Sunday, December 21, 2008

Casual Lettering with Laurie Doctor

Loved LOVED LOVED IT!  I was dipping into this in order to push my brain to imagine even more possibilities for writing on cloth...which it did do even with only eight hours total of instruction.  I found myself listening to the instructor while simultaneously pushing my tight little brain to "take it further" and "what if?".  More than likely, because of this, I probably am retaining little, but what I'm retaining I'm working it! 

The font she shared was a basic line script using a straight point nib.  But that hasn't stopped me from spending at least 10-15 minutes with daily practice or playing around.  I've purchased new nibs, picked up a book recommendation she gave me from the library, purchased a few more varieties of brands in ink, and ordered a copy of the Letter Arts Review. 

My supplies occupy a shelf by the kitchen table and after the house is quiet at night or early in the morning when the troop is gone I find it very relaxing to practice what I learned from this workshop.  What is most appealing is how my body slows down internally and externally and how my concentration and visualization skills magnify and intensify.  Its the same way with hand stitching when I compare the activities that create the same sense of meditative sensation. 

My goal isn't to become a calligrapher but more than anything else I want to increase my command of visualization and retain my abilities to concentrate.  For now it will stay a daily practice.  I also find it much more accessible, intimate, and personal than drawing. 

Here are photos as evidence of my journey:


above: experimenting with value and design using a variety of pens and pencils in black/grey on water colour paper.  (since I first wrote this post, I added colour to the above project with Derwent watercolour pencils.  The b/w filter was applied to the photo)


black on black writing (used a shell for writing, felt very earthy and womanish) colouring with pencils and water colours and white gel pen on black cover weight paper.  behind the black pieces of paper is a "what if" with colour and layering using inks, markers, and pens on paper.)


front of hand-made book


back of hand-made book:  2 types of white gel pens-one layered writing; black on black shell writing; coloured with prismacolour pencils.


first opening,


seconing opening,


third oepning,


front of pages, accordian fold, little momentos of practices tucked inside pages. china marker, walnut and sumi inks.  (note give Ron a bucket to collect walnuts)


back of pages.


Friday's daily practice using acrylic ink, straight nib (feather quill makes me feel like Phillis Wheatley, I like to strike the pose of the image of her with quill sitting at the table in contemplation).


And here is a very small section of a quilt I assumed was complete and which I liked very much but wanted to dare myself to go back into using block letters and in a different colour.  Once I started, I gasped, but then what could I do...cut it down? nope! I decided to continue on to see where it would lead before I made such a drastic decision.  I think next time I will make the block lettering smaller and more squished up and my cursive on top and larger.  I'm okay with the outcome but I like it more prior to this layer.  Hopefully soon I'll settle down to get good overall photography of the full quilt. 




  1. Wow! Lots of eye dandy. Thanks for sharing this. I love text in art, but haven't the skills do what I like. You are doing it!!
    Merry, merry.

  2. Oh! I wish I could have joined you ! What a fabulous class that looks like ! What kind of pen is in the picture?? FW inks are really cool!

  3. ...really loving all this text much inspiration here.

  4. What a fun post! A class that inspires this kind of work must be wonderful. I love it all!

  5. i am just loving that book girl. my colors don't look that good with my prismacolor pencils. now that i am thinking about it i need some more. have a safe holiday

  6. I love your text. Know what you mean about the peacefulness that you feel while you sit still and write. I also feel that way when I do handwork and also knitting. I suppose it's like popping a Valium, although I've not done that. Sometimes I almost crave that peace: do you? And at other times, like right now, I can almost feel it when I think about it.
    I admire your constant search for more and more knowledge. You never quit!
    Hope your holiday was joyful, happy and peaceful.

  7. I am having so much fun following along with your progress here! Your practice pieces look better than my finished attempts. Thank goodness for stencils is my motto.

  8. This all looks like it's super satisfying for you. Especially love the image of your hands at work with the feathered quill. I have Derwent pencils on my list ...

  9. Ooh how I wish I were in that class. Love, love, love the book and how it escapes when released. What a cool piece of art.