The Romance of The Pen
Valentine’s Day is upon us and I am a hopeless romantic with a pen – brace yourself!
I happen to think, with every bias admitted, that calligraphy is the most romantic art form ever invented; words of love established by passion, stroked with affection, and adorned with beauty are sent through the eyes as beams of light to the soul.
Calligrapher or not, everyone has the ability to romance their beloved through the power of writing.
Romance thrives upon words. While the spoken word breathes life into a romance, the written word is evermore powerful because it establishes one’s words of affection in the physical world.
I love reading my grandparents' old letters to one another. My grandfather was in Europe during World War II and the only way that he and my grandmother could correspond was through letters. Seeing their handwriting on the page brings me to that moment in time. I imagine the comfort that each letter brought across enemy lines to my grandfather. I am sure seeing her beautiful penmanship filling the page was like a gleaming light in that dark place. Similarly, I am sure his letters back to his sweet Marian sustained her hope in a relationship she was vested in and for the return of a husband she loved dearly. Their own words for one another in that moment stand forever as the history of their love story.
Hannah designed a custom-made box for the safe keeping of her and Jake's love letters. The couple's wedding invitation, executed by Jake, adorns the front.
If actions are louder than words, then writing is louder than both because writing is the action of creating words.
My wife, Hannah, and I have followed the lost romance of the pen through letter writing. Throughout our relationship, we have exchanged some of the most beautiful gestures two people can share. These letters grew in depth and love and respect as our relationship blossomed.
We love reading back through our first letters; most of them tear-stained with joy and gladness and heart-wrenching love. But even now, we still write letters to one another, adding them to our story as we fall deeper in love.
As an artist and Master Penman, one of my greatest delights is breathing romance into my artwork. Not all my artwork speaks to the romance that exists between lovers; art has the power to romanticize anything. Whether I am depicting nature, community, adventure, music, struggle or beauty, my job is to portray the romance within it.
Every so often I choose to speak to love in its most familiar form. Through the flow of the pen, passion is greatly expressed, whether in written form or beautiful lines of flourishing. I am not breaking new ground but speaking in an old tongue. What once was beautiful and romantic in ages past, and is regarded the same in the present, holds the promise of being beautiful and romantic in the future. More lovers have succumbed at the tip of a pen than any of Cupid’s arrows!
The pen still has its effect on us today. In my art, I convey love in a way that all can relate to it and see their own passions captured within it. Thus, I lend the grace in my hand to convey the passions of your heart.