Artful Writing: Learning the Art of Calligraphy with Head and Heart
"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” - Charles Dickens
Just as Charles Dickens dipped his fountain pen into his inkwell to write a “A Christmas Carol” over 200 years ago, so too did the Mahopac Middle School sixth graders of Ann Lyons art class experiment with this forgone writing form to create their own holiday-inspired calligraphy masterpiece.
With the goal of influencing distinctive ideas for expression, Lyons began her calligraphy unit this December. The students were able to experience the art of writing by hand with instruments used for thousands of years such as the quill feather and ancient Chinese bamboo pen. Whatever the writing instrument, Lyons explained to her students that the emphasis is on the beauty and appearance of the writing. From Mother Teresa to Aristotle, her students gain further inspiration with poignant quotes that are artfully executed in calligraphy by Lyons and hung throughout her classroom.
Lyons then presented the sixth graders an assignment of creating a holiday-inspired drawing incorporating calligraphy of words that reflect how they celebrate the holiday season. Combining today’s technology with what is now considered an old art form, the students used their Chromebooks for inspirational imagery to accompany the calligraphy.
The artwork was evaluated on tactics such as expressiveness, quality of line, color and following direction. Most importantly, the hope is for the students to share their art with loved ones for the holiday.