* * * * * * * * * *
This work is by Nita Padamsee
TITLE:  I Hate and I Love

These works were done by Lydia Batten this year in the Boston class, for the fourth month's "Primitive to Modern". In her own words:

I thought this poem was short enough text to tackle with these great built up B-bomb letters! J (Rude awakening there!) I had never really enjoyed the B-nib much before, even though a calli-pal of mine has such fun with it. So, this new exposure in class was a means to try them out again. I have a collection of all sizes of the nibs and took out the big one and began to play… I liked the boldness of the big thick strokes and thought it evoked the message of the really important words at the beginning and end of the poem.

The sequence of things: (pretty much…)

Keeping the concept of the GRID in mind, this is what evolved:

· The B-1 nib, randomly chose 1” x-height for the large letters. I used a mixture of Moon Palace Sumi ink and WN Jet Black + Glair blend ( a tip for a good strong black I got from Suzanne Moore, former teacher and mentor), and even then I went over the letters with a second coat to really get them BLACK.

· I had some diploma parchment lying around and decided that would be the paper to use (I am determined to use up all that unused paper). I did not alter the size… I went with what I found.

· I did preliminary layouts on bond paper, created a model of the whole thing on a piece of Strathmore charcoal, and tried out everything there first before I did it on the final piece. And had a piece of the parchment lying around also for quick tests…

· The smaller text in between the first and last lines I did with a B-5 nib. Again, double-inked and then built up.

 · To go with the ‘grid’ assignment, I had to add color to the negative spaces… chose RED, since it evokes the earlier works we looked at, and was the right color for this poem—the passion of love, especially those powerhouse words at beginning and end… The red was a combo of WN Cad Red + the WN Red Ochre gouaches (what was recommended to buy to get close to the Cad Red Deep no longer available). I decided to water down the red considerably after seeing its intensity on the model.

o And that’s where the inspiration came in… As I was painting in the negative space with the watered down red, I wondered what would happen if I dropped in some of the thicker red in a wet-on-wet technique to create the ‘shadow’ lines (I have been studying watercolor here and there recently, and I love that technique, and on my model all the shadow lines I tried out with white, gold, etc. just didn’t
seem to add to the letters. So, I had two small brushes going at the same time, one with the watered red and then another to drop in the darker red while still wet and letting it ‘bleed’. I have to say, that was REALLY fun to see what happened (and time consuming). And the black never really moved because of the combo mix. (I did not spray a fixative as I should have… oops).

· The gray color was a mixture of Dr. Martin’s Ph White, some white iridescent gouache and Sumi/Gou. Mix (it was hard to see the iridescence in the Latin piece, but it showed up more in the English version, because I did not take the time, as I should have, to match the colors up better). As I applied the gray color, again, while wet, this time I dropped in the watered down red to create ‘shadow’ texture.

· After I did all the coloring in, I added the grid lines with the Ball nib that you gave us, and then put the red dots around the smaller writing to ‘fill’ them out a bit (I used the Schminke Red Perle Gouache that is ancient…)

· The hearts actually came from one of those religious books you recommended with the copyright free Christian images (it’s almost blasphemous, since this poem is so NOT Christian!) which I adapted slightly. I wanted to use gold in the piece and since I had only used the diploma parchment didn’t want to use real gold on that ‘cheap’ paper, so I used the Schminke Gold Perle (again, I’ve had it forever—
most of the glycerin is gone and I’ve had to cut open the tube to get the gouache out of it). It felt like a lightning bolt slashing through the two hearts (representing his two very different feelings, and the torment created) was appropriate, especially coming off the R which broke the grid and descended below the x-height…

· When I put his name at the bottom, even though I’d done it on the model, for some reason it came out a little off center, so I decided to add the poem number in Roman numerals (that’s how they are grouped—no names given to them), and add a smaller version of the hearts to balance it all out.

Once I finished the Latin one, it was 4th of July, and an ensuing month filled with so much activity! I walked away from it, and never got back to do the English version until August… I wanted to keep the format the same, and try to write the English in the same order as the words appear in Latin so those who are not familiar can follow along easily enough and make connections between the words—even
the conjunctions were written in the same way (small and vertically). The problem was there was much more to the English than the Latin so I had to be much more creative about getting all the text on each line. I have to admit that was fun working through those ‘sticky’ places on the model and then seeing it all come together on the final piece.

The diploma parchment I used for the English piece did not cooperate nearly as much as the first one had… I don’t know if it was from a different batch, or if I used the other side, or if it was more humid ( I try to keep the dehumidifier going non-stop to prevent that, since my studio is in my basement on the sunny side with lots of windows, but even so, it’s the basement and we had an extremely wet summer).
Whatever the reason, the bleeds did not occur as nicely, and the gray was much darker. Other than that, the layout went well (though if you look closely, I did goof on the interlinear spacing on the second one, and didn’t realize it until I was too far into it to want to start over). And I flipped the lightning bolt to come off a different letter on the bottom line (which also broke the grid) and go in the other direction…
New Special Gilding Techniques: 3-D and Textures
Click on http://www.reggieezell.com/thepick
You can enjoy all the Pics of the Week from 2009 through 2020,
archived on the home page of my website www.reggieezell.com
You can contact me directly: contactreggie@comcast.net
or 773-202-8321
Click to see several short (free) Calligraphy videos:
Full length calligraphy VIDEOS and PORTFOLIOS by Reggie:
2022        2022
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook (@reggieezellcalligraphy)

UNSUBSCRIBE from these emails - click below.