Thursday, May 25, 2017

Online Calligraphy Course Survey

Hello, world!

Please take my online course survey to have your say in what days and times work better for you in your part of the world!

Wherever you are, I want to meet you.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Calligraphic Flourishing Weekend Workshop MAR 4/5 & Other Spring Courses/Workshops


Flourishing with Anne Elser
2-Day Workshop

The definition of flourish is to flower. We all flower in our language, thoughts, hopes and dreams, body movements, voices, and in our relationships with each other and the beautiful big world we share. But most importantly, we flourish all by ourselves - our bodies do this automatically - we were built this way. Look at the branching of blood vessels in our bodies, how our fingers splay open or fan out like flowers, the growth pattern of the hair on our heads, all the many muscles in our face that produce a genuine smile. That’s flourishing.

Everyone can flourish, but it is a daunting task for so many of us to draw one on paper. This workshop is designed to create a sense of ease with the idea of flourishing. We will identify points of fear and anxiety in our approach to flourishing, that wobble our lines and tense up our bodies, and we will heal ourselves from these negative work habits that make any exploration, especially this one, an unpleasant task.

We’ll train the eye and awakening the body (fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders and breath) to align with each other. We’ll begin with identifying the unique capabilities of our joints and how they best function in relation to the kinds of strokes we are drawing, from the wrist, elbow, shoulder, and fingers. We will begin to train our bodies to capably reproduce the elements of flourishes that make them work and that our eyes have learned to identify: Ovals, Perpendicular Intersections, Intersecting Ovals, Parallel Strokes, Shade and Hairline Relationships, Accents, Textures, and MORE.
Working in pencil, straight/oblique pointed pens, and everyday pens (everything from felt tip, roller ball, gel pens, fountain pens, etc) we’ll memorize standard flourishing movements that have been around a long time, and how to adjust and vary their proportions to suit our needs. We’ll learn how to exaggerate ascenders and descenders, the crossing of t’s, and the endings of words. We’ll learn to curl these strokes around the graceful curve of an oval, so that our pens are never lost, our strokes finding their way back home, even through the most subtle of suggestions. We’ll make flourishes that stand alone, work with each other, and that accent a word.

And best of all, we’ll do this together.

More information: 
$5 Fee due to the instructor on the first day of class or workshop.
Anne Will be bringing her dog to this class. If you have an allergy or phobia that she needs to be aware of, please email Anne directly. Penkitten@anneelser.com

About Anne
After earning a BFA in painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art and graduate studies in Graphic Design at The Portfolio Center, Anne Elser began her artistic career as a painter, bookbinder, designer, and calligrapher. With over 20 years teaching experience, her students often report how fulfilling the classroom experience is, prompting both personal and artistic transformations. Anne's classes are also FUN and full of laughter. Students find the sense of community she inspires enriching and entertaining.
She currently teaches private lessons from her home studio in Decatur, classes and workshops year round at Binder Art Supply in Buckhead and at their Ponce City Market location, as well as Thursday afternoon classes at The Spruill Center for the Arts, and classes and workshops at Aikido Decatur. She also travels in the states and abroad conducting workshops.

Her work has been featured in books and magazines across the country, and for both private and corporate clients such as Tiffany&Co, Mont Blanc, Louis Vuitton, Paces Papers, Landor, Martha Stewart Weddings, Belk, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Clicquot Veauvé, World50, Ogilvy, and more.

Artist, calligrapher, teacher, mother, and friend, Anne believes making art creates a channel for truth and is a soulful reflection of the connections shared by all.

Please Note: Anne Will be bringing her dog to this class. If you have an allergy or phobia that she needs to be aware of, please email Anne directly. Penkitten@anneelser.com

Supply List:
Binders Art Supply (bindersart.com) is the best local spot to purchase supplies for this class and they will give you a 10% student discount. Anything that you can’t find there, can be purchased at John Neal Books (johnnealbooks.com) or Paper and Ink Arts (paperinkarts.com).

White Paper:
Transparent Marker Paper: Suggested brands below, but use whichever brands you’re comfortable with
• Bienfang Graphics 360 9’’x12’’ Marker Pad
or Borden & Riley 9’’x12’’ 100s Smooth Cotton Comp Pad

Black Paper: Any smooth paper that works well with Dr. Martin’s Bleedproof white. Suggested brand below
• Strathmore Artagain pad.
Colored or Ivory Cover Paper: Any ink-friendly paper that won’t bleed with the ink you are using. Cut to around 5 x 7.
• Canson cover weight papers

Envelopes: Ink-friendly high-quality envelopes, just a few in any size and color.
• Paper Source envelopes work very well with a variety of inks.

Ink:
Dark Ink: Any dark ink that shows up on white practice paper
• Sumi, Higgens Eternal, Mcaffrey’s, Walnut, etc.
Accenting Ink Colors and metallic inks: Suggested brands below
• Metallic Pan (cake) inks: Finetec metallics and other brands.
• PearlEx powder pigments mixed with water and gum arabic (try starting with equal parts of each.)
• Colored inks of your choosing that won’t bleed. (My favorites are gouache/water/gum arabic mixtures).

White Ink:
• Dr. Martin’s Bleedproof White (water based that is thinned to your taste with water.)

Pens/Pencils:
• Your favorite pencil/eraser and markers/gel pens.
• A variety of your favorite ultra fine, fine, and medium point pens (for markers bullet point and not chisel).
These pens come in a variety of thicknesses. You’ll want to have variety and choose something that writes very fine like the Slicci and have a slightly thicker width pen to see what feels right for you.
• Your favorite/preferred pens from home. Can be fine or medium point or bullet point. Ballpoint, felt tip, roller ball, gel pens, Sharpies, etc. Fountain pens are also wonderful. All are welcome and suitable for this class.

Stationary:
• Envelopes and stationary paper at least 5-10 envelopes/sheets
• Feel free to bring in embellishments like stickers and stamps!

Misc.:
• Ruler
• Glitter Glue, gems, etc., for accents.
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Other classes and workshops this March & April: 


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Description
The Italic calligraphic hand is one of the most widely used and versatile alphabets around. Its generously wide strokes, produced with a broad edge nib can easily be dressed up or down. Italic is the perfect hand to learn for the beginning calligrapher yet versatile enough to experiment with for the advanced. This is the hand that Shakespeare used to pen his masterpieces!

Italic is less about pretty handwriting, but more about DRAWING each and every letter. It’s about establishing a pacing and rhythmic motion as you write - giving you a consistency of shapes and letters, and spaces in between words and lines. It is highly relaxing and meditative. Like yoga for the hands, it centers, calms, and enchants the person making as well as and the person admiring it.

During this course or workshop,
students will be given exemplars, learning the intricate details of  the minuscules and majuscules. We will also address spacing and layout for addressing envelopes. More importantly will discover the connection between mind and body, practicing good habits and movement, thusly finding our flow and allowing the body to take charge, automatically producing the heart’s musings in a spirit of openness, adventure, and wonder.

Supply List at the bottom of this message.

More information: 
$5 Fee due to the instructor on the first day of class or workshop.
Anne Will be bringing her dog to this class. If you have an allergy or phobia that she needs to be aware of, please email Anne directly. Penkitten@anneelser.com

About Anne
After earning a BFA in painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art and graduate studies in Graphic Design at The Portfolio Center, Anne Elser began her artistic career as a painter, bookbinder, designer, and calligrapher. With over 20 years teaching experience, her students often report how fulfilling the classroom experience is, prompting both personal and artistic transformations. Anne's classes are also FUN and full of laughter. Students find the sense of community she inspires enriching and entertaining.

She currently teaches private lessons from her home studio in Decatur, classes and workshops year round at Binder Art Supply in Buckhead and at their Ponce City Market location, as well as Thursday afternoon classes at The Spruill Center for the Arts, and classes and workshops at Aikido Decatur. She also travels in the states and abroad conducting workshops.

Her work has been featured in books and magazines across the country, and for both private and corporate clients such as Tiffany&Co, Mont Blanc, Louis Vuitton, Paces Papers, Landor, Martha Stewart Weddings, Belk, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Clicquot VeauvĂ©, World50, Ogilvy, and more. 

Artist, calligrapher, teacher, mother, and friend, Anne believes making art creates a channel for truth and is a soulful reflection of the connections shared by all.
Please Note: Anne Will be bringing her dog to this class. If you have an allergy or phobia that she needs to be aware of, please email Anne directly. Penkitten@anneelser.com
More information: $5 Fee due to the instructor on the first day of class or workshop.


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Description
This is an introductory look at Copperplate, an elegant and elastic hand frequently used for formal invitations, documents and bridal events. Completely enchanting, the dramatic thick and thins of this delicate hand will make you swoon.

Copperplate is less about pretty handwriting, but more about DRAWING each and every letter. It’s about establishing a pacing and rhythmic motion as you write - giving you a consistency of shapes and letters, and spaces in between words and lines. It is highly relaxing and meditative. Like yoga for the hands, it centers, calms, and enchants the person making as well as and the person admiring it.

During the six-week course or workshop, students will be given exemplars, learning the intricate details of  the minuscules and majuscules. We will also address spacing and layout for addressing envelopes. More importantly will discover the connection between mind and body, practicing good habits and movement, thusly finding our flow and allowing the body to take charge, automatically producing the heart’s musings in a spirit of openness, adventure, and wonder.

More information: 
$5 Fee due to the instructor on the first day of class or workshop.
Anne Will be bringing her dog to this class. If you have an allergy or phobia that she needs to be aware of, please email Anne directly. Penkitten@anneelser.com

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Private Calligraphy Instruction







My name is Anne Elser. I'm the calligraphy teacher you've been looking for, and you're the student I've been dreaming of. After a private lesson, students leave my home feeling calm and centered, having spent a delicious two and a half hours of focused study, learning a new skill based on something timeless and beautiful, and in the very room where I practice my craft. 
I teach because it makes me happy. 

Lesson slots are offered on the following days/times and in my home studio in Decatur, GA. 
If coming here isn't an option for you, I also offer the same lesson materials via Skype or FaceTime. 

Monday or Friday afternoons from 12-2:30.
Saturday mornings from 10-12:30.

Each lesson is 2.5 hours long for $250.00. A $125 non-refundable deposit reserves your lesson on my calendar, and the balance is due at the end of your lesson.


Call or text me at 404.509.9676 or e-mail me at PenKitten@AnneElser.com to schedule a lesson. 

A student in my home studio during a private lesson.

I also love those epiphanic moments where I see the student turn a corner after having discovered something new. Writing and drawing clears the head and opens up windows of self discovery. It changes you. There you are with nothing but a pot of ink, an instrument to write with, and a blank white page waiting for your touch. It allows you to leave all the chaos of your life at the door and focus on something new, simple, and pure. And that's what you leave a lesson with: knowledge and experience with a new, simple, and pure part of yourself. 

I teach mostly to learn. It feels more like shared learning, than teaching to me. Writing and drawing is a very intimate experience. It's just you and the paper -  all I do is facilitate the beginning of a new relationship with yourself. I teach you how to pace yourself, how to place yourself, and more importantly how to love yourself as you learn the craft of calligraphy. 

During a private lesson (and a workshop), we listen to music that inspires as we go. Much of it is here in my Spotify Calligraphy Playlist. Though many times a student will suggest something new that we both enjoy - so my calligraphic soundtrack keeps growing. 
Demonstrating for Propose. Photo by Dana Lee Jones Photography.

PRIVATE LESSONS: If you're interested in private calligraphy lessons in Copperplate, Italic, Brush Lettering, Flourishing, or Cursive Handwritring, I offer 2.5-hour sessions at $250.00 for each student. Other subjects you might be interested in include monogramming, envelope layout, flourishing, and more. Handouts are supplied. Your personalized lesson is conducted in my private home studio in Decatur, GA.

A Copperplate Calligraphy 6-week course at Binders, Buckhead.

Make sure you check out the calligraphy supply list of links and inspiration article I wrote here.

This is Lennie's first Private calligraphy lesson.
GROUP LESSONS: All year round, I teach both calligraphy group classes and workshops at Binders Art School in Buckhead or Ponce City Market, and Spruill Center for the Arts in Dunwoody. Both are excellent locations and wonderful people to work with. My students and I have a great time together, honing our craft and discovering together how completely relaxing, centering, enchanting, and entertaining the art of writing beautiful letters can be. Here's what my Calligraphy students have to say about their experiences.

Please feel free to write and ask me questions about whether a workshop, class, or private lesson is best for you. They all have advantages and value - just placed in different ways.

~Anne

Copperplate Wednesday night Class at Binders Buckhead


Copperplate Calligraphy Weekend Workshop at Binders Buckhead


Thursday, January 26, 2017

365 Reasons to Flourish 2017 Calendar Poster

The Story Behind The Poster
This post is more than another push of my products, it’s the deeper story, a recap of the year that brought us here, and the reason I continue to come back, making things, earning things, building, and growing.
Since college graduation, I’ve made Christmas presents and cards for close friends and family members. After my divorce, I was hit with the notion that if I were to survive (happily) and really thrive, I had better use my talents as a form of income. I was determined to take my first steps into the second half of my life with my OWN shoes on, even if that meant being terrified that I might fail. That experiment has so far proved to be very successful. I’ve carefully crafted a schedule, audience, and pace for my work, and have largely gotten the most joy returned to me from my students. Clients are wonderful and all that, but students and colleagues and peers… that’s where all the love comes pouring in, in buckets and tons and mountains and…
My use of social media has become increasingly valuable. It is so interesting that I sell a craft of making and learning how to make handmade things, using the technology that is supposedly killing it. It’s not. This is great news! We can all have both! And aren’t we lucky. The voice I use on Instagram and Facebook is extremely personal - I like it that I can reach people via this medium and my musings and yearnings are amplified to the world - I love our connectedness - this garden I have carefully tended to over the years. It’s a garden I’ve cultivated - I’ve been careful about unfollowing accounts that don’t bring me pleasure, I’ve blocked a few haters here and there, and stay in touch with folks I haven’t seen in years - and even developed close friendships with people I may likely never meet in the flesh. It’s a beautiful place to be - to be kept in the loop of the lives of others. I’ve depended upon the accounts of many of you who stay connected in areas I don’t know very much about or subjects I don’t have much of a stomach for. And I like to think that what I share is of unique interest to some of you who sometimes yearn for a curse word surrounded by flowers or a Mary Oliver poem, or a sharpie drawing on the back of a beautiful person… I do it all, am it all.
I’ve tried to keep my nose clean for years and years and really don’t have much of a stomach for political news - I hate the way both sides exaggerate their point of view by ensuring their message is delivered either by inhumane cold indifference or wet and hysterical finger pointing. I can’t stand it and can smell it before it hits the web. This kind of news is crushing and it’s really super duper no fun at all sometimes to be an empath, a highly sensitive person, an introverted counselor - when your world - your garden - is packed with mud, emotional carnage, strangling weeds, blocking our my view of the light.
But when Trump ran against Hillary - it was all too tempting to not watch. I joined in with gusto, with brash confidence that he would lose. I got nice and dirty and I loved it, getting my fix of negativity. I felt a part of things and deliciously connected to my own anger and addicted to yours. And the eve of the election, I was ready to take a deep sigh of relief that the fight would be finally over. I would this holiday season, make my usual holiday card - maybe something about Star Wars or Girl Power or flowers fucking or who knows… I was happy and so excited.
And then the worst happened. 911 all over again - trauma and disappointment at my doorstep - my fingertips - my country broke up with me and chose THAT guy. I, like many of you, cried for days. Just so bereft. No words, except one thought - one delightful, venomous phrase popped into my head the next morning - I know what my 2016 Christmas card is going to be - a poster a big as fuck, in my best lettering “FUCK 2016”.
I spent a good portion of my Thanksgiving break sketching it out. I did version after version, turning the leaves and flourishes to flow with the occasional poison berry and prickly holly leaf… I was piping mad and disgusted. Fuck this year. I’d spent many times by the fire on my phone, clicking through one article after another until I’d read myself into a migraine. I’d had an RA flare that effected my work flow, I ended a toxic relationship I hadn’t known was toxic at the time, I was recovering and healing and doing my best to grow - and then this. I was going to solve that angry, pulsing ache with a card that would sum up what the last year had been like for me. FUCK YOU, 2016, the year that shall not be named again.
And then something happened.
I remembered who I was before any of life began to scar me and support in the contortion of Anne into all the other Anne’s that really weren’t me at all. I thought of my boy - who was watching his mom manage her own career - create a brand for herself - make LIFE and all the times he gets to watch me do what I do, knowing he’s gonna use my presentation of myself as a partial reference or his own choices in life. All I had to do was remember myself and remember that this is still MY garden, MY country, and I have control over how I frame and respond to what’s going on around me.
I am, at my core, the flower gardener who draws the garden. And after many conversations with a close mentor and friend, I was told that just because there is mud or weeds or sharp plants in the garden, doesn’t mean it’s my job to pull them or cut them down and pretend they aren’t a part of a thriving ecosystem. What’s different is ok. I must allow, if I am to be happy, while being true to myself and remembering how important it is for me to stay connected.
So I decided to create a calendar for the new year. I want my first step into 2017 to be on a good foot. There is plenty of time for me to curse again - to fling the mud and rant and rave and go bananas, but right now, I’m healing and offering light. A seed of solid hope for every single day of the next year ahead. That’s what this poster is all about.
Blossoming love - without law. It’s the single most thing that I do best.
So for those of you who marched on a cold rainy day, who keep your fingers on the pulse of all the details of this fucking awful storm that is shaking all of us at our core, I thank you. I thank you for being where you are - where and when it feels right to you, and for being here with me right now, just for reading.
“Love is the flower of life, and blossoms without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.” -D.H. Lawrence
Up for sale today is my 2017 Calendar Poster.
I’ve made three versions: 

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Brush Lettering Class Jan 7/8 has been rescheduled for Jan 21/22 due to inclement weather

Attention Brush Lettering Workshop Registrants!

There will be no Brush Lettering workshop this weekend, at Binders Buckhead
Jan 7/8, 2017 from 11AM-4:30PM, due to inclement weather.

Our makeup dates are two weekends from now: 
Sat/Sun January 21st/22nd from 11AM-4:30PM.


If these dates do not work for you, please contact Preston Ferguson 
(Preston@bindersart.com) at Binders for a full refund or call 404-237-6331 x 208.

I will be offering this content as a class and another workshop at my Decatur location later in the year. Stay tuned for more details. 


What you’ll need in class: 

• Supplies can be purchased at Binders (with a 10% discount) for anything on the supply list 
you don’t already have. (Please see supply list at the bottom of this email.)

• Please bring a $5 fee payable to the instructor (Anne Elser) the first day of a class, 
lesson or workshop for a printed set of the Exemplar Packet we will be using. This helps cover
the costs of both online storage of the file and cost of printing. 

I also bring them to each class to avoid shipping charges. 

Smaller containers are .50 each and sold in quantities of 12 for $6.00.

Larger containers are $1 each and sold in quantities of 2 for $2.00.

Parking:

I teach classes and workshops in 4 Atlanta locations:

• Dunwoody
  Spruill Center for the Arts: does not charge for parking available 
  in the side, front or rear of the building. 

• Decatur
  Aikido Decatur: does not charge for parking. Free side street parking 
  available if the parking lot is full. 
  My Home Studio: for private lessons. Free parking in residential lot.  

• Buckhead: There is no charge for parking at the Binders Buckhead 
  location in the Disco Kroger Parking lot. 

• Old Fourth Ward: The Ponce City market complex where Binders 
  is located charges for parking. You may pay for parking at parking 
  kiosks anywhere on the complex. I use smartphone app ParkMobile

Sharing:

I love social media. It’s how many of us found each other, right? 
I’ll be snapping pictures periodically of our time together in class 
and sharing the experience with followers, so if you see yourself, 
please feel free to tag yourself. 
If you do not wish to be photographed, please tell me beforehand.
  
If you’d like to share the love of what you’re doing in my classes on social media,
use hashtag #madewithanne on Instagram and/or Facebook to keep us all connected. 

Sniffing, Smiling, and Petting:






This is my dog Inga and I bring her to my classes and workshops when I can. 
She will not jump up on you unless you slather yourself with bacon grease.

If you have an dog allergy or phobia, please let me know beforehand (now!) 
so that everyone (this means you) is comfortable. 

Keeping in Touch:
If you'd like to be on my mailing list beyond class, please 

The other thing I'd like you to know, is that I have a Facebook page up 
called the The Atlanta Penablers. I started the group a few years ago 
when Binders first began hosting calligraphy workshops from visiting 
instructors from around the world. In the past we have had weekend 
Yves Letterme, and Bill Kemp, and more!

Checking in on the Penablers Facebook Page is easy and free 
and it's a great way for us to stay connected on a more regular basis.  

Here’s a link to the Calligraphy Spotify Playlist of the inspirational music I often play 
while working and in my classes and workshops.

Calligraphy Suppliers & Links:
Below is where I go to get hard-to-find calligraphy supplies. 
If you see something I’m using and it’s not at Binders, it’s here:





My favorite Pens:
If you’re looking for a hand-turned wooden oblique penholder, 
there are several available at the two stores above. 
My favorites are hand made by Heather Held and her husband Chris. 
Chris turns them and Heather paints them.
Contact Heather if you’d like to commission one. 
My own links:





Thank you very much for signing up for a class or workshop with me. See you soon!

~Anne

Supply List:
• Mechanical Pencil for drawing guidelines and an eraser

• Sketching Paper: 
* Transparent Layout Paper for practice work.
Suitable Brands: Bienfang Graphics 360 100% Rag Marker Paper, Borden & Riley #100S Smooth Cotton Comp, and Strathmore Layout Bond 400 Series

• Paper for final work:
* Cover weight stock in any color. Arches Watercolor Paper, Canson , Strathmore Artagain Black Pad, and many more are all acceptable brands. 

• Brushes: 
* 2 sizes of brushes: Small and Medium
* Pentel Aquash Water Brushes or Color Brushes or Pocket Brushes. Some of these are already loaded with ink. These are all acceptable. You may choose to use the inks inside, or keep them unloaded, so you can dip them into any ink or paint you so choose. 

• Paint/Inks: 
* Black or Walnut ink of your choice (any brand you enjoy.)
* (optional colored inks) Liquid Acrylic Inks in your favorite colors including one white and one black/dark brown. Suitable brands: Liquitex INK!, Daeler Rowney FW Inks, Dr. Martins Liquid Acrylic Inks. 
* Later in the course we will be creating our own colored inks with watercolor/gouache mixed with gum arabic and water. Windsor and Newton paints are my favorite, but if you’ve other brands you prefer, please feel free to use them. 

• Ruler
• Palette for mixing colors
• Paper Towels: Viva or blue shop towels
• Water Container: to clean your brushes and thin out paint

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Anne Elser 2017 Class & Workshop Offerings

Happy Almost New Year to all of you! 

Below are new classes and workshops I will be offering in the Atlanta area for 2017. 
Click the links for details and sign up. 

I've added a NEW teaching location in Decatur, GA
Aikido Decatur: 104 Sycamore Place, 30030
Parking is free and we're located in the city of Decatur, near fun shops and restaurants.

(I am still offering classes and workshops at Binders (Ponce City Market and Buckhead) and at Spruill Center for the Arts in Dunwoody.)


I cover any of the subjects listed below and have the following slots available: 
Saturdays from 10am-12:30PM
Mondays/Fridays from 12-2:30PM

NEW Children's Cursive Classes in Decatur, GA
Thursday After School one-hour 6-week courses for Cursive Handwriting to children ages 9-12. Aikido Decatur: 104 Sycamore Place, 30030

January/February 2017
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March/April 2017
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May/June 2017
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July/August/September 2017
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September/October 2017
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November/December 2017
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Artist Anne Elser makes her living as a calligrapher, painter, designer, and as an instructor in these fields. She believes making art creates a channel for truth and is a soulful reflection of the connections shared by all.
Binders Art School, Spruill Center for the Arts, or Aikido Decatur are not responsible for any possible typos here. These dates, times and prices of the classes I teach there can be verified at Bindersart.com or Spruill Center for the Arts.