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Letter Love 101

I’m taking an online class–my first.  It is Joanne Sharpe‘s Letter Love 101, recommended by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer whose site I love.  Both of these women are from the “Yes, you can” school of teaching art.  Joanne says, “If you can write, you can draw.”  Hmmmm.  We’ll see.

Here’s how it works.  Pay your class fee and you get an invite to a closed group on the internet.  From here, you get access to the video lessons prepared by Joanne.  You also get to join a Yahoo group of the enrolled students to chat, ask questions, commiserate or share discount supplies you’ve found.  Then start the class at your own pace.  The original class start dates were Feb 1-Feb 29 (There are 29 lessons).  I joined it March 1st, but it will be up forever, so you can join it any time.  Joanne will still be monitoring it and will critique and advise as long as she has students.

Now I am not much of an artist with pen and paper, but Zentangling has really improved my control of the pen.  I’ve also discovered people like Joanne, Julie, and Alissa Burke who machine quilts with “messy stitches.”  I’ve preached to those of you who read this blog that it doesn’t matter if you are good at something, you can still have fun.  Living my words.

My first real creation for the class — at Lesson 5 — was hard to start.  The clean white page in a new mixed media journal was intimidating.  So was knowing that this is supposed to be a finished piece—-sort of.  Lots of people in the class are not new to either lettering or art, so that is a factor.  You can look at the pictures on the flickr group if you are curious, but I stopped doing that when the old “I’m not good enough” thoughts started up.  But Joanne just keeps saying to play with the ideas and your materials and have fun.

This is my practice for the first assignment.  It is just words that I associate with art.

I like this.  I really like the messiness.  And I used the notepad that Kate brought me from MIT.  (I collect college notebooks.  Yeah, I know it’s weird.)  I was downstairs and lazy, so I colored it in with Highlighters and the two Sharpies in my pen bag.  When I took it upstairs, I used a stamp pad and stamped the top.  I see some Tangling influence and really like the word EXTEND.

Here’s my submitted project.

First, I want to say that I have never been in a book club.  I’m a former English teacher and no one wants me there.  This was inspired by my friend Katherine who IS in a book club and always seems to be worried about having enough wine when it is her turn to hostess.  In fairness, Katherine does read the books and even recommends some to me.

I like the humor.  I like that I named the wine after the author of one of the most difficult reads ever written.  I love that I did not have the materials  Joanne recommended (Pan Pastels) but I used my noggin and colored some of this with Eye Shadow. [ I actually own three shades which will startle many of my friends who never see me in makeup.]  The rest of the color is marker and watercolor pencil without the water.  Steve liked the wine stain; I was just elated that he knew it was a wine stain.  I don’t do perspective.

This was fun.  What have I learned?  I may take some other online classes.  Hmmm. I wonder if I could teach this way . . .

More later.


2 Responses

  1. Oh Jane, how wonderful!!! You definitely have talent. I would even consider having this framed. REALLY!! TRULY!!
    I believe that everyone has a creative gene just waiting to jump out and I have been on a mission for years to find my gene. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. Good luck and lots of fun to you

  2. YEA, Jane! Glad to see you embracing that inner artist we all know is there. I must admit to having a bit of a chuckle seeing the MIT paper — guess I’ll need to visit a few more Boston area higher ed places for notebooks!

    Love the brioche beret and will attempt to try it (the adjustable band is a great feature) … spring is in the air even here, of course, snow in April is not unusual so maybe I will start soon!

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