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This work is by Beth Paul.


I have been saving this quote for awhile in order to do something unique with it.  When we began working with the Friedrich Neugebauer caps in “26 Seeds...”, I thought the strong but simple monoline style would work well as a design element.

I loved my first draft; the movement of the curving lines and the loose look of the letters gave such life to the piece. It was totally wrong for this quote. So I revised and reworked the layout over and over until I got the line breaks and the spacing worked out. I used the Speedball B nibs and the Micron marker to give the weight and emphasis to the words.

I finished the piece, touched it up, using the magnifier and stepped back. It was balanced and strong and simple. Totally “meh”. No life to it, just words, no spark. So I decided to punch up the emphasis of the words some more. I had already tried that with size so I thought a contrasting color would help. I grabbed W&N Pyrelene Maroon and did the piece again. It looked much better...for about an
hour. I couldn’t leave it that way.

I went back to the black and white version and stared at it. I guess I stared too long because I started seeing shapes instead of letters. I remembered the sage advice from my dad (might have been my Mom because she was an artist but Dad painted houses ...) or someone who always said, “if you don’t like it, throw some more paint on it.”

I got out my favorite triad of watercolors, starting with the Payne’s gray and filled in the negative space sporadically, then switched to the maroon color and finally the yellow ochre. I deliberately did not color in the O shapes because I felt it was too obvious and I didn’t like the idea of the bold spaces popping out. But somehow, I got a flash of what adding gold might do and since I had my Finetec palette handy, I picked a gold that not too bright, close to the ochre shade, and tried it. It wasn’t horrible so I did some more. My concern at this point was not overdoing the color and keeping the “pop” effect. I finally stepped back and decided it was enough and I could let it go. I was finally done.

I wanted to create a piece out of this quote that would make the viewer slow down enough to really read the words not just scan over the lettering and I think I did that.


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