Saturday, January 2, 2021

Notes for the New Year

 Welcome 2021!!! The word on my mind this year is Hope.

Let's Hope together for a bight year ahead, I learned years ago, that I am not good at making or keeping resolutions. It seems that yearly goals are not good for me, but I do try to plan things on a weekly basis. I don't set huge goals, but continue to take small steps forward in the right direction. I realize that I am very methodical about certain things. I always use the same weekly diary to plan my days, weeks and months. I use a  Moleskine Pro Weekly Diary. It has enough space for me to write in each day and has a two blank pages in between each week where I can add extra notes or keep track of ideas. I have been using this style of planner for about 6 years I think.  The fountain pen I use in this diary is always the same as well. I use the Platinum Plasir Fine tip Fountain Pen. This was a very inexpensive fountain pen but it has been a workhorse for me since 2015. I use it daily, and the tip of the pen has been wonderful. ! I always use the same pink cartridge refills in it to match the body of the pen. I try to be methodical about this daily ritual. However, there are times when I just ignore the diary/planner in a sort of rebellious way and have days where I can let things just happen without being overly planned. This results in blank spaces in the journal which I also have to ignore without being stressed about it. Not every day will be productive. I will have days that I can't keep up to my tasks, but no matter what happens, I can turn the page and set up tasks for the next week with that same attitude of Hope.

I have just finished writing my new set of handouts for my Notes for the New Year workshop. I will be teaching through the European Pointed Pen Collective next weekend. In many ways, this course is taking me back to a mindful practice that I  did for years when I first began my calligraphy journey. Whenever I was studying some new aspect to include in my artwork, I would practice the techniques over and over again. Inevitably, I would create stacks of work on practice paper. Some of it was good and some needed to be discarded. However, when I started working on better quality paper, I found that I was much more mindful about the work I was doing and quite often, I could complete work that I was proud of. I developed the practice of working on paper that was cut down to note card size. Every Sunday, I would go through my note cards and let my mind wander a bit. Someone would come to mind and I would address an envelope and send out a note. I have never completely stopped this practice. Often I just feel to write to someone and come out to the studio and put pen to paper. I hope to continue to do this throughout the year. So many of you have written to me and will try hard to keep up with the correspondence as I create these Notes for the NewYear,  My first walk to the post this weekend will be with a note for Paul Antonio.

He has been such a blessing with his videos on YouTube and his social media posts. He is pascribe on Instagram if you have not discovered his work. I love watching his script variations videos.  His note was written on Strathmore Foldover Note cards.

I designed this logo for Strathmore several years ago. Strathmore blessed me with a few boxes of the notecards and I am rapidly going through them.  The paper is wonderful to write on and I found that I could apply watercolour washes as well as gold leaf. 

Happy New Year my dear friends. Please continue to keep in touch with me. You can email me at I will be releasing a few new courses this yea and I am continuing to book private students throughout the year. I will keep the blog updated. Hugs all around!

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