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Calligraphy Exhibition at Ripon Cathedral

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

North Yorkshire Calligraphers are holding an exhibition in Ripon Cathedral in North Yorkshire, UK. It runs until 31st October... so if you are nearby or can make the trip you have time to catch it. Going by the standard of previous exhibitions it will be well worth seeing....  the Cathedral is a stunning setting & Ripon is a lovely little town to wander with plenty of places of interest in the vicinity.

This was the group I started off with way back... err, a few(?!) years ago (1992 ish). Some of those people are still involved and some are calligraphers I have taught... the group is thriving and talented.... and I really wish them well with this exhibition x


Christmas Rubber Stamps

Monday, 18 October 2010

The season is fast approaching....

and Crafty Individuals have produced some rubber stamps with 
my calligraphy on here....

and also a selection of background papers to use in your crafting...

If you are interested, you can find them at
and various stockists around the world. There is a list on their site.


Silver Strands...2

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Another re-working.... here is what i wrote last time I can't really add anything about the words that mel wrote... they still move me....

This time though, they were for the gallery and the visual impact of the words was more important. When creating any piece of work, some of the questions to consider are "who is it for" "where is it to go?" "who will read it?" Calligraphy in a general art gallery is still relatively uncommon, and unless people are familiar with modern calligraphy, they do like to be able to read it... just capturing the sense of the words is not always enough.

I loved the pencil texture of last time, but silver gouache on canvas was my choice this time around. I kept the plaster 'rocks' as before, and splattered silver paint & powder to emulate the 'strands of light'.

The first and last phrases were with a draughtsman's ruling pen... the centre part was with a Mitchells broad edged steel nib. The brighter, silver lettering created a much stronger effect, which I softened with the lighter italic in the middle to balance with the silver & grey in the background. Some glossy black added to the shimmering reflection of light.

Silver strands thread light downwards...
Into the heart of darkness...
Winds with the ebb and flow of time...
To send our hearts and minds
once more into these weavings...
Of magic and the old ways to bind and connect
our hearts once more with She who knows
Melanie Leavey

Cheers mel x

Silver Strands
24 x 36 inches
mixed media on canvas
£175 plus postage


Sisters Of The Red Moon ~2

Friday, 8 October 2010

This is a re-working of a piece I did earlier... the original version is here.
This time I have gone for a 48 x 36 inch canvas... although I loved the first one, there were a couple of issues I wanted to adjust slightly, then the gallery asked for some dark or mysterious pieces in time for Halloween, and I knew this would be perfect!

(click to enlarge & see the detail)

I wanted a slightly softer feel to the swirl of the 'red moon' & to lose the dominant red streaks between the verses of version 1... also the red lettering first time around got absorbed into the background & I had to go over it which resulted in a loss of sharpness to the letterforms. To counteract that, I sprayed fixative over the background first & used a more orangey red that would contrast more.

The background was a matt water-based black, with various black acrylic & enamel streaks & splashes to create texture with a few tones of red acrylic, topped off with some bronze powder to add highlights that catch the light.

This time I opted for brush lettering to give a bit more freedom to the lettering, but also more weight so that the words carried as much impact as the background. Also, this was a new piece of work... i didn't want to just re-create the first piece. I felt that the title & author should be integrated into the text, not just placed top & bottom... i went for a total contrast... an out-lined version of Neuland, a typeface designed by Rudolf Koch. 

to visit Mel, who wrote this go here

Mel wove a tapestry of feeling in this poem with layers of meaning... I tried to create layers & depth... both the words & the canvas can be taken at face value.... or you can look deeper & intuit the mystery beneath....

we have met before, you and i
somewhen, somewhere.
in time out of time, the space between,
the  space where the veil thins and the mist floats across
moonlit oceans.

in the swirling chaos of now,
tendrils of light flicker in the darkness.
reminders of a lost tribe,
of ancient ways where blood was holy
and wisdom shared.

reaching across the chasm of time.
over expanse of space and the shackles of fate
there is hope that in the dreaming
of this and other things, we shall meet again.
somewhen, somewhere.

by melanie leavey

Sisters Of The Red Moon
36 x 48 inches on canvas



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I am based in North Yorkshire, UK.
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