The Heart of Yule
An illumination of one of my favorite turns of the wheel, Yuletide, here at the darkest time of the year, when the light shines most brightly deep inside us as hope and faith. This image needed its own prose, and the best words were my own, and after infinite crafting and tweaking, I mustered this evocation of the meaning of Yule in four lines:
This is the only one of my Yule cards that has a greeting on the inside; all the rest have the greeting either on the front or an explanation on the back, leaving the inside blank for a personal note. To letter this I used one of my favorite hands, a sort of running uncial hand with italic branching and bits of decoration to enhance the words. As is often the case in working for reproduction, I created the calligraphy in a larger size and then reduced it to fit the card. Here is the actual size it was written (click the image for actual writing size):
The illuminated letters on the front were begun with the technique I have shared in my calligraphy instruction books, painting a loose watercolor wash for the background, adding some shimmery golden highlights to the wet paint, and then later painting the letters and greenery with gouache and a tiny Winsor Newton Series 7 brush, size 000. I loved painting the seasonal evergreens and bits of landscape in the letters. The sun, the moon, the stars, the night sky. And then, the dawn!
A blessed Yule to all!