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Week #11
This work was done by Maria Helena Hoksch in New Orleans in 2017 for the session “Pressurized Romans” in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
Here goes: God be your Friend....

A few years ago I got extremely bored with what I had been doing in very traditional field of calligraphy for a very traditional calligraphy organization, and all of a sudden wanted something new, free, and uncontrolled. It was a start of m “rebellion”. It can easily happen when you’ve been doing calligraphy for almost forty years like me. I happened to be in extended private study with Sheila Waters, the almost only student extended there, and came across her samples and notes on watercolor backgrounds, in one of the hundreds of drawers of treasures she has. When she was not looking, I feverishly copied the notes.

When I arrived at home, I dipped about twenty sheets of various watercolor paper in my bathtub, soaked them , and laid them one after another on top of my glass table. I applied watercolors, powders and salt. Then had them dry, and they dried absolutely smooth and straight. No tape. Amazing.

This (2017) year, about 18 months later, I was faced with Reggie’s homework assignments. I pulled out my since unused watercolor backgrounds, by kind of accident, and was determined to make some use of them. After all, what a waste otherwise. In my life, I cannot afford to waste anything, sadly! I know, sounds boring. A yawn!
What I actually did, is I took the backgrounds and let them speak to me. What color do you want. What areas should be left exposed. Some places looked like stone or marble to me, perfect for Roman caps. Like almost to be carved in. So that was meant to be. And it was the assignment.

This piece was in no way inspired or planned. I needed a piece for class and I did it. Simple as that. Not everything has to be so very deep. Deep thought does not make it necessarily better at all. Practice at best is what it is here. I constructed and drew the letters right on the original piece, filled them in with brush, and filled the rest of the space in with design elements where I saw fit. All I relied on composing the piece rather randomly was my sense of layout and design. Now, that was when the almost forty years of experience came in handy.

Later, I added the rather contemporary style of italic. For interest. And a fill. And the lines with ruling pen that gradually change color. The most sophisticated touch.

Tools used: sketching pencil, arches cover paper, fine acrylic brushes size0 and 00, various tubed watercolors (mainly Payne’s gray), Mitchell nibs, ruling pen, loose leaf gilding on top of Instacoll, golden watercolor, pointed pen.
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