A column of little landscapes

Here is a study I did last week. I started with the column of little landscapes, with no particular purpose in mind. Later, I added this quotation from Alexander McCall Smith’s book Portugese Irregular Verbs, amazed when, with no copyfitting or planning ahead, the length of the text fit the length of the column of paintings. This kind of fortuity doesn’t come along every day, or week, or even year.
I wanted to reproduce the feeling of texture engendered by the text itself, so I used no line spacing and tight letter spacing.

And here’s some detail:

Schmincke Calligraphy Gouaches

For the past year, I’ve been working with the 6-color+white palette of Schmincke Calligraphy Gouaches: Vermilion, Madder Red, Ultramarine Deep Blue, Paris Blue, Lemon Yellow, and Cadmium Yellow Tone Light. And glair! I love glair. Lately I’ve dropped the white from the palette because I’m so enthralled with the layering and glazing which the glair allows that I’ve been using the gouaches as watercolors.

Here’s a little piece (8″ x11″) I did last week, and bit of detail below.


I’m a calligrapher and book artist. They’re not too thick on the ground in Tallahassee, Florida. I’ve been used to that fact for the past couple of decades. But this year I’ve attended three week-long book arts workshops, and the experiences have pointed up the lack of community in my hometown. My friend Julia agrees. We try to get together once a month to talk about what we’re doing, identify problems in specific pieces, and generally talk about serifs and letter spacing with another kindred soul.
But once a month is not enough. The creative process is a day-to-day one (if I’m working as I often as I want to work), and the conversation about what’s happening dies without a talker and a listener both. So here I plan to be the talker and listener as I work. (But feel free to join in.)