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Week #52
This work was done by Patti Adams in New Orleans this year for the session “Variations on Romans ” in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
One of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver, has written a wonderful book of exquisite essays: “Upstream”. These lines I share with you are from the chapter entitled "Of Power and Time".

For me, it captures precisely what I feel when struggling with a piece of artwork, be it calligraphy, a drawing, or a painting; that indefinable agitation that can be there as you realize yet again that the laundry is not going to get done, the groceries are not going to buy themselves and all the dust bunnies in the house have now multiplied. And it doesn’t matter. You have done the work. You have gone through the struggle and now you have a visitor in your studio. It is as palpable a feeling for me as having had the idea in the first place. Call it your muse, your angel, the creative spirit...it is there! And I will do anything to keep it there with me. Everything is easier. The hand feels guided. But only after the work has begun in serious earnest. Total commitment.

The piece was done on a piece of 16x20" BFK Rives paper, using gold leaf, acrylics and gouache. I covered the paper with a base of ultramarine blue and then applied 23K patent gold leaf to the entire surface.
 After lightly rubbing the gold leaf with fine dental pumice, I then applied many light glazes of alizarin crimson and indigo blue.

Next came drawing out the angel and deciding where the text would go, planning everything on tracing paper before making a mark on the gilded surface. The angel is by Raphael, drawn from a huge street banner I have hanging in my house from a show on that artist at the The Morgan Library. I created some contour on the angel using molding paste and gesso, building up different planes using a palette knife. The angel was then gilded in 24K gold leaf and tooled in a variety of spots to create texture. (I told Reggie the title of this piece could be "Two Books of Gold Leaf"!)

The pressurized Roman cap variations were done with a Mitchell nib (taking great liberties with the structure of a variety of words!), using naples yellow gouache for the body of the text and Finetec silver for the wrestling with the angel sentence. Finally, I took a deep breath, put diluted naples yellow on a battered old toothbrush and flicked it all over the piece. I like to think the angel was holding my hand the whole time!

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The End:  Happy 2018
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You can enjoy all the Pics of the Week from 2009 through 2018,
archived on the home page of my website www.reggieezell.com
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