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Week #1 with Video
This work was done by Leslie Winakur in San Antonio in 2013
for the fifth session in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
I've never been able to watch the news, because I find it so terribly disturbing and anxiety provoking. In fact, it's been so bad at times that my parents once called to ask if I knew they were trying to impeach the President! But I do know what's going on, and I keep my feelings about it inside me until I feel like I'm about to explode. Then it all comes out in my art, usually in a book.

This book is the culmination of a year of particularly distressing events that seemed to come at us in such fast succession that there was barely time to digest the news of one before another came along. The headlines alone sent me reeling, let alone the details. And the songs of my younger days came flooding back into my head, leaving me wondering how it's possible that fifty years later, we haven't changed.
 I wanted the headlines to look as stark and black and disturbing as they are, and I wanted the poetry, songs, and prayers to look calmer, more thoughtful, more prayerful. So I painted all the papers first, using sumi ink and a large brush. I washed parts of the ink away to leave the grays and whites, by holding the papers under the kitchen faucet. I was surprised at how my emotions poured onto the paper as I painted. After both sides were dry, I tore down the papers and made them into signatures.
Then I wrote the starkest parts with a "cola" pen, but one made from litho plate as taught by Peter Thornton. The smaller lettering is done with the Esterbrook vintage nib suggested by Lisa Engelbrecht for lettering on fabric, since my inked and washed Hahnemuhler Schiller paper was - very appropriately - rather rough and unfriendly to a regular metal nib. The white lettering is done with Winsor Newton permanent white gouache.

I bound the book in simple black Japanese silk book cloth that has a bit of gold "mohair" thread in it, and I used the same paper as in the text block for the wrap on the slip case. I wanted a bit of red, for painfully obvious reasons, but didn't want to overdo it, so I used red leather end bands and a red grosgrain ribbon for a pull in the slip case. The overall size of the book is about 6 1/4" x 9". The binding is a flat back case in.

Despite all the dark and upsetting content, as I worked in this book, the words of Paul McCartney kept going through my mind, so I chose to end the book with his words and a sense of hope.


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Week #2
This work was done by Ann Cobb in Nashville in 2013for the fifth session “DESIGN; Deconstructing
the Grid” of PRIMITIVE TO MODERN. In her own words:
This piece was done for the fifth month of Primitive to Modern: Design -- Deconstructing the Grid. It is 11" x 16.5" attached to Borden and Riley Paris Paper for Pens. The papers were from images that Reggie took of some of his stained glass pieces.

When I saw the beautiful dark blues and greens, they seemed to call for the Sophocles quote, "One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been." The papers reminded me of a clear night sky. I chose the orange and yellow paper to represent the setting sun.

The lettering is the Raucous style, done with a Speedball B nib, then retouched, drawn in, and squared off with a Micron pen. Once the lettering was done, the quote was reduced and enlarged so that we could determine the best size for the piece. This allowed us to move words around and alter spacing until we were satisfied with the result. My final design was transferred onto Borden and Riley Paris Paper for Pens.

We drew our design onto tracing paper and laid it over our color copies to find the most desirable placement. Our finished piece was to be cut apart so that the background white showed through and became an element of the piece.
Our designs were transferred to the color prints with Saral Transfer Paper. We then cut the paper around the transfer lines, leaving white space between each cut. Pieces were then glued to the white background paper using stick glue. The paper for the sun and its rays was cut from the orange and yellow paper and worked into the design.

The quote was cut as one piece, leaving white border around the letters to emphasize them and cutting out the negative spaces of some letters. The quote was "floated" above the color background using foam squares. This technique give a shadow effect when the piece is photographed.

I envisioned stars in the night sky to accent the piece. I chose to use hot-fix AB crystals to represent the stars because of their beauty when light strikes them.

The finished piece is actually a photograph of the piece itself. This was a most interesting exercise as it combined various techniques into the creation of the finished piece. I enjoyed the process very much. Thank you to Reggie for teaching us this technique. And thanks to each of you for looking at my work.

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Week #3
his work was done by Mike Kecseg in 1987 for the second session “Pressurized Romans”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In his own words:
This piece was done on illustration board and is approximately 10" wide by 24" long. I used frisket which is basically a low tack clear contact paper and adhered it to the board. The letters were cut and removed from the board and they were airbrushed with a blue acrylic doing a gradation from light to dark.

Once that dried the frisket was removed and another layer of frisket was applied, this time cutting the letters but leaving the frisket on them and removing the background. I also cut the frisket on the sides of the piece to give it a look of a deckled edge.
 I then airbrushed the same color I used on the letters but this time reversing the gradation from dark to light. I also splattered on some masking fluid to create the look of a starry sky to clean up the edges of the letters and to help make them stand out a bit I added a white outline to each letter.

Finally I used some white opaque acrylic paint in the airbrush to emphasize a few of the stars in the dark sky and added a starburst effect that traveled from the center of the "O" in the word God to the center of the "O" in the word Love.

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Week #4
This work was done by Haley Ping in 2013 for the fifth session “Italic and Variations”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
Reggie gave us a long skinny piece of prepared vellum to use for homework in the 5th 26 Seeds session. He really wanted us to to use the vellum to try out the quill he cut for us, so I decided to cut off a section (about 5" by 6 1/2") for this piece and use the rest for the requested technique. The quote, "time on task" was something Reggie said at least a dozen times every session. I drew out quite a few designs but decided on this one with the hourglass. The gilding was done with Instacoll and loose 23K gold. The hourglass was watercolor. The watercolor was more difficult to paint on than the Instacoll, possibly because of the nap on the surface of the vellum. I had to wet the section to be painted with plain water before the watercolor lay down smoothly. To mount it, I used some brass mini brads to pin the corners to black matboard.

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Week #5
This work was done by Nancy Hills in Milwaukee in 1997 for the third session “Roman Variations”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
Color Wheel Assignment

This project was done for the May 1997 class and measures just under 15 inches across. In music theory, keys can be arranged in a 12-part circular progression called a Circle of Fifths. Since we had 12 colors to work with and I like goofy puns, I thought it would be fun to arrange them in a Circle of Fish.

But first I had to create the fish. I sketched out a basic body which had five stripes for holding the color and its tints and shades. I decided to use the color’s complement to tint the head, fins, and tail.
Using the same fish 12 times would have been boring, so I drew twelve different heads (one of which is a caricature a certain instructor we all know and love).

The next step was to transfer the pencil drawings on to rubber for carving. I used linoleum carving tools to carve the images, and then did a test print. It was missing something. All of the fish faced inward, and it felt as if they needed something to look at, so I carved a tangled knot of 12 worms for the center. I printed the final piece in black ink on diploma parchment, and used embossing powder and a heat gun to raise the printed images and to make them waterproof. Finally I mixed the gouache and painted in the fish and worms.

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Week #6
This work was done by Carol Hall in 2013 for the fifth session “DESIGN: Deconstructing the Grid” in PRIMITIVE TO MODERN.. In her own words:
 I began with a photograph I took of poinsettias and did an outline of the basic shapes of the leaves. I then enlarged this drawing and transferred it to the red ink-jet print using a micron marker. I laid the print on a cutting mat and cut the shapes out with an exacto knife, carefully transferring them onto a waxed sheet of card-stock which Reggie supplied in class, and leaving space between the shapes for a stained glass effect.

After this step was complete, I chose the shapes that I wanted to be green, I then pulled them up, one by one and laid them onto the green ink-jet print, tracing them and cutting them out. I placed the green shapes back onto the waxed sheet, where I had removed the red leaves. I did the same process with the central part of the poinsettias with a gold paper.

Next I did a little research on the poinsettia, and included it on the backside of my Christmas postcard.
One fact was that the Latin word for poinsettia means "very beautiful," and so I made up the greeting on the front to say, "Wishing you a very beautiful Christmas."

After working out the lettering size and spacing with black ink, I did the final in gold gouache with a Mitchell #2 and EF-66 nibs onto white bristol card stock. I then cut out the letters with an exacto knife, leaving some white space around them. I elevated them with small pieces of foam core glued to the bottom of the letters and then affixed to the poinsettia background. Foil pen dots of gold were added for a festive look.

Finally, I photographed it and, with Reggie's help, learned how to do some basic adjustments on the computer to get a crisp clean print. I had them printed on oversized postcards and sent them as Christmas cards for 2013.

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Week #7
This work was done by Marijo Carney in Chicago in 1997 for the session “PressurizedRomans”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
Blessed is the Match: Holocaust Victim Hanna Sennesh

by Marijo Carney is 19"x36" and is executed on Black Arches Cover paper using gouache and colored pencils.

A few years ago I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. where I first read these words in a display documenting the bravery of the Jewish Resistance fighters in World War II.

"Blessed is the match, consumed in kindling flame, Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart.  Blessed is the heart with strength to stop it's beating for honour's sake."

This was written by Hannah Sennesh, a 23 year old Jewish woman, who was a published poet, a pilot, and part of the resistance movement.
Her plane was shot down over Germany in 1941, and she was publicly executed for her resistance activities. These words were found in her cell after her death.

I wanted to create a piece that would demand respect and be a testimonial to the bravery of Hannah and all others like her who "died for honour's sake."

I chose Roman Capitols and black gouache on black Arches Cover paper to convey the power and reverence of what I felt were the most important words. I actually burned paper and arranged it in three dimensional layers to create the flame with a colored pencil heart at it's core.

The quote in it's entirety creates the light rays around the match in gradated values of yellow, orange, and red gouache. Hannah's words, like her courage to face death bravely, burn brightly in contrast to the overwhelming darkness of war depicted in black on black.

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Week #8
This work was done by Maggie Gillikin in San Antonio in 2013 for the fifth session “Italic and Variations, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
These pages are in a fabric book made of muslin and canvas. It celebrates the early life of my granddaughter Naomi, born the week after the Legacies I conference. In the yearlong class, Reggie taught writing on different and difficult looking surfaces, so writing on canvas and muslin wasn’t hard at all.

The writing, as well as the painting, was done with acrylic inks, mostly FW acrylic inks, which come in a myriad of colors. I used bright colors to delight a small child’s eyes.
The words describe the activities that she and I did almost every day as I babysat her. They serve as a reminder for both of us as we age together.

Speedball nibs (which I normally do not like) work beautifully on fabrics. A workshop with Lisa Engelbrecht also aided in the creation of this book. Machine and hand sewing were used throughout. Naomi has chewed and played with all the images shown. She still uses this book as a house with many rooms for her littlest Pet Shop characters. Pages each about 8” square.

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Week #9
This work was done by Carrie Imai in Los Angeles in 19 for the third session “Variation on Romans”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
Materials – Arches 90# cold press, Caran D’Ache Neocolor (watersoluble), gouache, Automatic, Speedball and pointed pen

Techniques – To create the large A – Z, I wet the paper and used an Automatic pen and watery black gouache, then drew the outline in red Neocolor. I used an #5 Automatic pen for the manipulated “Painting” in broken lettering to match the mood. The quote is so appropo to what we do as calligraphers. After finishing one semester of calligraphy, I thought I was pretty hot, but as I learned more, I found out how much I didn’t know.
This piece was done in Reggie’s year-long a while ago in Los Angeles. That’s the hardest I’ve ever worked in one year, but you wanted to do it because, not only did Reggie ask for it, but he’s so nice that you wanted to do it for him and for the rest of the class participants.

I used to need to have everything planned, so did thumbnails and blow-ups so I knew exactly what the finished piece would look like. Along the way, I found that the “good stuff” is in the “play.” So I spent an hour or so with a stack of different types of paper and all kinds of tools and media and just wrote A Z using different techniques and tools. Then when I had time, I’d take one of those out and create a piece with that base. Pretty much I just let the piece tell me what to do next, depending on what was there. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t and sometimes it’s not done yet. Size – 18” x 24”.

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Week #10
This work was done by Sandy Mundy in Cincinnati in 1990 for the third session “Variations on Romans”,
in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
Materials - Arches 903 Hot Press, approximately 18" x 24"

Nu-pastel color sticks, Aquarelle color pencils, gouache, a mono-line pen, broad edge (Speedball & Mitchell) nibs
and pointed pen.

"Variations on Romans"

To determine the various size of the letters, I first drew the large letter A. Added the pencil caps, traced them with a mono-line marker. The plain caps were added and retouched.
The remaining letters were completed in gouache. 

I found theoriginal layout paper; it appears the letters were enlarged or reduced - using the copier as a tool. All decisions made, I then lined the Arches. The script capitals were written last. Looks like I added the 'toothbrush speckling' at the end too.

This piece was created after my first year long class with Reggie, over twenty years ago, in Cincinnati.

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Week #11
This work was done by Jill Novell in Washington, D.C. in 1989 for the third session “Variations on Romans”,
in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
The piece measured roughly 28 x 28 and I used Arches 90lb. hot press, Rising 2 ply Bristol, gouache, masking fluid, Mitchell nibs. The text was the Aunt Jane of Kentucky quote provided to the class.

There were two types of quilting squares used. The colored squares were pieced together using painted papers I made for our color wheel assignment earlier in the year. There were panels of woven strips, watercolor washes over masking fluid lines, and solid colors. The solid white squares were solid paper with embossed patterns. The text pieces and the quilting squares were hand-stitched onto the larger white paper upon which I had already created a cross-hatched colored border. I added additional stitching as needed to emphasize the quilted effect.
Now, as radio announcer Paul Harvey used to say, "Here is the rest of the story"... I came across this piece a decade later and decided to re-purpose it into several books I was thinking of making. I cut apart all of the quilting squares and using similar materials I made three 6 x7 books. The quote was the same , but this time I used Gwen Weaver's beautiful "Weaver writing" for the text. So, to paraphrase the quote "when I am dead and gone and one of my grandchildren or great-grandchildren sees one of these books, I'll know I ain't forgotten".

Thanks to Reggie for all he has given his many students over the decades, he too will never be forgotten!

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Week #12
This work was done by Julia Silbermann this year in Raleigh for the first session Monoline and Broad Edge
Romans , in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
Do It Anyway: written by Mother Theresa

Materials: 22" x 30" Arches Watercolor Hot Press 90 lb, gouache, Speedball B-2 nib, #1 Watercolor Brush When I read the poem for the first time, I wanted to add some kind of design to the text, that showed people helping each other. So I decided on a silhouette of two people helping each other to cross a big gap. As a "quote" of the person of Mother Theresa, I incorporated the blue lines from her habit. But the big blue area of the rock seemed too "heavy" in comparison to the written text, so I added the image of Mother Theresa herself to break it up.

Because I only had many short time spans to work on this piece, I decided not to continuously write the text. The color scheme is five distinct gradations of the color blue. I wrote each group of the separate same value words in one session.
 Then four more separate lettering sessions finished the job. To do so, I planned the spacing and layout by writing down the whole text in ink on bond paper, cut it in strips, and pasted them together, so they fit the chosen text area on the final sheet.

I then placed one strip after another under the line I wanted to write on and wrote the word in the chosen color right on top of the same word on the paper strip. This saved me quite a lot of time, because I did not have to mix five colors every time I got to work on the piece and I did not need to clean nibs and brushes after each word or to use five brushes and five nibs.

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Week #13
This work was done by Toni Kelly in 2003 in Pittsburgh for the fifth session Variations on Italic , in 26 Seeds: a Year
to Grow. In her own words:
Title of the piece: “The Guardian”!
The quote: The guardian angels of life fly so high as to be beyond our sight, but they are always looking down upon us. - Jean Paul Richter!

Materials and size: 16 x 20 on canvas, Image painted with F&W acrylic ink, Lettering done with Gouache using speedball nibs. This piece was done for Reggie’s 26 Seeds to Grow year long class during the Italic Variations session.

I have often combined imagery with lettering on canvas. Working with acrylic inks for the paintings provides a better surface to write on than acrylic paint would.

The ink is transparent like a watercolor and permanent so it will not lift off when you letter on top. For this piece I wanted the lettering to surround the angel like a halo or circle of light. To achieve the correct spacing for the circle I lettered the quote in a straight line then measured the line with a flexible object such as string.
 You can then make your curve with the flexible object to acquire the circumference needed to letter in a circle or arch. The reverse would work also by first creating the circle or arch, measure and then straighten out your line and letter for the correct height and spacing.

I found the Speedball Nibs worked best for me when it came to lettering on canvas but have also used the Mitchell Nibs. The lettering was done with Gouache which is opaque and stands out against the background plus it is forgiving if you need to make a correction. Since the background is acrylic ink it will not be disturbed when lifting the Gouache for errors.

I will always remember my class with Reggie in 2003 with the attention to detail and instruction. Toni Kelly http://tonikellystudio.com

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Week #14
This work was done by Jen Grove in Nashville in 2013 for the fifth session “DESIGN; Deconstructing the Grid” of
PRIMITIVE TO MODERN. In her own words:
I certainly had a sense of accomplishment finishing this distinctly unique assignment in Reggie's Primitive to Modern class. Being from the late seventies, early eighties paste-up generation, I was familiar with selecting items and positioning them on a waxed surface, VERY familiar with an exacto knife...so I got that much of the concept... and I like to think that I usually know where Reggie is headed in class, yet, this time I hadn't a clue.
NO CLUE. You have color printouts from the Hubble Space Station for what? You want me to do what? I have always thought it terrible when students take their work up to their teacher, and say the dreaded words, it this right? what do I do next....? I always had thought what unimaginative dolts can't make a move without their instructors approval and direction? Well, sad to say... It happened to me. What do I do next Reggie? it took me
two involved attempts to finally get the concept of this assignment. I had to think this through a little more, than the "just doing" in my first attempt.

My train of thought was simple, I was looking at constellations, okay isn't there one with an ox? lets goggle ox. OH whoa! there are primitive from earliest of times cave paintings of Bulls! Oh Oh Oh , what an interesting juxtaposition of a human representational drawing projected into the timelessness of space. hmmm. loved that. Then, it was time to pick a quote, yes, googled again, found this profound quote about, just what I was
attempting to express about identity in space, in an infinite universe or a small earthen cave etc.

Reggie taught us in 26 seeds how to square off b-nib letters with and Ef66 so i was ready for that, them he provided us with a waxed surface and some handouts as a taking off point for what shapes we wanted to work with. He also provided these amazing 11x17 color copies of photos he had taken of stained glass, and a variety of other abstract extremely colorful photos. Then the most valuable of instruction on how to space your words into a designated space by using acetate over lays and folding your sheets of text, AND using the photocopier to experiment with different SIZES of words and lines. It is to involved to explain here. but it WAS invaluable.I LOVED the way everyones piece turned out so different.
 Then I began to experiment and to experience the image I had chosen by cutting away and switching out the various color copies. it was satisfying! and fun, to fit the images in and add the flowing lines and make decisions about placement. I decided to have the tip of the hoof of the ox be a focal point, like the magic touch of a mythical beast.

Then I got to dit dot ditdot my life away! I really liked the effect when it was done, and it was another opportunity to work intuitively by going with the flow and not over thinking the gold dot patterns. Dots were made with gold heat pen. Reggie also encouraged us to use some larger dots to create more contrast.

The cutting away of the white around the letters and then suspending them with little bits of corrugated cardboard to create depth was more decision making, about how much to cut away, etc. if I do it again I would probably take of more white.

This particular picture of Reggie's does not represent the color well and there is some reflection, it is much more purple in reproduction, and much crisper in reduction of course, which was part of the assignment to have this image reduced down to card size, on good card stock and to come back to class with our horror stories of Office Depot and Kinkos.

All and all, I am very pleased and actually love my quote very much, it gives me pause to reflect, it reminds me that this world is a tragedy full of joy, and that I am a Spiritual being on a journey... maybe that journey goes from scratching on the walls of cramped caves to the great beyond. oooorrr

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Week #15
This work was done by me, Reggie Ezell, here in Chicago in 2014.
In her own words:
The poem “Still Falls the Rain” was written by Dame Edith Sitwell in 1940 during the air raids on Great Britain. It ponders our relentless, senseless cruelty to one another and an everlasting love that may redeem us. I have calligraphed this rather long poem in excerpts and in entirety many times over the course of the last forty years.

In the mid 1980’s, on the Isle of Ibiza a couple who lived there, had on a wall, a torso of Christ; much like ancient greco-roman statues, the limbs were broken off. It was lashed with baling wire to two large corroded spikes that had been brought up from the wreck of a spanish galleon. Soon after I created the central image in this work. I have used it several times for this poem; in book and broadside, sandblasted into glass, on primitive fig bark paper, and in this current rendering.

This background started as a calfskin vellum that I had stained purple with brazil wood dye. I made a digital photograph of it and modified it in Photoshop.
I printed it on archival paper with archival inks; then painted into it with watercolors and acrylics.

There are several acrylic bases used to create a sculpted effect onto which are applied layers of both 24 Kt. and lemon gold leaf. The words too are acrylic bases with moon gold leaf atop.

The Fibonacci series is a sequence of numbers starting with (the prime) 1 and continues without end: a mathematical expression of infinity. I’ve placed the number 1 within Christ’s aura, so that as it spirals out, creating the unending repetition of the Golden section,
it suggests the spiritual expression unending, uncompromising love, generated from within a single living soul.

I hope to do this poem yet another time in the future.

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Week #16
This work was done by Carol Hall in Nashville in 2013 for the fourth session of PRIMITIVE TO MODERN.
In her own words:
I admire Friedrich Neugebauer's book: The Mystic Art of Written Forms. It has been a source of inspiration for me throughout Reggie's classes. For this piece I chose a quote from this book and the Chinese symbol for writing. The lettering was done with Schminke gold with metal nibs. The symbol is gilded with patent gold on acrylic. The material is purple dyed vellum and the size is approximately 3"x6". It is attached to a mat board with colored button fasteners from Michael's. I gilded the symbol in class and did the lettering at home.

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Week #17
This work was done by Alan Ariail in Chicago this year for the first session “Monoline and Broad Edge Romans”,
in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In his own words:
Even though I have been a commercial lettering artist for over three decades I had never truly studied mono line proportions until the first workshop session of 26 Seeds. In an attempt to learn the basics I concentrated drawing cap letters on grids. After a month of practice sketches I decided to combine some of the better monoline studies into a digital painting combined with the word Calligraphy.

All the letters that appear in the composition are scanned pencil sketches imported to Photoshop. The scanned sketches are used as reverse masks on various textured layers. The background texture of the composition has pencil strokes of monoline letters and grids all scaled at different sizes. The pencil marks were painted into, distorted and posterized to create a graphic appearance. Many of the techniques in the painting are no different from traditional techniques I used in the pre Mac days. The word Calligraphy and the bright colored monoline caps are pencil outlines created as reverse masks, and painted into with a rough texture brush.
As with any painting I had no idea were this composition was headed. Elements continually changed throughout the process. Kallos "beauty" and graphé "writing" were lettered with a pointed marker, finessed as vector art, imported and filled with color to add contrast of styles. With this being a digital painting I was able to reproduce archive quality prints and enjoy to sharing them with fellow classmates. The major benefit of this experience has been my use of preliminary monoline studies on a daily basis for both personal and commercial lettering projects. Another skill learned that will better my craft as a lettering artist.

The tools for this project:

- Mechanical pencil with .3 lead
- Chartpak fine tip marker
- Grid paper
- iMac with desktop scanner, Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator

 * Epson Stylus Pro 3880 inkjet printer

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Week #18
This work was done by Linda Lundy in Ellensburg, Washington this year for the first session “Basic Romans” , in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
This piece was done in our current Amazing Reggie Class, 2014, as a study in ROMANS.

Arches 140 lb watercolor paper, 19”x 22”

Speedball B-2 nib

Primary Blue Windsor and Newton Gouache, with white and more white

Pastels: blue, green, yellow

The lettering was ½” with no punctuation or spacing.

Each word was done in a different color. I had three pens and nibs, and three brushes of the three colors.

I began this project with trepidation because the style and letters are awkward for me. I determined to go ahead because this was a quote I loved and I wanted to create something beautiful with these words to match their sentiment.
 The letters flowed easily on the page once I finally found the right dilution of gouache and shades of the colors.

When I was done with the letters they looked so stark on the page against the white background. They looked cold and lonely. They needed softening and warmth, and a diminished contrast. We had recently experimented with pastels in our class with wonderful results, so I began to explore possibilities for backgrounds for this piece. I used several practice papers and decided on different blues, greens and yellows . This was Fun!

The whole quote is about beauty and I wanted this to appear as a blast of beauty!…drawing one into the design, experiencing being immersed in color……and beauty. I was pleased with the result and plan to give it to my daughter, who gave me the quote.

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Week #19
This work was done by Starla Snead in Chicago this year for the first session “Monoline and Broad Edge Romans”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
I was really inspired by the quote by Mother Theresa. There are so many things I want to try or accomplish but fears and life's challenges get in the way! Do it anyway because that is where your heart is!

The piece is 16x16 on arches watercolor paper. No special reason just happened to be the first sheet of paper I came across when I became inspired. The background is a Zentangle pattern.
  I am a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) and am always looking for ways to incorporate zentangle into my work. I used a pointed pen to complete the background as well as the roman letterforms. Speedball and I did not get along too well. Pastels and pencil were used for the shading.

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Week #20
This work was done by Ronald Ross in Nashville in 2013 for the third session “Illumination on Vellum”, in PRIMITIVE TO MODERN: In his own words:
This piece was inspired by the “Codex Aureus”. It is on calfskin vellum (7” X 20”) and is illuminated with 23K gold leaf.

I started by laying out the entire project in pencil, then I lined in the areas that received gold with waterproof black ink. I prefer a KOH-I-NOOR Technical Pen (Rapidograph 2/.60). The ink is waterproof and the lines are always consistent. After it was laid out, I stapled it to a plywood board around the outer edges. I then laid a coat of Instacoll in the gilding areas, let it dry for approximately 1 ½ hours (depends on the humidity) and applied the gold leaf.
  The straight lines are done with a ruling pen; this is the only way to get consistent borders. Rule in the outlines, and then fill in with a brush. I used W/N Gouache, although I am now experimenting with Acrylic.

I cut away the staples after a few days and mounted it on suede mat board over ¼” plywood. I drilled small holes and attached it with brass fasteners from the hobby store.

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Week #21
This work was done by Julia Silbermann in Raleigh this year for the session “Pressurized and Drawn Romans”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
"This Shoo Tall Pass": A quote by my husband.


11"x17" Arches Cover Black, Gouache, Dr. Martin's Bleedproof White, #1 Watercolor Brush, #5 Watercolor Brush, Saral Paper, Matte Sprayfix, 23K Patent Gold, Instacoll.

"This Shoo Tall Pass" is a quote by my overtired husband, while we lived through the first challenging months with our baby son.
Of course he meant to say:"This Too Shall Pass". But his mix-up made us laugh so hard and has become sort of a motto to us. We say it quite often in challenging situations and smile about it.

It is gouache and gold leaf on black water color paper. All colored areas have a white underpainting with Dr. Martin's Bleedproof White. The piece was done in several layers, that were treated with sprayfix. The gold leaf on the letters S, O and T was laid on a base of Instacoll.

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Week #22
This work was done by Harriet Davis in Raleigh this year for the session “Pressurized and Drawn Roman Capitals”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
When I read the quotes about quilts by Aunt Jane of Kentucky which were provided for our class, I immediately thought of my paternal grandmother. She was born in the mountains of eastern Tennessee and later moved to West Virginia. She spent all of her life learning and doing the countless mundane tasks involved in taking care of her family and home, and did them with much love. She only went to school through eighth grade, was not well-traveled, and was a little suspicious of restaurants, but she could make beautiful clothes for my Barbie doll out of scraps and quilt with tiny hand stitches. I remember her working on this log cabin pattern quilt, which she later gave to me for my high school graduation. I was fascinated with the way she pieced together the lights and darks from scraps she had accumulated. I knew I wanted to use this quote and somehow picture her quilt. The assignment was to use pressurized Romans, and while they seem formal for a quilt, to me they give a timeless “not forgotten” sense to the words. My son helped me take photographs of the quilt with a good camera then I had them printed at a FedEx office onto Arches 90lb.HP paper because I initially wanted to write directly on the photograph. However, that seemed much too “busy” and just didn’t work. I mulled over many possibilities and finally settled on a very simple design using a photo of just four squares of the quilt. I tore the edges of the HP paper and glued it on the larger piece with YES! paste.

I lettered the last words 1 inch high on a grid, cut them out and pieced them together for spacing, then put them under Arches 90lb. HP paper (11.5” x22”) on a light board. They were written with the #2 Mitchell and EF66 nibs in gouache mixed from WN primary blue and white to coordinate with the blues in the quilt. I used clothesline lettering for the first part of the quote to represent one of the many chores my grandmother did. After several sketches, I penciled it directly on the paper, lettered with the edge of a waterproof blue Zig marker, and used a very fine point waterproof marker for the clotheslines. Then I used WN watercolors for a light wash of colors in between the lettering to evoke the mountains. My grandmother ain’t forgotten.

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Week #23
This work was done by Alexis Bach in Chicago this year for the second session “Pressurized and Drawn Romans”,
in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
This piece was our main homework assignment for our Session 2: 26 Seeds. I was quite intimidated by the assignment. As a new calligrapher, I can definitely relate to the the "fear factor" when beginning a new project. I kept telling myself to be "positive." I knew that I wanted to incorporate negative space somehow into my composition. I have seen and admired many beautiful works of calligraphy and I had not experimented with this aspect of the craft. I began the quest for a proper length (that would be short) quote. It just hit me to do "Positive/Negative." I was struggling to maintain a positive mindset about my work and it just seemed a perfect phrase to depict.

So, I set to work. I drew my pencil letterforms on a grid. I spray-fixed my paper. Then, I transferred the letters onto the Arches black cover paper using white Saral. After I transferred my letters, applying the principle of balance, I drew the diagonal lines across the paper— paying careful attention to what parts of the letterforms I was dissecting to create the positive/negative effect.
I purposefully created the small interior space to symbolize the confusion where positive/negative thoughts often converge (at least in my head). I under-painted all positive surfaces with a white acrylic (water added) wash. I let this dry overnight and the next morning used the black eraser to remove any of the white Saral transfer remaining on the black paper.

From my color chart I chose bright colors that appealed to me: red-orange, yellow-orange, and purple. I set myself to the task of over-painting using a No. 1 pointed brush and two sets of eyeglasses! When I was finished with the composition, I went back and touched up the letters with black gouache. Lessons learned include: when I am tracing my letterforms to trace on the inside of the line and then to paint on the outside of the Saral line; don't water down my acrylic under-painting; love that black eraser; and I need more practice mixing colors. Overall, a successful endeavor for me!

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Week #24
This work was done by Jane Doherty in Chicago this year for the second session, “Pressurized and drawn Romans” in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words: 
After our long winter I wanted to do a piece that celebrated sunshine.

The paper, 30"x11"s, is a Twin Rocker 'second' from their version of a discount bin ( I couldn't locate any flaws).

The sunshine, corn stalk etc. are done in colored pencil. It started as a quick little sketch in a small sketch book; then half size one in a larger book, then full size on tracing paper.
I used a soft graphite pencil on the back of the tracing paper to transfer the image on to the good paper.

Essentially I did the same thing with the letters, though once they were transferred on I did them in gouache, pressurizing with the #2 Mitchell nib. It needs a touch of work here and there and the Ann Bronte attribution.

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Week #25
This work was done by Theresa O’Connor in Chicago this year for the second session, “Pressurized and Drawn Romans” in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
Whenever I do calligraphy, I am reminded of the monks in the scriptorium -- those men who created exquisite works of art while toiling in obscurity "all for the honor and glory of God." Last spring I had the opportunity to visit the Abbey at Subiaco, one of Benedict's first monasteries. There, I was privileged to see firsthand some of their original illuminated manuscripts at the very site where they were created. So, for my first foray into gilding, I chose the Benedictine motto: "Ora et Labora", "Pray and Work" in honor of these anonymous artists. This piece was executed by drawing Roman letters on a grid. They were transferred using Saral transfer paper to black paper. The symbol was then drawn as a modified form of the St. Benedict cross. The symbol was gilded with 23KT patent gold on an Instacoll base. The letters were then under-painted with white gouache and then painted over with primary red gouache.

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Week #26
This work was done by Mary Zabrin in 1997 in Chicago for the second session “Pressurized and Drawn Romans”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
“The Color of Love” by Mary Zabrin

I’m an alumni of Reggie’s 1997 class. During April of that year, we worked on drawn Roman Caps with “serifs on steroids”. For homework, we were tasked with creating our own pencil drawn caps and using them in a short quote of our choosing on black paper. I chose a haiku by Izumi Shikibu.

Using my hand drawn alphabet, I traced each word of the haiku (always mindful of the letter spacing) and then cut and pasted the words until I was happy with the layout.
 I transferred the letters to black Arches paper with white Saral transfer paper - my letters are just a touch over ¾ inch tall. The color was added with Prismacolor pencils and small gold dots were painted in between each word to make it more legible.

This was one of my favorite homework pieces that year and still hangs in my home today.

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Week #27
This work was done by Sam Bicchieri in Ellensburg, Washington this year for the session “Carolingian and Variations”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
This piece was done as a homework assignment in the Carolingian section of our year-long course with Reggie. The selection of image and text came from my wish to complete it as a gift for my sister for whom it would have special meaning. I pretty much knew what I wanted to do. I just wasn’t sure how to do it.

The background image was taken from a low-resolution photograph that I imported into the iPhoto program on my Mac computer. In iPhoto, I cropped the picture to highlight the mountain range; manipulated the image to be “softer” and more blue-ish; and then added a border to create definition. After an unproductive back and forth with our local copy shop (sigh), I found through trial and error that even our low-budget HP color printer could handle heavy paper and be formatted to print on paper up to 14” long. The final image is 3.75” x 12.5,” printed on an 8.5” x 14” sheet of Arches 140# HP watercolor paper. I made several copies and coated each with spray-fix.
With the background set and the hand (Carolingian) predetermined, layout and design were relatively straight forward. After some experimentation, I wrote out the poem on a separate piece of good paper using a #5 Mitchell nib for the letters and an EF66 for the punctuation. I copied that onto tracing vellum; then cut and (with removable tape) taped the lines onto the image. Once satisfied with the layout, I used a light box to transfer the key elements onto a second copy of the image. With luck, this would be my finished piece. Key elements marked and Linex lettering guide in hand, I penciled in the guidelines.

The lettering was done using blue indigo stick ink. With all the mistakes I made, it was a relief to find that I could scrape off, reline, and rewrite on the image with little difficulty. It probably helped that the background was pale and patchy to begin with, but God bless spray-fix. It got ‘er done.

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Week #28
This work was done by Alan Ariail in Chicago this year in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In his own words:
For the longest time I had never had any success with dip nibs or traditional calligraphy pens. Prior to participating in Reggie Ezell's year long workshop “26 Seeds…”, I could not produce a consistent stroke on the paper surface with a broad edge or pointed nib. Watching Reggie demonstrate pen techniques as well as other workshop participants was extremely beneficial. However, attempting the same techniques in my studio produced nothing but awful looking letterforms until an unplanned pen accident.

One evening I was lettering with a brittle wooden pen holder. While removing the nib my holder cracked in half at a thin spot. I decided to continue lettering with the broken holder. The small size required a change of my grip and finger placement. For the first time ever I produced a straight vertical downward stroke. This broken pen holder episode led to milling my own pen holders on a lathe. I was searching for a shape to fit comfortably in my hand and allow ease of nib manipulation. In “26 Seeds…” we had begun practicing pressurized letterforms. I began to experiment with different pen holder shapes to find something to benefit stroke placement and pressurized variations. I'd mill a pen holder in the morning, practice with it during the day and determine what needed to be changed to fine tune a shape for my hand grip.

Within a month I had milled many different holder shapes: small and large diameters, stub size to long length. Some of the pen holders had textured surfaces for ease of rotation. After a couple months of practice with various holders my preference changed to large diameter size with no texture. I noticed better control of the nib including leverage to expand the tines of the nib with a large diameter holder. During this milling and searching process I felt as if I was fine tuning a precision writing instrument.
My skills with the lathe improved as did the construction and finishing techniques for a beautiful and durable surface. I also gained the knowledge of creating a customized pen holder which I believe can help people who may be struggling as I was with dip nib pens. Small changes to the shape of a pen holder can make a significant difference with the nib flow and placement on the paper surface.

While writing about this pen episode I decided to mill a brush holder similar to the pen holder shape. I wanted to find out if increasing the brush handle diameter might benefit control of a small #6 flat brush. Voila! The brush holder worked like a charm. I began putting down brush stokes on paper previously unattainable. As with the nib holders I ended up milling many different brush holder shapes to find a shape for ease of manipulating the brush. I now feel as if I am lettering with a magic device as the brush stroke effects during practice sessions are more than I ever imagined possible.

This pen and brush holder milling episode has been one of those breakthrough moments in life. Prior to Reggie’s workshop creating letters with a nib or brush was a daunting task. The workshop assignments required practice with dip nibs. It's amazing how unplanned moments in life lead to something truly beneficial. If I had not broken my brittle dip nib holder my Variations lettering composition with a #6 flat brush, Speedball C4 nib, gauche on bond paper would not exist.

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Week #29
This work was done by Edna Bjorge this year in Ellensburg, Washington for the session “Carolingian and Variations”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
These pages were done as part of an assignment in the Carolingian section of our year long class. I have been collecting Haiku for quite some time, especially the poems of Basho dealing with nature, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to start putting them in book form. I wanted to be able to add to the book over time, so I chose a post-bound format. The elongated pages seemed to fit the poems and also to go well with Carolingian, a book hand custom-made for long lines of small writing. I wanted the book to be spare and elegant, in keeping with the subtlety and austerity of Basho’s work.

I chose Arches 90# Hot Press Watercolor paper for the pages because it could take the abuse I intended to give it, and because it folds easily: all the long pages are soft-folded about 11” in from the right side, in order to decrease the size of the book and to add a little mystery to each page. Each page is 6” x 21 ½” when unfolded, almost the full width of the paper. The closed book measures 11 ½” x 6 ½” in a horizontal format.

For the Oak Tree poem, I chose a plain page and lightly drew a single line 2” up from the bottom. I did the drawing first, taking care to keep most of the image to the left of where the fold would be.
I then did the calligraphy, using a Mitchell #3 nib and wine red stick ink for both. I love the rich color with the tree image; it reminds me of oak trees in the fall. This poem is one of my favorites; Basho seems to be reminding us to be ourselves, and not to seek after transient glory.

For the April Air poem, I used a page cut from a full sheet of paper that I had previously altered by taking it outside, hanging it on the fence and flinging water and various dilutions of walnut ink and black gouache at it, letting the splatters run at will, and then cutting it into pages. The page I chose for this poem seemed to be asking for a few simple leaf shapes, so I added them using a black Micron .01 pen, and then gilded them using Instacoll and Lemon Gold. It was a dry day, but the gold went down easily, which surprised me. I did the lettering with a Mitchell #3 nib and black stick ink. I resisted the urge to add the butterfly, but who knows what might happen in the future?

I love this project because it fits so well with the organic way I like to work, and because I loved learning Carolingian, so full of possibilities. I know I will use Carolingian and variations for many projects and this book will continue to grow. I hope my granddaughter will love it, too. Thank you, Reggie!
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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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Week #31
This work was done by Martha Petty in Raleigh this year for the third session, “Variations on Romans” , in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
This piece is 21 ⅜ "x 29 ⅝". It is done on Arches 90 lb hot press watercolor paper mounted onto a piece of Arches 300 lb. cold press watercolor paper. Our homework assignment was to gild an image, word or symbol and paint a dark background behind the gilding to create contrast. We also had to use at least one Roman Cap variation; and the Tom Perkins letters immediately came to mind. I also knew the image that I wanted to use - a small rubber stamp, which I enlarged on a copier, that showed a man looking through a telescope at the stars and planets - would be perfect to gild.

In my excitement to do this piece, I made some mistakes. I forgot to put lines to guide my writing of my large Roman Caps so they have a noticeable slope. I also moved this wording further up on the paper and my heavy handed tracing of the first position of the wording using the gray Saral paper showed underneath. I could not erase this old tracing no matter how hard I tried. I even tried using sandpaper to scrub away the marks. Since I knew that I would have to do something to cover up this error, I decided to use FW Acrylic Ink in indigo mixed with Jacquard Lumiere acrylic paint in burgundy. I knew that the acrylic ink would let me do a watercolor wash over that area later, which I never got around to doing.
That was a good thing because when we presented our homework, Reggie suggested going back to the area with some darker shades of purple around some of the stars on the left side to help balance the visual weight of the night sky on the right (I still need to do this). This was a very good suggestion because I always forget that I can use pastels in the background. While doing my Roman Caps with a # 2 Mitchell nib and going back with a tiny brush to fix some areas........well, you know how that goes. I had to go back and cut away some places in my Roman Caps with an x-acto knife that had gotten a little too tweaked. I knew that I had to get on with the rest of the piece, so I made sure that I put lines under my enlarged and traced Tom Perkins letters. I used a #2 Mitchell nib on these and then I went back with a Brause 66-EF to square up the corners. I really enjoyed doing these letters.

I need to mention that I did all my gilding first, trying the various techniques that Reggie had showed us. The sun image was textured using the heavy gel medium. The pink tinted gesso was used as the moon's base and an Instacol base was used for the stars and planets. I used every sample of gold and other leaf that Reggie had given us. After the gilding was finished, I went back and painted the sky with the mixture of FW acrylic indigo ink and the burgundy Lumiere acrylic paint. I am learning so much in this year long course. Thank you, Reggie!

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Week #32
This work was done by Harriet Davis in Raleigh this year for the third session “Variation on Romans” , in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
"In life, as in dance, grace glides on blistered feet." Alice Abrams

11" x 17" black Arches cover paper, WN gouache

This piece was done as part of the assignment to do a short quote as three separate pieces, using a different Roman Cap variation in each piece. One of my daughter's passions is dance and over the years of watching her dance this became my favorite dance quote. I wanted to see if I could convey something of the gracefulness and movement of dance using only the Neugebauer caps.

Initially I didn't like these caps much, but as I worked with them I came to appreciate their form and beautiful repeated shapes. This quote has several repeated letters that reminded me of the weaving of repeated steps in choreography. I wanted the small letters to "enter the stage" of black, glide across, and then exit.

After playing and sketching with the letter placement, I wrote the large letters first in monoline, then with a large B nib, touching up with an EF66. Then I wrote the small monoline letters in the same placement. I made copies of the quote in small letters, cut each quote out very closely, and placed them on a sheet of grid paper with removable tape until I got the placement right.
After a few coats of spray fix on the black paper I transferred them with white Saral. I traced the outline of the large letters on tracing paper for placement, then transferred that to the black paper with yellow Saral.

At first I wanted to use different colors, then I thought a black, white and red scheme might have more impact. I wrote all the small letters in white gouche with a Nikko G pointed nib, underpainted the large letters with white gouache, then painted the large letters in red. But.... the large letters didn't stand out enough and the white ones were too bright, so.....back to colors. I mixed yellow and white in with the red to get some varying shades of coral, from yellow orange to a "ballet shoe" pink.

I painted the small white letters with shades of greens and blues using a small pointed brush, spray fixed, painted over the red with white, then with the corals. Now the colors worked. I outlined the large letters with a black micron to "crisp them up" and that made them stand out even more.

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Week #33
This work was done by Nell Hall in Raleigh this year for the third session “Variations on Romans”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
When considering the layout and design for our homework assignment to do “Three Passions” I decided I wanted to have the three words LOVE, KNOWLEDGE and PITY stand out. After playing around with many different layouts I decided to frame the words to give them prominence.

The assignment was to do the lettering in Neugebauer hand but I also wanted to add some other Roman Variations. For the title 3 Passions I used the Tom Perkins hand, in the frames are clothesline Caps and at the very bottom skeleton Romans. I made each segment a different size so as to give the eye a rest from reading the same size for such a long reading.
I used Gouache for all of the lettering. The magenta is Winsor & Newton, the olive green is Turner Design and the purple is a combination of several, I believe it’s Liquitex brilliant purple mixed with a little FW pearlescent. I water colored inside the frames using water color pencils. Inside of the lines I used pastel chalk after taping on the top and bottom of the lines. I sprayed a little fixative on the chalk.

The paper is Arches water color hot press. A mistake I made was cutting the paper before I started lettering. Even though I laid it out first with pencil, after I started lettering I wanted to use space differently and ended up doing it over again. So be sure and start off with a nice big piece of paper, it will save you a lot of time!

The finished size is 11x17

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Week #34
This work was done by Cheryl Lee Lawrence in Chicago this year for the session “Variations on Romans” , in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow.  In her own words:
What A Fool Believes – Cheryl Lee Lawrence

This piece measures 13 by 20 inches and was done on Arches text wove paper. It was done as a homework assignment for Reggie’s 26 Seeds class session on Roman variations, using Neugebauer caps.

I’d had the words to the song, “What a Fool Believes” (Michael McDonald and the Doobie Brothers, 1978), rumbling around in my head for some time. I chose to do the quote for this assignment because I thought the letter forms suited the words. I’m not an artist, but had desired to incorporate more art work into my pieces, which are usually just letters and words.

I started with a wash on the paper using watercolors and gouache, which I then spray fixed.

I lettered the quote onto grid paper until I had the desired layout. Using the layout as a guide over each line, I directly lettered the words onto the paper using a Speedball B1 nib and a Mitchell 2.5. An EF66 was used to touch up and square off each letter. For the color choices of the words, I knew I wanted certain key words to stand out, so I made them larger and darker. In retrospect, I think this makes the darker lettered words look disproportionately larger than the others. Reggie suggested flipping the colors of the lettering and if I have a chance, I will redo it in that way.
I found the image of the fool on the internet, copied it and adjusted the size before tracing it onto the paper next to the lettering. I outlined it with a very fine, black micron marker and then did the gilding of the bells on the hat. I’d intended to use variegated gilding, but it did not fully adhere to the Instacol, so I applied lemon gold and 23k gold to the areas that needed to be filled. It came out surprisingly well!

After the gilding, I painted the image, using very thinly mixed gouache, as my last step in the completion of this project. However, when I looked at the fool, I realized he wouldn’t fully look the part without a gold tooth – so I gilded one of his front teeth in lemon gold. Final touches included the addition of the blue dots to the smaller letters to pull the dark blue color through the piece and the rule lines, which helped to unify it.

I cannot say enough good things about all I am learning this second time around in Reggie’s class.

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Week #35
This work was done by Joanna Zdzienicka in Chicago this year for the session “Variations on Romans” , in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow.
In her own words:
Our assignment was to gild a symbol or words, paint a dark background behind the gilding, and use at least one Roman Cap variation for lettering.

The idea for my piece started with the image of the sun I found in a book. I really liked the raw, organic line the sun was drawn with. It took a while to find a moving text about sun, but once I found this one, I fell in love with it. It is a part of a beautiful story and I still need to research more to find out who the author is.

Tom Perkins' Caps are my favorite of all, so I didn't think twice about using them here. To keep the 'organic' quality of the piece I wrote the letters without any guidelines, loosely following a pre-written layout. That way all imperfections in the text are imitating the imperfect outline of the sun symbol. I used mixed gouache in colors associated with sunset, every line getting significantly darker and different in shade than a previous one.
After lot's of touch ups I covered the written text and worked on gilding. I laid 2 layers of Reggie's pink gesso, 1 layer of Instacoll ,and gilded with 2 layers of 23K loose gold. Such rewarding fun!

At last I painted the background around the gilding using the same colors as for writing - again, there were no straight lines and no measuring involved in the process. I wish the background turned out more even and subtly blended like with watercolors, but with no experience with painting with gouache I didn't know how to do it better.

The size of my piece is about 11x14", made on Arches WC HP. Calligraphy is done with Mitchell #2 and #3 1/2, with an accent (word "the') written with Nikko G nib.

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Week #36
This work was done by Alexis Bach in Chicago this year for the session “Variation on Romans” , in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
This piece was completed for the Session 3 Homework. The assignment was to guild a symbol or image and letter using at least one Roman Cap variation. I chose the Tom Perkins variation. For session 3 we had learned how to guild flat as well as a textured surface so I began to think about ways that I could combine the two methods within one image. I really want to to experiment again.

I was looking through some art books and I saw a picture of a horse done in the style of a Japanese ink painting. That was my initial inspiration. I decided to do a gilded drawing of a horses head accompanied by a quote from Henry V by Shakespeare. I started researching, which of course, entailed a trip to the art store so I could buy more art supplies! At the store I purchased a set of bamboo pointed brushes and when I got home I set to work using online video references for brush painting and Sumi ink to create the horses head and mane.

My other inspiration was a series of sketches that my friend Linda had done for piece she was working on. And her sketch the lettering was very curvaceous and free-flowing as if on currents of wind. This is the same form that I envisioned the horses mane taking.
 I had grown-up with horses and had them into my early 20s so I was very familiar with their anatomy. The combination of the two types of gilding with the flowing letters was a perfect combination to me.

I worked for several days creating the perfect ink drawing of the horse's head, which I then scanned into Photoshop, printed out and transferred using Saral transfer paper. It took me another couple of days to do the gilding. I slowly built up the layers and I used a tooth pick to create the texture in the mane. I found myself being very patient and peaceful during this process. This is highly unusual for me as usually I want to get things over and finished as soon as I start. It was another couple of days figuring out exactly how I wanted the layout to look and once I had accomplished that, I used pencil to trace onto my Arches hot press the lines for my letters to follow. Then I used gouache to paint the background. Which, I learned later, was a big mistake because I couldn't erase my pencil lines when I was finished!

Then it probably took me another eight or nine days to slowly letter my way through the quote a few letters at a time. When I was finished, I kept trying to get rid of those darn pencil marks—to no avail. Another lesson learned. Anyway, I am happy with this piece. It is my first "real" finished calligraphic composition!

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Week #37
This work was done by Starla Snead in Chicago for the session “Variation on Romans” , in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
This piece came about out of a lot of trial and error and inspiration from the guild study group.

Original size was 18 x 18 on paint sample paper from Ace hardware. I used alcohol inks for the background. Originally I had the PASSION in gold. Learned a lot about gilding on that part. Was unable to write on the paper after that point.
II really really liked the effect of the alcohol inks for the background. Was able to make a copy of the background onto Arches watercolor paper at the local copy center. This enabled me to write and gild on it.

It is now 11x14 on Arches watercolor paper with the alcohol ink background. The PASSION is Dr. Martins Bleed Proof White with Tom Perkins Caps. The Chinese symbol for Passion is gilded above. Glad that one is finished!

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Week #38
This work was done by Theresa O’Connor in Chicago for the session “Variations on Romans”, in 26 Seeds: a Year  to Grow. In her own words:
We were studying Roman variations and I was particularly drawn to the Neugebauer letters. I started with the quote, "Primum non nocere" which I wrote out with a Speedball B2 nib and squared off the ends. I then chose a collection of aphorisms about doctors and medicine. Using the grid paper, I lettered the various quotes around the larger quote using 2 variations of the Neugebauer caps.
While looking for a background for my project, I fell in love with a handmade paper --Black Ink Thai Unryo in a beautiful aubergine color. Using the transfer paper, I traced my layout on to the deep purple paper.
 I applied 3 layers of instacol and gilded the central quote with 2 layers of 23 karat gold. However, I then had a dilemma. I wasn't sure how I wanted to do the rest of the lettering on a dark background. Luckily, I came across a piece by Sheila Waters where she did letters on a black background with a gel pen. I figured that if a gel pen is good enough for Sheila Waters, it is good enough for me!  So the background letters are done with a gold and a purple gel pen.

I enjoyed doing this piece and I have especially enjoyed learning to gild.

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Week #39
This work was done by Ann Erickson this year in Raleigh for the session “Carolingian and Variations” , in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
The assignment was Carolingian. But I had a calligraphy event that required Carolingian combined with Lombardic. Time constraints encouraged me to “kill two birds with one stone”. So I searched amongst my collection of quotes for one that would have a single short word that might be good highlighted with Large Lombardic Caps.

The piece is 13 x 20 on Arches 130# Hot Press Watercolor paper. The black is
Chinese stick ink. The Caps are Indigo watercolor in various shades of washes with the paper showing through as the white. The floral motif is also watercolor and gouache. The gold border and tiny gold highlights are of lemon gold.
 In gilding, I used miniatum ink as a ground because I wanted to use it in a pointed pen for the border. Instead of letting it dry, I reached up to touch up something in the floral motif and dragged something thru the wet miniatum. You would think I had learned my lesson by now! I got as much as I could off the paper before gilding, but it was impossible to completely clean up. Of course, this is the first thing I see whenever I look at it!

Incidentally, the piece I demonstrated in the calligraphy event (Illuminated Letters: A Calligraphy Performance by the Friends of the Alphabet guild in Atlanta) was in black and white only (no gilding) and had quite a different feel.
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Week #40
This work was done by Martha Petty this year in Raleigh for the session “Variations on Romans”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
This work, Three Passions, by Bertrand Russell, was done for Reggie's third month's homework assignment using Monoline Romans. I knew this quote would be a long one to write and I immediately thought of doing an accordion style book. I always try to do most of the homework in book form just in case my calligraphy cannot stand on its own. I knew at least the book part of it would be competent.

To see what others had done with this long quote, I looked at students' work from Reggie's archives on his website and I saw a beautiful accordion book by Nita Padamsee from Boston who had taken Reggie's PRIMITIVE TO MODERN workshop in 2013. I loved this book, with the Hubble photographs and the written white pages mounted on the black, folded Canson paper. I wanted to borrow some of her ideas for my book, but I had to make this book my own.

For the structure of the accordion book, I used black (black core) matboard. Each panel is 8" x 10½" and when it's opened it spans approximately 53". The words, Three Passions, Love, Knowledge and Pity were cut out using an X-acto knife into one of the matboard panels. Portions of paper colored with beeswax that I had made using Stonehenge heavy weight paper were attached to the backside of the first panel. A second matboard panel was glued to the first panel with PVA glue to to hold the colored waxed paper in place. The other panels done with the Monoline Romans are done on a single piece of black matboard. The panels are attached with black Gaffer's Tape.

I used diluted white gouache and a ¼" flat brush to make the faintly white Neuland type letters in the background of the single panels. The pale green Neugebauer lettering is done with a Sakura Gel Pen. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I made the lines for all of this writing using a white Fons-Porter pencil and erased the lines the next day with a Factis black eraser.
Thanks to the ton of homework that Reggie assigns us, I'm starting to feel a little more confident to let my calligraphy stand on its own. Thanks, Reggie!

When considering the layout and design for our homework assignment to do “Three Passions” I decided I wanted to have the three words LOVE, KNOWLEDGE and PITY stand out. After playing around with many different layouts I decided to frame the words to give them prominence.

The assignment was to do the lettering in Neugebauer hand but I also wanted to add some other Roman Variations. For the title 3 Passions I used the Tom Perkins hand, in the frames are clothesline Caps and at the very bottom skeleton Romans. I made each segment a different size so as to give the eye a rest from reading the same size for such a long reading.

I used Gouache for all of the lettering. The magenta is Winsor & Newton, the olive green is Turner Design and the purple is a combination of several, I believe it’s Liquitex brilliant purple mixed with a little FW pearlescent. I water colored inside the frames using water color pencils. Inside of the lines I used pastel chalk after taping on the top and bottom of the lines. I sprayed a little fixative on the chalk.

The paper is Arches water color hot press. A mistake I made was cutting the paper before I started lettering. Even though I laid it out first with pencil, after I started lettering I wanted to use space differently and ended up doing it over again. So be sure and start off with a nice big piece of paper, it will save you a lot of time!

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Week #41
This work was done by Jane Doherty in Chicago this year for the session “Variations on Romans”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
This work is a passage from Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael's Penance. The book, set in the Middle Ages, informed how I chose illustrate it. The piece is 15x25, on Hahnemuhle Ingres paper, which in spite of feeling delicate, can take a fair amount of punishment.

The lettering was executed with gouache using a Brause nib. The harvester images are toner based printer transfers, colored with Prismacolor pencils.
 The top and bottom boarders are made from stamps carved from rubber stamp material using stamp pad ink. The center decoration gouache and gold leaf.

There are 4 different golds on an Instacol base. This took a long while and a lot of deep breathing to execute.

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Week #42
This work was done by Nell Hall this year in Raleigh for the session “Variations on Romans”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
I have had the joy of participating in Reggie’s “26 Seeds Year To Grow”. Although it has been a challenge at times it has been an extremely rewarding experience as I have seen myself “grow” more than I thought possible during this year.

This piece was month 3 homework assignment. We were instructed to guild a symbol, word, or phrase and paint in the dark background behind the gilding using at least one Roman Cap variation for our lettering.

I entitled this piece “Sermon Notes” because I got the idea of what I wanted to do while listening to a sermon in church. The sermon was on Grace and the pastor had mentioned the Greek word for Grace is Charis.
  When I got home and looked over my notes I realized the positioning for the letters of Grace and Charis could be in perfect placement to form a cross.

The gilded image is Christ’s monogram and it was done in 23K gold leaf. The background is painted with Turner Blue Violet gouache. The background of the cross is the Blue Violet gouache mixed with Winsor Newton White gouache. The lettering in the cross was done with FW Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic. The lettering around the cross and circle was done with Dr. Martin Iridescent Bronze. The border was done with Gelly Roll Metallic pens – silver on the inside border and gold on the outside border. The shading was done with soft pastels and a make-up sponge. The size of the finished piece is 11x17.

Thank you Reggie, for your excellent instruction, patience and great sense of humor. You keep us laughing while we all learn all so much!

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Week #43
This work was done by Starla Snead this year in Chicago for the session “Carolingian and Variations”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
This piece was a combination of assignments for Carolingian homework.

I created the background using alcohol inks. I then took it to the local copy shop and copied onto to Arches text wove. It came out a little darker but I liked the effect. I then sprayed it with Blair fixative.
 The writing was done with #3 and #4 Mitchell nibs using Dr. Martins bleed proof white. I drew the lines on the paper using a white fabric marking pencil. The ornate T was designed on tracing paper and transferred using white Saral paper. The gilding on the Arches did not come out smooth, but I ultimately liked the textured effect.    Size: 11 x17

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Week #44
This work was done by Yukimi Annand in 2008 in Orange County for the session “Italic and Italic Variations”,
in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
The size of the original was written 5" x 12”.

The original writing was done with Mitchell nibs and gouache.

The original writing was scanned.

Then the image was “inversed” and colors were layered under the image in Photoshop.
 It was an assignment for Italic variations.

After learning the basic structure of Italic and analyzing different variations,

we were challenged to design our own italic variations.

I was happy with the result of designing this Italic form with plenty slant.

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Week #45
This work was done by Christie Burns in Salem, Oregon in 2002 for the session “Variations on Romans”,
in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
Alphabet Study

10" x 15"
3 ply Bristol, graphite, acetone transfers, pastel.
Graph paper block Romans on squares divided by circles and mid lines, color added.

I loved this assignment so much I think I did 4 or 5 variations. I took advantage of the copy transfer method once I got my letter "stencils" drawn and inked the best I could. I was fascinated by the architecture of the letters on the grids. We learned that the eye has it's own way of seeing, and that going exactly by the grid will not produce perfectly balanced letters. The rule needs to be flexible. (Reggie's teaching methodology is to provide the experience that will allow the lesson to be discovered by the student. No amount of "telling" is as effective.)

I became a fan of sharp mechanical drawing pencils (in varying degrees of hardness) and push up erasers with a razor blade to cut a fine edge for refinement. To tell the truth, I thought it was a bit overkill when I saw the razor blade on the supply list but I eventually became a convert.
Note to self: Trust Reggie.
 Roman majuscules are the epitome of form, the lessons are vast. But when the work is exacting and repetitive I get an urge to do something wild and free, in this case a scribbled alphabet background texture, both as a relief and as a contrast of alphabets. I think the color was added at the very end. Pastels worked very well over acetone transfers, and of course unscented spray fix is a pretty handy thing. Alphabets have never ceased to fascinate me in their varied forms.

I feel a little sad that Reggie's long and fruitful traveling teaching career will be coming to an end in the next few years. Don't procrastinate if this is something you've been "thinking about." Sign up. Now! I've enjoyed seeing work done by his students, and can feel the excitement in their descriptions.

His travel was a labor of love and his teaching was inspiration. Thank goodness he has videos, but do it in person while you still have the chance. Everyone who has had the opportunity to study with him will never forget the experience, or the people they will become friends with, and will forever benefit by the lessons that spilled over into life. Thanks, Reggie!

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Week #46
This work was done by  Betsy Rivers Kennedy in Washington D C in 1997 for the session “Roman Variations” ,
in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:

That piece and 3 more variations of the quote were entered into the Tidewater Art Alliance Portfolio Art Show the year after your class and accepted and won an honorable mention!

After I did the cut-out bristol board over the watercolor Saran wrap piece, I reassembled all the cut off scraps of letters into a template which I used for an embossing in "white-on White", with 24k gold dots separating the words.

Then, I took the original cut out piece and had color copies made to which transfer gold adhered. I used scraps of gold from used papers that probably someone else would toss.

 I called these "original prints"' as no two were alike. Now they call it mixed media.

The forth version was in footed Roman caps.

I have sold the 2 big originals and a number of the prints. But I still have the plain roman cap version.

Those 2 years with you were some of the best times of my life. Thank you for providing the means to create the experience.

You were and are a great teacher and gave us so much in your courses.

I am still passing it along in teaching a class here & there. 

And still doing free-lance commission work.

I do miss Gwen. 

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Week #47
This work was done by Ann Binder in South Bend Indiana in for the session, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow .
In her own words:

The dearest of dear clients asked me to letter a prayer her father had taught her when she was young. She wished to frame the original and make high quality copies as Christmas gifts for her own grown children. Having done several other commissions for her, I knew her taste leaned toward simplicity and legibility, but I asked her to come to the studio to choose paper, letterform, and color.

This was right after the November 1996 class with Reggie so I was armed with the handout, “How to Analyze a Calligraphic Hand”. I thought I would show Marge several samples of lettering that I was anxious to try making my ‘own’. Marge chose Arches 90 lb watercolor paper, viridian gouache, and the lettering sample of these wonderful uncial/foundational forms which happened to be the handout “How to Analyze a Calligraphic Hand”.

Marge loved those letters. I am so glad I asked for her input because I was going to do something easier with indigo gouache going for simplicity and legibility.

The handout was in monoline, so I translated the forms into a pressurized version, adding some extra pen widths to the x-height to give some boldness to the forms. If I remember correctly, at some point while trying to work out the alphabet, I came across a sample of the letters I was striving to create among the many samples Reggie gave us in the mountains of handouts. Re-inventing the forms became much easier after that.

What you are looking at is the page I did for our guild’s calendar. I re-did Marge’s prayer for reproduction. It was done on Arches Text Wove using 30205 stick ink. Original size: 10”x12.5”

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Week #48
This work was done by Bruce Hawksworth this year in Raleigh for the “Italic and Italic Variations” session in
26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In his own words:

A few years ago a gifted singer had a vision looking up into the night sky at the three stars of Orion’s belt. Minus the graphic images from the Hubbel telescope, which I didn’t include because of time and know-how, I wanted to write out my depiction of what the singer saw using a few variations of Italics.

The content is written in colored Gothicized italic and black Chancery italic. The setup required using a lighted slant board and a ruled transparency, with both the previously written out black lettered page and a blank 90# Arches hot pressed water color (HP WC) paper placed on top so the lines could show through and the lettering be as straight as possible.

The colored Gothicized italic letters were written with Pebeo Drawing gum masking fluid and 2 ½ Mitchell broad-edge nib. After the masking fluid dried, the whole area was completely covered in Sennelier watercolor washes.

The masking fluid was then removed, leaving the negative white image of Gothicized italic letters against a colored background. These letters were colored in with Prismacolor color pencils and the black Chancery italic letters written with blackMoon Palace Sumi ink and a #5 Mitchell nib.

In the rough draft, spacing was a problem because the 15 lines, written out in black gothicized italic and Chancery italic took up three-quarters of a page and was wider also. So, I compressed the lettering allowing for a 6mm body height and a 2mm ascender/descender height and reduced the interlinear space to zero before rewriting it using a larger broad-edged nib for the colorized Gothic italic and a smaller nib for the black Chancery italic thereby differentiating the two hands. Some of the colored Gothicized italic sentences were capsularized using a Pigma Micron 01 black ink pen, separating the letters from the background. Size 10” x 12”.

Many thanks go out to Reggie and all my very talented peers for exposure to materials, techniques, and inspiration. My hope for this project was to focus more on the mechanics of lettering and design than the content. The content, though, is a premonition of a future prophetic event, one attached to a blessed hope. Hence, “comfort one another with these words”. Sincerely, Bruce Hawksworth

PS---If interested, please view the YouTube interview of Freddy and Annie Hayler http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl1lTnO-lLA

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Week #49
This work was done by Cheryl Lawrence this year in Chicago for the session “Italic and Italic Variations” in
26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:

This piece was inspired by my recent trip to the hot air balloon festival in Albuquerque, NM – something I’d wanted to do for years! The class assignment was to use Italic letterforms – and I could think of no other letterform that came so close to a feeling of big, beautiful drifting balloons floating across the sky. The words are my own – a major surprise since I’ve not attempted poem writing since elementary school.

I used a 22” by 16” piece of Diploma Parchment on which I traced outlines of the balloons. The patterns on the balloons were from those I actually saw at the festival. I chose from the dozens of photographs I took of the first launching of hundreds of balloons.

First, I painted the balloons using gouache and water colors. I deliberately placed them to float off the page. I wanted to give the feeling of having them float out of sight.

I placed lines for the lettering next with the goal of having the letters follow the shape of the balloon. The lettering was also done in gouache using a #4 Mitchell nib.

The Italic form, which we’d just learned from Reggie in class #5, was done at a 25 degree slant. This was because I thought the exaggerated slant would give a feeling of motion – as if the words were being blown along with the balloons. I did as much flourishing as I dared – if I’d been more confident, I’d have flourished more.

Once the lettering was completed, I used a paint brush and toothbrush to splatter the balloons for an airy feeling. I also splattered the background to denote the sky.

To say that Reggie is a great teacher is to say something everyone reading this already knows. I do know that I’d not have found the inspiration to do this piece nor had the skills to do it had it not been for his ability to truly educate us to the process of creating works of beauty. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to study with Reggie one more time. This experience, like the class I took with him before, is something I will always remember and cherish.

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Week #50
This work was done by Vivian Carter in Chicago who took the 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow in 1990.

The pressurized italic in this work was done with a #4 Mitchell nib using Dr Martins Bleedproof White on Arches Black Cover weight paper, 9 x 12. Collaged atop, pressurized romans on Arches Text Wove. The quote is from Reggie.

This was a page from a book presented to Reggie by his students from all over the U.S. and Canada in 1997.

We lost Vivian in 2009, one of the most gracious souls and talented individuals it was our privilege to have in our lives. Thank you to her daughter Melanie for permission to share this work.

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Week #51
This work was done by Mike Kecseg in 1986 in Chicago for the session “Brush Lettering”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow.
In his own words:

This was a piece I did towards the end of my year long class with Reggie. We were asked to do a piece on vellum with gilding. We had a choice of small pieces of vellum to work on and I chose a piece with a large dark spot in the upper left corner of the piece. I was probably the last person to choose from what was left! At first I thought I may have been able to sand the area and at least lighten it up a bit but that didn't work. So instead of giving up and choosing another piece of vellum I decided to use the dark spot as a focal point and highlight it with the gilding. It actually helped make the gilding on the star stand out much more than if it would have been on a more even colored piece of vellum.

The gilding was done on a base of gum ammoniac with patent gold. I also gilded the center of the abstracted poinsettia flower. The lettering in the piece is rather simple with outlined roman caps on the word "JOY" and brush lettering on the word "Christmas". This was one of my first attempts at brush lettering and I cringe a bit when I look at now. Since the piece was supposed to be an exercise in vellum and gilding I think in that respect it was a successful piece.

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Week #52
This work was done by Jo Falk in Detroit in 1996 from the course 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:

This was a page in a presentation book (to Reggie).

My materials were Speedball B nib, micron pigment pens, colored pencil, and India ink on a sheet of Arches paper 9 x 12.

This was one of many sun faces with knotted rays that I produced. Conceived on Beaver Island MI. My “Sun series” was nurtured at Ghost Ranch N.M. and blossomed in Reggie’s class in Detroit 1996.

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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 .

2017 is the last year I will be conducting my Year Long Courses.
Look at the few remaining openings on my above website, the "Calanders" page. Thanks, Reggie

You can contact me directly at contactreggie@comcast.net  or 773-202-8321 .

 Reservations are now being taken for 2017. Click for Calanders

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