fellow Shed mate.  This binding is perfect for workshop notes and exemplars as every page lays flat. If you google "drum leaf binding" you may well find a couple of designs with images and instructions.   The music pages are real and have a little foxing that adds to the authenticity.

Strange feeling ...

  It is something I can't seem to shake off, the feeling of guilt. What is it that makes me feel guilty. I don't even know what it is I am guilty of? I have always had this guilt complex since I was a youngster. Upbringing in a strict Catholic family? You are all guilty even if you aren't. I am always afraid even though I truly have "nothing" to be afraid of. Just recently, I felt guilty in having to let a beginner student go because I needed, no, wanted my Tuesday mornings back, or so I said. teaching one-on-one is difficult and even though I would sometimes work on my own stuff while they were labouring away ... I'd feel guilty about that even. Now I feel guilty I have not worked hard enough to have all my film clips ready ... when I said I would. Am I lazy? What do I really want to do in life? I feel that dwelling on such questions are a waste of time, just get in and do something good, something worthwhile. Something, anything I won't feel guilty about

Time moves on ...

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    Time is moving on at a rapid pace. I don't know if that's because I am busy or that time has actually sped up. Of course I have been busy. I have been preparing for an upcoming one-day virtual workshop with the Texas Conference Legacies III and as usual I am privileged to be on the faculty. Over the week-long conference I will attend lectures, view the exhibitions and partake in some breakout conversations and lettering discussions. I will be wonderful to se many of my friends again and to make new ones.   Recently I ran a three hour workshop for the Art Society of Tasmania on how to use gold leaf on a number of different substrates. Time was tight so I had to be quite regimented in the flow process so I could get all the different techniques in that I wanted to share with the group. It was a successful little gathering at Lady Franklin Gallery and all went home happy with their bits ... and pieces. In the recent two weeks covid-19 outbreaks have arrived on our shores again

The story of a painting ...

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   Gemma Black: maker of written artifacts with pen & ink-stone  Artist: Neville Dawson   I met a man on a bus   I arrived into Hobart Airport from one of those long haul trips that I have taken from time to time. I was exhausted after an enjoyable teaching tour. I boarded a mini-bus to take me into the city centre as David was working in Orchestra and had taken the car. A gentleman asked was the seat next to me taken. It wasn’t, so I said he was welcome to sit there. Invariably a small-talk conversation started though I could hardly keep my eyes open with the tiredness. Suddenly my senses piqued when he said he was an artist and all my concentration was suddenly focused on this quietly spoken man sitting next to me … "An artist? So am I” , I said … “ well sort of” . The gentleman, whose name is Neville Dawson, turned out be so interesting and charming that our trip into the city ended so very quickly. It saw us swapping names as he exited down the st
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 It's a good to be alive day ...         On a beautiful cream 300gsm watercolour paper this is a repeat of a piece I did quite a few years ago now. Walnut ink & vermilion gouache, It was originally a contribution to a conference faculty exhibition in the US. A student saw a partial image in a versals workshop I was teaching recently and he asked if he could use it in a religious text exhibition towards the end of 2021. I'll set the link here when the show goes online.      

Calligrapher's reflection 2020 - 2021

    Following is an article just written for the Canberra Calligraphy Society. ____________________________________________ Twenty-twenty started as quite a frightening year for many in South East Australia. Traumatising communities from the Queensland border to our beautiful Tasmania. Bushfires that had been raging throughout various parts of the country since September 2019 were now out of control. By late December Canberra residents and other visitors were trying to flee the south coast. We here in Tasmania also had our own bushfires to deal with. Twenty-twenty started badly and then turned worse. An illness, an emergency, a pandemic.   On the twenty-fifth of January the Australian news headline read: The first case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been confirmed by Victoria Health Authorities this morning. The patient, a man from Wuhan, flew to Melbourne from Guandong on 19 January. On the twenty-sixth of January I flew to Canberra to spend some much