New Blog-The Golden Atheneum

I have made a new blog and I’ll only tell you about it once, because I’m not big a fan of constant self promotion. It’s called The Golden Atheneum. There I’ll be sharing images from the Golden age of Illustration (if you don’t know what that is read the ‘Welcome and Greetings post) as a study of the artists and the movement; so that’s where the ‘Golden’ part of the title comes from. Atheneum comes, of course, from the Greek Goddess Athena. Atheneum is defined thusly: 1. an institution for the promotion of literary or scientific learning. 2 a library or reading room. So that sort of fits my idea of a gallery of marvelous illustrations. Also I’ve always liked Athena.

I have a very specific idea of what the blog will be and I’m excited to see it all coming together. Finding all the images and downloading them and sorting them and uploading them takes a surprising amount of time, so I won’t be updating it too frequently, or on a regular basis (not that I keep any sort of schedule for this blog, but that one will probably be more infrequent) but I hope the content I do post will be enough to tide you over.

And, to add a bit to the post, some calligraphy practice. When I came home from the scriptorium, yesterday, I decided to try out my biggest nib. It’s a Leonardt Roundhand Square Cut nib, for those of you who’d like to know such things. It’s 3.7mm; now that might not sound too big, but these pictures will help illustrate. These are 8.5×11 sheets:

Omit Practice

Getting used to the bigger nib size

It took a bit of getting used to and was almost more like drawing than writing, I had to move my whole arm and not just the wrist. It made it much easier to see where I was off with my letters, and was really helpful as far as seeing where I needed improvement.

Omit needles words practice

I had to improvise the numbers, the examplar didn’t have any.

I was reading The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White, and really liked the brevity and clarity it had. I thought it would be interesting to write out some of their rules in the most ornate, dramatic lettering I knew, and give it an excessively complex border: the exact opposite of the rules which are simple and straight forward. If you don’t know about The Elements of Style I would recommend it, I found it very helpful and surprisingly amusing. So that is what this practice is working towards.

Omit Needless Words Large Gothic

And here it is again, on a new page. It turned out rather well, although I’ll try to find a more ornate capital ‘O’.

Here’s some writing with my usual nib size, (and from a good while ago) for comparison.

Tinuviel Practice

This is the start of the poem about Beren and Luthien, found in the Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

That’s all for now. Check out my new blog if you have an interest in illustration, or nice pictures, or the late 19th early 20th centuries. I’ll see if I can add it to the blogroll too. I hope to post about the scriptorium this weekend sometime.


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