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Week #30
This work was done by Nita Whitfield in Raleigh this year for the third session “Variations on Romans” , in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
Hello Everyone! My name is Nita Whitfield, and I have had a blast taking Reggie’s year long workshops. I was a “technical illustrator” for 25 years, and then became a copying/printing specialist at Kinkos/Fedexoffice. Only two years ago, I took my first set of classes in Calligraphy, and its been pure love ever since.

This piece was inspired by the central illustration, which is a caricature of me, done by a longtime friend, Ron Ragland, who is a retired illustrator, about 20 years ago. What I truly so love about this illustration, is my friend got so carried away with the spots on my horse, and me…. that he left the EARS off my horse! The words are a funny little ditty I wrote about myself back in those days, too. So, I combined the two into this art.

I copied the original illustration on a Canon color copier, at a Fedexoffice, using area designation, to get it centered on the sheet of 11x14 Arches Hot Press watercolor paper. It was also reduced and the colors enhanced. I also made it drop out some of the yellowed background. I sketched out this whole project on tracing paper, using the copier to enlarge/reduce the larger words to get them the size and “hand” that looked best to my eye. I poured over our handouts from the class to figure out what looked best to my eye. Then I penciled in all the words in the background, in Neugebauer, which I so totally LOVE to death! The larger letters are variation of Neugebauer.
Then several of us got together for a study session. I was totally against a brick wall on how to proceed, when Julia Silberman told me to proceed by making lots of rough drafts to determine where to use color, and make lots of test swatches on sample papers. I took her advice, and made sure everything worked well on samples before going to the real layout. I transferred the whole design with a light table. Inked in all the words in the background with a #4.5 Mitchell Roundhand nib, using Sumi Ink. I also used lots of scraps of paper to shield the work as I proceeded. I did not use any fixative.

Completed all the gilding next. Combined Reggie’s tips from class, with the video on IAMPETH by Harvest Crittenden, gave me great results for a beginner. Harvest’s tips on how to “pool” the instacol was invaluable! I used Instacol, and 23 k gold, from Reggie’s class. Totally have fallen in love with gilding. On my test samples, I found trying to outline the gilding with a small brush was painful, so I pulled out one of my Koh-I-Noor technical pens, and it worked just beautiful to outline the gilded letters!!! All the red in the piece is Gouache, primary red.

In retrospect, I would have done the block with the large “I” last. It is the starting point for the piece, and I was not sufficiently warmed up when I started it. I also toyed considerably with sprinkling some royal blue stars down through the piece, but after getting opinions from several people, I decided against it, as they would attract too much attention, and settled for simple, non-outlined stars and dots. I tried a white matt on the piece, but the red matt just set it off. This is the first real piece of art I have done in years. Listening to the advice of Reggie, and fellow workshop friends, allowed me to complete a piece of which I am very proud. ( Nita Whitfield)

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The answers to most of your questions regarding “Primitive to Modern” or “26 Seeds:  a Year to Grow” can be found through the main page at the web www.reggieezell.com .
There are now NO openings left for cities for 2015!
2016 and 2017 are the last years I will be conducting my Year Long Courses.
Look at the few remaining openings on my above website, the "Calanders" page. Thanks, Reggie

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