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Week #50
This work was done by Maria Helena Hoksch in New Orleans this year for the session “Variations on Romans” in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:

This pic of the week “describe” request from Reggie reached me while I was traveling in Egypt. So I try and tie this fact in, even though I had created Troubles several months prior.

While visiting the ancient temples in Luxor, my guide told me how the temples were built from inside towards outside, so the first and oldest part was in the middle, and every next ruler had to go around, further out, to add to the temple complex. No ruler had an idea what the next one would do, add or eliminate. So that is where I found out that I thought like Egyptian, which is of course a joke!

When exhibiting Troubles at IAMPETH this summer, someone asked me - where do you even start a “complicated” piece like this. My answer was: in the middle, with no real idea what I was going to add later, when I had time to come back to it, if ever. All I relied on was my intuition, knowledge of some basic layout rules, and no real care of what was going to turn out, if anything. It was not to be a serious piece. (This really is not what I said, I just mumbled something perhaps much smarter that I cannot recall.)

The first things I did were naturally the large drawn and painted-in Roman caps. I did plan the layout of these a bit, which means I had a really rough draft. A month later I added the foundational hand. Then weeks after that, the delicate leaf design and the faces that appear to be on the background. Some of the leaves I later gilded.
The last script to add was the lace-like flourished copperplate. I added it with a light touch but with abandon. To complement, not to compete, with other hands.

At the beginning of the year Reggie had stressed to the class: bring to the homework what is unique to you personally. I had always realized - being part of the wider calligraphic society, divided mostly into two somewhat opposing schools - that one of the rather rare qualities I possess, is feeling equally comfortable with pointed OR broad edge pen. Not at all the same for every calligrapher, I had found long ago. Most prefer one OR the other.

Starting the year long class, I set as my personal goal and mission to bring these two different tools (and schools of thought) together as often as possible in the very same pieces of work. To reconcile them in my creations in unexpected ways. I can now say I kept to my goal. I created rather several pieces that way. One of them, rendered on silk, was pic of the week couple months back.

Materials and tools used: pencil, Mitchell nibs, fine brushes, pointed pen, loose leaf moon gold, watercolors, gouache, pastels.

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