The theme of the trip is books/libraries. And so we begin in Chicago at the Newberry Library where so many of my calligrapher friends have recommended I visit. What a place! They welcome you with ease and speed; sign up at the desk for your reader’s card, good for a year. If you know what to ask for (we did), they will set you up at a table in good light and your book(s) will be presented within 10 minutes. Then … settle in and enjoy.
I chose a bible dated 1250, French. Each spread had 2–3 of these tiniest of pen-worked initials that I love best. The bible was 4″ x 5″ with wide margins, and 46 lines of text. So if you can imagine, the handwritten letters were about 7 point type. The “T” which you see here (left of the large Q) is a bit larger than the original.
My other book was a musical treatise from 1391, and had only 3 large letters, and I had a heckuva time figuring out the method. But that’s what I love to do.
The Amish are also a favorite drawing subject (may they not be angry with me) who we always find on the train. This group waited with us at Chicago Union Station for the train to New York. Do you find them as beautiful as I do?