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, January 27, 2012

Layout Principles

Last night I held a Help Session here at my house.

The Triangle Calligraphers' Guild (TCG) is hosting the Carolina Lettering Arts Society (CLAS) annual general meeting here in April. Part of that weekend workshop will be a display of lettering pieces done by members of the TCG. The theme for these designs is The Fanciful Letter.

Beginners to experts will be a part of this calligraphic endeavor, and it is proving to be a very exciting collaborative.

So, you say, what do these Help Sessions entail? Well, you come to the get-together bringing your body, your brain, your talent, and maybe even something written down on paper! I have my idea in my head, but so far I have nothing on paper. 3 out of 5 of the gals who showed up last night actually had rough drafts of what they wanted to work on.

We all sat around the fire, went around the room, and shared our thoughts on what looked great, what might be suggestions for improvement, and just all around sharing what we love to share...our love for the lettering arts.

What you see above is a sheet I worked up while getting ready for the Session. I sat down with a stack of calligraphic books and read their chapters on layout. As I foraged through all of the instructions, I tried to summarize them and put them in an easy-to-digest, fun fashion.

Come learn with us! We're a good group!

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