There is nothing here. Pretend you haven’t seen it.

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About Catanea

I'm 1/2 of "Keith⁊Amanda" - that's a Tironian "&", but it confuses people, so we write it with a "7" [seven]. Calligraphers. In Catalonia.
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9 Responses to There is nothing here. Pretend you haven’t seen it.

  1. Nijma says:

    I see nothing.

    Hmmm, that heading looks oddly familiar.

    Is this the same “Catenea” who is on Facebook?

    • catannea says:

      Yes, Nij, it is I. But you can see how incredibly slow I am at committing myself to doing anything at all.
      I determined to start something here and then suddenly all sorts of other things requiring doing appeared. My admiration for all bloggers is vastly multiplied!
      Slowly, snail, slowly. I’m not even aiming at Mount Fuji. (I’m also at http://catanea.tumblr.com/ but I wasn’t using it “correctly” [i.e., not tumbling ]sooo….)
      Thank-you for your comment/presence!
      :·)

      • Nijma says:

        Great images on the Tumblr blog! I’ve played with Livejournal and Blogger, but the images were much easier to figure out on WordPress. I don’t like their ads though.

        Some days I wish I didn’t blog so much–it’s time consuming. But I do like to write, so I suppose if you’re having fun, that’s half of it.

        I’m not quite sure what you do, but it seems much more than calligraphy. Reproduction? Illumination? For some reason it reminds me of BibliOdyssey
        http://bibliodyssey.blogspot.com/
        if you’ve seen that.

  2. catanea says:

    “I’m not quite sure what you do”
    Imagine, Nij – such a long time since I’ve even looked here. We’ve got work.
    I never have any “notifications” of anything (or a very few which go to a moribund hotmail address where I erase them by the dozens whenever I remember).
    As far as we are concerned, we do calligraphy, lettering, and illumination [which lax, non-specialist terminology allows to include both coloured decoration and the application of metals – mostly gold – which reflect light].
    I almost never just copy anything (except as an exercise to learn). I try to internalize techniques and re-produce them to produce somthing different.
    I have had to defend this against criticism by a few well-known names in the calligraphy world (Donald Jackson, Stan Knight…). They’re all mad keen to do “modern calligraphy” and not “slavish copying”. [I never copy slavishly. Oooh – maybe I copy “masterfully”. That would be good, wouldn’t it?]
    My contention is that no matter how much you love the appearance, smell, touch, dimensionality, of ink, paint, gold on skin; the Book of Kells {no gold there, of course}…I’ll spare you a list….YOU CAN’T HAVE THEM.
    More and more manuscripts every day are leaving private collections and ending up in museums and librarys’ special collections. More and more you cannot even SEE them; much less touch them. They are under glass, in dim rooms…often “nice” high resolution digital reproductions are available online; but it is not the same.
    We have been very fortunate to have had many, many opportunities to study manuscripts in the flesh – to handle them, turn their pages, photograph them and copy them. I hope we will continue to have this privilege.
    We even own some leaves out of broken-up manuscripts – a few we have bought; more we have been given by friends, students and teachers. We are grovellingly grateful for these and try to allow our students liberal access to those pages we have. But mostly they are not very old.
    Among my greatest obsessions are some of the earliest scripts. Those insular majuscules and their precursors and contemporaries (Kells, &c.); carolingian scripts, especially as found in the collections of fragments in the Arxiu de la Corona d’Aragó; pre-gothic scripts like the Grande Chartreuse bibles…the astounding “artificial” uncial from Mont Saint-Michel…almost everything from Mont Saint-Michel, actually {Merci! Jean-Luc!]; visigothic minuscules and display capitals from the Commentaries of Beatus de Liébana on the Apocalypse which survive.
    And these are old. You can see them, if you have the right documentation and credentials; but you cannot own them.
    So if I want one, I have to make it myself. And I want one.
    I haven’t written out a whole book yet. (Keith has – three, so far; and now he is working on a fourth. And his set of obsessional scripts is different from mine, but there is considerable overlap.)
    And, of course, we teach. We pass on – or try to – our idea of what high standards are in the realm of calligraphy and illumination. We try to teach our students to look for historical masters, not modern ones. The world (I think) doesn’t need a pale imitation of the most highly regarded Irish or Texan or French calligrapher of the Twenty-First Century. (Although if it is THEIR manscripts you covet, by all means strive to learn from them!) If our students learn how to learn from historical manuscripts – to identify the best (which are not always the most celebrated), and copy until they have taken in all the qualities they can from a single example, then when they try to produce their own work, even though they are trying to imitate EXACTLY the qualities of the chosen master, their own individuality must appear.
    And it does.
    We cannot, of course take total credit for the work of our students (but believe me, I do, at every chance!) because they study with other teachers, they seek those manuscripts – those teachers from the past, and they become teachers themselves and learn from their own students…
    But we are very, very proud to have contributed a little to the work of Oriol Miró [http://www.urimiro.com/] and Benoît Furet [http://www.anachropsy.com/], and we are happy to find ourselves sometimes as students in their classes.
    Gee, Nij – How clever of you to have skillfully implied the question “what do you do” in that comment. This may have to stop being an answering comment and become an actual post. What do you think? [In Catalan, the word for “blog” is pronounced “bloc” and you can spell it either way. I think just staring at the blog title up there has left me with bloc block. Most of our students learn very quickly not to ask me any questions unless they have a lot of free time available.]
    Thanks!
    I hope you are very well!
    I’ll come back here and re-edit this and find out how to put in the links less awkwardly; but right now I have to do the floors and the lunch!

  3. Nijma says:

    I’ve been meaning to respond to this since it first came over my google reader. Book of Kells, I have a small Time-Life edition of this with 20 plates and it just makes me hungry for something with better detail…..I want to read what you say about all of these things in greater detail,….ah, but back to blogging, since my time is incredibly short…if you want to know a little more detail about that, email me.

    You must try writing a quick post, just to get the hang of it. And you must try uploading an image, and play with it a bit, just to see how easy it is. Canehan is right, it is easy:
    http://camelsnose.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/feeling-the-ground/#comment-10165

    You’ve already had a chance to play with the comments….

    If you want to write a quick post before I close everything down, which might be as early probably tomorrow or Thursday, I will try to find time to write a post welcoming you to the blogosphere. I don’t want to let your secret out if you’re not ready though. But you can always just start the blog as a calling card and then add more later. FWIW, this is the test blog I show everyone, it’s still set up for a sample native American theme. http://lessheat.wordpress.com/

    As for how I got your messages so quickly, you can do that with a feed reader and the “RSS feed” and “RSS comments feed” symbol in the “meta” widget. Google feedreader is the best, I follow some 130 blogs and news feeds at once, including my own, and can immediately see if there is something new on any of them.

  4. Nijma says:

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation. ”

    WHAT!!!1!

  5. Nijma says:

    Ah, I see it. I posted two links, your settings are probably limited to one link. I forget how many links I set mine for, maybe five? The spam filters do a pretty good job these days, so I don’t feel the need for limiting links. Usually spam is the one reason for setting a limit to the links.

  6. Nijma says:

    Here is one link (to Canehan’s blog) just as a test:
    http://canehan.wordpress.com/

  7. Nijma says:

    Aha, you have now figured out the moderation thing. I’m afraid I’ve lost Facebook connection again, but your comment there came through on my email. My email is in the right sidebar of my blog, I will try to answer anything that comes through if I have the time, but I probably won’t. Don’t know when you will find time to delete this, but let me just say that I’m going walkabout and will be gone indefinitely.

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