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This work is by Maggie Gillikin.

Paradise Lost

I did this piece as homework after the first Reggie St. John’s Bible lettering class. I chose John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book IV, lines 639 through 656. This passage speaks of Adam’s love for Eve in the garden of Eden. He speaks from two viewpoints — how beautiful the world is because of her presence, and how lackluster it would be without her.

I used white and black to express that deep contrast. The paper is 140# Arches hot press, half sheet; the fluid is ivory black gouache. It was written with a metal nib. I would have wished for one more tries at spacing, but life intervened! The little bird delivering the forgotten letter “E” is a nightingale, “the solemn bird” in line 648.

The title has a background of Derwent ivory black pencil (and gum sandarac on top), with the title itself in Dr. Martin’s Bleedproof White. The illustrations refer to the herbs, fruit, and flowers. The only other color in this piece refers to the future beyond these lines — the Apple.

I would unreservedly recommend this class to everyone!


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