I grew up in Raleigh at a time when the nuns taught at Our Lady Of Lourdes. They lived out back of the school and wore those imposing yet Holy Habits that commanded your adoration, attention, and, quite frankly, your fear. So, when they asked you to "sit up straight" with your "feet flat on the floor" and compose your letters properly according to the Palmer Method of Handwriting, you did just that! I believe it was at that impressionable age that I became infatuated with the formation of letters. When I was introduced to calligraphy in 1978, it was no wonder I fell in love with this beautiful art form. My first taste of the calligraphic world lasted no longer than one hour. The instructor turned a piece of chalk on its edge to form calligraphic works of art from A to Z on the chalkboard. That was that! But it was all I needed to fire the embers that had been sparked in elementary school. Watching the slow, rhythmical shaping of those letters was like listening to classical music. It was not until 1997 that I enrolled in my first formal calligraphy class. Boy, were my eyes opened! I knew I had a lifelong road of learning ahead of me. It's been 38 years since that white piece of chalk was laid on its side. I am still learning. Come learn with me!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Gouache Peppers

Last night I took an art class from Liz Bradford at Jerry's Artarama called Intro to Gouache. I use gouache in my pens for lettering, but have never considered doing artwork in that medium. I've just used watercolors, etc. So this was an experience in using a familiar medium in an unfamiliar way. It was very different than watercolors, yet had similar qualities. I am not sure if I prefer it over watercolors at this point; the jury is still out on that! But now I have another tool in my repertoire. I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try doing something you've always done in a different sort of way. You might like it. You might not. But at least now you know.

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