Gestural calligraphy series

rooster

Rooster

frigatebird

Frigatebird

bloodline3

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.

 

The Raven

theCrow

This Corvid comes from a literary inspiration (Nevermore, of course). It started as a doodle, I ended up liking it so much that I kept working on it, adding the literary element (calligraphy) as a texture in the background. It could mean thought, it could mean blood, it could mean pain, it could mean a tortured soul, it could mean disorderly intelligence. The raven’s mission is to untangle the confusing thoughts and come up with an answer to the eternal question- what is this life all about?

Buy this smarty-pants bird print on Etsy: The Raven

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Series: The Rumi Birds

rumibirdpelican0716kingvulture

The poems from Rumi are so simple and powerful, maybe because they are about the deepest emotions and true beauty. They go hand in hand with the imagery of birds because to me they represent the highest ideals and a connection to the whole Earth. These three short poems also resonate with me. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for many years and these words help, and drawing helps too.

The King Vulture is my favorite. With time I’ve come to realize no animal is ugly. Humans have associated human qualities with certain animals, which then carry a bad reputation and face real danger because of human misconceptions. Animals play a very important role in this world and they shouldn’t be associated with negative traits.

These drawings started as linear drawings with a calligraphy nib, but then color was necessary (watercolor and gouache).

But listen to me:
For one moment quit being sad
Hear blessings dropping their blossoms
around you.

Out beyond ideas of
wrong doing and right doing
there is a field:
I’ll meet you there


Forget safety.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Be notorious.

 

Moana the Albatross

Moana-la-pollita-que-mas-quiero.jpg

They say you can’t love what you don’t know. Ever since I discovered a webcam dedicated to albatrosses, I  was completely fascinated. I’ve loved birds since I was a little girl, and I also took care of three duck friends that I still miss dearly since they passed away. Ducks started my love for water birds. And now the albatrosses are the most magnificent creatures in my opinion! They are sleek, elegant, goofy, loving, affectionate. I watched the Royal Albatross cam this year, starring Moana (hatched on January 18th and fledged on September 6th). It was a delight to watch her grow and her parents taking care of their precious chick, in a very beautiful place, Taiaroa Head in Dunedin, New Zealand -which I now have to visit-. I can only wish her safe travels and a healthy and long life.

That’s why I made this paper sculpture, to honor the adorable Moana. It turned out to be a big piece (70 x 90 cm) and the amount of cuts and slices of paper required lots of care and patience. The process itself is also an exercise of consciousness and even discipline.

 

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Series: Three Different Birds

red-crested-cardinalamerican robin illustration

 

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