Alice Young

Calligrapher & Designer

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Sample Project: Fern Fantasy

My "fern fantasy" originated years ago, as I was sitting at my computer in the 9th floor office tower where I worked in Toronto, Ontario. Flipping through a magazine I came across a photo of a wild, rocky garden and I showed it to my co-worker, and said, "I want to live there". She looked at it blankly and said, "Why? It's just rocks and ferns." 

Little did I know that my future did indeed hold a place full of rocks and ferns – I am living there now. As I created this project - and indeed, all the samples for this class – ferns kept showing up!

These are far from botanical studies. They are simplified "fantasy" ferns and florals, based on calligraphic lines. Incidentially, it was in a 2007 calligraphy class with Alice, (Alice Koeth) that our calligraphy exercises included floral patterns, and my class exercise actually developed from a little sketch I did around that time. I liked the simple round shape and decided to polish it up in this class. 

Here are my original "old" sketches: 

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Hopefully, my pen skills have improved since then! Here's some of the exercises we'll be doing in this class to improve our pen skills: 

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Work-in-progress: 

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I thought I should add a few more "fronds"... but when I compared to the original sketch, I realized yet again that "less is more"! 

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So, working with translucent paper, I went right back to the same basic shape as the original, with minor modifications. 

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Using J. Herbin inks, I combined four cool colours for this monochromatic palette. 

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