Saturday, November 27, 2010

Poetry of Handwriting

I recently took a class from Laurie Doctor called the Poetry of Handwriting. While I thought it was going to be about learning calligraphy, it was really more about getting into a rhythm and flow and not worrying so much about the aesthetics of the writing. I can appreciate the idea of being in the flow but to not be concerned with the look of the lettering is very hard!
Laurie recited beautiful poetry throughout class while we practiced mixing many shades of neutrals in watercolor and writing freely as she had demonstrated. We each created an accordian book using the arches text wove paper that we had first painted with sumi ink then our washes of neutrals. The book was meant to be a journal of the process, a record of our formulas for our washes, snippets of letter shapes that we want to record and build on. The first photo above is the outside of my book and the second shows the inside where the pocket holds little samples.

Our next project was to section off parts of the black text wove and do a variety of lettering shapes and again, using neutrals,watercolor, gouache, colored pencils. Okay, I cheated, I used some white and gold gouache to liven
it up a bit! Then, according to the measurements Laurie provided, we cut up the piece and folded it, making it into a holder for our accordian book. Above is the full piece I did. Once I had cut it up and folded it, I didn't like the way it looked and wished I hadn't cut it. I decided to sew it back together using bookbinding thread, with the pieces placed differently than how I had originally done it. The colors in the photo below are true to the actual piece. In the end, I think this was my favorite part of the class.


  1. Really nice, Lisa. I also like the way you put together the piece on the black textwove. Several people have told me that Laurie Doctor is their favorite calligraphic instructor, and I can see why! Have fun continuing to play with these techniques.

  2. Beautiful work! Your lettering has such a movement and freedom to it.I have never experienced a class by Laurie Doctor but would love the chance.

  3. Beautiful work Lisa! Laurie taught her Beauty and Repetition workshop in Indy a few years ago. I really enjoyed her approach to lettering; it was much different than anything else I've experienced. Thanks for sharing your work. :)

  4. wow, Lisa, these are fantastic! I just wanted to pop by and wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Year's ahead. It has been awesome getting to know you this year. I love your know that! I am a huge fan. Take good care and see you in 2011!

  5. Beautiful results! I have taken a class from Laurie a long time ago and truly enjoyed her. I love the accordian book with the pockets and love the way you've sewn your other piece together, like a collage!

  6. I've also taken Laurie's class and really enjoyed it. She always comes up with such interesting poetry or something she reads to the class. Your colors are wonderful and I love how your cut up case came out!


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