As I write entries for this blog I realise that I lie, especially to myself. Looking back through the body of work that I have photos for and can talk about I come to understand that I DO copy and I DO try to emulate the scribes we study accurately. I always thought I was fairly unique in my scrolls but that's not the case, and by unique I mean do my own damn thing thank you very much. Not true. I copy and I guess that's okay too.
This piece for which there is a LOT of pictures is special, well more special than others I guess. I wanted to do something fabulous for Gunhild, she's my Minion #2 or as Meisterine Katheryn would say Fabprentice the second. Gunhild and her husband have done TONS of work for this kingdom and much of it has often gone if not ignored then mostly unnoticed. They work behind the scenes, you'll find them both in the kitchens cooking etc... because they are that sort of people. Gunhild also makes garb and oh boy does she make garb but it's very late period, something else that's sort of pooh pooh'd here even though she researches the hell out of the stuff she does and it's gorgeous. ( see blog on what my minions do for more on that pssst ----> it's on the side bar).
For Gunhild's Panache I wanted it to blow the socks off the world. They had been given awards previously with scrolls that I can honestly say my jaw dropped when I saw them and not in any good way either. They were disappointed ( rightly so...orange and green poster paints, blue marker and sloppy work = bad ). Why am I telling you this, you ask well, because as I said in a previous post scrolls are important to the people who get them and when a recipient gets a half assed scroll THEY feel short changed and they also wonder what THEY did wrong to be at the bottom of the art pile. How do I know this? Well ...never underestimate my ability to find shit out...and people talk to me about it. They do so because they know I will A: try to fix it for them and B: not make a big fuss about it or tell them to suck it up and live with it.
So anyway, I wanted to counter the Halloween orange and vile green poster paints with something period and beautiful, something she'd be proud to hang on the walls of their very old, very lovely house as opposed to hiding them away. This was it.
It took ages to do because it was one of about 4 scrolls I was working on and it was also a pain because I had to redo sections of it, mostly the bottom part with the crappy acanthus leaves which I sort of suck at. The redo was much better and of course I learned a few lessons along the way.
I left the panache badge in the Majuscule ( that's the big capital letter) fieldless ( empty) because it's a badge it has no background and also it makes the panache pop. Your eye is drawn to it first then the text next then led around the border. At least I hope that's how it works. I don't do the full border, "squashed bug and flower" stuff often because, well to be honest, it's hard to get it right and it takes a long time to do but in this case I am really glad I did because it is one of the best things I have done in this style.
One of the things I find as I get older and also as I become more experienced in this particular art form is the need to get it right and not just hand out 2nd rate work because it's done on time. I try to imagine how I would feel receiving the scroll, if I , knowing the scribe and the calibre of work they can do, would be all judgy and unhappy and when it comes to this sort of art I am judgey. Let's face it, no matter how many times you get a scroll, you know if it's a good one or not. And the 10ft rule should die.
The 10ft rule states that if the scroll looks good at 10ft away then it's fine to give out. This is utter bullshit and anyone who says that about their scroll knows that the work they did COULD have been better. I cringe when I hear people say this because what, as a scribe, be worse? "Well it looked great from 10ft away but when you get up close...not so much." And I guess in saying this I sound like a scroll snob but I am and I always have been. ANYONE getting an award with a scroll should get the best work possible not the fastest work possible. ( again this harps back to the scroll at any cost bit) so ...I try to do the best work I can and I avoid the asinine 10ft rule like the plague and I listen to my husband when he doesn't say anything but gives me that look which says "you can do better".
The panache for Gunhild did not earn me that look because this is a good scroll. I am proud of this piece of work and Gunhild was happy.
Gouche, watercolour on pergamenata, with 23kt gold transfer leaf, and oak-gall ink (scabiosa).
Sometimes it is all about the bling but more over it is about making sure that the piece of paper that comes with the award is worthy of the person getting the award because what the award is doing is saying we see you, we know you are there, and we want to say thank you for all the work you do.