Author Topic: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie  (Read 5511 times)

Offline tomcalligraphy

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Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« on: December 16, 2015, 02:39:35 PM »
I'm really excited to be attending her class! Her exemplars are just amazing and that's what convinced me to join. ;D ;D ;D ;D

More info if anyone else is interested.
http://www.connie-chen.com/calligraphy-courses/spencerian-structures-online-course

Offline Bianca M

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Re: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2015, 03:54:23 PM »
Oh, awesome.  I have been Spencerian-class-hunting... I've also been eyeballing Harvest Crittenden's class. They both start in January, hmmmmmm!

Offline tomcalligraphy

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Re: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2015, 09:33:00 PM »
The reason I chose Connie's over Harvest's is because Connie's teaching style is more in-depth from my experience after taking classes from both of them and she gives more detailed feedback on the homework. (She doesn't sugar-coat, which I love)

Also her exemplars are what I want to learn. 

Offline Bianca M

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Re: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2015, 11:07:20 PM »
Very good insight, thank you. 

Offline Estefa

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Re: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2015, 01:24:03 AM »
I took also classes from both. What I appreciate very much in Harvest's classes is that she shows not only her own exemplars, but also a lot of historical exemplars, some of them quite rare; and I did not think that her teaching or critique style lacks detail. Yes, she gives a bit more positive feedback, but my impression is that she takes very much into account where a person is already skill wise. So someone who is more of a beginner gets a lot of encouragement, while someone more advanced absolutely gets hints where to improve and not just "sugar coating". Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the Flourishing course with Connie, but I felt I had to put in a good word here for Harvest's class. Plus from my past experience (Spencerian, Advanced Spencerian and Illuminated Initials), I can say that her classes tend to attract a very communicative crowd. A lot of homework is posted, so you get a lot to compare to and to learn from.
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Offline Bianca M

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Re: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2015, 01:37:53 AM »
Also very valuable feedback, Estefa!  I truly do wish I could take both.  Perhaps over time.

Offline tintenfuchs

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Re: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2015, 04:15:20 AM »
I have to pitch in here because I'd also recommend Harvest's class over Connie's. I took it last year and just now I took Connie's class and I have to say that I learned much more from Harvest.
Connie, in her instruction videos, goes very much into what one shouldn't do, which didn't particularly help me in building skill in what to actually do. Harvest, on the other hand, explains every step in detail, answers questions quickly and gives extensive homework review. Furthermore, as Stefanie already said, the people in Harvest's class were much more open and talkative, so the forum was a wealth of knowledge by itself. Her course was also very well structured, while I found Connie's a little all over the place.
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Offline sybillevz

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Re: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2015, 09:09:14 AM »
I second everything Stefanie and Natascha said... Connie is a wonderful penman and she is going to point out all the things you need to work on, just like Harvest will if you want to, but Harvest is more encouraging.

Content-wise, Harvest focuses on the simplest letterforms in her beginner's class and gives a lot of material  (tons of past masters' works) to work from on your own. She's going to help developing the "hawk eye" you need to criticize your own work and improve. Her advanced spencerian class was focused on capital variations, and she gave us enough material to work on for a whole year or more. From the exemplar that Connie showed on IG earlier this week, I think she's going to show more advanced letterforms than Harvest is.

The essential difference between them is that Connie demonstrates a lot more and talks less while Harvest talks more and demonstrates a bit less. What I mean is she still shows how she executes the letterforms,  but she won't repeat the same movement over and over : she'll focus on the "principles" and then show you how they apply to all the other letterforms.

Also, Harvest is more open to different ways of doing things than Connie is. As long as you get the right result, everything is OK to her : she wants you to enjoy the process. Whereas I had the feeling that Connie told us "the" way to do things and to stick to it wether you like it or not... if you keep working you'll end up liking it.

I enjoyed learning from them both, but I'm more drawn to Harvest's way of teaching.
I guess it all depends on what you want from your teacher !

Offline tomcalligraphy

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Re: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2015, 11:00:04 AM »
I do like how Harvest shows historical content but my one issue is with is she can't do them herself.

Call me old school but I believe there is only one way to learn penmanship forms.A good teacher is the one who teaches the right way and can demonstrate multiple ways of using it.

In Harvest's most recent class, she would talk about the history for 90% of the class and never really demonstrate how to do any of it from my perspective. I know others who enjoyed it but it just wasn't for me. I could've watched her instacoll video that she reused and learned everything she taught.

Harvest does encourage more than Connie, but I feel like Connie tells you everything you've done right and wrong, which is more beneficial to me.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2015, 12:12:56 PM by tomcalligraphy »

Offline sybillevz

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Re: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2015, 02:46:49 PM »
Don't worry, she can do the things she teaches ! It doesn't always look like it in her videos, but she explains and demonstrates really well that we're not machines : strokes can't always be perfect, you'll have good days and bad days. And you'll have to practice daily to be able to keep the muscle memory you have acquired.
Both methods are valid and both teachers are very good at what they teach. As we all look for something different in a teacher, it is better to know what to expect with both courses.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2015, 07:29:11 PM »
I'm sure our members appreciate the different perspectives on the classes. It is good to hear what different people like or don't like it. I'm going to ask that we keep the feedback constructive. If that can't be done, I will lock down this thread. Thank you.
Truly, Erica
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Offline AndyT

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Re: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2015, 07:45:25 PM »
With apologies Erica, I have something to say.

Tom, I have not had any contact with Ms Crittenden, however I do know one of the other Masters who signed off on awarding her MP status and have a fair idea of how these things work, or used to.  By casting aspersions about her abilities you also call into question the judgment of all the other Masters on the committee at that time.  You are of course entitled to your opinion, but whether it is politic to express it is another matter entirely.

Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2015, 08:20:10 PM »
After many years of studying with all kinds of teachers, and then launching my own career as a teacher, I really wish beginners would understand a few things:
99% of the people who teach do it because they absolutely love to share what they have learned.
There is absolutely no consensus on who the best teachers are.
Even the rock stars and the teachers who are most in demand have their detractors.
I have taken classes from high-demand rock stars who weren't really my cup of tea, but I would never name them.
Other rock stars were even more inspiring and enlightening than I even expected.
Finding the teachers who are your favorites requires that you take as many classes as you can and decide for yourself.
Do not take advice from others. You might miss out on meeting someone who would have been your favorite.
Even the teachers who are not your favorites will have a few things that you will benefit from hearing.
Don't judge.
Absorb everything you can, and let your gut sift out the gems that will improve you as an artist.
Art is subjective.
Don't filter your choices through other people.

I learned to introduce myself as a teacher who simply loved what I do and hoped to share some things that each individual might find useful. If they did not like me, or my style of teaching, I would not take it personally and I encouraged them to be life long learners. Keep taking classes until you find the teachers that resonate with you.

Offline Starlee

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Re: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2015, 08:31:05 AM »
Jean, as you usual, your insight is profound and spot on. :) When I was a grad student, I had the opportunity to teach some undergraduate biology courses. With class sizes of 200+, it was always interesting to read student reviews at the end. It is very humbling and keeps one's pride in check. Some people loved my teaching style, others, not so much. I realized that it's not just about the subject matter, but the manner in which it is taught, including my method and my personality. Not all personalities 'click' and this applies to a teacher-student relationship. With school, you don't have a choice. You usually take the courses you need regardless of teacher, but with calligraphy courses, the options are a bit more broad. Jean is right. A teacher that did or did not mesh well for someone, may (or may not) be the perfect match for you. The only way is to try them out. Either way, regardless of teacher, like most things in life, you will get out of it what you put in, regardless who is teaching.
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Offline sheila247

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Re: Spencerian Structures by Master Penman Connie
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2015, 12:01:35 PM »
I too am excited to have enrolled in this class.   It will be my first calligraphy class ever!!  I am sure my Spencerian will be better after the class than it is now.   I have the books, but for me Spencerian is not as self-taught friendly as Copperplate and Italic.