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This work is by Janell Wimberly
TITLE:  "The Prayer of St. Almost Right"

This work was done by Janell Wimberly in Dallas in 2007 for the session “Variations on Romans”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow.

The story of “The Prayer of St. Almost Right” --

The idea for this piece started with an exercise in the first class I took at the 2005 Legacy Conference in Dallas in 2005 from Gwen Weaver -- “Romantic Romans”. I was trying to come up with some text to practice her fabulous letters and the idea of those times when we calligraphers “almost get it right” but look back on our writing and find a HUGE spelling error or text left out, or duplicated... so close! I wrote a brief narrative (St. Almost Right) to practice the hand Gwen was teaching and then later for one of Reggie’s classes from the “26 Seed of Calligraphy” decided to expand this same idea into book form (designing a simple manuscript book).

I used a new "paper"/material for some of the pages to give the book some depth and interest; a translucent paper called Chartham translucent text. The 105# frosted paper is heavy yet translucent enough that it allowed me to draw on the front and put color on the back giving the figures depth and allowing, in some cases, white letters written on the translucent paper to “float” over the page beneath. (Unfortunately, Chartham no longer makes the heavier 105#).

I used a form of uncial and developed a letter form derived from pressurized Roman and versal letters, what I call “Roman Versal” for part of the text. The translucent paper was a good paper to letter for gouache. The lettering and hairlines stayed crisp and clean. The other pages were done on Arches Text Wove, one of my favorite papers for lettering and book making. Arches loves color and since it is a print paper, can be dampened and worked with water color without having to be taped and stretched like regular water color papers to keep it from cockleing and buckeling.

The "Latin" is a bastardized version using an on line Latin language generator, but I wasn't looking for literacy accuracy at this point!

The covers were made from davy board and covered with a RIT dyed and “distressed” butcher paper. The book set up was part of Reggie’s class to learn how to construct a manuscript book.

The drawings were done with black stick ink and the drawings were colored with gouache, gold inks, colored stick inks and water colors. The cording for the book was a leatherette cording decorated
with various beads. The size of the manuscript book is 11.387"x16.75".
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