Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Master Penman Jake Weidmann



Here's a video about master penman Jake Weidmann (link to video). I just wish the editing gave us a little more time to see his work.

13 comments:

gyrusdentus said...

Is calligraphy a acknowledged form of training for artists?
It should serve its purope for hyperrealism
Impressive fine-motor skills.
Btw: my comment about Steve´s thoughtful comments was by no means intended to sound devaluing. I hope that came across :)

Jim Douglas said...

Jake's work is elegant and beautiful, but I was distracted by the video's pretentious tone. While his designs are meticulous and well-crafted, the video seems to imply that Jack is the only person under the age of 60 who gives a damn about craft or spends countless hours honing fine motor skills. That's total nonsense. In fact, it's arguable that the ubiquity of computers is actually increasing our collective attraction to handcraft. Okay, I'm hopping off my soapbox now...

Kathleen Barnes said...

I have attended meetings of IAMPETH as a member, this is the group mentioned in the video and there are very few young people in the membership, let alone excelling at the art.Certainly none at the level of this young man. Key concerns of that group include the art of calligraphy becoming a lost art. Just recently many school districts have decided to stop teaching cursive handwriting at all as they feel it is unnecessary in this age of keyboards and that simple printing should suffice.

As artists who draw, we know the value of spending hours honing our skills, but this is a fast food nation that wants instant gratification....for the most part. I found this video very refreshing and hopeful.

James Gurney said...

Gyrus, I'm not aware of any mainstream art schools that teach the art of hand-lettering with dip pens, or flourishing or engrossing. As with sign painting, you'd have to work closely with someone who practices the art. The organization IAMPETH is a good place for more info. There's also a store called John Neal, Bookseller that is a great place for supplies. By the way, no worries, I'm sure Steve took your comment as a compliment.

Jim, the film's tone put me off, too, and I agree that computers and the Internet have fostered a revival of interest in the art of lettering. Also, why not let his mastery speak for itself, and present the profession as an inclusive one?

Urban Wild said...

My mom and I were just talking about this the other day--how kids aren't even taught penmanship in school anymore, and the lost art of letter writing. Thank you for posting this video--it is wonderful to watch!

gyrusdentus said...

Would you guys make a direct deduction from handwriting-skills and "beauty of the individual handwriting" to ability in fine arts or do you know artists who got ugly handwriting?
For example: My handwriting is horrendous and people were always surprised why i could draw rather well.
I wonder if most artists got beautiful handwriting.

In Germany, handwriting is still a must in schools. Hard to grasp that the US abandons it.

(I will stop trying to be funny in my non-native language :) )

James Gurney said...

Gyrus, as you probably know, the hand skill needed for good lettering require complete focus, not only of the hands, but of the mind and even breathing. I suppose some of that translates to painting skill, depending on what kind of painting we're talking about.

We have also heard that many American schools will no longer teach cursive, which is a great loss, I think. I hope that at least they teach how to type on the keyboard efficiently, without looking at the fingers. That's a good skill to learn as well, but there's no reason students can't learn both.

David King said...

Learning to draft (architectural and mechanical drawings) on the board in high school beat the cursive out of me. To this day I can't even write small letters, I always write in all caps and in block letters. I can write in cursive if I have to but it's very slow and I make a lot of mistakes. Jake has amazing skills, and far more patience than I!

MoStarkey said...

The video had problems with the sound. You're right, there wasn't enough time spent on what he was doing and the art. So gorgeous. I never developed the concentration needed for any of the sign painting or calligraphy. And concentration is the key.

James Gurney said...

Mo, yes— concentration IS the key, not only for lettering, but drawing and painting as well. Being able to focus and tune out distraction, especially these days.

David, me too. My default for informal writing or notes is all caps. But that's OK. There's comic book calligraphy, too. You mentioned drafting, another lost art. It was nice to see that Jake was using one of those drafting arms on his table.

lagoarthurstudio said...

Thoroughly inspiring James, thank you for posting! I have an upcoming deadline on a commission I've been working on all summer and despite working on it daily, perhaps because, I was beginning to dread going in the studio. Not today though--not after seeing this. Again, thank you!

Roberto Quintana said...

Thanx for sharing this, and thanx for keeping up your blog, You are really an inspiration!

This reminds me of John Mayer’s ‘Born & Raised’ that you shared w us a while back:

https://vimeo.com/60647216

As I may have mentioned once or twice, I make my living as a muralist, and a large part of my bread-and-butter income comes from hand painted signs, graphics, and outdoor display work. (Don’t tell my clients, but my work doesn’t even come close to these guys.) Even hand-painted rudimentary signage and commercial graphics is becoming a lost art.
It’s very interesting to me how many very accomplished visual artists are really not good sign-painters, and how almost all of the really outstanding (mostly old) sign-painters can’t render or work spontaneously (they can copy, but they really struggle w creating something new).
As for me, I am versatile enough to be slightly competent at both (and master of neither).

As to my penmanship, it’s really horrible! Painting is a second career for me, (I spent ten years as a health-care professional and I didn’t start painting seriously until I was 30). Consequently, my handwriting literally looks like a Dr.’s, after years of charting thousands of patient’s notes. It’s really quite embarrassing. (My wife won’t even let me address a letter, or fill-out a form!) Lets keep this btwn you and me, OK James. I don’t want this getting around. (Thanx for the journey.) -RQ

My Pen Name said...

the book "The Brain that changes itself" cites a study where ADD kids were taught penmanship had better concentration skills and attention spans than ones put on ritlin.