Wednesday, 27 March 2013

working from left to write too

as you can see in the images below, once upon a book became a wonderful canvas filled with opportunities to create a unique way of sharing favourite recipes with a dear friend. all of the things i have learned/studied/been influenced by show up in my work when i get out of my own way, and especially when i take a few moments to breathe and connect with what might be.

years ago,  i was one of two main calligraphers in the province of nova scotia during a time when there were no personal computers to render things of the lettering kind. this was a time when i rested my elbows tripod style on my drafting table. steady as she goes.

on the main floor of an ever and always chilly victorian home, my studio was set up in the dining room, near the window where the north light entered the room. it is said that north light is 'best' because there are no shadows falling across the work surface. besides, i always felt most at home with the sunshine on my shoulders (thank you j.d. and dave.)

i love the smell of india ink. how it left those little tattoos between my fingers like a code. the indentations were there too from holding on tight to that pen made of wood, the scars on my finger tips from pushing brause steel nibs into the end.  those were the days when clients would send their requests via courier. with the ink barely dry,  i'd whisk the finished work across the streets of halifax in order to meet every dead line, every life line. 

once computers and commercial graphics took hold, i put my pen and ink away, sold my drafting table and went on to find other ways of appeasing the muse within. from as far back as i can remember, i was in a deep and loving partnership with words, ideas, thoughts and the muse was forever giving me a nudge. it didn't take long before some other artistic adventure would find me. 

when i was in grade six, my home room teacher pinned my short story to a small bulletin board near the front door of the classroom. i felt that it was me who was adorned with a shiny gold star. my story, as far as i can recall, was about an adventure on a deserted island....something happened to the people on that island, for i ended it abruptly with the phrase and none was seen since. the reality is that the word none was supposed to be 'no one'.

that precious minor chord, that essence of happenstance created a moment where i saw my sometimes gruff teacher soften as he took a deep breath in, and with raised eyebrows his lips form a tiny and silent oh my . i heard his fountain pen scratch across the top margin of my little story in the most gorgeous penmanship what a little genius writer i would be one day. at the ripe old age of 11, there was no way i had a clue what he was on about. and yet. i remain loyal and true to my first love all these years later my love of working from left to write. 

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