I loved this shadowy photograph of my practice piece this morning. The shadows are created from some roses which have just about finished blooming but still have some beauty to share. I am always so pensive at this time of year. The garden is still blooming but you can see it struggling. More weeds have crept in as my time has been spent more in the studio than in the garden. I feel like I have been working harder than I have ever worked yet deadlines keep presenting themselves very quickly. This weekend I took a day out of my regular routine to study botanical painting. I will share more about that in a future post. Botanical art is something I return to often as there is so much to explore and will take years to learn. The same is so true of any of your calligraphic work. Recognize that there is so much to explore, and it will take years to learn. There is no short cut. There is no single, correct path to take. Follow your heart and your instincts. Next weekend I will teach my last online script class of this year. The class is The Poetic Pen and it reflects my thoughts and journey into the study of Italian Hand.
I began playing with this hand, I believe, about 10 years ago. Despite some stern warnings from colleagues that I should not try to revive this hand or bother with it all, Italian Hand held many intriguing mysteries for me and I absolutely loved it. Through the study of this lighthearted hand, I could feel and see a sense of play develop in my work. There was a visible as well as a tactile change to the pressure I put on the paper as I wrote this script. There was an interruption in my usual thinking patterns as I continued to pursue this hand. As I gleaned from history, I also began to merge this script with my own writing nuances. I discovered so much on this path that I think would have remained hidden to me, if I had not trusted my own instincts. There were definitely shadows along my path but also bright rays of hope as I continued to learn. My message this morning is to encourage you to pursue what makes you happy. If something is intriguing to you, don't be afraid to dive in and take a look at it. Time doesn't slow down no matter what we have to do. Even if a topic of study seems really daunting, realize that you really can take your time to explore it. When I teach my script hands, I share an immersive study technique to begin with, but afterwards, you can dance with the pen as slowly as you like.
Really take your time to observe and understand. Trust your instincts. Develop ideas that appeal to you and then go where that path leads. Enjoy these last few days of August before we shift into the different pace of Autumn. Thank you all for your encouragement, support, photos from your gardens and kind emails. I appreciate you all so much. Happy August days dear friends.