Friday, 1 March 2013

Thank You

Thank you for all your support.
I have moved house to my new blog at www.limetreesstudio.com

I've been blogging daily for a year and have had 25,500 pageviews in that time and lots of encouragement.

My new blog is designed to include downloadable tutorials, an art gallery and my usual creative journal.

From now on I'll be blogging three days a week concentrating mainly on:
1) Info, tips and how-to's for calligraphers and creative people
2) Inspiration and Calligraphers (The stuff that inspires me and lifts my day)
3) My creative journal and Behind the Scenes - which might spill over into "how-to's.
Please visit me at www.limetreesstudio.com and subscribe.

Thanks Again
Au revoir

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

...and real trees

This is the last blog on this site - so if you'd like to keep reading my blogs please go to www.limetreesstudio.com and subscribe. The new blog will eventually have a gallery of professional calligraphers, a gift shop and tutorials on offer as well as the usual Behind the Scenes info and my creative journal. I'll usually be blogging three times a week. 

Singapore is such a brilliant source of exciting and exotic images. The trees - mangroves, banyans and lipstick palms and a whole horde that I could not identify. The growth patterns were nothing like that which I studied in botony - roots descending from trunks and leaves seeming to emerge from one another.
Here is a little taster.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Man-made Trees 3

It was lovely to see these 2-D flat metal sculptures especially since I'm currently working with tree silhouettes. The top one is about 3M in diameter. These wonderful trees and plants are by Zadok Ben-David and are currently on show at in Singapore Gardens. I loved the ones in the lake. This exhibition closes tomorrow - I will be on the way home after a wonderful holiday in Singapore.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Man-made Trees 2

These massive trees which look like petrified trees must surely be man-made.
This was on the dinosaur walk in the Botanical Gardens in Singapore and I'm collecting exotic trees for reference material to use in artwork. There were hunks of huge stone tree trunks which were definitely real!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Man-made trees

Hello from Singapore!
2 nice things today!
1) I'm having a great holiday and am about to visit the Dragon Pottery works and the Chinese Gardens.
This means intermittent blogs for a couple of weeks.
2) My web-designer says that the subscriptions at the new blog www.limetreesstudio.com should work now.  People who tried to subscribe before may find it a bit more complicated: please see notes below. This means that with all things being equal, this blog will close completely in mid-March.
In the meantime enjoy the man-made trees from the Bay Gardens.

These structures house systems for the bio-domes and will eventually be covered in creepers. The photo below is not as striking as photos goes, but it explains it a bit better. Functional art can be so amazing.

Note that those who have already tried to subscribe via email may find that, when they try to subscribe again, they get a message in the subscription box along the lines of "this email address has already subscribed, please check your spam folder". If this is the case, they can still subscribe, it's just a bit more complicated (and I'm afraid that there's no way to simplify this.
They should:
  • Go to https://subscribe.wordpress.com, and enter their email address under the 'Manage your subscriptions' heading.
  • Check their email inbox for an email from WordPress.com 
  • Follow the link in the email which starts https://subscribe.wordpress.com/?key=
  • Click the 'Pending' link - this should bring up a link for Limetrees Studio
  • Hover the mouse over the Limetrees Studio link, which should then display links to Confirm or Delete
  • Click Confirm to subscribe (or Delete to cancel the whole thing - if they wish they can then subscribe in the normal way at a later date)

Friday, 8 February 2013

Paper at Limetrees Studio 1 - Saunders HP

I adore paper - in the way some women adore shoes - (which makes me inexpensive to maintain!)
I learnt to make it in 1978 but it was too much like housework! Please note that this is only about the paper I use.

I have also tried to educate myself about paper and in this series I will share how I did this, where I buy it and which paper I use for what. So its all very much personal taste and "fit for purpose"
Here are the things I do (we'll ignore gift wrapping, digital printing and pattern making)

My self-education programme started with looking through Letter Arts Review and writing down the names of papers that different calligraphers used and what their media were. This was 25 years ago, in South Africa. Moving here in 1989 has made all these wonderful papers accessible.Anyway, I learnt that Saunders Waterford Hot Pressed was very popular in the UK and was used for lettering of a very high calibre of formal craftmanship. 

Saunders Waterford embossing - but note that here this is  on a watercolour textured paper
Saunders Waterford Hot Pressed Paper: At the paper mill, this paper is run between heated rollers to give it an very smooth finish. This is ideal for Formal Calligraphy; sharp letters and fine detail painting, neither of which really features in my radar. It feels lovely to handle but out of context can look rather ordinary especially without artwork to adorn it. I would certainly advocate it for competition work where each letter will be judged. For my own part, I'll always sacrifice a bit of finish for paper with more "bite" and texture. In most art shops it is as follows...

100% cotton
90lb or 140lb, or in metric terms: 190gsm or 300gsm.
(as a guide - bond paper is 80 - 100gsm, business cards are 300gsm)
56cm X 76cm
Long grain (i.e. the grain direction is parallel to the long side - 76cm)
4 deckle edges.- just look at them in the photo - yum. 
(It is also available in a roll)

Pushing the boundaries with Saunders Hot pressed: If you rub chalk pastel all over it to colour it, then really rub it into the fibres with cotton wool and blow the excess powder off, you will find a lovely colourful sympathetic surface with more bite and you'll still be able to do sharp letters.  Painting it with a watercolour wash is more complicated - you have to stretch it first, then do a wash. Wetting the paper raises the fibres and makes it more porous, so it needs to be resized with gum sanderac to fill those little gaps. Too much gum sanderac and it's like writing on cellophane, too little and it bleeds.You could probably spray it with fixative - but don't quote me. Remember I don't really do formal lettering and I don't use it often. But I'm going to do some wild experimenting on it in the Summer for a project where we have to use HP. Watch this space!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Wild Flowers 5 - Wild garlic

Oh I just loved painting the  wild garlic. Its so pretty. I am drawing it from photos - sadly; as its out of season and I have a commission to complete. I'm playing with overlapping shapes, stylisation and simplifying it. Its drawn in pen and ink (Talenz Ecoline) then painted in watercolour so that the ink bleeds into the paint.

And here it is in situ in a detail of the design - with the sycamore and hazel. You may notice that I flipped it - so nice to have photoshop!

Now no more of the lovely time I'm having doing these until I get back from Singapore, although I'll be visiting the botanical gardens with my paintbox!