Sherrie Lovler

C507 Marking Time: A Daily Practice

Five Day Class
Lettering, Abstract, Book Arts

“Every morning, I pick up a brush and do some work, even just a little bit. Without it, I wouldn’t feel quite alive.” –Toko Shinoda, Japanese artist, 1913 – 2021

During the pandemic I painted a page spread every day in a small book that I made. This book is 4 inches tall and 3 inches wide with 180 spreads. This practice was vital in keeping my creative energy flowing. In this class we will design a similar project, making a small Coptic bound book with 35 full spreads.

As we fill in the book, each spread will take a different form, working from a variety of prompts. These will include creative ways to use letters, lessons in page layout, color theory, gestural marks and asemic writing. Initially we will draft our ideas before painting in the book. As the days progress, so will our confidence, and soon we will paint directly without planning.

We will use a variety of pens and brushes with sumi ink, watercolors, gold leaf and other mediums. Inspired by our small designs we will then make larger works that retain the spontaneity of the book pages. This class is a gentle way to begin abstracting our calligraphy and create paintings while starting a new artistic practice that may last a lifetime.

Supply List
  • 1 full sheet (40" x 25") or 2 half-sheets (20" x 25") Arches Text Wove OR 2 sheets Hahnemühle Ingres (German Ingres) Antique or Eggshell (25" x 19"); directions for cutting will be sent later
  • 1 sheet 90 or 140 lb Arches watercolor hotpress (22" x 30") cut in half (22" x 15")
  • 1 pad mixed media paper (such as Canson Mix Media pad, 9" x 12" or 11" x 14") OR Strathmore Series 300 Mixed Media pad (9" x 12" or 11" x 14")

  • Flat brushes: 1/2" and 1" wide
  • Pointed brush: size #1 or #2 good quality for watercolor (such as Scharff series 3000 or Escoda round pointed sable) OR less expensive synthetic brush that comes to a nice point
  • Mixing brushes: cheap, synthetic (white nylon) #4 or 5 round (such as Loew Cornell #795 round)
Optional: other brushes you have and with which you like to work

  • Favorite broad-edge pens variety of sizes (and pointed pens if you wish)
  • Folded metal pen (hand-made cola pen is good) or New Horizon folded nib (can be used with Speedball pen holder)

Watercolor or gouache
  • Several favorite colors in tubes or pans. Recommended brands: Winsor & Newton or Daniel Smith (M. Graham doesn’t dry fast enough)

  • 2 palettes (10 wells each)
  • 2 containers for water
  • Paper towels or rags
  • 2 pencils: one hard and one soft (such as 3H and 2B)
  • Kneaded eraser
  • China marker
  • Pigma Micron black pen: size 02 or 03
  • 12" metal ruler
  • Small (9" x 12") self-healing cutting mat
  • X-Acto knife with sharp blade (or utility knife with snap-off blades)
  • Scissors
  • Bone folder (if you have one)
  • Awl (if you have one)
  • Hair blower if you are already bringing one
  • Optional: any fun tools and supplies you like to use
  • A short quote or poem
Materials Fee
$20: Since I live locally, I will bring many of the supplies we will be using including sumi, walnut and acrylic ink, pastels, gold leaf and size, paint, balsa wood, as well as bookbinding supplies and special paper for the book covers. Fee also includes extra handouts

Sherrie Lovler learned calligraphy in high school and has given workshops in lettering and related topics since she was 22. She has taught at several international calligraphy conferences, Ghost Ranch, Letters California Style, various museums, art centers and guilds, as well as accredited classes at Northern Arizona University. Sherrie holds a BA in Studio Art, yet considers her two most important teachers to be Hermann Zapf who taught her precision in lettering, and Dick Beasley who taught her the freedom of abstract painting. Her work has been published in The Art & Craft of Hand Lettering and in journals including Letter Arts Review (annual juried issues), Bound & Lettered, and Alphabet. Sherrie is the author, illustrator and designer of On Softer Ground: Paintings, Poems and Calligraphy, which won a gold medal for Most Outstanding Book Design from Independent Publishers Book Awards (2016). She exhibits her art regularly and loves teaching and inspiring her students to take creative leaps. Sherrie’s calligraphic paintings and poems can be seen at