Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Primitive Calligraphy

Back in May, I was one of the lucky winners of a giveaway by Seth Apter of The Altered Page. Pictured above is my prize pack. Seth was celebrating his blog's 100,000 visitor. You can read about it here. I had just that week discovered Seth's blog via Kathy McCreedy and Ingrid Dijkers. They were both participating in his Disintegration project, which I found very interesting. The timing of the prize couldn't have been better. I had been mulling over what I was going to do for my calligraphy guild's upcoming exhibit entitled "Different Strokes." I knew I wanted to incorporate some ideas from a Laurie Doctor workshop I had attended, but I hadn't completely decided what I was going to do. Included in my prize pack was the January/February 2009 issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine which provided a spark...

First, I painted over an old canvas with black acrylic. Then using some of the ideas I learned in the Laurie Doctor workshop, I lettered on the canvas with a twig from my River Birch tree.

The lettering is based on Joan Miro's primitive calligraphy. I love the gestural and graphic qualities.
I added watercolor to some of my pages from the Laurie Doctor workshop, and tore out areas I found interesting.

Inspired by an article written by Patricia Gaignat in the issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors, I layered my primitive calligraphy swatches, along with swatches of patterned paper, and small pieces of metal mesh. (I used window screen from the hardware store.) I then tied them to the canvas.

Some of the underlying, patterned papers were mine, some came from Seth, and some came from Kathy McCreedy.

I am happy with how the piece came together. It feels good to have created a piece specifically for the "Different Strokes" exhibit. When our guild has an exhibit, I normally enter something I've already done - which isn't bad, it was just nice to approach it differently this time. The exhibit will be at the Sullivan Munce Cultural Center in Zionsville, Indiana throughout the month of October. If you're in the area, check it out!


  1. Jane, I love this! I think it will be a marvelous addition to the exhibition. Great work!

    Cynthia Couch

  2. oh, jane.....i LOVE everything about this!! i SO appreciate the black and white palette....and then you added those scrumptious laurie doctor papers layered with screening!! i'm drooling over those papers, by the way!! i did a similar technique in a class with judy melvin many years ago....i might have to revisit that now that i've seen your fabulous piece!! it will be a stunning addition to the exhibit! bravo! :)

  3. Beautiful piece Jane! I love all the materials and techniques you incorporated. You're SO creative!!

  4. This is a brilliant piece Jane. The sharp contrast between the background and the wonderful calligraphy is just perfect. And adding those papers is the finishing touch. So glad the package I sent contributed to such a great piece.

  5. Great piece, Jane!!!! I love the graphic look of the black background and the white Miro letters. I took Laurie Doctor's workshop a couple of years ago and loved it.

    Thanks for showing the step-by-step process. Really cool photos!
    (I see that Kathy McCreedy's "paper salads" are making their way around the country. I ordered one, too! :-)

  6. Love your piece! My DH's family lives in Zionsville. Perhaps we can go up for a visit in October and see the exhibit.


  7. Jane, now that I see it up close, I love it even more. I'm a 3-D kinda person, so to know that your incredible work of art is that, OMG. Wish, I could see it in person.
    Fabulous job!

  8. Hi Jane! What a great feeling to know you're using my paper in your beautiful piece, I really appreciate it, and I appreciate you mentioning me in this post... thank you very, very much! I really like the black background, and you've just inspired me... I've been commissioned to do a piece but was having trouble with the background... now I know where I'm going to start! Love the piece, thank you again! xoxo


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