An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration or illustration, such as decorated initials, borders and miniatures. In the strictest definition of the term, an illuminated manuscript only refers to manuscripts decorated with gold or silver. However all words accompanied by imagery become more memorable to the artist and to anybody that views the imagery.

mer illume fav 2

A leaf from a French Book of Hours, circa 1420, photographed by R. I. Otterbach in late afternoon light on an autumn day in 2014. The reversal of numbers in the years amuses me.

I am embracing the illuminated written word. Though I cannot replicate the work of this scribe with my little Micron pens and Strathmore watercolor paper, I admire this illuminator’s fine decorative line work and I am letting up-lifting messages shape my designs.