Greetings once again.  I know, I know, what took so long and where the heck have I been?  My last post was more than two months ago!

The long and the short of it is that I had some pretty big health concerns that came up and they absolutely had to taken care of above and beyond almost everything else.  That took over any and all free time and fun time.  I am more or less fine now and hope to start posting regularly once again.  I’m fine now, thanks for asking.

So what has happened?

Ink Making

The popularity of ink making has increased lately.  For more information about ink making I suggest the this website.  Its a bit clunky but some very good information is there.

The Vatican

The Vatican is digitizing 4,000 of their manuscripts to put online for everyone to see.  And that is just a drop in the bucket.  The Vatican has over 180,000 manuscripts!  The project is being done by Digita Vaticana Oculus.  The first 500 (and growing I hope) manuscripts can be found here.  What kind of manuscripts can be found there?  Some very interesting and unique ones like this meso-american manuscript on deer skin parchment.  It was once a part of the Borgia collection, yes, those Borgias.

Thinking Creatively

It turns out that thinking creatively is not just a matter of waiting for the muse to hit you.  Thinking creatively happens because you actively work at making it happen.  This article titled “12 Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking” does a good job of quick discussion and it echoes much of what I have learned, been taught and discovered, but said better and more succinctly than I could have.

Growing as an Artist and in Life

We all start knowing far less than we feel comfortable when we begin learning anything new.  The Scribal Arts of calligraphy (writing), decoration (painting) and illumination (precious metal onto the work of art) are no different.  We all start small and then we try to grow ourselves and our skills.  I hope this provides you some inspiration about that.

giant sequioa seeds

Here are the seeds of a Giant Sequoia. They are roughly 1/4″ long by 1/8″ wide and look somewhat like oatmeal flakes. They grow into the single largest organism (by volume) on the planet. It does not matter how small or how big you start. It matters how you grow and when you stop growing. Let yourself expand and learn and grow. Seek the sunshine, accept the rain as needed nourishment and grow, grow, grow. In your art. In your person. In your life. ************************************************************* Photo and information about Giant Sequoias can be found at: http://matthewwills.com/tag/brooklyn-botanic-garden/page/3/

Speaking About Growing

When you work hard at growing yourself in your art, hobbies, as a person and just in your life, you can achieve many wonderful milestones. And when you do, some interesting things happen, such as how people perceive you and what you do.

In the past couple of months during my blog silence I have been received compliments and comments about my work in the SCA scribal realm.  Specifically they were about my calligraphy and my ink making and I appreciate them for what they conveyed.  I know there are many people out there who are better than I am and so I don’t always agree with the compliments I receive, and that makes me treasure them even more.  And I know that if I can get to where people are complimenting me and my work, you, yes you can get better and better until people are complimenting you too!

One of my favorite compliments was that my calligraphy was light years ahead of everyone else’s.  Thank you very much but anyone can get as good as I am and I’ve only been doing this since 2005.  So if you just started today, I only have a 9 year start on you.  And yes, that is a lot of time, but it isn’t the time that matters so much as what you do with it that matters.

Another compliment was that I am so good at my calligraphy I make it seem natural and easy.  Okay, what was said was roughly that calligraphy comes easily to me and that others have to work hard at it.  So have I and so do I.  I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) 28 years ago.  I have been evaluated for it several times since then and I continue to be diagnosed ADHD every single time.  Calligraphy is very much about sitting still and it is very detail oriented.  Both are difficult for and are an anathema to ADHD people.  There is nothing easy about calligraphy for me but there is an awful lot of joy in it for me and sometimes I get lucky enough to hyper-focus on my project.  The first three years I did calligraphy, I was doing it every single day for never less than 15 minutes at a time.  I did it on lunch breaks, in the morning before I went to work, after I got home from work, at SCA events and every 2nd and 4th and 5th Tuesday of the month I did it at my teachers house.  My teachers are amazing and gave me excellent instruction and even better constructive criticism on how to see my mistakes, do analysis and how to make the corrections while writing calligraphy and when I was done.  I could not ask for better people and instructors.  And I continue to learn and practice calligraphy to this day, Though not anywhere near as much as I want to.  In short, I am as good as I am, not because I have a talent for it, but because I’ve worked damned hard over time.  If it looks like its easy for me and I just “get it,” then thank you for noticing the rewards of all the hard work I have put into this joyful art.

And remember, I’m not light years ahead of you or anyone else, I’m practice and experience ahead of you.  You too can get here and I’ll be happy to help you do it!


3 responses to “Happenings

  1. Thank you for sharing your story about being diagnosed ADHD. This should be an encouragement to those who work to help these children in school. Keep up the good work!

  2. I have 19 Grandchildren and have at one time or the other, told them all that I was once in a bookstore and saw a book titled “How To Do Amazing Things”, and when I opened the book covers there was only one page, with one word on it; PRATICE

  3. You have a passion for Calligraphy, and I’m so happy to watch you follow it! It’s hard work, following your muse, and it’s vital to know that even if you are inspired, it’s still going to take effort to get to where you want to go. Keep it up! It will take you to glorious places, and you will witness wonders on your path along the way.

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