Friday, June 25, 2021

What Have We Been Up To?!

What have we been up to? Covid-19 has certainly changed our lives, no in-person meetings just like everywhere else and the learning curve that is Zoom has been an interesting journey. Many of us are now addicted to online classes! I love having a front row seat for every workshop and I never forget a pen, a tool or the right paper. It is all here within my reach! My chair is always at the right height, and I can share the studio space with the bulldog. I think last I counted I was up to about 30 online classes in the past year. That’s more workshops than I would take in 10 years. What an amazing opportunity we have been given when we were least expecting any good to come out of this pandemic. We have been continuing with monthly online meetings and trying to keep our focus on lettering. Some has been quite experimental but we always try to have a lettering aspect to what we do and share. In JANUARY, 2021, we looked at an alphabet designed by Alan Blackman. Remember him? The Jabberwocky Man? I took a workshop with Alan in 1986 at the calligraphy symposium in Calgary. A very talented artist, remember his Letters to Myself?
In FEBRUARY, we took a great idea from Cyndi and looked at sidewalk cracks in a completely different way. Do you see letters when you try and avoid stepping on a crack in the sidewalk? I never used to!
In MARCH, it was decided that a nice thing to offer members was a free workshop with Yukimi Annand, studying her Kilian letters. We were attempting to make up for all that we have lost through Covid. It was wonderful! But then any workshop with Yukimi is pretty special. In fact, it was such a great experience that we revisited it at our April meeting and formed two study groups to keep practicing! This is the homework gathered from one group, stay tuned for some from the other group!
In MAY, we decided to take a different approach and introduced everyone to a very interesting man and wonderful instructor, John Muir Laws. He focuses mainly on nature journaling and as so many of our members keep journals, this seemed like an interesting program to present. We watched a couple of his videos and assigned some homework – to produce a similar page to what he showed and use the prompts he posed: • Words • Numbers • Pictures • I notice… • I wonder… • It reminds me of… “There is no excuse to be bored on this planet. All you have to do is learn to pay attention to the world around you and these mysteries come out and they dance with you!” Check him out on You Tube! he has so much to offer on the subject of nature journalling and as we saw with Cyndi's homework, the same approach can be taken when you are looking at letters. “Do your thinking on paper!”
In JUNE, Cyndi led us through a paper weaving adventure. It always amazes me when she finds one idea but her brain doesn’t stop there, off it goes much further than the original project, into something incredible. We also saw some work from one of the recent online workshops that included stencil making, embossing and using the stencil made with mylar / acetate and a sponge roller loaded with different colours of acrylic paint. Suffice it to say that Cyndi's paper weaving was the hit! Many worked along with her as she showed us each step. The technique is sure to show up in future examples from members and possibly even shared with lucky friends. Who knew we needed to save those spent gift cards for a future tool or two! Thank you Cyndi! a great program for our last meeting before the summer break.