Welcome to a breezy October morning. There I a bit of a chill in the air and joy in my heart.
I have so much to share this month!Minutes ago, Symbiosis II wrapped up the exhibit for this fall. I cannot begin to share all that I have processed with this journey. I feel like I have gained far more than I have given and I am energized beyond what I thought was possible. I think what was most energizing was seeing the passion and enthusiasm of a young generation who are seeing this world of calligraphy and ornament through fresh eyes. It is easy to take for granted a burgeoning bookshelf and cupboard full of art supplies. Maybe we forget what it was like to purchase our first tube of paint and wonder if it will be worth the money. Or maybe we don't remember that we used to buy our sheets of paper one at a time and just how precious it was to have that full sheet to explore. What has imprinted so profoundly for me is how attentive this young generation is to these new experiences. Nothing is taken for granted and it has been an incredibly enlightening and rewarding experience. I think I will be unpacking the rewards for quite some time. There is something about sharing a process and journey with others that relieves a sense of isolation we can feel in our studios of solitude and puts some polish in our own work.
I can finally share some exciting news about upcoming classes. I know there are so many to explore and your plate may be full. Mine is full as an instructor as well. As an artist who is trying to keep up with all of the classes, I feel like I have made some new discoveries that I am excited to share. Festive Flourish open for registration with The Gentle Penman. This is a wonderful class even if flourishing is new to you. I am overflowing with new ideas for this class including more thoughts for a flourished reindeer.
We will use a template for the shape so there is no need to worry if you think you cannot draw. There is a vintage feel to it with the elongated, narrow neckline of this particular deer. What a joy to just let flourishes evolve on the paper. I used Michaels Recollection Cardstock for the design which feels very thin these days but it works well with the Bleedproof White.
Woodland Peace is also open for registration on The Gentle Penman website.
The process of painting has become more and more enticing to me. This approach uses a lot of control of the watercolour medium. I am keeping the floral and foliate colours minimal as this class will be presented in one session. When the work is completed, you could have a finished design to print for you holiday card. As I look back on the piece, I can see the influence of my William Morris studies. Not only his finished designs, but his ability to pursue the things he wanted to explore have impacted me so much. He knew what to exclude and what to pursue. I have had to keep that thought in mind as I plan things for 2023.
If you want a festive exploration of the Enchanted Meadow, I will be sharing some insights in the December class for Ardington School. Each time I teach a class I try to find new things to explore. As I was preparing for this class an Enchanted Meadow Mouse took shape. There are always new avenues to explore. This is such an interesting pursuit and I don't believe I will ever be bored. Gold leaf as well as 23K handmade shell gold was added to this piece. The little mouse was such a happy departure from my usual bunnies but I am sure a bunny is not far behind.For the Love of Birds which continues with drawing and painting. Right now the notes include the Cerulean Warbler as our study subject but I am working hard on a male and female cardinal as well. Once again, a delicate painting technique is the focus of this class.
Finally, I have just announced the news of the 2023 Flights of Fancy program with The Gentle Penman.
The class info will be on their site on October 3rd. Registration for the course which begins in January will not open until October 23rd. This will be a very small class. The course content and the component of feedback and troubleshooting will need to be kept to a small class. We also want you to really consider and see if you have room in your life to take the program. I will be sharing research and study methods throughout the class and I expect that each student will do different work. I will continue to share details of this program through the blog and IG posts but what is most important for me in this course is for you to find your own path and your own voice. This will be the most intensive course I have ever taught. It will take about 5 months over 12 sessions online. There will be feedback for the work submitted and there will be lots of work involved not only for you as a student but for me as instructor. I am feeling a bit crazy for embarking on this but also so excited. The driving force behind the class is what I see from my private students who have been with me for an extended period of time. They are doing work that I would never have dreamed or imagine is possible. And they are pushing me into new explorations as well. I am so very grateful to my students.
If you are interested in the program, you can read about the details on The Gentle Penman on October 3rd. You can also contact me with questions. I want to engage your whimsical side as we look at these skills together. We can have a playful yet studious approach. I believe that this is a tender hearted world in need of joy and peace. What we do with our hands can reach others and enrich our lives so much. I will have lots more to share. Expect some advanced flourishing techniques, explorations in gilding, watercolour and drawing. We will design fanciful inhabited initials and finally create an illuminated page together.
I do recommend a textbook to study for the entire course. The book is The Beauty of Letters by John P. Wilson. If you have the book, you will know that it is not instructive. But there are ways to engage with the book that can inform your work. I realize that many of you have not been receiving the post notifications of the blog. If you contact me, I will add you again to the notification list so you don't miss out on posts. I know there was a lot in this post. Beyond classes, there is so much in my heart and mind to share with you. Whatever you are doing on this October afternoon, I hope you find joy in the journey!