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Week #2
This work was done by Gayle Waddle-Wilkes in 2016 in Seattle for the session “Primitive to Modern” in PRIMITIVE TO MODERN. In her own words:
A few months ago I caught the tail end of a radio program that asked the question, “Where do YOU find peace in wild things?” I was intrigued by this question and so I searched for the poem that inspired this inquiry. The poem is by Wendell Berry and is entitled The Peace of Wild Things. I thought it was a beautiful poem with lovely visual images and a touching message, perfect for a piece of calligraphy.

A little while later, while avoiding the Brazilwood and vellum dying homework assignment, I made various sheets of tea-dyed paper. Due to rippling while wet, one of the pieces came out of the dye that I felt suggested a marsh in hazy light. Unfortunately, this piece measured only 6 x 12 inches. Not nearly enough “real estate” to write the entire poem. So I scanned the image, cropped and stretched it so it could be printed on an 8.5 x 14 sheet of paper. I printed the image with my LaserJet printer on a few different kinds of paper. Diploma Parchment had the least color distortion from the fixative (Blair) that I applied after printing in preparation for writing on it.
I wrote with a “clipped” crow quill pen (tiny broad-edge) with gouache using a combination of raw umber and yellow ochre. The lettering style is one I created based on a sample of an unidentified Carolingian variation that was included in the handouts last year. My intention was to have elongated ascenders and descenders resemble marsh grasses blowing in the wind.

The illuminated “W” is 23k patent gold leaf with a gesso base (2 layers) and Instacol size. The letter’s background was painted with two different watercolors from the 6-well palette of Fin-Tec gold. The silhouette of the crane is the same gouache as the writing but with a bit more raw umber to deepen the color. The outline was made with a ball-pointed nib using gold pearl Schmincke Calligraphy Gouache and the edge of a metal ruler.

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