I am beginning a new series of classes based on the work of the artist and calligrapher, Ben Shahn. The emphasis is on drawn letters, so it is accessible to both calligraphers and non- calligraphers, those who draw, and those who don't! I see endless possibilities...
We will begin with pencil and monoline forms, and a drawn capital:
Over and again, I find that lettering is a natural way to calm my restless mind. It is a path that is inherently contemplative, where you can discover what you are most curious about, and what is in your heart. I want to begin the year with a poem that addresses this universal restlessness. Marie Howe does this so well:
Every day I want to speak with you. And every day something more important
calls for my attention—the drugstore, the beauty products, the luggage
I need to buy for the trip.
Even now I can hardly sit here
among the falling piles of paper and clothing, the garbage trucks outside
already screeching and banging.
The mystics say you are as close as my own breath.
Why do I flee from you?
My days and nights pour through me like complaints
and become a story I forgot to tell.
Help me. Even as I write these words I am planning
to rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence.
"Prayer" by Marie Howe, from The Kingdom of Ordinary Time.
The classes that still have space available:
Mar 3-5, St Louis, MO
September 11-13 and September 15-17, Basalt, CO
September 22-23, Bozeman, MT
Next time I will talk about my exhibit opening in April at the Saint Meinrad Archabbey.
PS: Scripsit, the Washington DC guild's publication, has just come out with an issue on brush lettering put together by Maureen Squires. I am honored to be included, along with one of my heroes, Gottfried Pott, and other calligraphers I admire, like Massimo Polello. HIs image is on the cover below:
The publication is available at John Neal Books:
Massimo Polello's website:
Thank you for being a reader, I value each one of you. May good fortune shower you in 2018!