Peter Thornton Interview & Feb 7th, 2014 Penabler meeting

Dear Penablers,

In preparation for Peter Thornton‘s Decorated Versal Letters Workshop at Binders Art School February 8-9th, 2014, we’re publishing a wonderful interview of him that gives a glimpse of the man behind the work. There are still a few seats open but they’ll go quickly soon!

So, SIGN UP FOR THE WORKSHOP HERE! and read below for details about the workshop.

If you can’t join the workshop, there’s a still a chance to meet Peter at our next Penabler meeting on Friday, Feb. 7th from 6-8PM. Peter’s going to expand upon some of his answers below and he’ll be doing a “Layout and Design – Live” demonstration just for us! Please bring a snack or drink to share with the group and be prepared to view his beautiful original pieces and prints (for sale!) Peter will demo his thought process on layout and design. He’ll also show some Ruling Pen work and variants of the same. See you friday the 6th!

The Wonderful World of Peter Thornton

January 13, 2014

PeterThorntonAP: What is your favorite word?

PT: Translucent.


AP: What is you least favorite word?

PT: Audit! I have been self employed for almost 40 years and have always needed an accountant!


AP:  Describe your earliest memory of feeling your first creative spark.

PT: Looking at Rodin’s sculpture The Kiss and seeing her left hand behind his head. Made me realise that I had ‘feelings’ and a little depth perhaps (more than creative I guess.)


AP: What turns you on?

PT: Enthusiasm and a smiling face.


AP:  What turns you off?

PT: Bigotry and guns. There are more but I don’t wish to appear on a moralistic pedestal.


AP:  If you could use just one word to describe your work, what would it be?

PT: ‘Lively’ but someone I respect once said it was ‘exquisite’ and I found that quite moving.


AP: How has your experience as an author influenced your calligraphic work?

PT: It made me think from more angles.


AP: What do you love most about teaching?

PT: It makes me feel useful……an unfamiliar feeling for me really


AP: What sound or noise do you love?

PT: My wife coming home. Children laughing and playing when you cannot see them.


AP: What advice do you have to creatives about what to do when they get “stuck?”

PT: Henry Ford’s remark, ‘The harder I work, the luckier I become’ seems to sum up this problem.


AP: What music (genre and/or composer) inspires you most?

PT: Vaughan Williams‘Lark Ascending’. Louis Armstrong’s ‘It’s a Wonderful World‘ and anything by Beethoven


AP: What fine art (genre and/or artist) inspires you most?

PT: Rembrandt and ‘Drawings’


AP:  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

PT: An orchestral Conductor.


AP: What profession would you not like to do?

PT: Accountant


AP: What do you admire most about Adolf Bernd?

PT: His quiet subtlety


AP: How have your roots as an Englishman affected your life here in the States?

PT: I do make a better cup of tea than most Diners I think? 🙂


AP: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

PT: ‘Well, you finally made it! Many of us in here had some doubts that you would’! 🙂



Decorated Versal Letters with Peter Thornton
2 Sessions | All Levels | Price: $175 | Sat & Sun: Feb 8 & 9, 10am – 5pm
The desire to decorate lies within us all and for over 1500 years the letter has served us well. Beginning as a signpost to the reader it quickly became an object of beauty as an end in itself.
Using the wonderful letters of Adolf Bernd (1909 – 1994) for inspiration, and as a starting point, we shall examine 3 areas of his (and our) major interests: a) the backgrounds; b) the letterforms; and c) the color harmonies.
image005In this workshop, for ALL levels of ability (see student example to the left), we shall begin with simple exercises in color unity and contrasts in shapes, patterns and themes of Adolf Bernd’s (and ours) choices which will lead to the decoration of both historic and/or contemporary letters.
During the workshop there will be demonstrations and examples related to water color techniques and AB’s work. A feature of the class will be to take/use colors from nature and transfer these onto our backgrounds and letters.
See you there!
~Atlanta Penablers