The opportunity to take on this assignment came with only a short time before it would need to be delivered. I had been working on scroll blanks as practice and had a few tucked into my portfolio that I hadn’t yet had the chance to deliver. This felt like a great chance to try using one for a finished scroll, and also allow me to accept the assignment.
Each scroll assignment includes an often brief passage written by the person recommending the recipient for the award. In the case of this scroll, I was inspired by the words offered and decided to try my hand at composing the words as well, being aided by the keen eye of my mentor, Camille des Jardins. My previous scrolls had taught me how challenging it can be to fit words into the space available, and it was really liberating to chose my own words with the calligraphy in mind.
The I chose to use a blank with a monceros inspired by the Aberdeen Bestiary folio 15R, after reading about the recipient’s diving enthusiastically into the SCA. There’s something magical about the “Dream” of the society, much like there is magic about this wonderful creature. There’s more about the process of painting this blank in an earlier blog post.
I traced the layout of the blank onto graph paper and practiced an early gothic hand to see how the words needed to flow into the space. It was a little nerve wracking to do the calligraphy on the finished painting, but also really satisfying to be able to provide a scroll on short notice to help recognize a dedicated person with this award.
Paper: Strathmore Bristol Smooth Finish – 11×14 inches
Ink: Higgins Eternal Ink
Nib: Speedball number 5
Paint: Holbein Artist Gouache, Winsor Newton Gouache