It’s a progression

Well, m’dears, as always everything is a learning experience–even when you think you are falling back on something familiar.

Gallery 4 has a themed show every month. It is so fun to be a part of, because you get so many different takes on the same theme. The month of August is “Inspired by a Master”. Since I am preparing to head to Europe next week, I decided to do something I felt comfortable with, and went to my go to illuminated manuscript–the Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta. It is my absolute favorite and is basically the entire reason I started taking botanical art classes in the first place.  Follow the link and scroll down to see some great images, OR–so exciting–you can download all the images for free. Which I encourage everyone to do. Cause it’s my favorite. And don’t think that the fact that I own four different hard copy reproductions biases me in any way….ahem. HOWEVER, proof I don’t read them and only look at the pictures? I thought I would see where in Europe it lived, in case I could see it in person and discovered it lives in The Getty in Los Angeles! I could have seen it any time I visited my mother in the last 20 years! Doh!!

It has been a few years since I have done any regular calligraphy, so I thought that would be my biggest problem. It wasn’t. My calligraphy is far from master quality, but it was actually the flowers that gave me the worst time. I’ve been trying so hard to learn to do things to scale, that I hadn’t realized that the flowers in the Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta weren’t.

Here is an example:

And here is the first one I tried to do:

Now, there isn’t anything WRONG with it, exactly, but I clearly missed the boat. Because they look so realistic, it hadn’t occurred to me that they were exaggerated.

So then I did this one:

It is still a little disjointed, but it is a little closer, and the turtle, which a friend posted a photo of on Facebook, came out cute.

THEN I discovered I had been using my stamping ink, instead of my good ink, so anyone who likes those two get them for super cheap, because even with conservation coated glass, one can’t trust how light-fast the ink is.

So then I got out my good inks, and tried again:

We are still missing a bit, but again! another step closer. Also, I clearly have a better time with turtles and frogs than I do in adjusting for the style with flowers. So then I figured that I should skip the flowers until I could readjust my brain, and did this one (Try, try again, right?):

And I was so excited that I was getting closer to the look I wanted that I didn’t realize that I hadn’t put the shadows on the apple and the cherry until after I framed it! So then I decided “No going back! Forward!” and was going to leave it, but I really can’t. I am going to have to tear it apart and put the shadow in, or  I will obsess about it until I die.

Good times.

Now I live to go to LA, so I can see it in person, so I can start doing it “right”. Though, really, when my husband looks at a thing and unsolicited says “Someone would buy that”, that may not seem like much, but I have arrived! We all know my husband’s bewilderment about painted art.  So I am stopping while i am ahead. At least until I get back from my trip. 😉


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