Thursday, January 14, 2021

Knowing and Understanding

 This weekend I taught my Notes for the New Year course online. I had so much fun sharing the my insights into Victorian Scraps and I see so many beautiful letters of correspondence being creating. I am overjoyed to see the work. To see how a student will interpret what I teach and transform that idea with their own vision is just so inspiring. Dear students, keep up the wonderful work as you share your notes with others around the world. I have enjoyed the process of sending a few more cards and notes than I usually manage to send.

One of the advantages of preparing courses for students is the ability to spend time in research and study. My mentor Brian Walker always encouraged me to study. He would insist that time observing, thinking, reading, crafting, and time studying was as important as the time that I was working putting pen to paper at my desk. He always stressed that there was a difference between knowledge and understanding. As we continue this year of strange and unprecedented times, it appears that we may be in our homes again for long periods of time. It means we will have so many study opportunities if we want them. Let me stress that as you take in knowledge, also take some time to absorb what you are learning. Progress from the infill of knowledge to truly absorbing and understanding what you are doing. That does not mean that you will suddenly be able to do all of your artistic and calligraphic work flawlessly. But you will be always inching closer to refining those skills that you have been chasing. Be patient with yourself. You are right where you should be on your journey! If your studies take you down a rabbit hole of seemingly of artistic pursuits that make you is ok to dive in. I truly believe that so many of our creative pursuits have a deep connection that can relate to each other. So if you don't feel like putting ink on paper one day and want to play with your paints, go ahead and enjoy! If you feel like knitting rather than drawing, indulge the knitter inside you. If your script writing is stressing you out for a day or two, just put it aside and do something else. Lately, I found myself looking through my old embroidery books and being inspired by their gentle designs.  More than ever, we need these calming and peaceful pursuits to accompany us. I find that even when I read a few phrases, I can be inspired for my next project. Find the quiet, calm and joy that these creative outlets can bring to you. I know that these days we may have to dig a little deeper to find peace, but I know we can find it.
I have had so many emails for info about upcoming classes and private lessons. Indeed, I teach privately all the time and I have a pdf file of my online teaching schedule that is available if you email me at One of the happiest celebrations I will have this year is my 10th Anniversary of teaching The Enchanted Letter. I am working so hard on revising the course, expanding content and sharing some lessons that I have learned along the way as I developed these letters. I will try hard to post some letters each month! Let's start with the letter A based on the shape of a French Round Cursive style.  Most of my Enchanted Letters are based on a Pink, Blue, Green palette but I started this design by working with a Periwinkle blue and lavender palette. I achieved the colour of the letter by combining Carbazole Violet with French Ultramarine blue. As I expand the course, the designs will become a bit more Victorian and ornate at times. As I continue to develop the letters and do further research I continue to do that dance between knowledge and understanding. 

Sweet friends, I am sending hugs across the miles. Have fun with your creative pursuits. Encourage one another on this journey. Email anytime! Thank you all so much for the kind words you share with me. Your kindness means so much to me. 

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