Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Four painted pendants

This is what happens when I am left alone on a Friday night- I drink spiked eggnog and paint things that amuse me. Each pendant contains two mini paintings inside a metal frame with glass covers.

Kiwi! Apteryx and Actinidia, respectively.
Kiwi Actinidia
Kiwi! Apteryx
Kiwi Apteryx
Kiwi! Actinidia

Closer Still
Closer Still
Two Pair
Two Pair
Now available at Currant Thoughts

Monday, December 03, 2012

Lo, they do call me

The depiction of Yggdrasil was inspired by a carving from the Hylestad stave church door, circa 1175. The door depicts scenes from the story of Sigurd, in this scene Regin sleeps and Sigurd roasts the dragon's heart and burns his finger. The original carving places Sigurd and Regin at the base of a beautiful and smooth curving tree. The birds are original to the carving but the roots and the serpent Níðhöggr were added from my imagination. I chose to keep the illumination a subtle mix of browns which is both reminiscent of the carved wood of those ancient doors and appropriate for the gravity of the piece

The text for this page was inspired by the Risala of Ahmad Ibn Fadlan, a 10th century Islamic traveler who first-hand witnessed a Rus ship burial and wrote about what he saw. During that burial, a slave girl is sacrificed with her lord. Shortly before she is killed, she speaks this brave prayer which was translated to Ibn Fadlan as he watched the burial ceremony. This particular version of the prayer text is used in the movie The Thirteenth Warrior and is a poetic interpretation of the many translations of the Risala.

The pseudo-runic font I found on the title page of a 1908 printing of The Elder or Poetic Edda. To date, this is one of the better runic illusionary runic fonts I have found.

The text reads:
Lo there do I see my father
Lo there do I see my mother, my sisters and my brothers
Lo there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning. Lo, they do call me, they bid me take my place among them, in the halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever.

Prints are now available at my Etsy store, Currant Thoughts.  
The prints measure 4.5 X 6.5 inches and are matted in brown to 8 X 10 inches.

Special thanks to my Asatru heathen friends Brad Taylor-Hicks and John Beale who consulted with me and helped to consider which version of the text would have the best, and most appropriate, appeal. Also, thanks to Hunter Masters, my resident source of Norse mythology and symbolism.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Don't Blink: Weeping Angel Illumination

Continuing in my series of illumination for geeks I picked what is, in my opinion, the creepiest villain the Doctor Who series has ever created.

Weeping Angels...

Prints are now available in my Etsy store Currant Thoughts just in time for holiday shopping... or scaring the crap out of your friends and family.

This was a bunch of fun to create. I especially enjoyed playing with the twining ribbon around the frame and the angel itself. As for the hand at the bottom, well, there is a few hours of my life I won't get back. Hands = no fun ever.

Last night I finished a Norse inspired piece so I hope to have that up in a few days.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Gõcauo Diego Ramiriç, Knight


Within this Dream, upon the fields of the Known World, each of us has the opportunity to become something more, something better. Inside ourselves we find a nobility and grace that we did not know that we possessed and with each year we shape our rough clay smooth, revealing a bright light inside. Some men, like our good Gõcauo Ramiriç, shine so bright that they help to guide us all toward something greater.

In his words and deeds are found the prudence, fortitude, temperance and justice that marks him as a peer of the realm. He embodies a courage, a faith and a quality of mercy that reveals him as a true Knight of our Known World. As such and in consort with the Order, We, the Crown Trimaris, find it right and proper to elevate Gõcauo Ramiriç to the most noble Order of the Chivalry so that all may known him as a peer of the realm and society. On this day we charge you to stand exemplar of the ideals in which we believe and never to hesitate to give your life in the just defense of God, your lord or your Kingdom Trimaris.
So done by our hand upon this 27th day of October in the year or our society XLVII.
Krotuas, Ceaser & Brenna, Empress

Design and Execution:

Design for this illumination inspired by the Nasrid plaster carvings and Kufic inscriptions at the Alhambra palace of Grenada. 

Design and Layout: Mistress Maol and Mistress Finneadan
Illumination: Mistress Maol, Mistress Finneadan, HL Finnguala ingen Alisdair and HL Bronnach of Kildare
Calligraphy: HL Finnguala ingen Alisdair

Hours: Approximately 90ish

Notes: You know how every now and then I draw a line and say “I’m never doing this again”. Well, this is one of those times. Bringing light and depth to a monochromatic piece takes a lot of time and a lot of fiddling about with colors. Coaxing life and subtlety into this piece was a large chunk of the hours count. I’m really glad it is done and that Gõcauo likes it. However, I really no interest in seeing another image of plaster carving or of the Alhambra for quite some time.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Lorcan’s County

If I lead old friends into the fray,
I sing under the Shield,
And they fare into battle mighty and whole
and they fare from battle whole,
they are whole wherever they go.
------Havamal  verse 156.
All men praise nobility and worth. It is most praiseworthy of a King and Queen to recognize the accomplishments and value of their people. Therefore, We, Duncan and Larissa, King and Queen of Trimaris, do demand that all people honor the valiant and true Lorcann an Dubhghaille for this day He is proclaimed Earl. Let all the honors, rights, and privileges of this lofty rank be his due. For this day He has done the most noble and honorable of deeds.He has returned the fair Kingdom of Trimaris to Us richer and mightier than when He first received its Crown. Done by our hand this second of April, A.S. XLV
Duncan, King
Larissa, Queen
Design and Execution:
Design based upon the Ornside Bowl, an 8th century silver bowl crafted in York and found in the grave of a Viking warrior buried in Cumbria who likely looted the piece during a raid on York.
Shield Construction by Baron Segda ui Mordha

Drawn by Lady Brynna of Kildare

Text, Transliteration, Calligraphy and Illumination by Mistress Maol Mide ingen Medra

Painting assistance provided by HL Gwenhwfyr ber Cain, Lady Brynna of Kildare, HL Arianna Rosa Cristina de Veniziano, Mistress Theodora Perplexa, Lady Franca Donato and dozens more who assisted in small portions so they could lend their skills to this unique project.
      This piece was completed almost two years ago but I just recently received these close up photos of the work. Thanks to Patricia Bauman for the photos.

Monday, October 29, 2012


There is something to be said
for lying
diagonal across a bed,
encircled by arms
and fixed by eyes,
that inch by inch,
lock this memory deep into their head.

Pure beauty contained in a moment,
in a sigh,
in the brown eyes watching you.
Divine inspiration found
in the way fingers knit together,
by the warmth of breath
on a pale shoulder.

If I close my eyes again,
this may be gone.

like so many angels,
have fallen from grace
and I fall faster than
stars through an atmosphere,
burning like sunshine,
burning like a cigarette ash
until I find the ground again.

There is something to be said
for stardust
falling from the sky.
Embers tumbling
with no understanding,
nor recollection
of how they became
or why.

Here I am,
wondering how those stars feel
when they slip
into the hands of gravity.
Do they feel this way...
when reaching across an empty bed
and brushing fingers
over the satin of a pillowcase...
waiting for that space
to be filled again.

If I open my eyes again,
this might still be real.

Brown eyes
and a hand resting lightly
upon my arm
as sleep settles on me
stir at the memory.

This day is closing down,
and I am a smiling mote
of stardust...

waiting to land.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Butterfly Pumpkins: In the spirit(s)

Swallowtail pumpkin

I made these for work- as they decay, butterflies will feed upon the fermenting juices of the pumpkins making these not just decorations, but also an alternate food source.

They are also a source of humor. The butterflies drinking the fermented pumpkin juice get quite drunk until they can no longer fly. They stagger about but keep going back for more. It looks suspiciously like Ybor City at 3am on a Saturday. Yes, yes. I know. I'm likely a terrible person for finding this funny but trust me, it is hilarious to watch. I will try to get some video to post later.

Generic butterfly pumpkin
To carve these pumpkins I used a commercial kit tool not unlike a vegetable peeler and some wood carving tools. The surface is peeled away to various depths but the pumpkin is not cut open and hollowed out which slows down the rotting process. I imagine that some leather working tools could also be rather useful and may try something more intricate for next year.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fear is the mind killer

Dune Scroll
I have illuminated a sand worm. In typing that sentence I may also have written a totally original and never before written or read combination of words in the English language.

The design is based upon cover art from an old paperback volume of the novel Dune by Frank Herbert. The text is the ‘Litany Against Fear’ from the novel.

This piece will be the first in a series of fine art for geeks. I plan to cover several worlds of science fiction and fantasy as well as some notable quotes which may be of interest to the science and history minded.

4x6 Watercolor gouache, ground mineral pigment, shell gold and ink on Bristol.

Prints are available in my Etsy store, Currant Thoughts.

Next on deck: Illuminating a weeping angel and a tromp l’oeil illumination inspired by the Nasrid plaster carvings and Kufic script of the Alhambra in Grenada.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Nine Tiles: Pink Petals

Set of Nine (9) Hand-Painted Floral Ceramic Tiles in Reds and Pinks

This is what happens when I let someone else pick my next project- I produce something I never would have done otherwise. My dear sister named my color pallet and subject, thus, pink and flowery.

These nine hand-painted tiles are currently available on my Etsy store- Currant Thoughts.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nine Tiles: Butterfly Blues

Nine ceramic tiles painted with portion of butterfly wings in three shades of blue. Sold a few weeks ago before making it to the Etsy store.

Nine Tiles: Nature and Birds

This is the first of a series of painted ceramic tiles that I recently produced. It sold this week on my Etsy store, Currant Thoughts . The kiwi was my favorite mini-painting and may inspire a whole new nine tiles set of odd bits of nature.
Set of Nine (9) Nature-Themed Hand-Painted Ceramic Tiles

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Juliana’s Laurel Scroll

JulianaLaurel scroll for Mistress Juliana Foxcroft
Adapted from several pages of the Macclesfield Psalter with a bunch of specific elements to represent things special to Juliana. For instance, irises are her favorite flower, a butterfly represents my household, the stag represents her husband, the house of cards is a no to an SCA household of which Juliana is a member, a bee for Maeva, a thistle for Finneadan and the list goes on.
  • Calligraphy and drawing by Mistress Finneadan
  • Gilding by Baroness Maol
  • Illumination by Mistress Gwenllyn
Sadly, Finneadan and I had to do this twice as the original piece was lost in the mail and diverted to some sort of mail limbo for a few weeks.
Not sure what the hours count would be on the whole piece, but for my part: Gilding prep, sizing, gold application and burnishing took around 4.5 hours.

Navah’s White Scarf

Recently I visited Mistress Navah’s home to work on a silk painting project. While there I noticed a scroll on a high shelf that looked pretty cool. I asked Navah who had done the scroll and she looked at me pretty strangely and replied  “Um, you did.”
navah 1
Huh. How about that? I looked a little closer and noticed the calligraphy. Yep, that’s mine.

How can I not remember a painting that I did? Calligraphy that I wrote?

Let’s be honest here: I have done a lot of these. I never thought to count how many illuminations and pages of calligraphy that I have done over the years but it probably numbers well over 1000 pieces in the last 12 or so years.

After staring at the page for a bit, it started to look familiar but I had to look up the source anew as I could not remember a single detail about it.
The page was inspired by “Anonymous Fechtbuch Manuscript I.33” a 13th century manual about sword and buckler fighting.  I don’t remember why I chose the particular images that I did from the book. Likely they were featured in an illumination survey book that I owned. It looks like ink and watercolor gouache on bristol board. I have no idea how many hours were spent on the page.

Being surprised by your own artwork is an odd experience. Still searching Trimaris for other pages that I may have forgotten.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Rock the Garden

Hand painted herb markers for the garden.
This is part of a group of projects I started and completed on a super crafty weekend a few weeks ago.
These will be heading to the Currant Thoughts Etsy store. Pictures of the rest of the projects from that weekend are coming soon.

Jebe’s Knighting Scroll

Created by:jebescroll
  • Drawn by: HL Gwenhwfyr ber Cain
  • Illumination by: Baroness Maol Mide ingen Medra
  • Illumination detailing by: HL Finnguala inghean Alister
  • Calligraphy by: Mistress Finneadan ingen Ruadhain
Inspired by:
Izbornik Sviatoslava – 1073
Created for Sviatoslav Iaroslavich (1027 – December 27, 1076) Grand Prince of Kiev
About this piece:
A lot of the detailing had to inferred, pieced together or just created as the original page is damaged and we had a difficult time finding good images of any pages from this book.
I do have to say that this piece truly shows how much we love Jebe, as we all pretty much loathe Rus illumination from this period.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Challenge #1: Mira, Folio 61

Summer 2012 Challenge #1

Source: Folio 61, Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta

Subject: Satyr butterfly, false Jerusalem cherry and common milkwort.
Time: 5.5 hours
Materials: watercolor gouache and mineral pigments on pergamenata
Size: 5 x 7 page

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pearish the Thought!

Pearish the Thought, a Sunday morning spritzer.

2 parts sweet white wine (of dubious quality)
1 part pear nectar
2 parts seltzer water
2 dashes orange liqueur
Garnish with a sprig of mint and a sprig of lemongrass

This made a fine morning pairing with lemon blueberry pancakes and a somewhat obscene amount of bacon. I was looking for something light and refreshing and was hoping to try a bottle of wine that I purchased for $2.97. Unsurprisingly, I was dubious of the quality of this bottle of wine and thought it might lend itself to being mixed with a lot of other ingredients.

This made for a fine way to spend a Sunday morning with friends.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New painted crafts

Hand painted flower pendants

Hand painted ceramic tiles

Hand painted ceramic bud vases
These crafts are already or soon will be available at Currant Thoughts. If you would like to commission a particular item, just contact me at

Friday, April 27, 2012

Gems and Pearls

Inspired by folio 41 of the Hours of Engelbert of Nassau by the Master of Mary of Burgundy. Total size is 5 inches by 7 inches and the illumination was executed in four sessions with about 2-3 hours of work each.

Painting gems is a lot of effort in colors, but thankfully has a pretty high payoff. I did really enjoy working on the pearls.

I changed the blue cabochon at the bottom center to contain a badge for an award rather than the rather lovely naked lady from the original.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wearable Miniatures

imageHand-painted miniatures under glass and with a frame ready to hang from your necklace. I love flowers and am enamored of the Victorian language of flowers where each species signified a different emotion or concept.
Tonight I started with a Peach Blossom (meaning: I am your captive) and a Purple Columbine (meaning: Resolved to win). Each pa inting is 1.5 inches square with a message on the back that identifies the bloom and gives its Victorian meaning. Meanings of flowers have been obtained from the 1884 edition of Language of Flowers by Kate Greenaway
I’d love feedback or suggestions

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cathedral Trimaris Silk Painting Insanity

After being asked to help dress up the pavilion in which we hold Kingdom courts in Trimaris, a plan was hatched to create six enormous silk paintings that looked like stained glass windows.  Each panel features a Trimarian icon and measures 54” wide x 9’ in length.
The current set of panels feature:
  • St. Martin (as himself)
  • St. Gryfyn (as herself)
  • St. Patrick (Styled as Duke Bytor Fitzgerald)
  • St. Timothy (Styled as Duke Mittion von Weald)
  • St. Olaf (Styled as Duke Baldar Langstrider)
  • St. Vitus (Styled as Baron Octavio de Flores)
The project was enormous and could not have been done without the combined efforts of about two dozen people from three different Baronies. These ladies and gentlemen worked beautifully together to make this project happen in less than two weeks of actual work time.
Photosynth by Ld Tristrum de Kerjean.

  • Baroness Lisabetta Maria da Firenze, OL
    • Wyvernwoode
  • Mistress Finneadan ingen Ruadhan, OL
    • Marcaster
Planning and Organization
  • Baroness Melangell merch Mariot, OP
    • Marcaster
  • Baroness Maol Mide ingen Medra, OL, OP
    • Wyvernwoode
Execution of silk paintings
  • Baroness Lisabetta Maria da Firenze, OL
    • Wyvernwoode
  • Baroness Melangell merch Mariot, OP
    • Marcaster
  • Baroness Maol Mide ingen Medra, OL, OP
    • Wyvernwoode
  • Baroness Madeleine de Somerville
    • Wyvernwoode
  • Baroness Jeanette de Lille
    • Darkwater
  • HL Kale Adriene
    • Marcaster
  • HL Arianna Rosa Cristina Veneziano
    • Wyvernwoode
  • HL Bronach of Kildare
    • Wyvernwoode
  • Lady Cristiana atte Mere
    • Marcaster
  • Countess Grainne ingen Anloin meic Cerbaill
    • Wyvernwoode
  • Lady Genevieve la Fey
    • Marcaster
  • Lady Milesenda de Bourges
    • Darkwater
  • m’lord Brian of Wyvernwoode
    • Wyvernwoode
  • m’lord Barbarossa of Wyvernwoode
    • Wyvernwoode
  • m’lady Adelyn
    • Wyvernwoode
  • Thorlief Ulfvarinson
    • Wyvernwoode
  • Baron Severin Visconti, KSCA
    • Wyvernwoode
  • Baron Damian von Blauwald
    • Darkwater
  • Duchess Maisie of Dunbarton OP, OR
    • Wyvernwoode
  • Duke Gregory Ahern, KSCA
    • Wyvernwoode
  • Earl Thomas the Incomplete, KSCA
    • Marcaster
  • Earl Lorcann an Dubhgaile, KSCA
    • Wyvernwoode
  • Baroness Maol Mide ingen Medra, OL, OP
    • Wyvernwoode
  • HL Bronach of Kildare
    • Wyvernwoode
  • m’lord Brian of Wyvernwoode
    • Wyvernwoode
  • m’lady Adelyn
    • Wyvernwoode
  • m’lord David Archer
    • Marcaster
I am certain that I missed a few names of those who helped to put the banners up on Friday night. My apologies to anyone who participated and was not mentioned here. Just send me a message if you know someone I missed an I will be sure to correct the list. My thanks and eternal gratitude to all os those who assisted in this project.
We hope to continue this project with several other phases that will help to further improve the look and feel of Fletcher Pavilion.
More photos can be seen at Hon. Lady Bronach of Kildare’s Picasa photo album.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cocktails and dreams

limon The limoncello project started on December 30th 2011 has reached it’s end tonight.
My friend Brian and I  cooked up a simple syrup using some of the lemon juice that we reserved from the zested lemon, strained out the zest and added the syrup.
The final product is still cooling but the first taste was quite good- all sweetness and lemons. So here is the yield for the limoncello project.
  • 6 liters vodka base Limoncello
  • 1 liter grain alcohol based Limoncello
  • 1 liter white overproof rum base limncello
In addition, I put up several pints of vodka to infuse with herbs and flower flavors.
  • 1 pint hibiscus flower vodkavodkas
  • 1 pint lavender infused vodka
  • 1 pint orange blossom infused vodka
  • 1 pint ginger, lemongrass, lemon balm and lemon verbena infused vodka
  • 1/4 pint ginger infused vodka
I hoping to use these infused vodkas to make some very delicious old time feel cocktails. I’ll be acquiring or making some lavender, ginger, orange and lemon sugars to pair with these infused vodkas.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


PICT1466This incredibly pink page was inspired by a leaf from the Hours of Engelbert of Nassau, executed by the Master of Mary of Burgundy.

This manuscript is fascinating having originally been owned and likely commissioned by Engelbert II of Nassau whose heraldry and motto appear throughout the manuscript. The book later came into possession of Phillip the Fair and his heraldry was painted over the coat of arms on Engelbert.

I have to admit, this is a LOT of pink. After the shadows on the vines and flowers it gained some depth and the small hatching in pale pink and pale grey helped to tone down the blaring nature of the all pink background. It may be kind of girly, but it turned out fairly pretty in the end.

This page measures 5 inches in width by 7 inches in height and will be turned in to the Chart Signet for general kingdom use.

Inspired by Folio 79v- Hours of the Cross: None

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Catherine of Cleves Folio

photo (7) Based upon folio 157 of the hours of Catherine of Cleves, this border surrounded a miniature of St Elizabeth.

Produced circa 1440 in Utrecht by an anonymous Dutch artist known as the Master of Catherine of Cleves, this book includes beautiful tromp l’oeil borders and miniatures of increasing intricacy. This border is unique among design elements in the book.

Again, this piece was mainly done to get myself back into the design and styling needed for Kingdom use scrolls rather than intricate and elaborate commission pieces. Drawing, inking and illumination probably came to about 5-6 hours of work. I produced this page at Hoggetowne Medieval Faire while talking to guests so nailing down the time spent is really difficult. I turned the page in to the Chart Signet of Trimaris for general Kingdom use.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Painted Love

My Valentine’s Day present from John:


Inside the capitals are included elements of our SCA heraldry: his cross fleury and my compass star and butterfly. He had a small folder of research which included historical designs for the capitals and the heart which was inspired by a portion of a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign. John also showed me a whitework design that he had intended for inside the heart of a pendant tulip hanging from the inverted point of the heart and lovebirds with overlapping tails turned away from each other but each glancing back to regard the other. I hope some day to see that in paint and not just pencil.

Not surprisingly, there were tears.

Thank you my darling. I <3 you too.

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 2012

Hogge3  A few weeks ago I spent a weekend doing a demo of illumination at the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire in Gainesville FL. The SCA demo area looked fantastic and we had a great range of arts and crafts on display including spinning, weaving, embroidery, dying, blacksmithing, metal casting, cooking, illumination and more.

While painting I easily talked to a hundred people over the weekend who were specifically interested in the scribal arts of the middle ages. One of my favorites was a girl of about seven who brought every member of her family over to see me and later told me “I think you are amazing at painting and also a very nice lady”. Precious. Shockingly, I managed to entirely finish one new piece and make it 80% of the way through a second even though I was constantly stopping to talk to guests.

I’m going to try to do a few days of Hogge1illumination demo at the Bay Area Ren Faire over the next few months. Hopefully the experience will be just as great as Hoggetowne.

Thanks again to the Barony of An Crosaire for being so welcoming and accommodating. Special thanks to Thalassia for the bed and to Finnguala, Thalassia and Ryan for the great company!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thoughts on Time Spent Painting

maypop flowerTime spent on these illuminations is a funny thing as the great effort of these pieces is somewhat devalued by the fact that they are handed out by the King and Queen free of charge to recipients. Scribes are the only artisans who are regularly expected to give away their art. This is why, years ago, I lobbied for and was granted Kingdom funds to purchase scribal supplies for members of the Trimaris College of Scribes and thankfully this funding is still being provided. We sometimes hold fundraisers and occasionally profits from events are donated to this account.

For those of you planning to volunteer at Gulf Wars, you can indicate the Trimaris College of Scribes as the recipient of the war profit split derived from your volunteer hours.

When I create commission pieces I have to ask for the recipient to pay the materials and framing costs. I didn’t always do this but one day I figured out what I had spent on several pieces I had created and realized that I was running myself into a financial hole. This is also why I have been working on the speed of my pieces and Canna Lily trying to limit myself to less than 5 or 6 hours per illuminated page for Kingdom use.

I have found that I must balance the use of my time and find the point where I can produce a good number of very good pieces rather than just one extraordinary piece so I can be more helpful in my contributions and more responsible with my personal time. I work full time and have several hobbies so I have to be realistic about how much time I can dedicate to this craft that I love, but from which I do not generally profit. 

The illustrations on this page were created for a brochure that I illustrated in 2009.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I wanna see your Peacock… feathers

Peacock feather border
This border is based upon a page from the Hours of Engelbert of Nassau which was illuminated by a Flemish artist known only as The Master of Mary of Burgundy. Painted bear Brussels circa 1485, this book was created for Englebert II, Duke of Nassau. This border of tromp l’oeil peacock feathers was inspired by folio 97, verso. 
This border is 5 inches by 7 inches, much smaller than usual SCA illumination used for awards but I was concerned that the intricacy of design would not scale well any larger.

I used this border for a Pelican scroll for Countess Grainne but I wanted to try just the border to see if this sort of design might be both acceptable for Kingdom use and a good use of time. The trouble with blank borders is that sometimes it can be hard to find inspiration when you are illuminating for an unknown recipient.

Also, I have found that I must balance the use of my time and find the point where I can produce a good number of very good pieces rather than just one extraordinary piece so I can be more helpful in my contributions. I created this piece in about 4-5 hours but I mucked about with the detailing for longer than I should have.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Flowers of the Cleves Master

photo (5) Based upon the simple border of flowers and leaves from folio 70 of the Hours of Catherine of Cleves.

Produced circa 1440 in Utrecht by an anonymous Dutch artist known as the Master of Catherine of Cleves, this book includes beautiful tromp l’oeil borders and miniatures of increasing intricacy. This border is unique among design elements in the book, but appears in other works attributed to the Cleves Master.

Again, this piece was mainly done to get myself back into the design and styling needed for Kingdom use scrolls rather than intricate and elaborate commission pieces. Drawing, inking and illumination probably came to about 5-6 hours of work.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pink Flowers

photo (3)
Based upon a prayer book illuminated by Michelino Molinari da Besozzo. This illumination was inspired by  folio 44,  St Anthony of Padua, May 10th. Illuminated circa 1420 in Milan, Italy. The original size of this piece is 170 x 120 mm but I have scaled it up for easy SCA use. This page was mostly a speed exercise to help me get back into the swing of making less complicated pieces for Kingdom use.
  • Draw time: 1.5 hours
  • Gilding time: 20 minutes
  • Paint time: 2 hours
  • Total time: just under 4 hours

Sunday, January 22, 2012


photo (2)From the Great Hours of Anne of Brittany, digitalis purpurea as a border with an imaginary butterfly.

This manuscript was executed in the early 16th century by Jean Bourdichon, a likely student of miniaturist Jean Fouquet. As official court painter to four successive French kings: Louis XI,Charles VIII, Louis XII, and François I, Bourdichon came to be a wealthy man. Designing illuminated manuscripts, panel paintings, stained glass and even coins, Jean Bourdichon created countless works of art, many of which did not survive to modernphoto (1) times.

The book was created for twice Queen of France, Anne of Brittany who was married to Charles VIII and then to Louis XII.

This page was created mostly as a teaching piece to show a small group of students how to execute gilding. Afterwards I decided to finish the painting and hand it in for Kingdom use. It’s pretty bling-tastic but I hope someday that someone will like it.