Tuesday, January 5, 2016

the year of the abecedary...

here's what I'm hoping to do in my self proclaimed 

year of the abecedary 

(look - here's something I found of mine from the early 1990s - oooo what fun!) 

The year of the abecedary is all about reconnecting to my past life in letters. So this year I'm going out into the world actively looking for the letters of the alphabet.... the more gnarly and obscure, tattered and torn, obscure and ephemeral the better! I'm particularly on the look out for handwritten snippets -- maybe I'll find some wonky letters on hand written signs... maybe I'll find some on beaten up posters... scratched into cement or wood... perhaps I'll decipher some letters in seaweed arranged by the waves on a beach.... 

... and of course I have a whole studio and past life in letters to drawn from... so I'm thinking that a year of ABCs just might give me an excuse to show you some bits from waaaaaaaaaay back (like many calligraphers I have something of a collection of hand drawn ABCs - a ready made abecedary!) The year of the abecedary might just provide an impetus to drag out my beautiful calligraphic tools to pen a new letter or two.... you never know!


ooo look -- its a page from one of my very very very VERY old books of calligraphic exemplars
here are some of my wobbly skeleton Roman caps - circa 1993...

Perhaps the abecedary will provide a good reason to go through my drawers of type and produce a type specimen book of all the typefaces in my collection --- for the uninitiated, the type specimen book is a classic example of an abecedary -- type specimen books were a common item of type foundries and printers as they demonstrated the range and quality of type on hand. I love letterpress type specimen books (particularly the ones that contain weird and wonderful ligatures, ampersands and display capitals in a type set) 

I've learned quite a few things about my art process over the past few years of photographic, ephemeral, online arty interactions and of course I'm bringing all that to this adventure. I know that I like spontaneous, informal, humble and uncomplicated photography with minimal equipment and post-production. I enjoy the thrill of the chase -- finding things in unexpected places and/or creating unexpected combinations. I love working with found and salvaged objects and creating temporary artyworks that I can share freely. I love the process of art making (I'm not so much in love with arty world shenanigans). I like having a basic framework to work within but one that has lots of flexibility to encourage freedom of expression... I like to zig and zag all over the place! That means I'm going to let the year of the abecedary evolve naturally and I'm not going to make a whole lot of promises or deadlines or rules (other than 'there shalt be letters'). 

The year of the abecedary will principally be an instagram project --- although I'm still finding my way in the IG world I felt an instant connection to all things instagrammalandish --- I love the immediacy, the ease of uploading and sharing, the hashtags and the ease of connecting posts from IG to my facebook page... oh yesssss IG is just right for the year of the abecedary.  When I find me them thar letters I can throw them out into the universe straight away... wheeeeeeeeeeee! and I can keep throwing things into the ring in rapid succession whack, thwack, whackity thwack! or I can hold off for days (or more) and just present one. little. pic. at. a time. 
For those of you not on IG - I will be sharing many bits and bobs from my IG account to my facebook page -- oh and I expect to occasionally curate a few collections of my found ABCs and share them here on the blog (plus you can always have a loosee at my webby IG place )

And that's it

simples really

Lets see where it takes us shall we

(I say 'us' because if you are on instagram
 perhaps you'd like to throw some things into the abecedary too?

 just use


or alert me to things with

and that way I can find
(and maybe, with your blessing, regram)
your abecedary offering to the world?)

ooooooo what fun!

I do hope you'll join in

(texta tag - found in pambula)



  1. Great post ... I love the stories behind images, so I'll probably just follow along here in blog-land. Haven't yet made the leap to IG, but I'll never say "never."

  2. What an intriguing project. Love text and fonts and I'll be on the lookout. Happy 2016!

  3. I've enjoyed your archives on IG, now looking forward to your Abecedary, Ronnie. I may join in, you never know...

  4. Lots of letter love to look forward to Ronnie!

  5. Hi Ronnie, it all sounds great! Means I'll have to use my Instagram account... haven't done much on there yet, but if I don't, I won't be able to keep up with you since I refuse to use Facebook! Have fun :-)

  6. had to look up the difference between abecedary & abecdiary!

  7. EXCELLENT! looking forward to this.
    Now, could you explain just a bit further about how we can participate with you over on IG. You've provide a project hashtag - cool - but I'm confused about what we're supposed to tag ... any images of ours that contain an alphabet letter?.... or.....? [sorry to be daft]

    1. I'm just playing fast and loose with some ideas C --- I know that as an arty type with a background in calligraphy, I'm mostly interested in finding naturally occurring things that resemble letters ---- indeed I'm just about to throw something into the IG ring ooooooo right. about. now...... maybe my first few IG posts will give you a clue about what I THINK (I say think - because I'm feeling my way into this --- I don't like 'knowing' too much when I begin a project) I'm on about

      mind you - although I'm mostly hoping to find letters in other things (a cloud pattern perhaps? that is one of the things that inspired the abecedary) --- I MIGHT just feel compelled to make a few new ones to share ......

      'never say never' - that's me!


thanks for all your lovely comments - your words are greatly appreciated xx