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Week #35
This work was done by Stephanie Chao in San Diego this year for the session “Illumination on Vellum” in PRIMITIVE TO MODERN. In her own words:

In our fourth class with Reggie, one of our assignments was to do a gilded piece on vellum, inspired by the Codex Aureus.

I have been studying Russian Byzantine iconography for a few years and wanted to writethe Eastern Orthodox Jesus Prayer or Prayer of the Heart, in Church Slavonic. I don't speak or write Russian, so a day was spent researching and verifying the correct letterforms.

I worked out the drawn letters in pencil on graph paper, printed the 6- inch square design on a transparency, and then traced my design onto both Arches 90 lb. hot press paper and vellum, with the idea of working each step first on paper and then on vellum, as we had done in class for various techniques.
After the counters were gilded by building up two layers of gesso and clear Instacoll, I drew the letters using a Mitchell 5 nib and WN Venetian Red gouache. Borders were drawn with a ruling pen and filled in with a small pointed brush. I used a circle and scroll template and freehand filled in the smaller designs with a pointed nib.

I like working to music; in this case, the Church Slavonic chant of the Jesus Prayer on YouTube provided hours of inspiration and spiritual support in creating this piece. https://youtu.be/C7-VLJxLEV4

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