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Week #39
This work was done by Maria Helena Hoksch in 2017 in New Orleans for the session “Variations on Italic” in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
Children of God:

This was one of my previous, unfinished pieces, pulled out and completed when homework was due. It went well as it consisted already of some variations on romans and italic. Both were subjects at Reggie's yearlong class last year. I added some more variety, plus the blue lines of small caps. And finished it for good.

The subject is clearly religious, more particularly Jesus in Christian lives today. I chose the paper first, which is extremely textured, coarse, non bleached handmade Twinrocker whole sheet (18”x23”), it almost looked and felt like cloth, perhaps reminding me of Jesus’ robe. When creating more contemporary pieces such as this, I usually turn to religious texts as nobody cannot say the style does not fit the subject. Anything somehow goes and fits when it comes to religious texts.

My process of creating a piece is more intuitive than planned, such is my personal character. I count on my basic knowledge of design, my decades of experience, and let the inspiration and lettering flow. I often reach for inks already at my table, that are custom mixes, leftovers from previous jobs or projects, and see what goes together.
I hardly find a color combinations that feel entirely wrong. Here, I counted more on the contrast of textures than the “perfect choice” of colors. Literally, the paper is divided into four equal parts, then into two halves.

So simple a child can do it. Then I pushed it slightly off balance by making some quarters slightly smaller, and creating some variety within the quarters. The blue lines of small caps further “disrupt” the balance to add interest and complexity.

The line of gilding feels somewhat unexpected on this rough paper, but the effect that the paper creates by buckling up from layers of instacol, was a real surprise bonus. Looks like a ribbon or a flowing river. I am not sure the medallion in the center achieves anything, and looks like a mistake I would not repeat in do-over, if there were one. But many people who saw the piece at exhibition, told me the “jewel center” was the main draw for them. So what do I know? I don’t get to decide, the viewer does. I created my art, the viewer creates something out of it for themselves by looking at it, with their personal eyes, and reflecting on it through their point and soul.

After you create a piece of art, you just have to let it go, flow out and live. If you are brave...

Materials used not previously mentioned: Mitchell nibs (small sizes), gouache, pastels, 24 K gold leaf. Note: it was hard to create perfect letterforms with sharp nibs on this extreme paper. The result is not my best lettering, but rather flawed. No apologies.

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