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Week #42
This work was done by Carmel Cucinotta-Harmon in New Orleans this year for the session “Variations on Romans” in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
I had this piece of vellum for a few years. I never had an inspiration to use it. However my husband, Butch, is always reading about Native American Indians; and Reggie recommended a book called “Many Winters”, by Nancy Wood. This was all the inspiration I needed.

My quote is one of many by Chief Dan George. I used a Thunderbird to indicate the “T” at the beginning of each phrase. I used gouache in Red Ochre, Oxide of Chromium, Cadmium Red and Indigo to write the quote.

The Indian Shield is done in Colored pencil; I layered many colors to achieve the slight variation in color. The ‘ring’ around the shield is soft pastels. My attempt was to mimic the old writings and ‘winter counts’ made by Native American Indians to record their history. I became fascinated with the designs the Native American Indians painted on their horses. I used colored pencils to create the designs on the horses running across the page. A B-6 nib was used to write the Neugebauer Caps. I used the Monoline practice sheet to write the Tom Perkins letters. I then traced them onto the Vellum. At first I tried to write directly on the vellum with my nib, which kept pulling.
I think the vellum was not prepared enough. After tracing the letters on the vellum, I filled in with Red Ochre – using a 10/0 spotter brush. I like this brush for its size, but more importantly for its firmness.

I used Extra Heavy Gel Gloss to build up “Soars” and then gilded with gold leaf. For the gold horse at top I built up several layers of the Extra Heavy Gel Gloss; and then gilded with gold leaf. I had to use “activator” to fill in the crevices where the gold leaf did not adhere. I used a pale blue colored pencil to delicately outline the gold letters and gold horse.

The bottom section of the vellum was straight cut. I cut the bottom to match the top curves. Using a soft cloth I smudged soft pastels around the edged to give the look of age. As usual, I do not do well planning a layout. I never follow the many ‘thumbnails’ I work up. For this piece I began with the shied and worked down. Everything just fell into place according to my whim.

I thoroughly enjoyed working on this piece and want to thank Reggie for ‘pushing’ me to do more with ALL of these homework assignments!

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