I still like inking with real tools in real time, the kind of tools that will cause you to make completely analog mistakes. Like carefully washing your french curve and missing a waterdrop and then laying it on your paper across, ummmm, water-based ink????? Here is a piece in progress, showing the unvarnished truth of a work in progress. Perfect curves don't happen fast. They are the result of slow meticulous refinement. They may be vectorized at the final stage for flexibility in sizing, but I like to consider each swell and taper with tools that reflect the difficulty of art imitating life. This concept started out as a brush study, but I wanted to take it to another level and see how it would look when refined with my favorite "hand vector" tools. This will get somewhere close to final in another five or ten hours.
While working on a project like this I need white noise or news to keep me focused. Yesterday it was the KUOW pledge drive, interrupted amazingly enough by a lovely news report about The Cursive Club. Sylvia Hughes, identified in an appropriately (?) retro way as "a New Jersey grandmother" noticed that her grandson wasn't learning to write cursive. And she did something about it. Now the club is one of the most popular ones in the school, with sixty eight-yearolds discovering the meditative happiness of paying attention to how your hand moves and how it makes letters and words -- without a keyboard.[Sylvia Hughes] asked Principal Lillian Whitaker why cursive handwriting wasn't part of the curriculum. "It's not that we don't want to. It's just that with all the state mandates, we don't have time," Whitaker says.
Mike Yaple of the New Jersey School Boards Association says the state adopted the Common Core State Standards Initiative to provide consistent learning requirements for students across the nation. Common Core has been adopted by nearly every state and the District of Columbia, and the standards don't require cursive.
"Even New Jersey's state standards have said students are expected to write legibly in manuscript or cursive, but there really never was a mandate for cursive to be taught in all schools," Yaple says.
"But when push comes to shove, some parents might want their child to have an edge when it comes to other subjects like technology or speaking a second language," Yaple says. "And that's when you see the push toward fewer hours for cursive."
Hughes says it made the students happy. "When I come to the school now for different programs they have, they come up to me and say, 'Hi, Miss Hughes.' I mean, it really does my heart well," Hughes says.
Alexandra Solomon, 9, says the feeling is mutual. "Ms. Hughes is kind of like my hero, sort of, because without her I wouldn't be able to write cursive and I wouldn't be able to read cursive," Solomon says.
Many of my handwriting projects require writing based on historical styles like the cursive scripts of the original US Constitution or Declaration of Independence. I am imagining a world in which the next generation cannot read even one of this country's founding documents, and needs them reprinted in....Arial. More at a later on sustainable culture and the "green fuel" of slow time.