Br. Roy Parker’s Craft
Calligraphy is a hobby and vocation for Br. Roy Parker, OHC.
Br. Roy’s entire print repertoire is available from The Monk’s Cell Gift and Book Shop. These are art quality giclee prints. You can see some of them in our little “art gallery” in the hallway leading from the Pilgrim Hall to The Monk’s Cell.
Br. Roy also creates original calligraphy under commission. Contact him to explore possibilities.
You can see more examples of his craft at the bottom of this page. These online pictures are offered to suggest Roy’s craft; calligraphy is best appreciated on actual paper and at its intended size.
Roy’s calligraphic Journey
Roy first became interested in calligraphy upon encountering the book “Sweet Roman Hand,” (ed. Wilfrid Blunt, 1952), Shakespeare’s term for Italic handwriting in “Twelfth Night.” He did little with it for several years, but in 1980 had the opportunity to study with Beva Farmer in Monterey, CA and to become, so to speak, part of the lineage of master calligrapher Lloyd Reynolds with whom she had apprenticed.
In the ensuing thirty years Roy has been fortunate to study with the likes of Peter Thornton and Thomas Ingmire, among others, and recently completed a study year with master calligrapher Reggie Ezell, a time he considers transformative to his practice.
In those years the joy of sharing his craft has led him to execute an extensive variety of calligraphic pieces in the form of commissions for those attracted to his work. Part of the drive behind this for Roy is the engagement with creative beauty, with the pleasure of creation, the satisfaction of fashioning lovely things and passing them along. Calligraphy has also been a practice of developing patience and self-knowledge. In a similar vein he has enjoyed offering instruction in the Italic letterforms to a number of students, even as recently as this past January in West Park, and looks forward to such workshops in the future.
Upon moving back to West Park Roy was delighted to find a disused room with ample clerestory windows admitting an abundance of the natural light dear to any scribe. Here he installed the necessary equipment along with a night-blooming cereus for good luck. On any given day, he is likely to be found for a substantial amount of time.
As a sample of calligraphy for this article we chose the rendering of Irenaeus of Lyons’ saying “The glory of God is the human person fully alive,” among Roy’s favorites from his time of taking classes at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley. The mandala character of the design is inherently attractive as well as lending itself to an imaginative color treatment.
Clicking on any image below will take you to a larger picture of the calligraphy (use your browser “back” button to come back to this page).