Monday, December 23, 2019

FLORA1 6-Week Course w/ Anne Elser – ONLINE COURSE via Google Meet
(Note: this is the beginning FLORA class, NOT the Flora 2 class.)
6 Sessions (w one practice session)| Beginning/Intermediate (Mono Linear Lettering is a prerequisite for this class.)| $210 **| Min 10 Max 15| Wed PM | 6-8:30PM | Feb 26-Apr 15 

Class Schedule: We will meet Weds evenings from 6-8:30pm. Our first meeting is a brief intro and dry-run test call. Course instruction officially begins the following Wednesday, Mar 4th from 6-8:30PM. 

This is a LIVE class, which is recorded for your enjoyment and review, then uploaded to a class folder on my Dropbox site each of our 7 weeks of class time together. If you ever have to miss a class, you can always check back later to watch what you missed and practice at your own pace. I really enjoy the live format, and meeting so many people all over the world each week in my home. Live classes allow the student to interact with me and each other for specific feedback. 
Upon registration, I will email a permanent weblink to you. This will be our virtual classroom for every time we meet.  When the link and intro email is sent to you, click the link, which will open a web page in your web browser. 

You MUST be using a Google CHROME browser if you're joining the class via your computer. Safari and Firefox, etc will NOT work. If you're joining via your ipad or phone, you'll download Google's Meet app and join that way. You do not need to have a gmail address. 
Please read technical notes way down at the bottom for details about participating in an online class via Google Meet.

Here's the class schedule:
Week 0 • Wednesday, Feb 26 - Google Meet Dry Run Test Call (about an hour 6-7PM)
Week 1 • Wednesday, Mar 04, 2019 6-8:30pm
————NO CLASS MARCH 11——————
Week 2 • Wednesday, Mar 18, 2019 6-8:30pm
Week 3 • Wednesday, Mar 25, 2019 6-8:30pm
Week 4 • Wednesday, Apr 21, 2019 6-8:30pm
Week 5 • Wednesday, Apr 08, 2019 6-8:30pm
Week 6 • Wednesday, Apr 15, 2019 6-8:30pm

After you register and before the class begins, you will receive a welcome email containing:
• Link to our online classroom folder where you can find uploads each week and a PDF link to exemplar packet to download and print out for our first class.
• The Google Meet Hangout Classroom link we will use every week. 
After each live class, I’ll upload either a full-length recording of my demonstrations during the class OR a 20-minute review of the pages we worked on (and snapshots of those pages) for you to later download or stream at your convenience. This makes it easier for students to keep up with the class if you cannot participate live. 
Note: these videos will take a day or two to appear in the class notes folder, as they are very large and take a long time for them to fully upload onto my Dropbox account. Please allow for at least a day and a half after a class date before you go searching for any content of that class.

Welcome to FLORA with Anne Elser! •

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.“ -John Muir

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body 
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.” - Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

Flora was born on the heels of my course “Love, Fear, and Flourishing” after a solid year of working with students from all over, who saw (many of them for the first time) the freedom an oval provides when harnessing the power of the flourish and how it relates to our lettering. 

Flora is also a direct extension of “Mono Linear Lettering: Cursive Crush & Open-Shaded Script” in that we move closer to painting with the aid of a mono line celebrated with a watercolor PENCIL and awakened gently with a fine pointed brush. This two-step process is as pleasurable as it is fascinating and it is my deepest desire that you discover more of yourself in the gentle forms of curving leaves, folding petals, and sweeping stems, all along the oval paths of your letter forms and flourishes. 

FLORA is a feminine personification of the healing powers of nature, and draws upon the texture florae make available when looking for a way to fill out and make more dense, our work. FLORA is first drawn with our oldest friend, the pencil - that pressure-sensitive, soft, blunt stick we are all more familiar with than most - the tool we held as toddlers that made our first marks on paper - the beloved crayon, pencil, or colored pencil. 

But now that we are grown-ups, why be satisfied with a mere pencil, when you can use a watercolor pencil, right?! 

The watercolor pencil’s unique gift is that it can be awakened with water, and not only that, but it can change when that water carries with it another pigment. We will use soft oval-shaped curves to describe absolutely every space-filling element on the page and with every stroke, you’ll find yourself allowing, as Mary Oliver so eloquently states, “the soft animal of your body (to) love what it loves.” 

This is my prayer and goal in teaching FLORA. I am sharing with you, my personal mode of self care and healing. FLORA is what I do each and every morning as I sit by the fire to journal. I use her to process my thoughts, to welcome the day, to asks for grace, and to find the silver lining in everything that crosses my path. She is a gentle way for me to try on larger, braver strokes. She’s soft, adaptable, and portable. FLORA requires paper, a small brush, pencil, one cake of watercolor, a small amount of water, and my newest friend: you. 

More information:
• A student needs to have taken “Mono Linear Lettering: Cursive Crush & Open-Shaded Script”, before taking FLORA. If you’ve already taken Flourishing, that’s great - but if not, take that next!

• $8 Fee due (in-person Atlanta students only) to the instructor on the first day of class or workshop.
• If you’re in Atlanta, 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.

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.

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


Practice Paper:

Transparent Marker Paper: great for tracing and warm-ups. Can withstand a VERY small amount of paint for experimenting and warming up, but not great for final work as it gets quite wrinkly when wet. 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

Slightly Nicer Paper (great for envelopes and journals):
Get at least one of these and if you’re feeling frisky, both.  

• Strathmore Calligraphy Pad. I LOVE this ivory laid sheet that comes in a nifty pad. She’s super for folding envelopes and can handle more watercolor than the transparent pad above. Not great for final work (will wrinkle some) but if you already have these sheets, you may use these. 

• Classic Crest Antique Gray, Smooth Writing Paper, 24W. Neenah Paper ( sells this by the 500-sheet ream at $33.95 (item #01361). It’s what I use in my sketchbooks each morning. This paper does well with fountain pen ink, and can also stand a bit of water color. 

 Watercolor or Printmaking Paper for Final Work: 
Any Hot Press (smooth) watercolor paper will perform very well. Below are brands I’ve used and liked. You’ll want to have at least ten 8.5 x 11 sheets of either of these. 

Printmaking Paper

• Arches BFK Rives White Velin paper 19 x 26 sheets that I cut down to 8.5 x 11 or smaller. I love this paper because it’s thin, soft, and folds easily and isn’t as expensive as watercolor paper. Save the scraps for testing colors. Note that this paper is very unsuitable for pointed pen - so if you want to add pointed pen embellishments to your work, use a hot press watercolor sheet instead. 

Watercolor Paper
• Arches or Fabriano Artistico 140 lb Hot Press Watercolor Paper cut down to 8.5 x 11 or smaller.


Watercolor Pencils: I use 2 brands for different purposes. 
• Derwent Graphitint Watercolor Pencils: These are soft and creamy and I rarely sharpen them to their finest point. These loosen more easily into paint and I use them a lot. 
Colors I use frequently: Port (01), Steel Blue (06), Aubergine (03), Ivy (11), Autumn Brown (17), Cool Brown (15), Chestnut (13), Dark Indigo (04), Meadow (10).

• Faber-Castell Albrect Durer Watercolor Pencils: These are a harder pencil that I use more for adding crisp, sharp details when finalizing a piece. 
Colors I use frequently: Light Magenta (119), Rose Carmine (124), Dark Red (225), Manganese Violet (160), Dark Naples Ochre (184), Burnt Umber (280), Light Phthalo Blue (145), Juniper Green (165), Chrome Oxide Green Fiery (276), Raw Umber (180), Olive Green Yellowish (175), Cobalt Green (156), Deep Scarlet Red (219).  


White Ink:

• Dr. Martin’s Bleedproof White I scoop out a dab to my watercolor palette and let it dry in each corner of my mixing tray. This makes a great white to mix in with any of your watercolors. 

Titanium white watercolor or gouache also works well. 


• Winsor & Newton Professional OR Cotman (student-grade) Watercolors Compact Set with 14 half pans. There IS a price difference between professional ($75) and student grade ($20). I’ve been using the student grade just fine. I’ll upgrade to professional in the near future. 


• Pentel Aquash Water Brush - FINE. 


• Mechanical pencil to line paper
• White or kneaded eraser
• Ruler
• Water container
• Paper towels or towel
• Washi Tape, bone folder, and postage stamps for envelopes
• Chocolate
• Dog Treats
• More Chocolate

Google Meet Technical Notes: 
For the Google Meet to work, you'll need to be using a set of headphones during demo time to plug into your computer. During instruction, your microphones should be muted, but cameras on. This cuts down on background noise while I am demonstrating. However, when we begin introductions, and for class discussion after each exercise is completes, you should be unmuted so we can all have a lively discussion! So please purchase a pair of earbuds if you don't already have a set. 
Click here to read what Google has to say about participating in a Google Meet. From my experience, here are some things you can do to improve your online experience and some trouble shooting if any technical issues come up. 
• Quit all other open applications on your device that are actively using the internet.
• Ask other members of your household not to use the internet/wifi while you're streaming the class
• Make sure you're as close as you can get to your router (that box that has all the wires and gives you wifi). You can still have a good connection to your router of it's in a different room in your home, but large mirrors and other large devices can interfere with reception. Note that you may have great success even without taking these measures - this is just my practice here at home. 
• If your connection isn't the greatest (poor image or no sound/video), hang up the call and return. Upon returning, if it hasn't improved, quit your browser and restart your computer. That ALWAYS helps.
• If your camera suddenly goes blank, use the camera icon at the top of your screen to toggle it off and on again. 


Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?
This is an adult class. Childrens classes coming soon!

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
This is an online class. 

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Send Anne an email to: PenKitten@Anne

What's the refund policy?
Refunds are not available at this time.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?

Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn't match the person who attends?
Yes. If you purchased this class or workshop as a gift, please let me know the name of the person taking the class when you register. 

If this is an online class and I can't be there live, how do I participate?
Every single class is live so that we can all interact with each other. I record EVERY class and upload this file immediately after class ends. File sizes range from 3-4 Gigabytes and are avialble to you for download. I record my classes so that students can still participate if they can't attend because of illness, time zone differences, or other issues. If in the event a recording malfunction occurs, I upload a brief review of the class, using the notes and pages I already created. I also upload images of my pages for you to view and keep for your personal use.

How do I participate in the envelope exchange at the end of the class? 
You must be in the live class to participate int he weekly envelope exchange. You must also add your mailing address to the dropbox file we create during our first intro meeting. You can leave your mailing address as a comment. Please be sure to cover up a portion of the envelope addres if you'd like to share your work via social media. 

How do I receive feedback on my homework?
You may upload your homework and share on social media but if you'd like me to see it, you need to TAG ME. (@anneelser) on Instagram or Anne-Davnes Elser on Facebook.  This is a wonderful way to keep in touch with the progress of your classmates and with me! If you'd rather be more private, go ahead and email me your work and we can correspond that way. 

How soon after a class ends, will I be able to download my own copy? 
It generally takes 12-24 hours for a class recording to fully upload and be available to you for download.  

2020 WINTER Calligraphy & Bookbinding Courses Registration OPEN!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Gift the Gift of Calligraphy Instruction

Did you know you can schedule a private lesson and stuff a stocking or birthday card with an Anne Elser Gift Certificate!

Private lessons are $250, two and a half hours long, come with complete handouts, and are conducted in my home studio in Decatur, GA.

Download a supply list for everything you'll need to make your someone special FEEL especially prepared.
Happy Holidays!