Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valerie's Introduction

I am Valerie Keevers born in Kent, England…. yonks ago. My Grandfather introduced me to Heraldry and Calligraphy as a small child, taking me into old churches and museums, also telling me the tales of knights of old and their adventures. War broke out and all these adventures stopped, except for the books I could read about Dragons, Unicorns and The Crusaders etc. My heritage is Scottish and Welsh, so I also have a great love of the Tartans and the Gaelic arts which came to the fore many years later when I became a calligrapher.

My family moved to Australia where I finished my schooling and four years at East Sydney Tafe, becoming a two year bonded teacher of Fashion, which had been my passion since I could first thread a needle. Teaching in Tamworth, I met a carpenter Brian whom I married the following year. We travelled back to England on honeymoon so that I could introduce Brian to my extended family and we stayed and obtained work experience for the next two years, Brian in the building industry and myself in fashion, becoming the manager of an ‘off the peg clothing’ manufacturer Armon Gowns.

Back in Australia we settled in Sydney, bought a house and had three children so the next years passed in a blur of rearing children and running a part time private business from home. The next major leap was to take a Tafe Computing Course, becoming a part time I.T. teacher for the next 22 years. It was during these early I.T. years that I closed my dressmaking business and looking for something to fill that gap I took a calligraphy course with Fran McKirdy and became hooked! Calligraphy filled the need in me for colour, art, design and re-opened the door to my love of the written word. From here I did the Calligraphy Certificate at St. George Tafe with Olivia Roberts, The Certificate Course with Margaret Layson at Chatswood Evening College, finishing with The Diploma Course in Western Calligraphy and became an accredited Vetab Teacher of Calligraphy.

I have taught Calligraphy over the years for the Eastern Suburbs Evening College and the Sutherland and St. George Community College as well as The Australia Calligraphers and Calligraphy Southscribes. Southscribes came into being 20 years ago to serve the potential calligraphers south of the Harbour as travel to the northside meant a lot of extra time added to a workshop at Primrose Park.
I am still a serving committee member and tutor of Southscribes which has given me a lot of pleasure and has enabled the meeting of many interstate and intra-state calligraphers who all help to widen the knowledge and enjoyment of calligraphy and the related arts.

I was very wary when I started with ‘A Letter A Week’ back in 2010, however found it fascinating to see via the Internet what creative designs were being posted and also found renewed enthusiasm for creating individual letters. Continued into 2011 and now have just committed myself for 2012. A big thank you to Fiona Dempster for her dedication To ALAW as it is bringing the love of lettering to a very wide community.

Valerie Keevers - finished book for alaw 2011  "black and white and a touch of..."


  1. I commented on this gorgeous alphabet on your other posting in the 2011 blog, but had to do it again here because I just love these letters. After reading your intro, I can see why they're so gorgeous - you're a wealth of talent and experience. I can't wait to see what you devise for this year!

  2. Thanks for your comment Terrie. I really enjoyed the black & white theme. As I love to doodle it lent itself to this alphabet.

  3. This looks like a lovely piece of work Valerie. Look forward to seeing what you come up with for 2012.


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