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Week #43
This work was done by Robin Gebhart in 2016 in Seattle for the session “Primitive to Modern” in Primitive to Modern. In her own words:
Reggie’s homework included a “make it your own” assignment using the techniques of the Codex Aureus with a short quote for our third class in Primitive to Modern. With these guidelines, I was inspired to create the following piece.

The sentiment is one that is common among creative circles. That a subject (art, science, philosophy, literature, etc.) seems pretty straightforward at first glance, but you soon learn that a lifetime can be spent on discoveries within that narrow field. For me, calligraphy has that depth and breadth. I could find no “official” credit for the thought and, with the help of my daughter, we retooled it to suit our tastes.

It was roughly sketched out, then tightly refined. I wanted to take the idea and letterforms of the Codex Aureus, but update the style to a more modern feel. So I limited the color palette and simplified the patterns within and around the letterforms.

With a nod to tradition, the colors are made from the powdered pigments lapis lazuli and malachite. The only other colors used were titanium white and vine black to create the tones. These colors were quite heavy and gritty.
They separated so quickly in the pan that the paint had to be vigorously stirred every time the brush/pen needed to be loaded. But they are beautiful and lasting. The other traditional motif was the patterns used in the green backgrounds. The patterns are all based on Trinity symbols.

I modernized the piece by using a lighter color palette with limited colors. The patterns were kept simple, open and repeating. Gilding on it is a modern technique and not traditional gesso gilding. The first line of the text was gilded in high-relief. This was created with several layers of the tinted gesso/acrylic molding paste, then the instacoll, as taught in class. Then, the lower lines were done in a flat technique – a style I needed to work on. To keep it flat, the layering of gesso mix and instacoll was the same, but fewer and thinner layers were applied in order to keep it as smooth as possible. A real challenge for me.

I really enjoyed working on this piece - it was challenging and rewarding, and took MUCH longer than I thought it would to complete. But I think it was worth it!

Image Area: 9.5” x 7.5”
Powdered Pigments, W&B Pale Gold on Arches 300# HP Watercolor paper

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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 2016 or 2017!
Consult coordinators in those cities to see if there are openings for individual students in those classes.

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