Calligraphy and My Love of Quotations

In the mid-1970s I decided to teach myself calligraphy. I bought several books, lots of pen nibs, bottles of ink and several tablets of lined “calligraphy paper.” I also bought a small drafting table with drawers that could hold all my calligraphy supplies. I would spend hours at that table practicing my letter-forms, over and over again, until they flowed from my ink pen easily.

Perhaps this method of learning could be traced back to my elementary school days at a Catholic school where “penmanship” was a daily part of the instruction. I remember the nun having us fill page after page of loops and circles, helping my hand and brain connect with the pen I was holding and the paper that was receiving the ink. I think that early childhood training is, in part, responsible for my love of calligraphy.

Once I learn a skill I am always on the lookout for a way to use it. At the time I was learning calligraphy, I was also working in the Fine Arts Department of University of Wisconsin-Parkside. I decided I would put my new-found calligraphy skills to use by finding quotations that were meaningful to me and designing them in a calligraphic way. Each day I would create a new calligraphic quote, bring it to work and slip it into a frame I kept on my desk. People started stopping by my office just to see the quotes. This exercise was the beginning of another fascination — collecting meaningful quotes!

I no longer have copies of all the calligraphic quotations I created, but I have never lost the love of collecting them. When I started this blog, I thought that this would be a great vehicle for sharing the many quotations I have collected over the years. So each day, this blog will feature a new quote from my collection. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy sharing them.

You also might enjoy visiting my Online Quotation Collection that I’ve compiled over the years on my website. Where possible I’ve posted a photo of the quoted person as well as dates of birth and death.

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