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November 22, 2005

mhcc calligraphy: class 8

by gl. at 10:07 pm

we did some versals in this session, but i was much more interested in seeing how the pastepaper we made in the last session turned out.

pastepaper is just acrylic paint mixed into cellulose-based art paste and applied to paper: in this case, arches text wove, which i find frustrating for calligraphy but excellent for pastepaper. pastepaper is often designed to be used in bits & pieces, but i find i am fondest of the ones that seem to be complete pieces in and of themselves.

it turns out i made 16 pieces. i can't scan three of the blue ones because i made the mistake of adding a copious amount of glitter to them, which makes them sparkle like a frosty winter twilight (the intended effect), but also gets on the other pieces and the scanner and the floor and the table and my clothes (the unintended effect). in fact, the pieces you see here all had some glitter shed on them, and since it was large salt-flake sized glitter, often it would pool, creating tiny dark rings and light spots where i wouldn't want them. and then they'd flake off and i would have to dust the scanner between each piece.

none of these were planned compositions; i just mixed colors and put them on the paper to see what happened.

  1. yellow wave (excerpt): this was the first piece i made and the paper is probably 4-8 times bigger than this. interesting note: all the pieces below were done with the same red, blue & yellow you see here.

  2. purple noodle (excerpt): this is another excerpt before i began tearing the paper into smaller pieces to be able to experiment faster. ("get through your first 50 failures as quickly as possible."). the pattern is just fingerpainting with some plastic fork happening in the lower left corner.

  3. greengold center: that's gold leaf in the middle. i was surprised to discover it stayed on remarkably well with just water & art paste.

  4. red flowers: i wasn't tearing the paper especially carefully. :) if i could make changes to this one i would remove the odd brown streak angling from the blue swirls, because otherwise i'm quite fond of the composition. another experiment in gold leaf at the bottom, though the red spots have gold paint centers.

  5. flag: i brought some silver ink and wanted to see what it would do.

  6. fish stamp: marti brought some stamps so i played with them. i used something called "colorblock" on top of the fish, hoping it would let me paint on top of it and later peel off like frisket. alas, that didn't work, and when we used the hot press to flatten the pieces, it melted and stuck to the press padding. so what's colorblock good for? i have no idea.

  7. secret: more playing w/ stamps, this time a letter block i used -after- put color down, trying to achieve a subtle tone-on-tone effect. then i tried writing a word in it, then i tried drawing a heart and adding gold leaf to it. none of these effects worked as planned, and it was especially embarassing to discover i had drawn the heart upside down.

  8. noise: undaunted, i tried laying the alphabet stamp block down first (using leftover paintpaste from "secret"). much better. there's a subtle gold wash in the center.

  9. abc: i wanted to try writing in the paste again. much better. this is bookhand, btw. i know the "b" is a little wide & the bowl is sloppy.

  10. soundwaves: i decided to try a traditional pastepaper tool: a notched comb with squared teeth. i don't usually like the texture it makes, but in this case i'm quite fond of the overlapping ripples.

  11. yellow weave: another "traditional" pastepaper approach, i was charmed by its sunny simplicity. somebody set their dark blue piece to dry too close to mine, so it has some bluegreen edges.

  12. yellow stripes: one last try with the comb. eh.

  13. raspberry swirl: nothing special here: i think i used a plastic fork for the swirls but it wasn't as pretty as i'd hoped.

of course, now i have to use all this somehow; i still have three pieces of pastepaper from when i first made pastepaper in san diego. i'm hoping that because i made much more this time, i won't feel each piece is as precious and i'll be able to find interesting ways to use it.

posted by gl. | November 22, 2005 10:07 PM | categories: calligraphy, classes & workshops, other art