Writing this wonderful quotation of Frederick Neugebauer
in plain Romans was another big challenge from Reggie!
I decided to feature a
DaVinci Circle as the setting of the quote. There are
twenty-four equally spaced points around the perimeter
of this circle, each connecting to every point.
Interestingly, there are 48 letters in this quote, which
would be the next numerical size of a larger circle!
(then 96 points, etc) This geometric exercise, which
Leonardo had his students do, teaches that the sacred
shape of the circle is contained in everything in nature
and illustrates that circles can be created with
straight lines. The more line intersections there are,
the more circles emerge: in the center, and within the
concentric layers there are ovals and then more circles.
With a larger number of points on the outer perimeter,
more circles and ovals...ad infinitum...like our
I thought this DaVinci Circle the perfect setting for a
discussion of Roman capitals. For me, there is an
element of allusion to their construction, all based on
measurements and movements of the pen that completely
defy ones natural inclinations and expectations.
I used a 20” round, deckled paper, handmade by
Twinrocker and brown and sepia 1.0 Micron pens for all
the lines. It is glazed with multiple light layers of
watercolors (all Daniel Smith) in quinacridone gold,
burnt sienna, indigo and yellow iron oxide. The
calligraphy is done with Speedball C nibs using indigo
Learning to try and control Romans has been one of the
great challenges of my long calligraphic life. Reggie
captures it perfectly in his Romans video: “Welcome to
Romans, where nothing is natural. A world of
contrivances, demanding the utmost from you in skills of
eye, hand and mind."
I’ll keep working on it!