Getting abstract, talking nonsense

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Calligraphy, type and color

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Calligraphy, type and color 2

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Calligraphy, type and color 3

 

I was trained as a graphic designer right during The Transition. I had to make countless exercises by hand, with traditional instruments, with ancient techniques, with state-of-the-art technology available at that time, which was not yet digital.

My frustration at not achieving perfection was equally state-of-the-art.

I had to design posters using transferable type. There was no transferable type available in the color or the size I wanted, so the final result never looked like the design I had in my mind. And somehow my (now gone) hoarder ways allowed those transfer sheets to survive almost intact for over twenty years. I decided I should use them for what I wanted to do now, now they would be a graphic element like any other. Far from trying to achieve a similar effect with a computer (which I try to use as little as possible) I transferred all the letters I could with all the anger of my accumulated frustration at not achieving a decently aligned text line in 1995.

And now I had inks and watercolors, and enamel plates, and a scanner. And eh, yes, a computer. But it does not dictate what I want to do. It only helps me to make images like the ones I have in my mind.

I like being able to mix it all up and make something more expressive and above all, pretty much like what I had in my mind. Something spontaneous and very colorful. I always wear black clothes, but I like color. I LOVE color. The more saturated and contrasting, the better. I think of all the colors that come in flowers, fruits, fish and birds. Color is a powerful force. Keep that in mind.

 

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Series: Three Different Birds

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These feathered friends were drawn in 2013. I was intrigued by dictionary art, where people print all sorts of images on old dictionary pages. We of course have our share of old books and encyclopedias. I remember I used to read our 8-volumes encyclopedia for whatever I could find, especially chemistry and technical concepts. (Go figure. Or not really. My mom used to be the electricity workshop teacher at a junior high school)

I didn’t have the nerve to cut out pages, so I scanned the ones I liked the most and made a collage with my calligraphy and once again, photos I took. The Red Crested Cardinal features a coral tree, very common in central Mexico. I grew fond of them since I watched them on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Laysan Albatross live cam. It was a birb haven: besides the majestic ‘Trosses you can watch Hawaiian geese, egrets, mynahs, cardinals, roosters, and more.

The American Robin has a white birch tree on the background. I took that photo from a hotel room in Los Angeles. But the bird is one of my favorites, because I know their songs. I am just ecstatic when I listen to them. It’s so beautiful I could cry. I miss their songs so much during the fall and winter.

And the Blue-Footed Booby, as a respectable seabird, includes a set of buoys hung at some Santa Barbara pier. They are so cute with those blue webbed feet. Their courtship dance involves a lot of blue feet bragging. Just adorable. Ahoy!

With these pieces I thought human made artifacts will never be as perfect as nature made creatures.

 

Buy these prints on Etsy: Booby, Cardinal, Robin

Music and Words

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A paper portrait. Not bad, huh?

Sometimes you discover a band after their most glorious period and that happened to me with Depeche Mode. Today they announced their 14th studio album but it’s been more than 20 years since their keyboardist and many other titles, Mr. Alan Wilder left the band. Rabid fans still long for his presence… but that’s a very different story. The case is, to me the band wouldn’t be what it is if he hadn’t been there. I discovered his solo project and never looked back.

As a fan I couldn’t help but try to make a portrait. I’ve drawn many portraits of the people I admire but this was the very first one that was made with paper. I tried to be as accurate as possible. But there’s always missing, I think. That’s why I’m not really a portrait girl anymore. I’m proud of this one, though. The blue background was painted with acrylic, and I used some writings with my calligraphy to make the base of the head.

Mr. Wilder’s music has a lot of the spoken word element, hence the name of the work: Music and Words.