Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pursuit of Mastering the Masters.

This is a photo of a calligraphic piece completed by the extremely talented Rosie Kelly.  I actually bought this print at a calligraphy conference I attended at least ten years ago.  It has been hung in my home, in various rooms, for years.  My son Colin recently told me he wanted this work of art.  "Are you joking, Colin?"  Of course you can't have it.  "Well, then" he said, "Can you make one for me?".  I made a promise that I would do a piece with this quotation for him.

I wanted to make the same letterforms as Rosie and other talented folks out there in the lettering community.  I've been practicing and playing and experimenting.  While doing all of this, I was reminded of Lisa's comment in her creative list quilt workshop.  She cautioned against creating work like your teacher.  She said she could spot them from far away.  But I wondered about this.  Isn't this the way we learn?  Isn't it all about trying to make the letters like the best.  And what about our own unique hand?  Isn't it always going to be there, our own signature that no one can duplicate no matter what they do?  I'm reminded of the William Stafford poem, beautifully recited by the extraordinaire, Laurie Doctor,

Your exact errors make a music
that nobody hears.
Your straying feet find the great dance,
walking alone.
And you live on a world where stumbling
always leads home. 

So I will continue, the emulate those I admire so, make my own exact errors, and create something that comes alive from my heart to my hand.  Here' s my own piece, completed on a piece of painted canvas for Colin.  

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