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October 27, 2006

denis brown: get rhythm!

by gl. at 10:48 pm

my last denis brown workshop was wednesday! my brain felt full, so i left early. you'd think i'd want to stay for the "gestural movements to music" segment at the end, since it sounds so similar to exercises i do with artist's way, but i was afraid that adding anything more new to my head would simply cause it to leak out my eyes.

during the course of two days, of course he said more than this, but this is what stuck:

i made an interesting self discovery while warming up in my car over lunch one day: i don't think i want to be a calligraphy artisté. i want to be a casual calligrapher: i want to get to the point where calligraphy feels like an easy, natural extension of my handwriting, without a lot of fuss or guidelines or setup/cleanup. i want to be able to dash off calligraphy on nametags & lunchbags. i want to make ordinary things extraordinary with personalization & customization, but i don't need to make large-format framed works of art. some of this comes from my inherent love for ephemera, so you can think of this as "ephemeral embellisment."

having said all that, i got a lot out of this workshop, tried a lot of new things. despite resisting it for years, i became more familiar with using gouache & a loading brush; i tried several sizes of brause nibs, which i still find pretty stiff, but i think i'm beginning to get the hang of them (overloading really does seem to help); marti's fox river pad worked like a charm; i became an advocate for guardsheets (though thin cotten gloves wouldn't be too bad, either); i learned how to use ground pumice stone.

you can especially tell what a difference two days make in the pix below. i'm always rough when i begin a class: stuggling with a new nib (brause), new paper, new space, new ink or whatnot.



i can always find fault w/ my own writing, but on the whole by the end i was vastly more consistent & elegant than the first early attempts.

posted by gl. | October 27, 2006 10:48 PM | categories: calligraphy