Monday, 6 March 2017

The Carnage of Art


So in February, I took an introductory evening course in calligraphy. The short course just covered the basics, like understanding the characteristics of different nibs, learning how to dip the pen in liquid ink, acquiring the central skill of making thick and thin lines and practising some basic alphabets.

Dipping the pen proved to be a challenge for me. After the first class, I was ink from ass to tea kettle, as the old saying (sort of) goes. It took days for the black ink to finally wash off my hands. Good thing it wasn't red ink or I'd have looked like a serial killer.

In the second class, for reasons unknown to me, my efforts at calligraphic writing produced a loud skritch, skritch, skritch noise that was literally heard throughout the whole classroom. Perhaps I was pressing too hard, I don't know.

One of my coworkers signed up for this class too, which was great because she's fun to be around. She took to calling me "Inky and Scratchy," which I actually thought was quite clever. I certainly butchered enough calligraphy paper to warrant comparison to that violent duo, LOL!


51 comments:

anne marie in philly said...

they fight
they fight
they fight and fight and fight
fight fight fight
fight fight fight
the itchy and scratchy show!

Davoh said...

Ah ...RESIST the influence of Baron Bic. Fight against the influence of Bill Gates. RESTORE the art and discipline of the quill pen.

When electricity fails ... there is always spitting Ochre on rocks.

DEZMOND said...

where's the photographic evidence?

Marie Smith said...

Lol. Calligraphy is such a great art.

Snap said...

Keep at it! Practice practice practice .... fun fun fun .... scratch scratch scratch.....!

Mark said...

Caligraphy sounds harder than I thought it would be. Good on you for trying something new. Calligraphy was something I was interested in but I think I'm a little scared off now.

LL Cool Joe said...

It always good to try something new, even if it's only to find out you are crap at it. Ha!

Bob Slatten said...

I have toyed with calligraphy forever. Love it; love the beauty and the structure of it.

Insomniac's Attic said...

What a shame I got rid of all my 1970's calligraphy books when we moved three years ago ... I bet if I checked the Goodwill store I donated them to they'd still be there! I have your address, you know. ;)

I cheat these days - you can buy Sharpie calligraphy pens at Staples now. Not as authentic but way less mess.

Davoh said...

The next challenge - is to create your own paper ... meh.

brewella deville said...

I used to work for a woman who specialized in making these very elaborate wedding documents in Hebrew using calligraphy and watercolors that ended up looking like pages of some medieval illustrated manuscript. Practicing calligraphy must be a fantastic form of meditation.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I hope you got yourself some red ink.

The Happy Whisk said...

Funny about the red ink being like blood and the new nickname.

Happy Monday & Boogie Boogie.

A Beer For The Shower said...

That's awesome that you're taking this up, and I envy anyone who can do this. I can draw, yes, but lettering of any kind always evades me, and my version of calligraphy would just look like a medieval doctor's note.

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

This post had me smiling from start to finish! Love the Itchy and Scratchy show!!! Good for you for learning something new. Maybe its just me but I think that scritch scritch scritching sounds would be lovely :)

Miss Val's Creations said...

Kudos to you for putting in the effort! My handwriting is atrocious so I have a feeling my calligraphy would be quite scary.

Anna of Mutton Style and Years said...

Love that 'inky and scratchy '. Is there a purpose to the calligraphy or just fun.

The Captain said...

I'd love to be able to do calligraphy. It's definitely harder than it looks.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Anna of Mutton Style and Years -- No, it's just for fun. I have no ambitions to be a calligraphic artist or to produce finished pieces.

Jono said...

My father used to like playing with calligraphy. I don't think I have the patience. Or ability.

Rosemary said...

One of my friends was a wonderful calligrapher, and I always envied her skills, but I think that I would probably have been like you.

Cheryl said...

Hahaha..your co-worker is quite funny. Inky and Scratchy!!

So how many classes are involved? Just the two?? I think calligraphy is beautiful but as a left handed person I am pretty sure I would suck at it. Other than the scratching noise, were you able to write some pretty lettering?

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Cheryl -- There were only 3 classes, so a lot more instruction and practice would be required to be a decent calligrapher. I was able to make some nice individual letters but producing a whole word that was well-done escaped me. In the last class, the instructor said I was "just on the verge of getting it" so I suppose that was meant to be encouraging. Of course, we had to fill out course/instructor evaluations that night too so perhaps she was just buttering me up, lol.

Adam said...

"I have to go now, my planet needs me"

-Poochy

mshatch said...

I remember doing calligraphy in art class in high school. I would definitely need a book to copy from if I was going to manage. There are some pretty cool fonts though...

Guillaume said...

I love Itchy and Scratchy.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Calligraphy is another thing like lino cuts , yoga and screen-printing which reveal one's inner Tigger .

Janie Junebug said...

I'm too messy to do anything artistic, so I applaud you even if you're a noisy calligrapher.

Love,
Janie

strangelynaked.com said...

That sounds awesome. Who cares if you weren't able to do it successfully on your first try, you were given the gift of insight into an art form that neophytes like me look at as though it's magic. Who cares if your hands end up looking like an even more offensive parody of an Al Jolson tribute? You now have secret insights into how the swirly doodle letters are made.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

How fun! I had a very creative artistic teacher in 4th grade, who taught the class calligraphy. So I learned at a basic level, though - maybe not - I don't know what a nib is. I hope you'll show us some of the work when you get through the Itchy and Scratdhy phase.

HBF said...

That sounds so fun! I remember playing around with calligraphy a little when I was younger, but I didn't keep it up. I do remember it was fun.

As far as ink goes... been there. I once woke up and had blue ink on my hand and no clue how it got there. No matter how it got there, it stayed for the rest of the week!

baili said...

i am so glad that you are learning something new dear!i am always fascinated by this beautiful way of writing.
i have worse hand writing so can't even think about writing as marvelously .
i hardly hold my laughter while reading about noise you made during the effort [my neighbors always keep ear stick to wall beside my room]
Blessings!

G. B. Miller said...

Ah, you are a much better woman that I to attempt the very fine art of calligraphy. May your hand be steady, your output be clean and your imagination endless.

The Blog Fodder said...

My late wife loved calligraphy and was quite good at it. Keep working on it. It is a lovely art. You can do it!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Congrats for taking the lessons. I have a very bad habit of not trying something new because I don't like the learning part and I don't think I can do it, though I always find that when I finally give in and try something it is never as hard as I was sure it would be. Maybe I'll get on those drawing lessons!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

It sounds like fun! And a little messy. But mostly fun :)

Jim said...

Hey, you participated and gave it a go, Debra. Now when you see this art form you may appreciate the skill behind it.....not that you didn't already.
My grandfather was a recognized calligrapher nationally back in the 40's and 50's. His work also included exotic bird sketches and other fancy things.
I will try to forward a sample of his work.

Missy George said...

I've always wanted to try calligraphy but somehow never got around to it..I'd probably have about as much luck as you did..Cute post !!

Ol'Buzzard said...

I love beautiful handwriting. But, nobody does it any more. It is e-mail, tweet/twitter 135 characters on some electronic screen. You might receive a card with a signature - but written communication... Will there come a time when handwriting will archaic? Regrettably, I think so.
the Ol'Buzzard

JACKIESUE said...

I wanna learn how to do that..my I have arthritis in my hands and it's hard enough to write regular..even typing is a pain in the ...hands..

Holly said...

The older I get the more I delight when I have the courage to attempt something new! Good for you Scratchy!

Magic Love Crow said...

Inky and Scratchy! LOL! Very cute! I think it's wonderful you took this course Debra. I think it would be very interesting and fun! I probably would press down too hard too! Are you going to practise? Would love to see your letters!

Harry Hamid said...

That seems like it would be a lot of fun. It's something I'll never get around to elarning, but it's also something I never would have thought of. Even if you were too loud, good on you...

Kay G. said...

I think you just did this so you could do a post and write "different nibs". Don't know why, but that just looks funny to me! (Sorry, I am very tired and a bit weird today!)

Lynn said...

I'll bet your final product was nice and I admire you for learning something new!

Birdie said...

I tried calligraphy once. Total disaster.

Debi said...

HaHaHa! Like nails down a chalk board! The noise would annoy this old beast, Lynne' s Sharpie pens! Yeah! Rescued!
I am happy for your thrust for adventure at any cost! Very glamourous that ink & pen stuff! Yes Pictures please! 😂👌🇨🇦

Lois said...

Isn't is incredible to try something new? A new skill, something completely outside personal norm...

Barbara said...

I took a class a long time ago and really enjoyed it but would not say I was a prodigy. Funny though, I ordered a couple of books from the library on caligraphy just last week. I wasn't sure why I was ordering them, but I had a hankering so I did it. Show us your work if you keep it up.

Fundy Blue said...

Your post made me chuckle, Debra! When I was growing up, we had to practice penmanship in school a lot right through 6th grade. And we had to work with fountain pens and a bottle of ink. Our desks all had holes to hold the bottle of ink. I was always having trouble with blots and scratch-scratching. I found the sound of the pen on paper very uncomfortable to hear. Used to give me goosebumps. But I can imagine you with beautiful pens and jewel-colored ink scratch-scratching away! Wishing you and your Rare One a lovely weekend!

AntiquityTravelers said...

oh that is just awesome ... inky and scratchy. I know that scratchy sound as I learned calligraphy as a kid and it took me quite awhile to get it right. The ones you start with that you dip seem to go dry quickly and they scrape along the paper ... and I was know to push right on through it. Yep definitely pushing too hard. The inks I love are the india inks .... they are watery in blues and reds .... so pretty!