I am known more than anything for my heraldic work as an artist and designer but I trained for three years in the arts of calligraphy, heraldry and manuscript illumination. At college I studied medieval manuscript production and design, medieval calligraphic hands and of course heraldic art and it’s medieval design applications. Since graduating I have studied the design of manuscript pages continuously as well as painting and illuminating techniques. Thankfully a lot of the large collections now have digitised their manuscripts and we can study them very closely indeed, in actual fact we can now enlarge pages and see the actual brush strokes etc., which is an incredible thing to be able to do for any one let alone artists who are interested in this beautiful work.
Recently I have produced some new illuminated pieces that I would like to share with you here. The works are on vellum and painted in gouache and 23.5c gold powder which I mix into paint and then burnish with a hematite or an agate dog tooth burnisher. These particular pieces were explorations of style more than anything, my attempt to design and paint in a particular style and manner. Admittedly I do not use egg tempera, these are not living history exercises but I do try to envisage as they did.
I want to share three pieces, one of Our Lord Jesus Christ and two of Our Lady with the Holy Infant. I was lucky enough to have two patrons buy the work and so I personalised them with their shields of arms which is consistent with medieval practice. The pieces are very small and as a guide the shields shown are between half an inch to three quarters of an inch. As it turns out and by the Grace of God these turned out to be dry runs for two extremely interesting future projects and an illuminator and medievalist’s dream. Two prayer books, a Prymer in the style of the mid 14th Century and a prayer book which may extend in time to a complete Book of Hours in the mid 15th Century style.
I will at a later date go into more details about design and practice but for now I want to just share the images.
Andrew Stewart Jamieson