Saturday, November 5, 2016

A book in the library

It was about a dozen sketchers from Urban Sketchers Tacoma who braved the chill and the constant, pouring rain to sketch together at Pacific Lutheran University.  It's a beautiful "red brick university" campus.  Unfortunately, it was far too wet to sketch outside.  The most we could do was shelter under the patio roof of the library.  Mostly, we sketched inside the library.
Frances sketches a sculpture from the shelter of the library patio
Frances sketches a sculpture from the shelter of the library patio
There was an exhibit of African Masks that attracted a few sketchers.
John, Pat, Rom
John, Pat, Rom
The magnet for me was the St. John's Bible. I felt I had to sketch the display in honor of this wonderful work of art. I've done this style of calligraphy and illumination in the past but certainly not at this level!  This Bible is the modern interpretation of the medieval monastic scribal tradition that produced so many magnificent bibles and prayer books.

In 1998, Saint John’s Abbey (outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota) commissioned a world famous calligrapher and Scribe to Queen Elizabeth II of England, Donald Jackson, to produce a hand-written, hand illuminated Bible.  It was done in collaboration with a number of artists he gathered to his studio in Wales.  They used medieval techniques and materials.  It took 13 years to create 1156 pages on vellum.  Suzanne Moore, one of the artists who worked on the illumination (painting), is from Vashon Island, WA.  In fact, her work is on one of the prints behind the book.

More about the bible and its visit to PLU:

An article about the bible in a PLU publication:
Be sure to watch the video of Suzanne describing the experience of working on the paintings for this project.  "Your world is at the end of this brush".  It gave me chills! Several of the images half way down the page are hers.  

I had seen this bible before:   

My second sketch was made under the cover of the library patio, looking out to the fading garden.  I was not at all happy with it and referred to it as a "hot mess" as I sat next to Pat Graham during our sketch sharing session.  She gave me some coaching that helped improve it.  As we talked, I added more definition with pen work.  Now it's just a "warm mess"!  

We gathered in University Center to pass our sketch books around the table.  We had lunch and then worked on plans for our 2017 outings.

a few more photos:  

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