This blog post is meant to encourage those who want to improve their skills but just feel as if they have hit a plateau. Let me assure you, we all hit that same plateau. We all come to a point where are work seems to be stagnating at one point and we are not able to work past whatever barrier is in our way. We seek out more classes, more instruction, more books, more online lessons and purchase more supplies. But the answer is not in any of those wonderful solutions. Everyone has a different pace of learning and different way of responding to instruction. We all work past that plateau at different rates of speed and through different Euerka moments. Sometines, a student is just not ready to absorb the material presented in a class. But in time, they will recall the lessons and be able to make sense of things. A light bulb will suddenly turn on and the way past the plateau will appear. As I mulled over the words of this proverb it made more sense to me today than it did years ago when I first came across it. There will come a time in your artistic journey where your skills just come together. They are a culmination of the input from all of your books, instructors, life lessons and inspiring moments. The skills will appear and will work together. I know there is a lot of hard work involved and sometimes the investment of time and treasure seems too much. But your skills will all come together at some point. Your hands will be able to create the artwork that you envision. Keep creating! Keep practicing! Never rush the process! You are exactly where you should be.
Post IAMPETH convention is always tough. For an entire week we get to mingle with our own kind.
None of us get that glazed look in our eyes when we discuss paper, nibs or ink. We are with our people. This year it felt like a family reunion. Reconnnecting with old friends and meeting new people on the way. The energy of the conference is dynamic. I enjoyed every minute of my classroom experiences this year both as teacher and as student. It is always a pleasure to pass on my love of flourishing and Italian Hand with people and I was thrilled to have a class of 100 students to teach!
I loved learning from other instructors. Listening to the process of Holly Monroe and working through her creative exercises was inspiring! Watching Rosealee Anderson paint her missal letter was wonderful. I got to participate in Marcus Carlini's business writing class and have him deconstruct the arm movement process. I learned so much from these instructors!!! I had wonderful conversations, got to test out new products and hear different tricks of the trades from various calligraphers. I left Louisville on cloud nine. Part of an elaborate Silent Auction ruse was this gorgeous piece by Janet Takahashi of my studio that is being built. I can't begin to express how much joy this piece brings me. She created it with so much love. It was the brain child of my dear friend Joe and a lot of people conspired to keep the creation of this piece a secret. It will be the first piece of art to hang in my new studio. When I greeted my backyard, I took a minute to look for a pink unicorn!
I came home to an array of packages waiting for me. Lots of new Daniel Smith paint to play with, Skyler's reprint books and my Denis Brown book!!!!
It is always bittersweet to return home. I carefully put each item back in its proper place until my next trip. I pack up my memories carefully and treasure so many in my heart. Thank you dear IAMPETH friends. In many respects you are the ones who helped me learn to find my voice. This year, I had the honour of creating the President's Certificate of Appreciation for Bryan Platt. His certificate represents a culmination of skills that took years to hone and are still evolving.
I felt so grateful to all of my teachers, mentors and IAMPETH friends as I worked on the certificate. You never know exactly where a path will take you. My first trip to IAMPETH in 2003 put my feet on a path and a journey that has brought me joy for 14 years. Sending hugs to all of you who take time to read the blog! Thanks for journeying with me.