Work done in Brody Neuenschwander’s online class, Series 3, “The Expressive Expressive Line – Part 1”. Here are two of a lot of pages of mark-making.
I’ve enjoyed the work so much in Series 2 of Brody Neuenschwander’s online classes that I did another, this time with color in the counters and 3:4 portion of rectangle. Compare this to the monochrome square figures in my last post.
Actually, I gathered up all the bits and pieces of work/play in this seal-script-inspired vein and was shocked at the height of the pile. I can see a number of applications for this style of working. So much fun!
Series 2 of Brody Neuenschwander’s online classes is inspired by Chinese seal script. I am loving this shift in thinking from fairly uniform letters with discreet spaces between words to separate word bundles. It’s the difference between a grass prairie and tiered landscaping. Or it can be. I’m fascinated with the way the way of working shifts me toward thinking illustratively. For instance, the word “round” is enclosed by the “O”. And in the corner bit, the word “seed” begins to look like a pea pod. And what a change this improvisational construction is from standard formal Western calligraphy, where the letter placement is fore-ordained!
Click on the image for a much larger look.
If you missed my post on the first series, check it out here.
The first of Brody Neuenschwander’s 8 series of online calligraphy classes has come to a close. It more than met my expectations, and my expectations were high.
A little history
I first met Brody during a week-long workshop at Camp Cheerio in 2000. He and Thomas Ingmire co-taught the workshop, “Textual Reverberations”. A good deal of time has passed, but I still have the book I made in that class. During that week, according to my notes — and perhaps the promotional materials, “we looked at meaning in modern text-based art and worked with more open-ended and suggestive processes. Inventive calligraphic writings were developed based on musical, emotional, rhythmic, visual, linear, and formal themes.”
It was a different workshop than most calligraphy workshops in that it tied calligraphy into the larger art world. Every morning we were treated to a talk about lettering in the contemporary art that included a slideshow of work by Cy Twombly, Jenny Holzer, Bruce Nauman, Barbara Kruger, and many others. During that week we also got see what Brody was doing in that wider world. One evening we watched “The Pillow Book”, directed by Peter Greenaway and including calligraphy by Brody. And we saw another collaboration with Peter Greenaway, “Bologna Towers 2000“, in which his writing was projected the towers of Bologna. For me, at that time, it was an eye-opener.
Edited to add: I wrote a blog post about this 2000 workshop here.
The just-completed class series advances this theme of calligraphy in the larger world, taking inspiration from the Kufic form of calligraphy. From copying and then translating elements of those forms into Latin calligraphy, we learned to break the grid that our 26-letter palette and vellum/quill tradition have encouraged.
I haven’t begun to describe the class; a full description is beyond me. I’ve shown my homework submission here, but you can enjoy the fantastic work of some of the other students at instagram #brodyonline. Sorry you missed it? You can still take the class as a recording. Series 2 begins in April and looks to Chinese seal script for inspiration. I can’t wait!
These are two homework pages from session four of John Stevens’ excellent five-session course, Capitals to Uncials. Session five was held this weekend, and I’m looking forward to doing the homework from that session.
It’s been such a good class, and John presented about 10 times the material shown by my posted homework. I’ve got enough to work on for a year without stopping, and I’m sure that that year’s work would lead to another year, and so on.
Judging from the disappointed post of fellow calligraphers worldwide, I was awfully lucky to make it into this 5-week class on Uncials and Roman capitals taught by John Stevens. This is week 2. Here are the 2 pages of homework I was willing to share with the class.
I could easily work on this class full time! I’m quite sure that some of my fellow students have been doing so, and even working overtime. I’ve been drawn into spending much more time on it than I realized. So now I’m scrambling to get to all of the work piling up in my studio. Today and tomorrow will see me caught up (she says, optimistically).
Have I mentioned how much I’m enjoying Elizabeth McKee’s brush lettering class? Well, it bears repeating. Here are just a few pages of the homework I did in November, the 3rd month of classes.
I’ve mostly been writing with Pentel Color Brushes (all four tips), Winsor & Newton Series 7 pointed brushes (1, 2, 2 mini), and the Pentel Pocket Brush. I’ve mostly been using fountain pen ink, Schmincke gouaches, Winsor & Newton watercolors, Dr. Martin’s Pro White, and FineTec metallic watercolors.
I’m happily balancing this kind of work with the formal, slower work of study in Elmo van Slingerland’s Roman minuscules class through the Society of Scribes … and the geometry and paper handling of folding portfolio folders and fulfilling orders for my ABC portfolios. I’ll post some of my work in the Roman minuscules class next time.
I enjoyed this past weekend’s workshop hosted by Chicago Calligraphy Collective. Taught by Mike Gold, the workshop was entitled “Over and Over”. All weekend we focused on taking one text and lettering it over and over, using different approaches.
My quotation for the workshop was this: “Stare, pray, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.” – Walker Evans. (But if an exercise didn’t lend itself to the quotation, I chose something else.)
In this workshop with Mike Gold, it was instructive to see the work of my fellow workshop students, a gathering of accomplished calligraphers. The work was so widely varied! You can see some of this work on instagram here. The Chicago Calligraphy Collective has really got it going on, especially as an online presence for those of us members who are not local.
Mike Gold is teaching this class to other guilds via Zoom. For instance, the Columbus guild is hosting this workshop October 24 & 25. If you’re interested, sign up!
I recently finished a wonderful five-week online class with John Stevens. Take a look at his work and you’ll see why anyone would be lucky to study with him. The class was entitled “The Italic Letter”. I had not studied italic calligraphy, per se, for quite some time.
We began with a look at “basic” italic (ha!) and a close look at the basic shape of the strokes. Here’s one of my earlier study pages.
We considered the placement of lettering on the page, and …. well, so much more. Here are two study sheets, one a block of text and the other a study in two weights.
The third sheet is a block of text, considering ledding and layout.
John will be repeating the class soon. I highly recommend it! Sign up for his newsletter to be notified of new classes.
Tomorrow begins the last week of the 6-week class. Here is a partial view of the work I did in week 5. Once you get started, you could riff on a letter for ages.