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September 29, 2006

mhcc calligraphy: class 1

by gl. at 10:45 pm

i'm back at mhcc on fridays to take the afternoon calligraphy class. this is my fourth time: each class focuses on a different style of lettering, and at this point i've taken the whole series, so i'm beginning again w/ boookhand. which is a shame: i'd rather be working on italic since denis brown will be here next month. but any calligraphy at this point is good calligraphy. the only real issue is that bookhand isn't written at a 5-degree slant like italic, so i spent most of today trying to train myself out of that. :)

marti's calligraphy classes are very casual. it took me a while to get over that. if you can work independently, you're welcome to, so i've migrated to the back. this term there are lots more students than usual for this class, but only warren & i are returning students. (warren is a 70-year-old, left-handed calligrapher, so he ends up doing his pieces upside down!)

marti did something unusual this time: she asked us to review calligraphy books & magazines to look for layouts & lettering we liked, rather than jumping straight into practicing. i was surprised to discover how nice this was, to begin with inspiration first. i took a whole page of notes and felt more connected to my creative process. later, i realized this is what i ask my artist's way groups to do with the "intuitive collage" activity, and what happens when i ask my artist's way independent support clients to bring things that inspire them to our first session. begin with inspiration. fill the well. it makes a lot of sense, but i don't think i've ever seen it in a class before.

i may try something different this term. because the class is so casual, there are ocassional points where a piece is due, but there are no requirements for the piece, so i spend a lot of time each week wondering what i should create. instead, what i may try to do this term is generate a list of potential ideas & techniques and assign one to each week myself. that way i can spend more time wondering how i'll create something rather than worrying about what i should create. this would also be useful to plan a little further ahead for birthdays or xmas presents. the process is similar to how i run artist's way creative clusters: i have a basic list of my planned weekly art explorations with an eye for the seasons and external events, but it's flexible if someone is gone or if a better idea comes up. having the initial list saves me a lot of mental energy each week wondering what we'll be doing.

posted by gl. | September 29, 2006 10:45 PM | categories: calligraphy