Getting abstract, talking nonsense

gothic9

Calligraphy, type and color

gothic8

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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Gestural calligraphy series

rooster

Rooster

frigatebird

Frigatebird

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Abstract calligraphy

bloodline2

Abstract calligraphy

Bloodline1

Abstract calligraphy

AfricanCrane

Grey crowned crane

lettercrow

calligraphic crow

head

portrait of a girl

heart1

heart of letters

tulips

pot of tulips

birdsinnest

baby birds in a nest

 

This series was made between 2013 and 2015 to experiment with calligraphic textures that occupy more or less defined areas. They also proved to be a relaxing therapy by not having to think too hard about what to write with a pen. It is related to automatic writing exercises where you shouldn’t think before writing and the hand is not controlled by the conscious mind.

Probably a good way of telling what you do not want to tell anyone, putting it on paper but also hiding it to make it unreadable. Or, you can simply write what people say around you. And then you give the shape and composition you want.


One of my professors in grad school liked the abstract ones especially
. I guess the gestural and abstract elements are what caught his attention. I like gestural calligraphy because the hand flows without having to express a coherent language, but must also retain control so the strokes are aesthetically pleasing. And it could mean anything.

For someone introverted like me, it can be a way of express yourself without having to say anything.