Sunday, April 1, 2018

Love is Patient

The calender has been turned to its April page and assures me that Spring has arrived. But the days are still cold, the windshield is frosted in the morning and my walking treks still require my winter coat. And yet I wait and believe that Spring will come. It always has! Thankfully, my studio is warm and cozy and my desk invites me to work everyday. I have been pensive these days as I am launched back into travel. I have several new private students who are full of eagerness and questions. I have even been able to connect online with a few people who want to study The Enchanted Meadow designs. The slow methodical dry brush method of painting is a joy to share with others. I look foward to sharing this workshop with a new group of students in Atlanta! I am working on a very special Enchanted Meadow piece for my Dad's 80th birthday this month. SHHH!!!!!!! Don't tell him!

Despite lots of new projects, and continually changing hats to prepare for the next class, I find myself quite pensive for the past and some of my old working methods. I came to the calligraphy scene in 2003. There were very few videos online. I viewed Dr. Joseph Vitolo's script videos over and over again while I was learning. I made my way to my first IAMPETH convention in 2003 where I forged some of the strongest friendships of my life. Practice was daily and solitary. I still have some journals where I would practice writing quotes and verses in Spencerian Script. Progress was slow but never a chore for me to practice.  Things have changed in the calligraphic world. There is calligraphic overload online of every sort of style, and no shortage of ideas and opinions. You can fill your eyes with so many images of accomplished calligraphic work, look in on people's working methods and be constantly nudged to buy more and more products for our work. There are some days that I love this and other days that I am very unsure of what I see.  The calligraphic arts, like all arts, require a patient build up of skill. The art requires carefully honed senses and intuitive instincts about subtle nuances in letterforms. I learned the hard way and still learn on a daily basis. I make mistakes, fill up the recycle bin with practice papers and artwork that is not quite right, and try again. Patiently and lovingly I report for work at the studio desk and attempt to accomplish the day's tasks. I am grateful for the time spent with my calligraphic mentors who encouraged me along my path. I am thankful that this inkstained journey is such a big part of my life. My email inbox is at a point where it now takes me a few days to answer all the emails I receive. This blog post is for the impatient ones who want to quickly conquer this artform. I encourage you to continue to be patient. Show up at the desk ready to work and understand that there really are no shortcuts. This is hard work and acquiring skills comes at a different pace for different people. As hard as this may be to do, try not to compare your work to the work of others. Take a time out from instagram video feeds and look inward for a little while as you work on your next goal.Did I mention be patient yet??? Don't rush this! Savour the moments you have on this journey as you explore each twist and turn. I will jump down off my soapbox now with this little flourish.  I picked up some Fabriano Rosapina paper during my recent trip to the art store.
The paper is quite textured and it is extraordinarily soft. It requires a light touch with the pen and patience as you try to coax the best possible results from the paper. It forces patience  but was a treat to watch as the flourish evolved on the paper. From my heart to yours on this first day of April 2018, I encourage you to be patient with yourself on this journey.


kathrynannmadesomething.wordpress said...

Thank you Heather, words of wisdom and such sound advice.

Heather Victoria Held said...

Happy to share them with you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the words of wisdom. I am impatient but I haven't really started my 'daily practice'. The good news for me, which is a blessing, is I now know what I want and am pursuing slowly while I catch-up and finish some things I've started and want to finish-knowing I will not be pursuing in the future.
I am a gardener and amateur photographer. I do stained glass and abrasive etching, and now you are my inspiration. I hope to take private classes with you one day when I can set the time and funds aside. Your Enchanted Meadow and Letters have inspired me for years! Looking forward to starting that journey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart...

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thank you so much for the kind words. I would love to see how your journey progresses!
Enjoy every step of the way!