Another week, another bunch of scribal stuff

It’s been an odd week. At work, the normal routine was interrupted by a visiting academic from Poland, which led to a mid-week instance of the ‘tour for foreigners’ with her and the Polish exchange students. For once we had excellent weather with a minimal amount of wind, making the journey from the changing rooms to the pool at Jarðboðinn a little less frozen than usual. Although we didn’t get an aurora that night we did have a marvellously clear sky and a particularly impressive long-trailed white meteor above Ljósavatn.

There are still no firm decisions about what is happening at work. I’m assuming that they’re not suddenly going to close computing down at Christmas as the adverse publicity they’d get by closing it down one semester before the final students graduate would be a little much, even for them. Of course no-one expects the university to introduce a new applied computing degree next year, but it would be nice if they’d actually make it official.

The real news is that Operation Marigold can now be revealed. During the Novacon opening ceremony it was announced that there is a bid for the 2011 Eastercon – Illustrious, to be held at the Hilton Metropole at the Birmingham NEC. The bid will be voted upon at Odyssey next Easter, but if we win it’ll be a busy year.

My ongoing quest to keep myself occupied and thinking of things other that either work or food continued to lean towards scribal stuff this weekend – mainly because I’m beginning to feel a bit guilty about not finishing these before now. I’ve got two more to do in the current batch, and I think they’re going to be a little less, ah, intense than the first of these three.

scribal stuff

Based upon Yates Thompson 46 f.6, this was a nightmare in several ways. Firstly, it’s just too dense! I’ve no idea what inspired me to do something this fiddly… actually yes I do. It’s the fact that the layout works for putting the Sigilum Coronae in the roundel. Secondly, I was trying to do this one and #39 in parallel, which turned out to be a Really Bad Idea as I managed to put an A over the edelweiss not an M, which meant that I had to go back and alter it. Bah.

This one’s better, probably because it’s a little lighter. It’s based on Harley 2934 f.8, which is another one I chose because of the useful panel. Books of hours are proving very useful sources for these formats. I’m particularly pleased with the shading on the leaves in this one – I had a brainstorm that involved painting each side with a different colour gouache and then using a wet paintbrush to mix them in the middle. Yes I know that’s probably obvious, but remember that I did physics instead of art at school.

The final one is based on Arundel 74 f.1, which is simpler still. I rather like this style, and might use it again. It’s the first time I’ve used paint and a brush to do the whitework instead of a white pen (it ran out and the ones I get here are not particularly good) so I’m quite pleased at how well it turned out.

I do like this approach of copying an existing manuscript. I’ve always been a better copyist that original artist, so it very much suits my style. Wandering through the online manuscript collection of the British Library has provided a lot of inspiration. Once I’ve done the final pair of this batch I think I’m going to do some work on my humanist hand instead of my gothic, as there are a number of manuscripts in that hand that I’d quite like to copy. As I’m trying to spend my weekday evenings doing jobhunt-related stuff I’m hoping that I should get the final pair done next weekend.

In some ways it’s very useful that I’m alone out here – I’m sure I wouldn’t have anywhere near as much time to do this if I actually had a life.