Monday, September 9, 2013

'You Inspire Me' Project Week 3

Based on Beatus de Liebana: Commentary on the Revelation of Saint John, circa 945.

Honestly, after the other day, I just wanted something fun and colorful. And out of all the people that I see depicted in illuminations, I know I can draw these ones. They are like the ones I did for the Beowulf tapestry. In either case, this one was just a lot of fun.

Today was inspired by Mistress Sol la Cantor. Sol has an incredibly cheerful disposition, bubbly spirit that is just infectious. And have you seen her as an owl? She is fun. She is sweet. And I don't honestly think I've ever heard her complain. She is positive to a fault. I adore her. She is incredible with her music and very encouraging to others. An inspiration? How can you not sit down and talk with her and suddenly want to dive into research into just about any of the various topics that Sol seems to know so much about. Linguistics? Religion? Philosophy? There is never a dull moment with Sol.

Based on Boccaccio: Decameron, circa 1414 - 1419.

Today I wanted to do something similar to the very first card that I did. A lot of things in the 15th Century all seem to have a similar feel, so it wasn't hard to find one. This had techniques similar to others that I had fallen in love with, so this one won out over the others... for now. But it was nice to see how much I had progressed in two weeks. I still have work to do, but who doesn't? Everyone has something they want to keep working on.

Today's inspiration is Master William the Alchemist, the man who introduced me to the Decameron. He is, also, my laurel. But he is totally one of the coolest guys, as many people will attest to. Although he hasn't done much in the SCA since his kids were born, he does enough to keep active. When he took me on as a student, he didn't know what he was getting into. Nor did I. We have since given each other home work assignments and bounce ideas off each other. This guy? This guy? Have you heard some of his performances? I swear, something about every single one of them sticks out in my head from a flamboyant devil to INSOLENT FUNGUS being shouted by a mighty oak tree. He is incredibly creative. And where I will get a homework assignment and it will take me a month or more, I can request a style and a theme and he can produce something within the course of a few days.

Incredibly smart, tons of talents, I'm still learning all the things he does. We are an oddly good fit as we both, equally, have a variety of hobbies. And sometimes I will say 'I want to work on this..' and he will say 'oh man, that so fits with this other thing I want to work on!'

But he is always good at saying or suggesting something that makes me take flight in a different direction than I thought I would and creating something pretty spectacular.

Based on the Ingeborg Psalter, circa 1195.

Not much to say about this card. I wanted to work on calligraphy. Squished the 'me' sadly. Accidentally got a drop of water on a part of it. Sad about that. But man those squares on the corners are rocking! I love the design. At some point I will just create a random card of all my favorite aspects I've found so far. Because there are a lot. And these are some of them. Also... my black is randomly bleeding? Even after stirring and shaking? Weird.

Today's inspiration is local calligraphy fantastic Isabel Chamberlaine. To be perfectly honest, she is who has inspired me to start working on my calligraphy again. I've seen the things she has done, I've watched her blog posts of the step by step processes, and honestly, she is incredible. She is all about teaching, and even reaching out to teach if you can't be at an actual class with her. It is really a positive thing to see. Her in depth blog is fantastic. And have you met her? Sweet and adorable and hilarious! But don't you ever call her dainty or she will take you out on the field and show you a few things. She is super incredible and I simply adore her. I am more than certain that I am not the only person she inspires.

Based on The Book of Machines, circa 1264.

Today's card is very special to me. Have you ever seen something and pointed at it and said 'wow, that is incredible!' and it just resonated with you? This is one of those pieces. A book of machines? I didn't even know something like this existed! I don't know why I didn't think that. I mean, I've seen drawings of various workshops and descriptions of how to do various things, but a whole book based on them just never struck me. And yet, here it is!

This card has a few aspects. First, it was obvious the ink wasn't black. Everything was just a little diluted, so I used a sepia ink and it gave me the exact effect I wanted. Other than the outlines and the small symbols in sepia, everything else was done with a brush, including the words. I even mixed some colors and did some shading, which is a big deal for me. I've been so nervous about mixing inks. I don't know why. I love painting and wet on wet paint mixing is my favorite. This was more mixing it before hand but still had some similar feeling aspects to it. So there were a lot of feel good moments in making this card and... it just makes me want to look at the whole book. I'm completely fascinated and intrigued. Does anyone know what is depicted here?

Today's inspiration is someone who, like this picture, resonated with me and made me say 'wow, you are incredible'! Tristan le Chanticler is someone who is absolutely incredible. Yes, he sings. Yes, he writes songs. But he is so much more than that. He invents. He creates. He is kind. He wears his heart on his sleeve. And people that are close to him, his friends, would all agree that he would do anything to see them smile. He is very giving in both of his time, his energy, and of his musical resources. The joy of being able to teach people music, to sing with them, is overwhelming. He enjoys teaching, giving to others gifts of knowledge.

Tristan is one of those amazing people who has such an incredible wealth of knowledge and humor that a conversation can never possible be dull. I am honored to call him friend. And I am inspired by him as both a teacher and a mentor, but also as a human being in his kindness and gentility.

Based on the Morgan Crusader's Bible, circa 1250.

I'm loving the paint brush. I'm loving doing everything via the paintbrush. I'm getting better at the crisp lines and I think, eventually, I will feel braver with mixing colors and then these will be real miniatures. But either way, this whole card was done via paintbrush except the final lettering and the white highlighting. I'm rather proud.

Today's inspiration is cute and tiny and sweet and has more musical talent in her pinky than I do: Mina. Mina is the daughter of some of my favorite people (let's face it, all my friends are some of my favorite people). The reason she is today's inspiration is for two reasons. One, as I was working on this I kept thinking how I loved how bright and colorful it was and it reminded me of a decoration for on a child's wall. In fact, I think Johann has something similar. The second reason was stated previously: her musical talent. I am totally giving credit to Sabine for this. But, for an example, she came to the Gingers and Nutmegs concert and the piece being sung had a really difficult timing rhythm to it and... SHE WAS KEEPING PERFECTLY IN TIME! But, that wasn't the astounding thing. The astounding thing was when the singers faltered for a moment and Mina's little face screwed up with a 'wait a second, what did you do!?' look. It was darling. Maybe I can get Mina to teach me about musical timing. But it was just so sweet and... honestly inspiring to see such a young child already so passionate about something that doesn't live unless you give it passion.

Based on the Trinity College Apocalypse (I saw this one!) circa 1242-1250.

I made this card over the weekend at Hunter's Moon, under the dimming lights of day, in the dance pavilion. There was a water spill accident (nothing was harmed) and people were in awe over the cards. I was in awe that I was able to do anything of any value while people were stomping around doing Nika Nika...

...which gets us to today's inspiration. I don't think I ever would have been able to do this well had I not trained so thoroughly in proper flourishing technique with Marr. Marr? Treecat? Nate? Flannel man? Whatever you want to call him, DANCE WITH HIM! Bonus points if you can also get Wilhelm to say 'stay away from them, they are scary!'

Seriously, Nate has an amazing ability for flourishes in dancing. He is the first person in the SCA that I said 'teach me' to. Not only that, but he is always bubbly and has a great sense of humor and really he is just a lot of fun. I think there isn't a soul he can't perk up with just his presence. I mean, have you seen this guy? HE IS MAKING FLANNEL CHAINMAIL!! If you want to have fun in the SCA, seek this guy out and stick to him like glue! Seriously.

Based on De Lisle Psalter, circa 1308-1310.

Because, what else do you do when you need to slowly and methodically ease down off the high of a Commedia weekend? You do something that you say 'this will be easy... the only tough part is the white' and then enjoy making dizzying letters, which is about how you feel after performing.

Today's inspiration is a young girl named Cassie. A young girl named Cassie sat down next to me at Hunter's Moon as I was working and started asking me what I was doing. She gushed about how wonderful it is and wished how she could do something like that. I handed her a small card, smiled, and told her she should try. She got so excited and began bubbling with ideas. Her father leaned over and said I may have an apprentice on my hands. She asked very intelligent questions and, surprisingly, I had a lot of answers for her. She asked what the 'program' was that I was doing this for. And I explained the whole purpose behind my project and how it was just something I wanted to do. I swear she swooned. She was intelligent, incredibly sweet, and hugely respectful. It was an absolute pleasure and delight to sit there and teach her things I knew. I was hoping to see her again the next day, but I never ran into her.

Well, Cassie, wherever you are... I have your card. It fills me with hope (which is what I think your project may be, giving a little hope to everyone you smile at). I hope that some day soon I will see you again and I can return your card and give you a small gift of ink and a brush and a few more cards so you can continue.

So if anyone knows Cassie from Raigne's Folk (I doubt I spelled that right) who is 11 years old, please let her know I would love to get together with her again.

I really wanted to finish the card I was working on with her and give it to her, but she left before I could. But if I find her again, she will be getting a card because she got me all kinds of more enthusiastic about what I'm doing... and this time she has a card with her name on it.