The end of a year always seems to be a time of retrospection and reflection. I don't make new year's resolutions, but do like to reflect on the past months and the coming year.
At the end of each calligraphic teaching year I am always concerned that the students haven't been taught or absorbed enough. As a teacher for my whole life (even as a little girl I had my sister sitting at my feet while I dreamed up lessons with writing and drawing as the main subjects) I am aware that I need to re-look at lesson plans, subject matter and creativity. This I suppose is part of the 'reflection' that I do.
One way to assess the year's progress is to plan a calligraphy exhibition at the end of each year which not only flusters everyone, but also pushes everyone to greater calligraphic precision. It should be noted that most students participate in the classes for companionship first with calligraphy as the expression for creativity. I am always delighted and relieved at the wonderful calligraphy that is produced with both passion and expression.
I am fortunate that many of my students return year after year and that itself presents another challenge. After all there are only so many calligraphic hands and updates that can be taught. However creativity is unending and it is the way lessons are presented.
2015 is a 'big' year for us. My husband David has a 'BIG O' birthday and we will be traveling even more than we do at the moment. I have divided my teaching into stand alone 'progressive' modules. So any present student can join a module (which vary from 4 to 9 weeks), (re) learn a hand, create some pieces and still feel part of the group. And yes, participate in the exhibition at the end of November 2015.
This time of year is also my 'creative' time. As we don't go away over this holiday season, I have my studio space to myself and re-look at notes, do research and create new projects with ideas that spark as I read and draw.
I also tidy the studio, throw out and change furniture around to 'shake up' the space. In that time I prepare a few handmade, handpainted books for notes while we travel. While friends always give me beautiful bound books which I use for daily refelctions, I find that personal handmade books inspire me to draw and write in a more creative way.
So all is (nearly) ready for 2015. The space is looking good and with a good clean in early 2015 all will be ready for the February groups. Notes are almost prepared and my creative pieces are being worked on. I try to go to 'outside' and overseas workshops as much as possible and of course that input provides many creative sparks.
But sometimes I think we over think and as C.S.Lewis says 'Life is too deep for words. Don't try to describe it, just live it.'
So may you live in a refreshed year in 2015 and may it bring you and understanding and quiet joy with many creative moments.