These past few weeks have been busy here in the studio. I have had some late nights and some very early mornings. This July 1st morning (Happy Canada Day), I noticed so many things as I walked in the dark from the house to the studio. What looked dark to me, must have been looking light for the birds. The robins are always the first ones awake with their songs. It always sounds to me that they wake up with such a sense of cheerfulness. The studio is so quiet in the morning. It is cool enough to just open the window so I can really hear the songs of the birds and the last few drops of water flowing through the rain chain. It is too early to hear familiar neighbourhood sounds like cars, splashes in pools or lawn mowers. It is just calm and quiet. The Rumi quote came to mind this morning: "The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you, don't go back to sleep." Although I am not a person who falls in to any sort of rigid routines, I have found that I love the quiet of these magic mornings. I can instantly focus on the work on my desk and stay undistracted. Ideas for new projects come flooding in to my mind and I feel so inspired here in the quiet. And then, all at once, the concentration is gone and my mind shifts from my work to other tasks that will need my attention in the day. I wish there was a way to capture that magic of the morning and always be in that sense of quiet inspiration. Like anyone else, I face the same challenges for getting work done on time, keeping up with the business side of my job and juggling all of my other tasks. So finding that magic hour or two to work uninterrupted has seemed like such a gift these days. My hope for you dear friends is that you notice those special times when inspiration hits and take advantage of it. I can't always push back against the distractions that come my way, but I am working hard on singular focus rather than multitasking. If my task at hand is to clear up all of the email, then I give it my full attention. If the laundry needs folding, I try hard to do it without thinking about all of the rest of the tasks that need to be done. These are small things to tend to, but I find that I do so much better if I just tune into the task at hand.
I will be busy teaching this month. My Victorian Frames and Labels as well as my Glittering Vines class will be coming up this week for the LegaciesIII calligraphy conference.The classes are filled and registration is closed, but if you visit the Legacies III website after the conference, I believe recordings will be available for a period of time. If you would like to join me live online through The Gentle Penman, as I bring my style of flourishing to you through my Artful Flourish course, I believe registration is still open. The Artful Flourish is probably the course I have taught more than any other. It keeps evolving over time but this course can teach anyone how to flourish without any pre-pencilling or planning. It is a direct result of thinking on paper and I am so excited to share it online. Learning to flourish is really what helped me to blossom and grow both personally and as an artist.Ardington School later this fall. I will be presenting a course based on fall themed offhand flourishes. The Ardington school has a newsletter that you can join. These classes are kept small so I can pay more attention to individual questions as the course progresses. They offer all sorts of wonderful courses including fine art and needlework for if you want to check them out. I will be doing a holiday themed illuminated letter course for Ardington in November but the listing is not yet posted. Here is just a glimpse at the letter. I hope to show you the drawing, gilding and painting of a holiday themed illuminated letter. It is a lot to pack into the course, but the class will be kept very small. I am happy to share my teaching schedule with you through email if you contact me at email@example.com. I know some of you are taking so many courses already and I never want you to feel pressured to take a course. Always follow your instincts!!