Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Hybridized Script

Early on in my penmanship journey I was instructed to have my Spencerian Script conform to someone else's style. I tried hard to do that and for years I tried to conform my writing to that of A.D.Taylor or Daniel Ames. They both have tighter spacing and slightly rounded turns in their script. But in my mind, I always wondered if this Spencerian is handwriting..why am I trying to copy someone else's script? I know others have the same question as I get lots of email inquries with similar thoughts. Somewhere along the line, I added English Roundhand into my studies. The forms of George Bickham were so appealing to me. I loved his freedom, I loved his expression. Now, when I work on a piece that is to be my signature is neither Roundhand or Spencerian but a blend of both.
It does not conform to the style of anyone else. It truly is handwriting. It retains the nuances of my own style while being subtly influence by Spencer, Bickham, Ames and Taylor. If there are Spencerian Police or Roundhand Police both would have warrants for me. But this is the script that flows from my hand naturally without conforming to any system. It evolves daily. It is a picture of the rhythm of my writing. I am sure it will look different in future years. I encourage my students to practice daily, work on being consistent in slant and texture throughout the page, bear the shapes of the letters in mind...and Write. See what happens.


Kim Shenberger said...

Just beautiful, Heather!

Joseph Chapman said...

Well, I think there's a lot to be said for copying, at least at first. Your script is beautiful because there's a lot of study and practice behind it, and at this point you're probably incapable of doing anything ugly (cf. Rossini, who arranged trysts by howling like a cat beneath his lady's window. He said that as a trained musician it was difficult for him to give a convincingly unmusical performance).

Donald Jackson used to say that you needn't be afraid of copying too slavishly, because eventually your self will make the letters your own.

I don't have students, but I do have friends who have been inspired by me to get a pen and start writing. (Italic, usually; don't tell the Spencerian police about me either.) Their main problem is they don't realize that practice is involved, but number two is that they don't stick to the exemplar. Some of it may be simple eye training, in much the same way that learning to draw is mainly an exercise in seeing.

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thanks for the kind words Kim and Joseph your comments are very thought provoking!!! Thank you for chiming in. There is a lot of study behind the leterforms and the evolution of the script came about by studying! I will continue to hide out from the Spencerian police and will not alert them to your whereabouts!!!