Absence and Presence with Laurie Doctor


The blank page, the white canvas – these are universal symbols of absence for the writer, painter, calligrapher, or maker.  Fear and doubt often rise to the surface.  It is humbling.  How, I wonder, can I ever improve on the possibility inherent in this nothingness?  Absence is the creative force, the initiation, the spark, for making of anything “new”.

In this class we will enter the temenos, the protected place of our making, and invoke the muse, our imagination and inner imagery.  The class will be structured with periods of silence and guided exercises in writing, painting, and calligraphy.

Out of stock


About the Instructor

Calligrapher, painter and writer Laurie Doctor’s work unites language and image through contemplative practice. She has taught widely in Europe and the United States, and her paintings and calligraphy are found in collections including the Akademie der Künst (Berlin) and the Klingspor Museum. She writes a monthly blog called “A Silver Fraction” https://www.lauriedoctor.com/musings

Materials List

(many of these things you may already have)

Bring your favourite writing tools (brushes, pens and found objects)

Golden yellow oxide acrylic 2 oz tube (2 people can share, can travel in carry-on)

Notebook for taking notes

*White china marker*

Two Black Fine pt pens: (Copic, faber-castell ecco pigment pen or Pilot G-TEC-C3 are my favorites) Sizes .3 and .5 or whatever fine point pen you have

HB, 2B and 4B pencils Sharpener (no motors please; recommended: Kum brass sharpener)

White Eraser

Scissor (if traveling carry-on leaves these at home)

glue stick

Containers for ink, and for rinsing brushes

Metal ruler with cork backing (12” or longer)

Pointed brush (choose 1 or 2 within the range of size 0-4)

Cheap “paintbox brush” for mixing Palette or small plastic cups (deeper wells are useful)

sumi and/or walnut ink (walnut crystals are easy to pack)

1 wide brush (3 or more inches wide: cheap foam brush, house painting brush, or Japanese Hake brush)

*1 sheet Arches text wove* 25” x 40” or 2 — 1/2 sheets (25” x 20”)

*I sheet of cover weight paper for your book* (Arches Black Cover* is one of my favorites, 1/2 sheet is enough).

layout or tracing or scrap paper

Permanent white gouache (Windsor-Newton)

Two embroidery needles

Glue stick

Right triangle

Linen thread (3 ply is a good thickness)

Paper clips, rubber bands ******************************


Mat knife and cutting mat Bone folder Water soluble graphite pencils Other tubes of gouache colour or watercolour paper/ collage scraps black china marker* Other supplies for book, etc. will be supplied by the teacher:

$7 payable to instructor at the time of class

To download a printable version click on the link below

absence and presence supply list