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This work was done by Laurie Cook Portland Oregon for the session
“Variations on Foundational”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow.

Ode to a Jellyfish

It appears that this assignment came after lessons on lettering on black paper, using the Linex liner, gilding, and doing bookhand, July 2002. 12 years later, I'm not sure of all of the details, but I'll jot down what I do remember.

I'd seen a photo of this jellyfish in a magazine (maybe 2" tall) and then searched for a quote to go with it. After time, I think I should have looked harder for another quote, but this is what I came across that month.

The piece is 10.5" x 15.5" and I think I used Ingres black paper. I remember that it was pretty thin but the hard surface (vs. Arches) and minimal texture (vs. Canson) seemed good to lightly paint on. The jellyfish, background dots and the text of the quote were painted with gouache and the title is done in white gold.

I think the base for the gold may have been gum ammoniac, but the piece belongs to someone else so I can't inspect it to check for sure. I used a flexible broad edge Mitchell nib for the pressurized forms, and a Brause EF 66 nib to draw in the delicate serifs.

The jellyfish was painted first, and the lettering was worked out separately on white paper; then the paper was lined and I cut out each line, and lettered below them. If I had to do it over again, I would do the practice lettering on black paper and change some of the inter-line spacing. Some of it looks too tight to me, even though my lines were even and accurate. Isn't it amazing how I can remember doing this "wrong"!? Maybe that's an example of learning from one's mistakes - ? Always valuable, even if annoying... And in doing this piece, I had another realization: I like to paint, which I'm trying to do more of now.

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