Sunday, July 10, 2022

More Thoughts

 Here I am am on another beautiful Sunday morning and just overflowing with ideas and thoughts. I have been so busy preparing for new courses and refining techniques and the ideas just keep coming! The William Morris class at Ardington School is sold out but I am sure we will offer other courses that cover more William Morris content. He is just mesmerizing and his work is prompting more and more studies. His colour schemes are subtle and he has a very distinctive way of drawing flowers. I am learning so much with this fascinating look. The blue/green colour scheme is not one that I am normally drawn too but his influence is definitely finding a pathway into my work. There will be Morris insights in the Captivating Curves class for The Gentle Penman later this month. 

The acanthus leaf is an absolute staple in my work. Along side offhand flourishing and pink flowers, I don't know what I would do without them. From the first time I started to explore them, they have captivated my interest. Just like offhand flourishing, they can meander over your page and augment your script. They are capable of any twist and turn and can be any colour combination you can imagine. What is not to love? I can't wait to share the strategies of these leaves with you and I hope you will find so much to do with them. As I continue to study these leaves, more projects come to mind. For years, I painted cherubs and putti in acanthus settings but haven't played with them for awhile. My private students had other ideas and we are exploring them for the next couple of months. An idea for an illuminated page seemed to spring out of nowhere and I started playing on Friday. 
Seeing the glimmer of gold on the page and the dance of the acanthus is helping me bring this page to life. There is always so much of learn and so much to refine. My students keep spurring me forward into deeper and deeper territory. I am loving the challenge. I am 19 years into this calligraphic journey. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would use gold leaf on almost a daily basis. My first crude attempts at script lettering alongside awkward flourishing seemed like a perpetual uphill climb. But passion always spurs us forward as we refine our skills. This is a long process and we are always learning from our mistakes and our successes. The staples in my skill set along with a few script hands are offhand flourishing, drawing, painting and gilding. I work on all these skills and find ways to merge them together. I am getting lots of emails asking about my next courses. Please email me at for my teaching schedule. Ardington School has just posted my White Christmas class. This is a great start for flourishing! Cookie cutters are used as templates and the joy of the festive season offers endless possibilities to explore.

We will be using Bleedproof White on dark papers which is another key to improving flourishing skills. Even if you have never flourished before, this class will give you the skills you need. The Gentle Penman will be offering my Festive Flourishing class which has a bit more of a Victorian component to it and the flourishing is slightly more advanced. But the holiday season is the backdrop for both.

The class is not yet posted on the Gentle Penman website but will be coming soon along with a very special holiday painting class! I will have more to share soon but you will definitely see the William Morris influence alongside The Enchanted Meadow in that class. I hope you are finding joy on your journey whatever you are doing on this beautiful Sunday. Remember, that what we do with pen and ink can bring joy to others if we post it in the mail! This is such a special path and I hope you share your gifts. Happy July 10th dear friends!

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