Monday, July 5, 2021

To Flourish is To Bloom!!!!

Later this month I will be teaching The Artful Flourish through The Gentle Penman online. I wanted to take a moment to tell you what flourishing means to me. I came onto the calligraphy scene in 2003 and it wasn't long before I heard the phrase "if you can't flourish....don't prove it." Years later, I see the humour in the quote and I understand fully what it means in terms of artwork. But flourishing is not only the curves and designs that you create on the paper, it is a mental state of flow that happens during the process.And to learn to flourish, you have to start somewhere!

Beyond that, it is a skill building technique that will enhance your other artistic pursuits. When I found the world of offhand flourishing, I quickly put many other things aside. My needlework was packed away and I left the world of floristry. But in exchange, I found a way to access the calming and peaceful effects of meditation, while working with pen and ink. It really is quite extraordinary.

Beyond that, I found a sense of confidence in my work and I wanted to share it and pass it on to others. I wrote notes of encouragement constantly and kept the post office busy. Notes and letters represented practice as well as sharing my thoughts with friends and family. Ideas for flourishes keep coming and coming. I have been playing with these flourishes for 18 years now and have never been bored with them and I still don't know whether I am really practicing or just playing! No matter what calligraphic hand I explore, I look for ways to combine it with offhand flourishing. As an artist, I can point to offhand flourishing as the skill that caused me to bloom and reach beyond the comfort zone of the introvert. It remains such a love in my life. No matter what skills you have, you can flourish. It is one hundred percent acquired skill and does not rely on any natural talent!

The two books that started me on my flourishing journey were The Ames Compendium which can be found online and Ornate Pictorial Calligraphy which is still in print. Although flourishes can look complex, they really have a very simple underlying structure. Once you understand how curves harmonize with each other, you will be well on your way. I hope you look into the world of flourishing and take time to play with pen and ink!!! There is just such a sense of delight in this world of pen and ink. Email me anytime if you have flourishing questions. Happy to help! Hugs all around. 

No comments: